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Every industry, from marketing to construction, seeks adept leaders with project management skills. Enrolling in an online project management degree program will provide you with the necessary training to excel as a proficient and productive project manager, driving success and results with precision.Project managers are pivotal in diverse industries, ensuring successful project execution and delivery. With roles ranging from Project Manager to Program Director, median salaries range from $94,500 to $102,450 annually, depending on experience and industry.

This comprehensive list highlights programs that will prepare you for these roles through rigorous coursework, real-world application, and expert faculty guidance. By attending a flexible online program, you can learn at your own pace from anywhere in the world — taking 18 months to two years to graduate with your master’s degree or six months to a year for a certificate. While costs vary, investing in your education can yield substantial results, with graduate programs averaging $19,749 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

How to Choose an Online Project Management Program

Choose your area of study

Project management is a very versatile field, meaning identifying a specialization you are passionate about — such as IT, healthcare, construction, or marketing — will help you align your studies with your future goals. Researching industries, exploring courses, and networking with professionals in preferred sectors can guide you in selecting a program that offers relevant concentrations.

Research schools and programs

Look for schools offering concentrations matching your desired specialization, ensuring alignment with your future career goals. Additionally, consider pursuing a second major or minor in a complementary field to enhance your skills and expand potential job opportunities.

Don’t hesitate to contact alums and attend virtual information sessions, as this extra step can provide vital insights into program quality. By conducting thorough research at this point, you can feel confident in compiling a shortlist of schools that meet your academic needs and resonate with your intended career path.

Prepare for tests and applications

After shortlisting your preferred schools, turn your attention to preparing for tests and applications. Create a study plan for standardized tests, dedicating consistent time for practice and review. For some students, an ACT or SAT test prep course is helpful.

Tailor application materials, including essays and recommendation letters, to highlight your alignment with each program’s values and strengths. Pay close attention to deadlines and ensure all required documents are submitted on time.

Consider utilizing resources like admissions workshops, online forums and consulting with mentors to refine your approach. By meticulously preparing in this manner, you will maximize your chances of securing admission to the schools that best match your aspirations.

Select your program

As offers of admission arrive from your carefully selected schools, you can now confidently weigh your options with a comprehensive understanding of program specifics and your aspirations.

Assess curriculum alignment, faculty expertise, and industry ties to choose the program best suits your career goals. This decision will begin an exciting journey where your chosen program will pave the way for a successful and fulfilling professional path.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Now that you have chosen your project management degree program, it’s time to explore the various financial aid options available to help cover tuition costs.

Scholarships and grants are popular options, as they don’t require repayment. Research and apply for scholarships related to project management, your specific academic achievements, and demographics. Complete the FAFSA to access federal loans, which often offer flexible repayment terms and lower interest rates than private loans.

It’s essential to prioritize securing grants and scholarships. However, if needed, you can supplement with federal loans, which can help ensure a manageable financial path in the coming years.

Best 50 Accredited Online Project Management Programs

Best Online Project Management Degree Programs

Bellevue University

CSU Global

Minnesota State University Moorhead

Embry - Riddle Aeronautical University

Charleston Southern University

Saint Louis University

Arizona State University

Northeastern University

Liberty University

Ferris State University

Saint Leo University

George Fox University

University of Maine at Presque Isle

Colorado Christian University

City University of Seattle

Baker College

Amberton University

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How we rank schools

We reviewed bachelor’s and master’s level programs and certificates for our list of the top programs in project management. Your current education level and career goals will determine which type of degree you wish to earn.

At the undergraduate level, most programs are Bachelor of Science degrees, although there are also Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business Administration programs on our list. For graduate studies, the most common degree types are Master of Science and Master of Business Administration.

All of the programs on our list are regionally accredited. Additionally, some programs are accredited by the Project Management Institute, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Each program was reviewed for course strength, cost, flexibility, and reputation. We calculated the Intelligent Score of each degree on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out our ranking methodology.

What Can You Expect From an Online Project Management Program

A project management degree program prepares prospective students for success with an in-demand skill set that centers on effectively planning, executing, and managing projects across industries. Typically lasting one to two years for a certificate or two to three years for a graduate program, these programs cover project planning, risk management, budgeting, and leadership. Students learn about various methodologies like Agile and Waterfall, communication techniques, and software tools used in project management.

While some programs offer entirely online coursework, others may include in-person workshops, labs, or residencies to provide hands-on experience and networking opportunities. These practical components enhance skills application and collaboration. Whether the program you attend has these features or is entirely virtual, you can expect to become proficient in team coordination, problem-solving, and stakeholder management.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online project management program

  • Project Planning and Scheduling: Although the name may vary depending on the program, this course is a fundamental component in virtually all project management curriculums. Students learn to create comprehensive project plans, define scope, allocate resources, and develop realistic timelines.
  • Project Risk Management: A crucial aspect of project management, courses in Risk Management encourage students to explore the identification, assessment, and mitigation of potential risks that can impact project outcomes. They learn to develop risk management strategies, analyze risk factors, and implement contingency plans, ensuring projects stay on track despite uncertainties.
  • Financial and Strategic Management of Projects: The priority of professional project managers industry-wide is ensuring that projects are delivered on time and under budget. This course covers the financial aspect of project management, teaching students how to create and manage project budgets. They learn about cost estimation, tracking expenses, monitoring financial performance, and making informed decisions to ensure projects remain within budgetary constraints.
  • Project Quality Assurance and Control: In this course, students ensure project deliverables meet quality standards. The course covers quality planning, process improvement, quality assurance methods, and implementing quality control measures to enhance project outcomes and customer satisfaction.

What Can I Do With an Online Project Management Degree?

Regardless of industry, there will always be a need for employees with the skills and knowledge a project management degree develops, including effective planning, scheduling, budgeting, and communication.

Graduates from project management degree programs have various options for industries they can enter, with information technology, finance, marketing, and healthcare being some of the most common career paths.

A bachelor’s degree in project management qualifies graduates for most entry- and mid-level project management positions. With additional experience or education, such as an MBA in project management, individuals can advance into leadership positions.

Career outlook

  • Project management specialist — Coordinate all aspects of a project, including budget, schedule, supervision of the project team, and serving as point of contact for the client.
    • Median annual salary: $98,580
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 6%
    • New jobs projected: 68,100 new jobs
  • Management analyst — Also known as management consultants, these individuals recommend ways to improve an organization’s efficiency and advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.
    • Median annual salary: $99,410
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 10%
    • New jobs projected: 92,900 new jobs
  • Operations research analyst — Identify problems in areas such as business, logistics, healthcare, or other fields by collecting, organizing, and analyzing data, and developing tools to address the issues.
    • Median annual salary: $83,640
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 23%
    • New jobs projected:  9,800 new jobs

Online Project Management Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online project management degree program?

To apply for an online project management degree program, visit the university’s website and navigate to the admissions section. Select your desired program (graduate or certificate) and review the specific requirements, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Ensure you meet the prerequisites and submit all necessary documents through the online application portal.

Since admission requirements can vary depending on the institution and program you apply for, you must speak with an admissions counselor before applying. They can help you clarify doubts, discuss program details, and receive guidance on the application process.

How much does an online project management degree cost?

The cost of earning your online project management degree will vary widely depending on factors like institution, duration, and whether you enroll in a graduate or certificate program. As of 2020-2021, programs at the graduate level averaged $19,749 in tuition fees. Certificate programs may be more affordable since they generally require less time to complete and are unlikely to rack up a higher bill.

When budgeting for your degree program, it’s crucial to consider additional expenses like textbooks, technology fees, and potential residency or workshop costs for any necessary in-person components. Be sure to examine each program’s specific and consult with the university for accurate and up-to-date information.

How long does it take to earn an online project management degree?

A typical full-time graduate program takes around 18 months to two years, while certificate programs can often be completed in six months to a year. Some online programs allow students to extend their program duration if they enroll part-time, as virtual learning lends itself well to non-traditional students who may need to balance their studies with other responsibilities.

The total number of credits required also influences program length. While project management certificates often require 12 to 18 credits to graduate, graduate programs require 30 to 36. Graduate programs generally offer a more comprehensive curriculum, while a certificate may provide specific knowledge in the field and take less time to complete.

Is a project management degree worth it?

Having a bachelor’s degree can help students increase their earning potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn a median weekly salary of $1,432, compared to $935 for those without a college degree. Research shows that over the course of an individual’s lifetime, having a college degree can have a significant impact on their earnings.

However, students should remember that a bachelor’s degree in project management is just one path to a career in this field. For students who have professional experience and are looking to pivot to project management or develop new skills, a project management certificate program may provide sufficient training in a faster, more cost-effective way than a full degree.

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