Why This Matters

  • THE U.S. NEEDS 2.1 MILLION MORE PROJECT PROFESSIONALS

    The Project Management Institute (PMI) projects that global demand for project management-oriented professionals will grow by 33% by 2027, reaching 8.8 million in the United States alone.

  • TECHNOLOGY DRIVES PROJECT MANAGER DEMAND

    The project management discipline has expanded in recent years beyond IT, construction, and government as enterprises of all sizes in all industries increasingly rely on technology to drive competitive growth.

  • PROJECT MANAGERS EARN SIX-FIGURE SALARIES

    The latest PMI Salary Survey found U.S. project managers earn a median salary of $116,000 and average 5% in annual increases.

Our Research

Our list of project management programs includes bachelor’s, master’s, and associate’s degrees, as well as certificate programs. Many programs are offered online and on-campus, while several are online only.

PMI, the industry’s largest professional association, is the leading global body specializing in accrediting bachelor’s and postgraduate degrees for the industry. The primary objective of PMI’s Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC) is ensuring that accredited programs prepare students for employers’ current and future needs. Our list also includes numerous programs accredited by regional accreditation bodies and industry groups such as the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best Project Management Degree program are affordable, respected, and flexible.(For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 75 hours to write this article
  • 158 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 253 education programs we compared

The Top 48 Project Management Degree Programs

Best Project Management Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

Not all colleges and universities offer a distinct project management degree; some include a project management concentration within existing business administration or management offerings. While project managers share some duties with other types of managers, they’re also responsible for initiating, planning, executing, and completing projects for private and public organizations. Project management degrees typically offer case studies and software-based planning exercises, allowing students to dive deeper into the specific details of the profession than do more generalized business curriculums.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 1.3 million people work as project management and business operations specialists in the United States.

The most prestigious certification for project managers stateside is PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP), held by more than 1 million people globally. Specialized certifications are also offered by PMI, the Global Association of Quality Management, and similar organizations in disciplines such as agile methodology, quality management, and IT security.

Though certification isn’t mandatory to work as a project manager, a designation that reflects your skills and commitment to the profession can help you land that first job and advance in your career. For example, a 2020 PMI survey found PMP holders earn 22% more than peers without the designation.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to consider when researching project management degree programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Bachelor’s, certificate, and associate’s degree programs typically have the same admission requirements as other majors. However, for a master’s degree, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a related subject and, typically, experience working in the field.
  • Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? Some online programs are synchronous, which means students learn remotely but meet online at certain times for lectures or exams. Others are asynchronous: Students read materials independently and submit projects within deadlines. Similarly, hybrid classes combine in-person and online learning. Make sure you understand the delivery method when weighing options.

Give yourself plenty of time to explore all the alternatives available. Make sure you meet any application requirements. Once you narrow down your list to your top choices, leave plenty of time to meet the school’s application deadlines.

To help finance your education, find out which scholarships, financial aid packages, and employee tuition reimbursement programs may be available.