Top Online Project Management Degree Programs
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WHAT IS A PROJECT MANAGEMENT DEGREE?
A project management degree is part of the wider area of business programs. It studies how to plan, execute and oversee all aspects of a task from start to finish. You’ll often learn how to create timelines, budgets, forecasts and handle problems.
You can find project management (PM) degrees at all levels. A bachelor’s degree is the least you’ll need for most entry-level jobs. It often builds system management and organizational skills.
Masters and MBA’s in PM often hone expertise to advance a career. These may enable managers to focus their planning skills on a specific area like IT or supply chain. Or, work on more complex projects that take a deeper understanding of business.
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Project Management
In this program, you’ll study to gain key project management skills. Some courses focus on contracts and securing assets. Others touch on risk and project planning. This includes how to schedule, budget, track and control tasks. The curriculum may also serve as a study guide for the PMP exam.
- Project Management Tools
- Project Leadership
- Principles of Management
Master of Business Administration: Project Management
In this program, you may advance your proficiency in business skills relevant to leadership positions within the field of project management by advancing your knowledge in: project management, marketing strategy management and client management.
- Project Management
- Business Ethics
- Principles of Project Management
Doctor of Business Administration – Project Management
This specialization explores principles, concepts, tools, and techniques to improve project performance and organizational effectiveness.
Learners will examine strategies relating to managing multiple projects as well as the concepts of earned value project management.
- Project Management
- Cost Control
- Risk Assessment
ONLINE PROJECT MANAGEMENT DEGREE PROGRAMS
A bachelor’s degree in project management generally requires students to earn 120 credits. Of these, some may be general education courses and a capstone. Others are about how handle all facets of a project in an efficient, organized and timely manner.
Depending on your goals, you can pursue a BS, BA or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in PM. Each of these will approach the project management major in a different way.
BA programs may cover more liberal arts courses. Topics like economics, ethics and organizational theory. BS programs may include more technical courses. This can take the form of statistics, strategy and analysis.
BBA programs are business-focused. It usually starts with core courses that discuss various functions. These often touch on human resources, marketing, and operations. Also, the basics of managing finances and supply chain. Plus, they’ll offer a handful of courses about managing projects.
Either way, a major in project management is about learning to plan out a task in full. This means you may take intro classes in how to budget and figure out costs. Other topics may discuss the finer points of leading teams and obtaining resources.
Along the way, you may have exercises that boost your communication skills. Project managers need to be confident, assertive, and adapt to unforeseen events.
Here is a sample of a few common topics, classes and programs.
- Intro to Project Management
- Integrated Cost & Schedule Control
- Project Procurement Management
Intro to Project Management – For those new to the concept, an intro class speaks to main concepts and methods. It often discusses the entire life cycle of a project. How to start, plan, execute, control and close projects. You are likely to find out about PM software too.
Integrated Cost and Schedule Control – This class explains how to plan a project’s scope. Some of the things that impact this are client budget and schedule constraints. You may also study the ways to identify potential risks. As a result, you may come away with tools to take corrective actions.
Project Procurement Management – This relates to the things one needs to know to set projects and goals. It’s at the heart of partnering between buyers and sellers. Things like how to bid for a project, craft a proposal and negotiate terms.
BA IN PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MARKETING/PROJECT MANAGEMENT SPECIALIZATION
In a PR degree program, you’ll study the many ways to communicate with the public. Topics often cover things like consumer behavior, advertising and promotion, research, and strategy. To support your interest in PM, you can choose it as a concentration.
BA IN SPORTS AND RECREATION MANAGEMENT – PROJECT MANAGEMENT SPECIALIZATION
In a sports management degree program, you’ll study the business of sports. Topics often cover things like accounting, business, information systems and economics. To support your interest in PM, you can choose it as a concentration.
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION – PROJECT MANAGEMENT
In a BSBA program, you’ll take most of your credits in business and managerial basics. Some of these will thus relate to accounting, finance and business law. Others to marketing and operations. For the concentration in project management, you’ll take several extra courses. These may help you prep for PM certifications. For example, CTU’s program covers key areas contained in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) exam.
MASTERS IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Master’s degrees in project management include MA, MS and MBA programs. These may involve about 36 credits or so beyond the bachelor’s degree. They’ll often prep you for leadership. Not to mention a doctorate degree if you can think ahead.
Usually, the MS offers a more holistic set of PM courses. You can also find programs that focus on a specific type of project management. Marketing project management is one example. IT project management is another.
MBA programs are business-oriented. Like the BBA, you’ll take a slew of managerial courses along with your PM concentration. These may refine existing managerial skills while targeting more complex tools and theories.
Featured Online Schools
Southern New Hampshire University
- Take advantage of some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, while earning a degree from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
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- Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access.
- Offering over 200 online degree
Business Administration, Psychology, Information Technology, Human Services…
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AA or BA in Early Childhood Education, BA in Health Care Administration, BA or MA in Psychology…
Western Governors University
- Personalized, one-on-one faculty support.
Online university education to fit modern life.
- An affordable way to earn your business degree.
- Tuition under $4,000 a term – about half the cost of most other online universities.
- Programs start monthly – Apply free this week!
Business Management, Healthcare Management, Human Resources Management, Accounting, Health Information Management
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO EARN A PROJECT MANAGEMENT DEGREE?
It may take a full-time student 4 years to earn a project management degree online. For master’s and MBA programs, it may take a full-time student about 1 to 2 years beyond that.
Yet several things affect program length. One is whether you have any transfer credits that could reduce your course load. Another is how many courses you can take each semester.
ONLINE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS THAT COULD BE COMPLETED IN 208 WEEKS
|School||Degree||# of Credits Required||Start Dates||Minimum Months to Complete|
|Colorado State University Global||BS in Project Management||120 credits||Fall, Winter, Spring||4 years or less depending on transfer credits|
|Ashford University||BA in Project Management||120 credits||Multiple||208 weeks|
|Colorado Technical University||BSBA in Project Management||180 credits||April, May, July||74 weeks|
HOW MUCH DOES A PROJECT MANAGEMENT DEGREE COST?
Tuition for project management degrees average $6,563 for in-state public colleges. For out of state private colleges it is $27,000.
There are other factors that may impact the cost of earning a PM degree online. One of these is how many credits your program requires you to complete. The fewer credits you have (let’s say from transfer credits) the fewer you may for.
You’ll also need to factor in extra fees. Some schools charge a technology and/or graduation fee. Add to these, the cost of your books, materials and other incidentals.
|School||# of Credits Required||Cost Per Credit||Total Tuition Cost|
|Colorado State University Global||120 credits||$350||$42,000|
|Ashford University||120 credits||$485||$58,200|
|Purdue University Global||180 quarter credits||$371||$66,780|
TOP SCHOOLS FOR PROJECT MANAGEMENT DEGREE PROGRAMS
|School||2017 Grads total/degrees awarded||Tuition (Out of State)|
|University of Phoenix – AZ||352||$9,552|
|Northeastern University Global||259||$28,308|
|Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide||126||$35,814|
|Universidad Internacional Iberoamericana||110||$10,500|
|Colorado State University Global Campus||107||$8,400|
CHOOSING AN ACCREDITED PROJECT MANAGEMENT DEGREE PROGRAM
Choosing an accredited school for your online degree in project management is important. For one, accreditation is a form of quality control.
You’ll t come across schools that hold one of two kinds of accreditation. The first is national. It usually applies to applies to vocational schools or special programs. The second is regional form one of six different boards across the U.S.
At these schools, you’ll be able to apply for financial aid. Degrees from regionally accredited schools are also valid in any state. This means you may be eligible to transfer credits.
Some individual project management programs are also accredited. These undergo a next level of quality control to make sure what you learn is current and applicable.
One agency to look for is from the Project Management Institute (PMI). It’s called the Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC). Since they offer certification exams, some schools use PMI guidelines in their curriculum. This acts as a study guide should further credentials be your goal.
As a standards-setter, the GAC only accredits schools that meet its criteria. Plus, the status is good for 7 years, so schools need to re-certify. When they do this, they must show they have improved to meet the times.
Beyond this, there are business school accreditors who may accredit some PM programs. These are usually part of a larger business administration degree. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) is one example.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH A PROJECT MANAGEMENT DEGREE?
There are 10.5 million people working in project management, a number that is growing by 1.61%. The average employee age is 43.6 years, and most are male. The majority (75.9%) of people in the workforce have bachelor’s degree. Master’s degree holders account for 20.2%.
TOP SALARIES BY STATE FOR ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING MANAGERS
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
CAREERS WITH A PROJECT MANAGEMENT DEGREE
The ability to manage complex projects is a skill that cuts across many industries. IT, marketing, construction, architecture and general business to name a few. As a result, there are may be a variety of unique career paths to choose from.
ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING MANAGERS
Architectural and engineering managers plan, direct, and lead projects in these areas. In their role they need to know both their industry and the ins and outs of handling complex projects. This means, coordinating budget, people, time, training and resources. Often, because they are in charge, they’ll assign tasks to others.
Median Salary: $137,720
Job Growth to 2026: 6% (As fast as average)
Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree
Construction managers also have job titles like general contractors or project managers. They plan, budge, and schedule construction projects through the lifecycle. In their role they need to know how to oversee contractors and staff. Plus, they must be up to speed on building and safety codes and other regulations.
Median Salary: $91,370
Job Growth to 2026: 11% (Faster than average)
Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree
ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES MANAGERS
Administrative services managers have job titles like business office manager. They are in charge of office upkeep which means they wear many hats. Some duties relate to managing records and supervising staff. But they’ll also check that the office is clean, safe, stocked with supplies and runs well.
Median Salary: $94,020
Job Growth to 2026: 10% (Faster than average)
Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree