2019 Best Online Project Management Degrees and Certificates
Online project management degree programs are offered at the certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels to help prepare aspiring project managers for careers in finance, information technology, and many other industries. Our best online bachelor's programs and best online master's programs highlight exceptional options, based on tuition costs and alumni salaries reported by PayScale. Prospective students should research accredited project management programs to ensure the best academic experience.
2019 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Project Management Degrees
Distance students looking for the best online bachelor's degrees in project management should consider these schools. Ranking #1 out of 20, Assumption College has a tuition of $40,208 and a high average alumni salary of $113,800. City University of Seattle ranks #2, with a median salary of $93,000. The lowest tuition on the list, $6,060, can be found at Clayton State University.
- Annual Tuition: $40,208
- Median Salary: $113,800
Assumption College offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration program with a concentration (consisting of seven courses) in project management. The degree requires completion of 40 courses/120 credits, with at least 15 courses/45 credits taken in Continuing and Career Education at Assumption College. The core is comprised of ten liberal arts courses designed to provide a foundation of knowledge in ethics, writing, theology, philosophy, literature, history, mathematics, natural science, and foreign languages. Also included is the Business Core, consisting of 11 courses in the essential foundations of business administration. The degree also requires a capstone course, which is designed by the student and supervised by Assumption faculty.
- Annual Tuition: $20,520
- Median Salary: $93,000
Available completely online, the Bachelor of Science in Project Management at CityU gives students the option to focus on information technology or create their own specialized course of study to fit specific educational goals. Graduates are prepared to become a project leader, project coordinator, program manager, or business analyst in virtually any industry. Although this undergraduate program is fully online, classroom work is completed in a team environment to prepare students to manage and participate as knowledgeable project team members, a vital skill in the real world of business. To earn this bachelor’s degree, students must complete a total of 180 credit hours, divided evenly between lower- and upper-division requirements. The specialized study emphasis, proposed by the student, consists of five courses taken in a specific content area.
- Annual Tuition: $12,150
- Median Salary: $86,200
New England College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a project management concentration 100 percent online. Students learn how to build and manage teams, minimize project costs and incorporate research into their work. The project management concentration focuses on real-world principles, tools, and techniques. The four featured courses in the concentration are Management in Organizations, Change Management and Project Risk, Organizational Communication and Negotiation, and Project Performance and Quality Assurance. Courses in the major delve into such subjects as accounting, marketing, finance, ethics, macroeconomics, and microeconomics. Five electives are part of this undergraduate program, bringing the total required credit hours to 120.
- Annual Tuition: $9,792
- Median Salary: $84,500
Students pursuing the online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Charter Oak can choose between five different concentrations, including a focus on project management. Students will sharpen their skills in decision-making, leadership, teamwork, and motivational abilities to become managers with an awareness of differences related to culture, communications style, and gender. The project management concentration is comprised of three courses: Fundamental Project Management, Effective Project Management, and Mastering Project Management. This undergraduate program requires a minimum of 45 credits, including eight core courses (24 credits), three concentration courses (nine credits), and the capstone course (three credits).
- Annual Tuition: $7,950
- Median Salary: $81,700
Amberton University’s Bachelor of Business Administration is offered with four different specialties, one of which is project management. This undergraduate program can be taken in both an online and classroom format. Graduates are prepared to effectively manage enterprise projects including project scope, quality, risk, time, cost, communication, human resources, integration, and procurement management. The project management concentration is made up of six courses for a total of 18 credits. A total of 120 credit hours is needed to complete the degree: 45 in general education, 15 in electives, and 60 in the major. Thirty-three semester hours applicable to the degree must be completed at Amberton University, and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required.
- Annual Tuition: $16,650
- Median Salary: $81,600
The Bachelor of Business Administration at National University provides students with a comprehensive understanding of marketing, statistics, accounting, economics, finance, and management. A total of nine different concentrations are offered in this undergraduate program, one of which is project management. The entire program can be completed online. Graduates are prepared for careers in domestic and international business, and they have the skills needed to start a new business or take an existing one to the next level. The major includes nine courses for a total of 40.5 quarter units (180 are needed to complete the degree), and the project management concentration is comprised of six courses for a total of 27 quarter units.
- Annual Tuition: $14,070
- Median Salary: $76,600
Colorado Christian University’s online Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management in Project Management is designed to train students in all aspects of managing high-level projects, including strategic management, project-based teamwork, risk reduction, and budget analysis. A total of 120 credit hours (36 in the major, 42 in general education, and 42 in electives) is needed to complete this undergraduate program. Classes are typically completed in five-week blocks, and major coursework can be completed over four semesters. Classes are taught in seminar format. Students must have a letter grade of "D" or better in each course and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better.
- Annual Tuition: $20,250
- Median Salary: $76,200
Marist College’s BA in Professional Studies with a concentration in project management teaches students skills in defining goals, creating and maintaining schedules, establishing and monitoring budgets, delegating tasks to other team members, monitoring project process, and completing tasks on time. The degree can be completed fully online. Project management courses include Economics of Social Issues, Introduction to Human Resources, Legal Issues in Organization, and Project Management. The curriculum is comprised of three parts: the major, the core, and the elective courses. Students are able to focus on two to three customizable areas of study totaling 45 credits. They can use prior learning assessments and life work experience to earn college credits toward their undergraduate degree.
- Annual Tuition: $12,090
- Median Salary: $71,700
The Bachelor of Science in Project Management at ERAU is offered fully online, or students can study at one of 130 different locations worldwide. Students will get a firm grasp of concepts such as cost, human resources, stakeholder management, procurement, and risk management. Students may wish to enroll in ERAU’s 4+1 option, which allows them to complete their master’s degree in one year after finishing their bachelor’s degree. Total degree requirements are 120 credits, divided among general education (36), common business core (33), project management core (15), and electives (36).
#10 Union University
- Annual Tuition: $13,600
- Median Salary: $71,700
#10 Union University
This faith-based university offers a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership with seven different concentrations, one of which is project management. This online program is designed for those with work and family responsibilities, and working adults can complete the degree in as little as 18 months. Students can complete this undergraduate program fully online, by attending courses one evening a week at one of UU’s three locations, or a blend of both. All classes are in an accelerated format, and college credit is awarded for life experience. Students are involved in case studies, group projects, and discussions. They are part of a cohort group which remains together through the major. A total of 128 semester hours is required for the degree. Union University integrates Christian values and faith into every program of study.
- Annual Tuition: $13,280
- Median Salary: $71,100
Bellevue University’s Bachelor of Science in Project Management is offered in a cohort format either online or in a classroom and prepares students to manage and lead project teams across a broad spectrum of business environments. A total of 127 credit hours, comprised of general education (36), electives (51), and major courses (40), is needed to complete the degree. In addition to the major requirements, all Bellevue University undergraduate students must complete the Kirkpatrick Signature Series, which is made up of three courses: American Vision and Values, Tradition and Change, and Freedom and Responsibility. Before beginning the cohort major, students should already have an associate degree or 60 semester hours completed with a grade of "C-" or higher from an accredited institution of higher learning.
- Annual Tuition: $16,468
- Median Salary: $71,100
The Bachelor of Science in Project Management is intended for students who enjoy defining, planning, executing and closing projects, and it combines technical and managerial knowledge to provide visionary leadership for objective-based work. It is offered on campus, online and as a transferable 2+2 program (a two-year Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science can be transferred in). The core is comprised of 15 courses for 45 credits, with an additional three required courses for nine credits. Students can take up to 30 credits in their area of interest, and the degree can be paired with an area of emphasis, a minor, or even a double major.
- Annual Tuition: $9,600
- Median Salary: $70,100
SNHU offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in project management. The program is available fully online and delves into strategies and principles used by successful organizations, including supply chain management, statistical analyses, and Six Sigma. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the management of demand forecasting, production planning, inventory control, logistics, supply chain management, and quality control. The online classroom is available 24/7. A total of 120 credit hours is needed to complete this undergraduate program.
- Annual Tuition: $15,680
- Median Salary: $70,100
Charleston Southern, a Christian liberal arts university, offers an online Bachelor of Science in Project Management. The major in this undergraduate program consists of 51 credits and does not require a minor. Along with the major, a liberal arts core (47 credits) and a minimum of three credits in a foreign language is needed. A total of 125 credits is required to graduate. The courses in the major (a total of 17 credits) focus on topics such as accounting principles, business law, principles of management, ethics, international business, macroeconomics, statistics, project initiation and planning, project estimation, and risk assessment.
- Annual Tuition: $11,700
- Median Salary: $66,900
The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a specialization in project management at Liberty University allows students to take courses in a convenient eight-week, fully online format. Students can customize their classes to their schedules and learning styles. This allows for fewer classes at one time while still covering the same material as full-semester courses. A total of 120 credits is needed to complete the degree, and it generally takes 3.5 years to complete. Up to 75 percent of the credits for this undergraduate program can be transferred. The curriculum covers project management, operations management, principles of management, and leading global projects.
- Annual Tuition: $12,000
- Median Salary: $65,600
Baker College offers an online Bachelor’s in Information Systems with a concentration in project management. This undergraduate program is designed to integrate general business and management knowledge with expertise in computer information systems (including programming, databases, web, project management, networking, and security). Students get a well-rounded education to begin a career overseeing IS projects. The major requires 75 credits, and a total of 120 credits are needed to complete the degree. The concentration in project management and planning requires 18 credits and includes six courses: Project Planning, Negotiation Strategies, Project Cost and Budget Management, Leading Project Teams, Contracting and Procurement for Project Managers, and Senior Design Project in Project Management.
- Annual Tuition: $15,900
- Median Salary: $65,100
UIW’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in project management is available 100 percent online. Courses are eight weeks long and offered six terms each year. A total of 120 credits is needed to complete this undergraduate program, and there is a 45-hour residency requirement. The entire program takes four years to complete. The degree includes such courses as Project Planning, Project Management Method, Project Leadership, Legal Aspects of Business, and Analysis of Global Business Opportunities. UIW is the largest Catholic university in Texas, and its approach to education is firmly grounded in values developed in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
- Annual Tuition: $43,160
- Median Salary: $68,200
Saint Louis University’s online Bachelor of Science in Project Management helps students build on their foundation of experience and apply the five basic project management processes as outlined in the PMBOK Guide: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. Two simulators have been incorporated into this undergraduate program, using the latest technology to allow students to experience real-world situations. Applicants to the online program must be 22 years of age or older, have at least three years of work experience, and have a high school diploma or composite GED score of at least 2250. A total of 120 credits is needed to complete the degree, with 42 in the major.
- Annual Tuition: $6,060
- Median Salary: $59,400
The Bachelor of Applied Science in Technology Management at CSU is available with a project supervision concentration. It is offered to people who have earned an Associate of Applied Science, an Associate of Applied Technology, other career associate degrees, or 38 hours of technical coursework. The B.AS. can be earned in four semesters. Many upper division courses will be offered in a partial online or 100 percent online format. The project management concentration allows students to prepare for management, supervision, and leadership positions in technology, plant, or manufacturing. Studies include statistical analysis, quality analysis, and project management. It is comprised of five courses for a total of 15 credit hours.
- Annual Tuition: $12,480
- Median Salary: $54,000
Marian University’s Bachelor of Business Administration is designed for working adults who want to earn a degree on their own time and terms. This online undergraduate program is available with three concentrations: project management, management, and human resources management. After taking foundation classes focusing on accounting, marketing, management, and business policy and strategy, students take more specialized classes that match their concentration. Classes in the project management concentration include Project Management Methodologies, Team Building & Interpersonal Dynamics, and Project Accounting Methods. Frequent start dates — twelve times a year — mean students can begin shortly after being accepted. Classes last from five to eight weeks, and students can take up to two classes at a time.
Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - Project Management Degrees ( 34)
Online Project Management Degree Overview & Career Information
Online project management certificates offer concentrated training on management skills through courses ranging from cost management to communications. The graduate-level certificates are open to students with an accredited undergraduate degree. Most certificates take a year or less to complete, making it a great option for working professionals to enhance their management opportunities.
Online bachelor’s degrees typically include topics in organizational leadership, project risk management, contracts and procurement, project performance and quality assurance, and project scheduling and cost. Bachelor's programs usually have a capstone project requirement aimed at enhancing the students’ practical knowledge in the field.
The online master’s degree curriculum covers several key knowledge areas, including assessing and mitigating risk, project planning, execution and closure, schedule and cost control techniques, contracting and procurement in project management, and project management processes. A capstone project is a typical requirement in master’s programs.
Online doctoral project management degree programs explore theoretical underpinnings in project management at a far deeper level than other academic programs. The doctoral curriculum covers areas such as advanced project management methodologies, advanced risk management systems, and contemporary leadership theories and practices. Doctoral students are also required to take a comprehensive exam and complete a dissertation.
Online bachelor’s degrees in project management help prepare students to navigate the many aspects of a project that they see through from beginning to end. The project management bachelor's degree often combines general business skills with particular leadership strategies for bringing complex projects to completion.
Online bachelor’s degree programs generally require a minimum of a high school diploma or GED for admission, and some programs require additional application materials, such as a resume, personal statement, or standardized test scores. This is a four-year degree, requiring about 120 credit hours of coursework.
Undergraduate courses cover topics such as the role of the project manager, strategic goal setting, portfolio management, procurement and contracts, and budgeting. Many project management programs are offered as business degrees with a project management focus. In such programs, students also take more general business classes such as leadership, decision making, marketing, and accounting. Most project management bachelor's programs require a capstone course or a project-based class. In this course, students manage a mock project from beginning to end, developing the project's goals, setting a timeline, assigning teams, creating a budget, and procuring contracts.
Graduates with bachelor’s degrees will typically find lower-level project management positions in management, information technology, accounting, and human resources. Most people who graduate with a bachelor's degree in project management generally begin by working at businesses, government agencies, or other organizations as a manager or administrator taking on small projects. Project management can be an experience-based profession, so after gaining experience, professionals may be assigned to larger projects and can advance to take on more projects.
The online project management master’s degree can be a great way for those without significant project management experience to gain valuable skills to break into the workplace. Graduates will have an edge over those with only a bachelor’s degree and similar professional experience. The master’s in project management degree online is a focused business program that teaches the particular skill set for starting, maintaining, and finishing large projects within an organization. To learn more about online master's programs in project management, see our master's overview which includes a list of the best programs.
Online doctorate level programs take a more abstract approach to project management while exploring advanced methodologies, systems, and theories. Programs will often incorporate many opportunities for research, which enables students to improve their project management practices.
Applicants to most project management doctorate programs must hold an accredited master’s degree and have at least five years of professional management experience to be considered. The college or university will need to see official transcripts of all postsecondary work the applicant has done, as well as a resume and letters of recommendation. Some schools also request a personal essay as part of the application package. The 16-course program and dissertation can be completed in three to seven years.
Students enrolled in a project management doctorate program will take courses in knowledge management, project management leadership, project procurement and ethics, data analysis and interpretation, and systems modeling and the nine schools of project management. Other courses in the program focus on research methods and the philosophy of knowledge. Doctoral candidates must also write a dissertation as part of their program. The project will be approved and supervised by a faculty member, who acts as an advisor. Each student's work must be orally defended in front of a jury before the doctorate will be granted.
Graduates from this type of program will be qualified for positions as university professors, or they can take on roles as mentors and researchers.
Online project management certificates are graduate-level programs aimed at providing a focused education in the leadership and management skills needed to oversee complex projects. These programs typically require 5 to 10 courses and can be completed in a year or less. Most are offered through business schools or university extension programs. Applicants need an accredited undergraduate degree; some programs require a year or more of professional project management experience.
Students in Project Management Institute-certified programs can use the course credits toward the PMP exam educational requirement. Project management certificates can also be used as professional development units if they meet certain criteria.
The courses in the project management certificate focus on the unique leadership, planning, and management skills required to lead large projects. The foundational project management principles course includes topics like cost management, the different stages of a large project, and project networks. Later courses focus on a particular aspect of management, such as communications, risk management, program management, and quality management. Some certificate programs have a set list of courses, while others include a core sequence and electives. The certificate coursework can also be used as the start of a master’s program at some institutions.
Graduates of a certificate program often work as a project manager. The project management career area is still emerging and specialized education isn’t widely available at the bachelor’s level. Thus, those with a graduate certificate will have a wider array of job opportunities than those with only a four-year degree and similar experience. Other related career areas include construction management, engineering management, or healthcare management. Professionals already working in a professional area can use the certificate to support expanded responsibilities in supervision or project management in their current workplace.
It's important to consider the reputation and qualifications of any project management degree program you're considering, and official accreditation is one way to begin narrowing down your choices. When a school or program is accredited, it means that its curricula, faculty, student outcomes, and general academic standards have been reviewed, evaluated, and deemed acceptable by an independent agency.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) is the most popular and reputable project management organization. PMI's Global Accreditation Center (GAC) for Project Management Education Programs is the leading accrediting body for project management related education. Committed to excellence, GAC accreditation ensures that programs maintain policies and procedures of project management. Students who attend a GAC accredited program demonstrate to future employers that they have received an enriched education that equipped them with necessary skills, techniques, and experience to succeed as a project manager. PMI Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.), which are organizations that have been approved to provide training in project management, are also strong indicators of a quality education.
Entire institutions can be accredited by national or regional accrediting agencies, or individual PM programs can be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs. It's wise to refer to the lists of accrediting agencies that are recognized by US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
For more information about the benefits of accreditation, visit the Guide to Online Schools accreditation hub.
The certifications offered by PMI are among the most popular credentials for project management professionals. There are eight different certificates available: Project Management Professional, Program Management Professional, Portfolio Management Professional, Certified Associate in Project Management, PMI Professional in Business Analysis, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner, PMI Risk Management Professional, and PMI Scheduling Professional.
The Project Management Professional (PMP) credential is considered the gold standard of project management certification. A Project Management Professional Certification is recognized worldwide and can be attained regardless of industry. The PMP Certification communicates to potential employers that the candidate has an understanding of project management that is consistent with the other members of the organization.
To obtain the PMP certification, experienced project managers must pass a 4-hour exam that consists of 200 questions. All those hoping to be certified must have at least 35 hours of project management education and 7,500 hours experience leading and directing projects or 4,500 hours if the applicant holds a bachelor’s degree. To maintain the certificate, students must earn 60 professional development units every three years.
Project managers juggle the moving parts of a project and must be open to rapidly changing environments. They must have an ability to move other people into action and keep them accountable for the progress of a project. Project managers are necessary for many industries including:
- Healthcare: where they oversee new hospital remodeling projects, assess spending and budget allocation, and transfer doctors between departments.
- Information Technology: where they design, plan, and carry out software or computer engineering projects from start to finish. This role involves coordinating with multiple companies and the information technology team. Managers troubleshoot problems and make a plan to stay within deadlines.
- Manufacturing: where they assess risks and constantly make efforts to improve the quality of the product. In manufacturing, project managers might compare products and efficiency against other competing products.
- Construction: where they work closely with clients to make sure budgets and project needs are met. Building projects are susceptible to alteration every day, so project managers must be able to adapt quickly to changing environments, scope, and budget.
- Project Management Institute, Inc. Accessed November 3, 2017. https://www.pmi.org/.
- Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Handbook. Project Management Institute, Inc. Accessed November 3, 2017. https://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/public/pdf/certifications/ccr-certification-requirements-handbook.pdf.
- Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC). Project Management Institute, Inc. Accessed November 2, 2017. https://www.pmi.org/global-accreditation-center.
- Find a Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.). Project Management Institute, Inc. Accessed November 2, 2017. https://www.pmi.org/learning/training-development/reps/find.