Online Master’s in Project Management Programs 2021

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Best Online Master's Programs in Project Management Badge

Project management focuses on the skills and methods for leading teams and activities through various project stages. Online project management degrees often support lucrative management occupations in various public and private sectors. Project management students usually benefit from choosing a concentration in a particular industry.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that project management specialists earn a generous median annual salary of $77,420. Managers earn a median annual salary of $109,760. Financial managers, health services managers, and computer and information systems managers also enjoy positive job growth rate projections between 2019-2029.

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Top 10 Programs for Project Management

? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
Rank School Avg Net Price ? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
1 Charleston Southern University $3750
2 New England College $13560
3 Saint Leo University $9630
4 Bellevue University $9810
5 Sam Houston State University $5139
6 University of Wisconsin-Platteville $7640
7 Granite State College $8208
8 Colorado State University-Global Campus $9000
9 City University of Seattle $13914
10 Golden Gate University $17550

Factors to Considers When Earning a Online Master's in Project Management


  • Is a project management degree worth it?

    According to PayScale data from April 2021, project management master’s degree graduates average about $84,120 annually. Bachelor’s in project management graduates make about $71,620.


  • Is a project management degree hard?

    Project management requires various skills in planning, personnel management, communication, and quality assurance. Earning an online project management degree usually proves manageable for students with some aptitude in these skill areas.


  • What kinds of jobs can I get with a project management degree?

    Online project management degree graduates can work in many roles, fields, and industries. Common titles include project management specialist, planner, manager, or administrator.


  • What are the highest paying project management jobs?

    Earning a project management master’s degree can help graduates qualify for many high-level management occupations, which often pay top salaries.


Why Get a Degree in Project Management?

Working professionals often pursue project management master’s degrees online to acquire specialized skills, salary raises, or promotions. Master’s-level degrees meet or exceed minimum degree requirements for many competitive management occupations, which garner a median annual salary of $109,760.

Online project management degrees may pay for themselves within a few years. Enrolling in flexible, online programs can allow learners to attend after hours, thereby advancing their education without sacrificing their income. Online programs also save enrollees money on commuting or residency fees and generally cost less per credit.

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How Much Does a Project Management Degree Cost?



Master’s in project management degree costs vary considerably by program and institution type. Online programs may charge lower tuition rates than on-campus programs at the same schools. Earning a project management master’s degree online also saves learners on residency costs, commuting expenses, and on-campus fees.

Many online programs allow self-pacing, which means that enrollees can attend part time while maintaining a full-time job and income. Some online programs offer accelerated programs for learners who want to finish more quickly. Schools that charge a flat-rate per semester may cost less than traditional-length programs.

According to a 2020 college pricing report from the College Board, average annual tuition at private institutions costs over three times more than at public, in-state institutions. When choosing where to apply, prospective online project management students should seek out online programs at in-state public institutions or at out-of-state schools offering in-state tuition rates to distance learners.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree



College degrees often prove very expensive, so compare online tuition prices and programs carefully. Affordable Colleges Online’s affordability calculator can help you estimate what you can afford to pay for your online project management degree. To use this tool, gather key financial information such as income, estimated book costs and fees, living expenses, and your FAFSA results.

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How Much Do Project Management Majors Make?


$50,000-$60,000


Newer project management professionals often work in roles such as project scheduler, project coordinator, project management assistant, or project communications officer. According to PayScale salary data from April 2021, these careers often pay $50,000-$60,000 annually.

$84,290


Advanced positions often pay more. Project management specialists make a mean annual wage of $84,290. When combined with requisite professional experience, a project management master’s degree may also qualify graduates for high-level management positions in growing industries such as construction, software development, information technology, and healthcare.

$140,000-$150,000


Salaries and job growth rates vary heavily by role and industry. Some of the highest-paying management professionals include advertising and marketing managers, architectural and engineering managers, computer and information systems managers, and financial managers. BLS salary data suggests that these professionals make median annual salaries in the $140,000-$150,000 range.

Courses on Project Management



Online project management master’s curricula usually entail at least 30 core and specialized course credits in areas such as operations and project management, quantitative analysis for decision-making, cost and value management, and planning and resource management. Many programs include internships and capstone projects.

Project management may appear as a concentration within a more general business or management degree, such as an MBA. However, some schools offer project management master’s degrees with additional concentrations in areas like healthcare, construction, computer and information systems, or the public sector. Other possible specialized courses or concentrations may include construction or enterprise architecture, supply chain management, or engineering.

See below for some common courses in project management master’s programs.


  • Introduction to Project Management

    This interdisciplinary course provides an overview of the planning, budgeting, leadership, and management skills and activities involved in each phase of a project’s lifestyle. Usually using real-world situations and problems as learning tools, this course helps enrollees anticipate common issues and make informed project management decisions. This introductory course often serves as a prerequisite for other courses.


  • Cost and Value Management

    This core course prepares participants with tools and techniques for controlling project costs. Enrollees gain fluency in cost estimation methods and processes, including budget identification, planning, and management. The course teaches students how to conduct variance analysis and corrective action. Participants also learn how to develop and control project budget baselines.


  • Planning and Resource Management

    Course participants explore project development stages and processes, including resource acquisition and management. Additional key areas of study include project scope, scheduling, budgeting, and risk management. Learners can also gain knowledge and skills for people management and quality control.


Certifications and Licensure for Project Management



Project management master’s degrees exceed minimum degree requirements for many careers in this field. However, advanced degrees can improve candidates’ chances for promotion to high-level positions. Earning professional certifications can also boost job applicants’ competitiveness. See below for three popular project management-related certifications.

Project Management Professional


The Project Management Institute (PMI) administers this globally recognized credential to applicants who pass a related certification examination. PMP certification signals readiness for roles such as project management specialist, assistant, or coordinator.

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Certified Associate in Project Management


The PMI CAPM certification supports project management professionals seeking advanced skills useful for overseeing larger projects. This certification requires a high school diploma or associate degree, 23 hours of project management education, and a passing score on the CAPM exam.

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Program Management Professional


PgMP certification serves senior-level project managers who manage multiple, related projects. Candidates need a secondary degree, PMP certification or 48 months of project management experience, and 84 months of program management experience. Four-year degrees can substitute for 36 months of program management experience.

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Best Online Master’s in Project Management



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  1. Charleston Southern University
    Location

    Charleston, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Charleston Southern University's online program offers a Master of Science in Project Management for distance learners. This accelerated degree program, consisting of 36 semester hours, focuses on training students to be strong participants in the modern global marketplace and takes less than 2 years to complete. Applicants should have an undergraduate degree with a 2.75 GPA or higher. Those who don't meet admissions standards may be considered for admission at the discretion of the Dean. Applications should include official transcripts, application fee and a professional resume. For this flexible program, students may start classes at 2 points during each spring, summer or fall semester. Consequently, admission deadlines are flexible but, for full consideration, students should submit all application materials at least 2 weeks before the start of their classes. Incoming students may transfer up to 6 semester hours from a regionally accredited graduate business program, provided the courses have an "A" or "B" grade. Pass/Fail courses are not eligible for transfer. Online students have access to counseling services, financial aid guidance, information technology services and Christian-based spiritual counseling.

  2. New England College
    Location

    Henniker, NH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Distance learners can take advantage of New England College's online Master of Business Administration in Project Management degree. Degree seekers in this program study business strategies, quality analysis and various types of management techniques to prepare for leadership positions in the field. Students may be full time or part time and complete 40 credit hours to be eligible for graduation. Full-time students typically can complete degree requirements in as few as 20 months. The Project Management curriculum constitutes 12 credits and includes the 3-credit classes Supply Chain Management, Quality Analysis for Technology and Project Management. Applications must consist of a professional resume and official transcripts. Master's students can utilize the Office of Career and Life Planning for help with career development plans, locating internships and making connections that will pay off in the competitive job market. Incoming master's students may be able to transfer up to 8 credits from previous work at regionally-accredited institutions. To be considered for transfer, classes need a grade of "B" or better.

  3. Saint Leo University
    Location

    St. Leo, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Saint Leo University offers a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Project Management entirely online. This program prepares students for careers in the entertainment, health care, business, technology and defense industries with an intensive curriculum of hands-on assignments and participatory learning. Accredited by the Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), this 36-credit-hour, business-centered program includes core courses such as Marketing, Strategic Management and Global Business Management. Saint Leo's Student Life Department connects distance learners with virtual student clubs, including special interest business groups, and online course orientation. Student advisers are available to distance learners to help them get the most out of their online program. Interested students must submit an online application, a current resume reflecting at least 2 years of previous work experience in the field, 2 letters of recommendation, a personal statement, a transcript release form for each previously attended college or university and GMAT scores.

  4. Bellevue University
    Location

    Bellevue, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Accredited by the Global Accreditation Center for Project Management (GAC), the Master of Project Management degree at Bellevue University is available to distance learners entirely online. Bellevue students complete a project-based, hands-on curriculum to prepare for careers in business, government and other industries in which project managers thrive. This business-driven program helps students understand project planning, budget delegation, customer satisfaction and leadership roles in the field. Students complete 36 credit hours, including required courses like Cost Control in Projects, Schedule Management, Organizational Structures and Practices, and Agile Project Management. Master's students must also take an Applied Project Management Capstone course. Distance learners at Bellevue pay the same tuition fees as on-campus students at $575 per credit hour. In addition to 3 years of work experience in the field, applicants should have a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a 2.5 GPA or better during their last 60 credits of coursework.

  5. Sam Houston State University
    Location

    Huntsville, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Distance learners can take advantage of Sam Houston State University's online Master of Science in Project Management degree. This program prepares graduate students to deal with ever-changing business environments that require organized, technology-savvy professionals with leadership qualities. Students complete 36 credit hours for graduation and learn to carry out projects through to completion, manage complex job assignments and work with others as a team. Students may apply using the ApplyTexas application. Full-time distance learners at SHSU can expect to pay $345.66 per credit hour. Applicants for this graduate program should hold a baccalaureate degree with a 2.5 GPA or higher. Prospective students should submit official transcripts, application fee and their results from the GRE, GMAT or Miller Analogy Test. Online students at SHSU have access to academic resources, including the school's library center and online library services. Additionally, students can take advantage of the support offered by the Career Services Office, such as job search assistance and interview preparation, as well as therapy services through the Counseling Center.

  6. University of Wisconsin-Platteville
    Location

    Platteville, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Wisconsin-Platteville offers an online Master of Science in Project Management degree. Students in this 100% online program learn how to manage budgets, create business connections, effectively manage teams of professionals and ultimately follow-through on business projects and assignments. This 30-36 credit consists of 15 credits of core courses and 12-15 credits of electives. Distance learners can choose an optional area of emphasis including Managing Engineering Projects, Human Capital Administration or Integrative Supply Chain Management. No GRE or GMAT score is required for admission, but prospective students must have an undergraduate degree with a 2.75 GPA or higher. Those who don't meet standard admission requirements may be considered for trial enrollment. Applicants for the master's degree need only to submit their official transcripts, application fee and a detailed resume outlining any relevant employment history. Incoming students may be eligible to transfer a maximum of 12 credits toward the master's degree provided they were earned at a regionally accredited institution with a "B" or higher. For graduation, all degree requirements must be completed within 7 years of a student's starting date.

  7. Granite State College
    Location

    Concord, NH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Science in Project Management degree is available online at Granite State College. Distance learners in this program work through a business-heavy curriculum to develop effective decision-making skills and other essential characteristics for managing projects from start to finish. Students need a minimum of 30 credits for graduation, including a Project Management Integrative Capstone course. Required management courses include Project Planning and Scheduling; Risk Management; Cost and Budget Management; Negotiation, Contracting and Procurement and at least one elective of the student's choosing. Granite State does its best to grant students credit for military training based on the American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations. The school also maximizes military education benefits by actively participating in the Post 9/11 Yellow Ribbon Program and offering a 15% discount per credit. Military students are eligible for open admission and may start their coursework at any of the 8 start times per year. Prospective students for this master's degree should have an undergraduate 3.0 GPA and must submit a personal statement, 2 signed letters of recommendation, a current resume and official transcripts from all previous college work. The GRE and GMAT aren't required for admission.

  8. Colorado State University-Global Campus
    Location

    Aurora, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Colorado State University-Global Campus delivers an onlineMaster of Project Management degree. Accredited by Project Management Institute Global Accreditation Center (GAC), this degree enables online students to develop organizational and leadership skills necessary for managing projects and teams in a variety of fields. CSU-Global students engage in a predominantly business-driven curriculum to learn about risk management, cost management, leadership and relevant technology. Graduates often move on to careers as project planners, project managers, coordinators, engineers and hold a multitude of leadership positions. Courses for this 36-credit degree are delivered asynchronously and can be completed on any time frame. All students pay the same online tuition rate, $500 per credit hour, regardless of their location. Prospective students should hold a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Those with lower GPAs are considered for provisional admission. Interested students should also send in a completed application form, statement of purpose describing long-term goals, a professional resume and their results on the SmartMeasure Assessment.

  9. City University of Seattle
    Location

    Seattle, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The City University of Seattle offers a 45-credit Master of Science in Project Management degree. Students who hold a bachelor's degree, regardless of the field, and wish to understand organizing and project leadership skills are encouraged to apply. Online students learn to develop critical skills to manage and organize progressive work in business settings, help individuals and businesses take advantage of new opportunities and ultimately expand their businesses. This curriculum is designed to help graduates be competitive for senior-level jobs in a variety of industries, including information and computer technology, manufacturing and governmental positions. Incoming students may receive credit for prior work experience and must consult with CityU's Prior Learning Assessment program. Incoming students must have a bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited Institution. Competitive applications should include a completed application form, application fee and proof of English proficiency. Students at CityU have access to an extensive number of online and in-person resources including employer networking events and seminars, the CityU alumni network and one-on-one career counseling, job planning and interview preparation. Additionally, CityU distance learners can take advantage of academic and emotional counseling and access to the library's full-text journals, e-books and research assistance.

  10. Golden Gate University
    Location

    San Francisco, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Golden State University is a private nonprofit school founded in 1901. The school offers an online Master of Science in Project Management. Golden State teaches online students the essential skills in project management at the local and global business levels. Students take a total of 33 units from Project Management Professional-Certified faculty to graduate. Classes are generally 3 units each, including core courses like Quality Management and Process Improvement, and Managing Innovation and Technology. Master's students also select 6 units of electives such as Organizational Behavior, Negotiating in Business and Marketing Management. Golden State offers job search assistance, development workshops and provides leads on internship opportunities through the Office of Career Planning. Applicants for this graduate program need only to submit their official transcripts and an application fee. Golden State also makes a special effort to help active duty military, including tuition discounts, relocation assistance, connecting veterans on campus and academic or personal counseling.

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