Online Project Management Degree

To respond to industry need, many schools offer online project management (PM) degrees. Talented PMs help a business stay productive, effective and competitive. If you are a details person, earning a PM degree online may further your career.

An online project management degree studies the skills that take a project from start to end. Things such as how to get a contract, plan, time, staff, control, and close projects. One may find online PM degrees at all levels. Bachelors, masters and PhDs. At each level, you may learn the tools and techniques to manage the life cycle of a project. Things such as scheduling, budgeting and cost control.

At the bachelors level, a project management degree is intro level. You are likely to explore basic business and leadership ideas and methods. As a grad, you may have the skills to oversee an organizational project. A masters in project management dives deeper. It tends to look at ways to manage projects in global business contexts. Once you graduate, you may be able to manage agile and virtual teams and projects. PhD in project management programs focus on research. As a student, you work on original research in an area of interest. Grads may be ready to tackle a more strategic leadership role, consult or teach. 

Bachelor’s Degree in Project Management 

An online bachelors in project management is an entry level degree. It tends to entail 120 credits and four years of study. Many schools offer one of two formats. A bachelor of arts (BA) which includes more liberal arts topics like ethics and law. And a bachelor of science (BS) which takes a more analytic approach and may cover metrics and risk. Apart from these differences, you are likely to learn how to manage a project life cycle. From how to get a contract through to the tools you need to plan the project out.  

Some of these tools speak to the sequence, time lines and scheduling. While others touch on cost analysis, staffing and budgeting. To qualify for admission to a BA or BS program, you need a high school diploma or GED. Some schools also set an acceptable GPA and may want to see your ACT or SAT scores. You may need to write a personal essay too. Tuition is another factor, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. If you attend a public college, the average cost for a project management degree is $6,826. It is higher ($28,922) if you choose a private institution.

Master’s Degree in Project Management

An online masters in project management is a grad degree. It tends to entail 36 credits and about two years of study. Many schools offer MBA and other professional degrees. Of them, the master of science (MS) is likely the most technical. So, it often stresses business analytics, risk and performance metrics. Students often pursue an MS for its career focus. In some schools, there is an option to apply PM skills to a niche such as IT or engineering.

While you study key areas like cost, planning, and project control, you may build skills. Most programs focus on ones needed to make executive decisions and oversee a portfolio of complex projects. To ‘get in’ to a masters program, you need an accredited bachelors degree. Apart from this, each school sets standards for admissions. It is reasonable to expect you will have to submit transcripts and meet an acceptable GPA. Possible too are GRE or GMAT scores, references, resume and personal statement.  

PhD in Project Management

An online PhD in project management is a research degree and the highest award. It tends to entail around 48 credits and abo

ve three years of study. One of the goals of a PhD is to refine your leadership expertise in business and project management. You are also likely to develop solid research skills through a final dissertation paper. Each of these directions makes most PhD programs wide and deep. Wide to expose you to all the functions of senior PMs. And deep to help you with your original research. As a result, some students may want to use their PhD to step into a strategic executive role. And others, may want to consult or teach.  

To gain admission into a PhD in PM program, you are likely to need an accredited masters degree or MBA. Apart from transcripts, you must have an acceptable GPA. Since all schools assess candidates based on their standards, some are more selective. They may ask for  resume, references, research interests and strong personal essay. 

How much might it cost to earn a master’s project management or PhD online? The average cost of a graduate degree from a public college is $11,303. That means you may find more affordable as well as more expensive options.

What can I do with an Online Project Management Degree?

An online project management degree may be a gateway to a broad range of current and emerging jobs. As PMs contribute to productivity, their work impacts business, science, IT, and engineering. As many of these sectors continue to expand, there may be jobs for all levels of education. In many management jobs, one needs a bachelors for entry level roles. Given that some projects are more complex and technical, some PMs may also need a masters degree or higher. It may also be helpful for workers to have a background in the area in which they work.  

1. IT Project Manager

An IT project manager (PM) is in charge of a company’s computer needs. Things like making sure there is a plan to install and upkeep hardware and software. Other duties include security issues such as knowing what and when to suggest upgrades. As a rule of thumb, one is likely to need a masters or MBA for complex computer system needs.  

2. Project Engineer

A project engineer handles technical or engineering projects. In this type of role, you work with stakeholders at all levels. As a problem solver, you also manage personnel, budget, safety, quality and scheduling. Apart from these complex skills, you tend to need a bachelors degree, if not a masters.  

3. Construction Manager

construction manager keeps a finger on the pulse of building projects. Such projects include homes, offices, industrial structures, roads and bridges. When doing so, their job is to budget, create a workflow, oversee contractors and staff. As construction processes turn more complex, one tends to need a bachelors degree for entry roles. 

4. Operations Manager

An operations manager oversees the day to day admin tasks. Things like setting a staff schedule, assigning jobs to people, and making sure they complete them in a timely manner. In some corporate settings, the role of an operations manager also has some crossover with those of a CEO. As a result, there may be jobs for both bachelor and masters prepared people. 

5. Office Manager

An office manager juggles many admin duties that make a business run with ease. They set deadlines, goals, oversee upkeep to equipment and make sure the office complies with rules. Other tasks may be more detailed like managing all the documents or the office building grounds. That said, many employers prefer to hire candidates with a bachelors degree. 

6. Project Manager

A project manager (PM) creates a plan to bring a task from start to finish. Some of the things they do are figure out cost, budget, staff needs, and timelines. Most PMs also collect metrics and quality records. And, as there are projects of all sizes may need a bachelors or higher degree. Many PMS also seek certification through the Project Management Institute (PMI). 

7. Research Managers

research manager takes charge of science focused projects. So, they may oversee the work of chemists, physicists and biologists. Also, things like setting budgets, staffing, and stocking the lab. Many people in this role are already scientists and may research on their own too. As a result, many people in these jobs have a masters degree or PhD. 

Is a Degree in Project Management worth it?

A degree in project management may provide transferable skills, opportunity and above average earning potential. Jobs in management are also more in demand than others. Per the PMI, many sectors will start to rely on talented PMs in the years to come. They also say there’s a lack of qualified PMs. And this can cost companies billions of dollars if the gap’s not filled. 

If you have strong IT skills, this is one of the areas where there is high demand for PMs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that there will be 11% more jobs for IT project managers through 2028. Another area with faster than average growth is the construction sector. This industry expects a 10% growth spurt for construction managers through 2028. Salaries in all these areas vary. Among the highest earners are IT managers. In 2018, many earned between $87,840 and $146,360 (BLS).  

Project Management Degree Jobs & Salary

Occupation Average Salary Jobs
IT Project Manager $146,360 46,800
Project Engineer $144,830 5,400
Construction Manager $95,260 46,200
Operations Manager $104,690 150,600

Top States for Jobs as a Construction Manager 

State Jobs Annual Mean Wage
TX 34,560 $97,970
CA 32,830 $121,540
FL 23,820 $98,840
NC 13,500 $111,250
IL 13,040 $95,120

What classes will I take with an Online Project Management Degree? 

Most project management degrees touch on aspects of supply chain, leadership and finance. These areas help students understand what to do at all stages of a project life cycle.

  • Procurement – getting the contract 
  • Scheduling – timelines 
  • Cost control – budget for products, services, staff 
  • Risk – being adaptive to delay and shifts 
  • Personnel – keeping the team on point

You may study many of these topics when you pursue a PM degree online. But each level of degree tends to do this in a particular way. Some programs also serve as study guides for PMI certification. PMI certification is a credential you might pursue when you have a certain stage of formal education and experience. Below are some examples of what the classes might look like at the bachelors, masters and PhD levels.

Bachelor’s Degree Courses

Classes in an online BA or BS in project management are basic. They tend to look at how to be successful when you plan, execute and close a project. To do this, you have to understand the tools and techniques used, not only to manage a project. But also, how to bid for a contract, get it, and negotiate terms. A project manager also needs a strong grasp of finances. So other topics may help you plan a budget, weigh costs and assess staff needs. Along the way, you may hone softer skills too. So, you may study how to build and motivate teams as well as communicate in a professional way. Other sample bachelors in project management classes are: 

Assessing and Managing Risk

This type of course helps to give students the skills they need to identify and analyze project risk. You may learn how to assess, categorizing, and then control risk. You may learn how risk is managed in various industries. Many times, this course also looks at what causes risks and how they can mitigate it using methods and tools.

Project Leadership

In this type of course, you may learn about the link between leadership skills and project management. You may learn how project managers can learn leadership as a way to enhance their project’s success. You may also learn about negotiation and teamwork, as well as how to manage conflict from a managerial aspect.

Operations Management

In this course, you may learn the process of product development. You may learn about quality improvement. Students often learn concepts related to operations, quality, and overall process management. You may often cover mathematical models that can help to influence decisions in inventory, quality, and materials.

Project Procurement and Contract Management

This course often looks at aspects of management knowledge as it relates to contracts. You may learn how to work with vendors and how to gain skills to meet any legal requirements in place. You may learn about contracts as it relates to this industry. Many times, students get to learn about and examine best practices in this environment.

Graduate Degree Courses

Classes in an online MS in project management go deeper. They tend to blend theory with the practical skills needed to manage more complex projects. To do this, many programs feature core classes, a focal area and electives. Core topics may frame PM math and statistics for forecasting and analytics. Focal area classes may help you apply PM leader skills to a certain area. Like supply chain management or engineering.

Also popular among masters in PM programs are techniques for agile management. Agile teams are pods that help a business be productive and timely. As they can be virtual teams, a PM needs to understand the logistics and strategy of using them. Plus, have the skills to integrate them with a business’s functional areas.

Classes in an online PhD in project management are advanced. They tend to stack research and writing classes with business and management topics. You may study ways to initiate, plan, execute, watch, control and close complex projects. Plus, have a more strategic and operational mindset when you do. In your own research, you may develop new PM ideas and practices that might progress the field. To help you do this, there may be a series of classes that explore methods to collect and present data. For some of these classes, you may need to take part in some on campus visits. In these residencies, you might get a chance to network, meet with a mentor and engage in practical exercises. Other sample graduate classes in project management are: 

Intro to Project Management

As a master level course, this type of class often preps you for the hands on work in the field. That may include supply management, getting a team together, and managing scheduling. You may learn resource allocation as well as time and cost trade offs in the field. Most often, they will rely on case studies to develop these skills and an understanding of the area.

Project Risk Assessment and Management

This course often looks at managing risk at many phases of a project. It is a way of overall project planning process management. You may learn about the high level risk assessment tools available to use. They may also learn how to create risk planning strategies. Assessment and classification of risk is also a topic in many of these courses.

Project Procurement Management

The focus of this class is often to gain procurement skills as it applies to project management. You may learn about acquiring products and services. You may learn about planning. This course often looks at project admin and closing procurements. There are often insights on ethical issues, contract capacity, and public and private bidding.

Project Planning and Scheduling

This master course is often an important one. It often involves planning, scheduling, and controlling aspects. You often learn about topics like critical path systems, chain scheduling, and analysis from a statistical area.

How long does it take to get an Online Project Management Degree online?

The time it takes to earn a project management degree online can change as each person decides on their course load. As a rule of thumb, it takes four years to earn a bachelors in project management online. If you bring in transfer credits, your program is likely to be shorter. Once you graduate, you may need from one to two years to earn a masters degree in project management online. And, from there, at least three more years to earn a PhD in project management online. Keep in mind, there are full and part time options and you will need time for research.

University Level of Degree # of Credits Required Starts Per Year Minimum Months to Complete
Southern New Hampshire University Bachelors 120 6 24
Colorado State University Global Bachelors 120 12 48
Ashford University Bachelors 120 Every 5 weeks 47
Pennsylvania State World Campus Masters 30 3 12
George Washington University Masters 36 4 18
Georgetown University Masters 30 3 24
Capella University PhD 90 QC Multiple 39
Walden University PhD 49 – 103 QC Multiple 39
Colorado Technical University PhD 100 QC Multiple 36

15 Schools with Online Project Management Degrees

We compiled a list of 15 schools with online project management degrees at all levels. For this list, we used data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

  1. Southern New Hampshire University  
  2. Colorado State University Global 
  3. Ashford University  
  4. Arizona State University – Phoenix 
  5. Strayer University  
  6. Pennsylvania State World Campus 
  7. George Washington University 
  8. Georgetown University 
  9. New York University 
  10. Golden Gate University  
  11. Capella University 
  12. Walden University  
  13. Colorado Technical University  
  14. Liberty University  
  15. Northcentral University

FIND AN ONLINE PROJECT MANAGEMENT DEGREE

Here is a closer look at the 15 schools where you might earn a project management degree online.


SNHU offers an online B.S. in Business Administration (BSBA) with a focus in project management. It entails 120 credits, and you can transfer in up to 90 approved credits. The program explores the ways to plan, execute and close projects. So, it may provide a solid foundation in supply chain, statistics and Six Sigma. Sample topics are: 

  • Contracting 
  • Resource estimating 
  • Integrated cost and schedule control

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $31,136
Grad $18,810
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,913

Average Net Price:
$39,743

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
New England Commission of Higher Education

2

Colorado State University Global

Bachelor of Science in Project Management

Online


CSU Global offers an online B.S. in Project Management. It entails 120 credits and you have the option to add an area of emphasis. There are 7 choices which include construction management and IT operations. The core program covers both theory and the soft skills associated with project managers. So, along the way, you may learn about team building and how to be an effective communicator. Sample topics are: 

  • Intro to PM 
  • Effective scheduling
  • PM tools 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $8,400
Grad $9,000
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,682

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

3

Ashford University

Bachelor of Arts in Project Management

Online


Ashford offers an online B.A. in Project Management. It entails 120 credits and classes last 5 weeks long. The program focus is on ways to plan, execute and oversee an organized project. Along with these topics, students learn about proven management concepts. Plus, there are core business classes that deal with wider corporate processes. Also, accounting, finance and IT. Sample topics are:

  • Schedule and task control 
  • Quality control 
  • Intro to PM 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,400
Grad $12,810
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$6,217

Average Net Price:
$20,415

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
WASC Senior College and University Commission (WASC)

4

Arizona State University – Phoenix

Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership / Project Management

Online


ASU offers a project management focus in their online Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership program. It entails 120 credits that blend theory and practical tools. As the main focus is leadership, you also study organizational skills and the dynamics of corporate settings. Aside from these, there is a series of PM classes that discuss key elements. Like project risk, quality, time, cost and procurement. Sample topics are: 

  • Project leadership 
  • Foundations of PM 
  • Project cost  

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $29,428
Grad $27,048
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$10,651

Average Net Price:
$13,764

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC


Strayer offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus in project management. It entails 120 and presents the basics of business and key areas of PM process. Apart from the tasks related to managing a project, students look at the human resource aspects. Things like how to motivate a team and measure performance. Other classes cover budget and cost plus the types of contracts and how to negotiate. Sample topics are: 

  • Managing project risk 
  • Basics of PM 
  • Managing project teams  

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $13,515
Grad $15,135
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$4,576

Average Net Price:
$24,593

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

6

Pennsylvania State World Campus

Master of Project Management

Online


Penn State World Campus offers an online Master of Project Management. It entails 30 credits and makes use of problem based learning of theory and practice. One feature of the program is a 12 credit Graduate Certificate in Project Management. As it consists of the first four courses of the MPM, once you pass these courses, you can add the credential to your resume. Then, fulfill other requirements. Also, you can tailor your studies to a career track and there are five options. Engineering and supply chain management are a few. Sample topics are: 

  • Cost and value 
  • Commercial law 
  • Planning and resource management

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $13,988
Grad $22,186
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
N/A

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
N/A

7

George Washington University

Master of Science in Project Management

Online


GW offers an online Master of Science in Project Management. It entails 36 credits of which 30 are core topics. The program features a blend of PM and general management principles, and guides students in mastering advanced PM techniques. Also, the program plans out courses in four phases that go from basic to complex. Within electives you have an opportunity to study decision sciences and executive decision making too. Sample topics are: 

  • Risk analysis 
  • Cost estimation 
  • Planning and scheduling 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $56,935
Grad $31,824
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$29,939

Average Net Price:
$38,829

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, dedicated point of contact & recognized student vet organization.

Accredited:
MSCHE


Georgetown offers an online Master of Professional Studies in Project Management. It entails 30 credits and you can enroll full or part time. The program blends focused course work with practical, hands on experiences such as case studies. You also study the entire PM life cycle and learn about strategies to manage risk, cut costs, and control score. All while fusing research insights with planning. Sample topics are: 

  • Agile PM basics 
  • DevOps essentials 
  • Lean and agile w/scrum and kanban 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $56,058
Grad $51,790
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$42,040

Average Net Price:
$28,442

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
MSCHE

9

New York University

Master of Science in Project Management

Online


NYU offers an online Master of Science in Project Management. It entails 36 credits and has a STEM label. This means the focus is quantitative and technical and enables students to take part in a longer optional practical training post graduation. While core courses cover a broad base, there are also ‘specialization’ courses. In these you choose from among topics like project risk and agile PM. Sample topics are: 

  • Leading global org’s 
  • Management of info systems 
  • Applying PM to IT 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $53,308
Grad $35,562
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$30,532

Average Net Price:
$37,729

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
MSCHE

10

Golden Gate University

Master of Science in Project Management

Online/Hybrid


Golden Gate U offers an online Master of Science in Project Management. It entails 33 credits and aims to prep students to manage local, outsources and global projects. As a student, you may also be eligible to receive 35 Professional Development Units (PDU) or contact units after you complete certain courses. While the program features core work, you can choose electives like business analytics and negotiating. Sample topics are: 

  • Agile management 
  • Project risk 
  • Teamwork

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $16,095
Grad $19,705
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,475

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & recognized student vet organization.

Accredited:
WASC

11

Capella University 

PhD in Project Management

Online


Capella offers an online PhD in project management. It entails 90 quarter credits and three residencies. One of the goals of the program is to help you grow as a tactical leader. And another, is to build solid research skills that cap with your dissertation. Apart from these themes, risk, adaptive projects, finance and the dynamics of portfolio management. Sample topics are: 

  • Ethics and leadership 
  • Business principles 
  • Projects as adaptive systems

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $14,540
Grad $15,233
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,781

Average Net Price:
$17,368

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC


Walden offers an online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Project Management. It entails from 49 to 103 credits and there are two face to face residencies. In the core program you explore advanced ideas and practices of business leaders. You also study strategy and innovation to help you understand what gives a business its competitive edge. There are three focused classes in PM strategy and tactical planning for portfolio managers. Plus, research and writing classes to help you tackle your independent research topic. Sample topics are: 

  • Program and portfolio management 
  • Business data analysis 
  • Applied business research 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,150
Grad $12,539
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,900

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC

13

Colorado Technical University

Doctor of Management / Project Management

Online


CTU offers an online Doctor of Management in Project Management. It entails 100 credits and a few person experiences. As the program focuses on management, you study ways to act and think with a strategic mindset. Apart from research there are classes in advanced project planning. In these, the focus is on how to track, analyze, report, and schedule. Also ways to understand tradeoffs, measure progress and identify risk. Sample topics are: 

  • Management theory 
  • Leadership theory 
  • Research methods and design

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,529
Grad $14,321
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$5,039

Average Net Price:
$16,260

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC


Liberty offers and online Doctor of Business Administration in Project Management. It entails 60 credits of business, PM and research courses taught through a Biblical lens. An aim of the program is to build on your existing skills with classes in strategy. You may also learn how to assess and execute projects while keeping in mind its scope, time, and quality. Sample topics are:

  • Operations
  • Global PM 
  • Human resources

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $22,747
Grad $8,400
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$7,550

Average Net Price:
$28,181

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)  

15


NCU offers an online Doctor of Business Administration in Project Management. It entails 48 credits and covers all aspects of managing business projects. Some of these topics relate to finances and include cost estimation, budget and cost control. And others focus on the finer points of bid negotiation, risk and reporting. Working with a mentor, you might also explore ideas, tools and methods that effective PM managers use. Sample topics are: 

  • Team building 
  • Leadership 
  • Performance reporting

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,474
Grad $18,095
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,144

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC

*Unemployment Earnings.  Sources for school stats and data include the NCES and IPEDS.