25 Best Value Online Project Management Graduate Programs for 2021



With the job market for project managers growing, working professionals have found it necessary to go back to school for further credentialing to set themselves apart on the job market or to qualify for promotion. Because of the growing demand, colleges and universities have begun ramping up their curriculum with project management concentrations in the MBA and Master of Science, or with specialized Master of Project Management degrees. Most of these are found in Business or Engineering schools, where students learn a mix of business, technology, finance, and other necessary skills.

Of course, since so many prospective students are working adults, many of the best project management degree programs are offered online. While many regionally-accredited, reputable private and public universities offer excellent, affordable online degrees, there are also quite a few less-trustworthy “educators” out there who are happy to take students’ hard-earned money and give them a degree that will get them nowhere on the job market. That’s why Value Colleges has amassed the Best Value Online Project Management Graduate Programs ranking. Value Colleges considers only proven, regionally-accredited online programs that have a history of quality and return.

How We Ranked the Best Online Project Management Master’s

Value Colleges editors focus on programs that will pay off, featuring only accredited, trusted colleges and universities. Programs are ranked according to tuition rate, student satisfaction, and potential salary, based on IPEDS and Niche data.

1. Georgetown University

Georgetown University offers a master of Professional Studies in Project Management that is considered as one of the best online masters in project management programs available in the marketplace. This best online project management masters program requires the completion of 30 credit units over a two-year timeframe. Coursework includes agile fundamentals, project execution/delivery, collaboration for managers, and ethics, plus a capstone project, among others. Students enrolled in Georgetown’s project management graduate program have up to five years to finish the degree as part-time students.

Georgetown University was founded in 1789. Georgetown is a Jesuit higher learning institution and the oldest catholic university in the nation. More than 19,000 students attend classes online and, on the school’s, urban campus.

Highlight: Georgetown University holds the distinction of having more diplomats as alumni than any other school.

Program: Master of Professional Studies – Project Management

2. Purdue University

Purdue University Global offers two of Indiana’s best online project management masters programs with its Master of Science in Management and Leadership, which requires 56 semester credits to meet program requirements. Additionally, Purdue University’s Polytechnic Institute also offers a Master of Science degree in IT Project Management, which requires 34 semester credits to graduate, but only 30 credits if a student has already earned their PMI certificate. These best online masters in project management programs are available online with the same quality faculty Purdue offers on-campus.

Purdue University (Purdue) was established as the result of the Morrill Grant Act in 1869. In addition, Purdue University is a space-grant and sea-grant university that serves more than 43,200 students.

Highlight: Purdue University holds the distinction of being ranked among the most innovative higher learning institutions in the nation, according to US News.

Program: MS in Managment and Leadership (Business), MS in IT Project Management (Polytechnic)

3. Golden Gate University

Golden Gate University offers one of the west coast’s best online project management master’s programs with its Master of Science (MS) in Project Management that is available entirely online, on-campus, or through a hybrid delivered format. Golden Gate University’s best online masters in project management program requires students to finish 30 semester credits to graduate. In addition to a required internship, GGU’s graduate project management degree program includes classes in project risk management, teamwork in organizations, business analytics, and planning and control for projects, among others.

Golden Gate University (Golden Gate) was established in a local YMCA in 1901 by those participating in a local literary group. More than 5,200 students attend classes online or on the school’s urban campus.

Highlight: Golden Gate University is organized into five colleges/schools offering degrees in law, business, accounting taxation, and undergraduate studies.

Program: MS in Project Management

4. Bellevue University

Bellevue University offers one of the nation’s best online masters in project management programs with its Master of Project Management degree program. This best online project management masters program from Bellevue requires the completion of 36 semester credits to meet program requirements. This graduate degree in project management has received accreditation from the GAC – The Global Accreditation Center for Project Management. Coursework for Bellevue’s project management degree includes procurement & contract management, schedule management, cost control, project quality, project communications, managing project risks, and emerging project management trends, plus a capstone project, among others.

Bellevue University (Bellevue) was established as a private institution of higher education in 1966 as Bellevue College. Bellevue University, with a student enrollment that exceeds 10,100 students, is dedicated to educating working learners in the Nebraska area.

Highlight: Bellevue gained university status in 1994.

Program: Master of Project Management

5. Stevens Institute

Stevens Institute of Technology, known as the Innovation University, offers a Master’s in Enterprise Project Management that is ranked as one of New Jersey’s best online masters in project management programs by US News. Students enrolled in Stevens Institute of Technology’s best online project management masters program must complete 30 semesters credits that include classes in a capstone project, fundamentals of project management, strategic perspectives in project management, project analytics, leader development, and leading across projects. This Project Management Institute-accredited program offers three academic concentrations – Construction Management, Software Engineering, or General Management.

Stevens Institute of Technology (SIT) was established as a sea-grant higher learning institution in 1870. This research university serves more than 5,900 students and is home to two governmental, educational centers of excellence.

Highlight: The school’s urban campus in Hoboken is situated just across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

Program: Master’s in Enterprise Project Management

6. University of Southern California

The University of Southern California offers an MS in Project Management that is ranked among the country’s best online masters in project management programs. Students enrolled in the University of Southern California’s complete classes in this best online project management masters program that includes schedule management, specialized project management, cost estimation, principles of project management, business analytics and analysis, portfolio management, quality, and process improvement, plus a project management capstone, to name a few.

The University of Southern California (Southern Cal U) was established in 1880 as a sea-grant and space-grant higher learning institution. The university’s Los Angeles campus serves more than 48,100 students who are supported by nearly 20,000 academic and administrative staff members.

Highlight: The University of Southern California generates a significant economic impact on the Los Angeles area of about $8 billion.

Program: MS in Project Management

7. Northeastern University

Northeastern University offers a GAC accredited best online project management master’s program with its Master of Science (MS) in Project Management. Students can complete Northeastern University’s best online masters in project management program as quickly as 18 to 24 months as full-time students. Classes for the project management graduate degree include project management practices, project scope, project risk, project finance, managing troubled projects, and project management quality, plus a culminating capstone project to meet program requirements. Degree candidates can opt for an academic concentration in agile project management.

Northeastern University (Northeastern) is a research higher learning institution that was established in 1898. More than 27,100 students attend classes on the school’s Boston and other campuses.

Highlight: Northeastern University is world-renowned for its cooperative education model in which students have the opportunity to earn compensation in their field while earning their degree.

Program: MS in Project Management

8. Embry-Riddle Worldwide

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide offers an MS in Project Management that is recognized consistently as one of the best online project management masters programs available in the marketplace. Embry Riddle’s thirty-credit best online masters in project management program includes classes in directing & controlling projects, assessing project risk, advanced project procurement, decision making for business leaders, project scope, cost and resource management, and contemporary project management, plus a capstone project, to name a few. The project management graduate degree offered by Embry Riddle Aeronautical University has received accreditation from the Project Management Institute.

Embry-Riddle Worldwide  (ERAU) was established in 1926 and is considered a space-grant university. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University began at an airport in Cincinnati but now serves more than 33,400 students.  

Highlight: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide holds the distinction of being the largest aviation and aerospace higher learning institution with accreditation.

Program: MS in Project Management 

9. University of Michigan Dearborn

The University of Michigan-Dearborn offers one of the state’s best online project management master’s programs with its Master of Science (MS) degree in Program and Project Management. Graduates of UM Dearborn’s best online masters in project management program are prepared to pursue a Project Management Professional certificate. Coursework for this graduate project management degree includes 30 semester credits with either a capstone or thesis option. Classes included managing global programs, organizational behavior, project management control, and engineering risk-benefit analysis, among others.

The University of Michigan-Dearborn is a member school of the state’s university system that was established in 1959. The university serves more than 9,400 students from its Detroit metro area campus.

Highlight: The University of Michigan at Dearborn is one of three sister schools that make up the University of Michigan system.

Program: MS in Program and Project Management

10. University of Kansas Edwards

The University of Kansas-Edwards offers an MS in Project Management that is recognized as one of the best online project management masters programs available in Kansas. Students enrolled in UK Edwards’ best online masters in project management program complete classes in project management fundamentals, project management personal development, financial management, and case studies in project management (plus twelve credit units of elective classes) for a total of 33 semester credits.

The University of Kansas is a public multi-campus institution of higher education that was established in 1865. The Edwards campus was established in 1993 as a satellite facility for the main school that now serves more than 2,000 students.

Highlight: The University of Kansas at Edwards primarily specializes in offering education options to help students advance or change their careers.

Program: MS in Project Management

11. Boston University

Boston University’s Metropolitan offers one of the best online project management master’s programs with its Master of Science (MS) in Project Management, according to US News and World Report. Degree candidates enrolled in BU’s best online masters in project management program are required to complete 40 semester credits that can be finished in one year, depending on course load. This program is accredited by the AACSB and the PMI Global Project Management Accreditation Center. Students are given the opportunity to enroll in a complimentary PMP exam prep course. Boston University’s graduate degree in project management offers students an impressive student to faculty ratio of 15 to 1.

Boston University (Boston) is a private, nonsectarian higher learning institution that was established in 1839. Boston University’s Beantown campus along the Charles River serves more than 34,100 students.

Highlight: The original campus for Boston University was founded in Newbury, Vermont.

Program: MS in Project Management

12. Penn State World Campus

Penn State World Campus offers a nationally recognized best online master’s in project management program with its Master of Project Management degree. This 30-credit best online project management masters program from Penn State World Campus has received accreditation from the AACSB, and Penn State World Campus is a recognized education provided by the PMI institute. This project management degree program offers five academic concentrations – engineering, supply chain, enterprise architecture, enterprise resource planning, or an independent study option. Students graduate and enter the workforce as a business planning analyst, master scheduler, project management analyst, or project coordinator, among others.

Penn State World Campus (Penn State WC) was established in 1998 as the distance learning arm of the world-class university Penn State. Penn State World Campus provides students with more than 140 online academic degree options and certificate programs.

Highlight: Penn State World Campus’s student enrollment nears 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Program: Master of Project Management

13. CSU Global

CSU Global offers a GAC-accredited best online master’s in project management program with its Master’s in Project Management. Students explore the advanced topics of project management that include financial metrics, project control & monitoring, decision sciences, and risk management, among others. Colorado State University Global’s best online project management masters program requires the completion of 24 semester credits and includes operations management, business analytics, project metrics, contracts & risk management, and effective organizations, plus a practicum and capstone project. 

Colorado State University (CSU Global) is a public higher learning institution that operates as CSU’s distance learning division. Colorado State University Global was established in 2007 and serves more than 20,000 students from its online platform.

Highlight: Colorado State University Global was expressly established to serve the state’s adult population but now serves a worldwide student body.

Program: Master’s in Project Management

14. Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University offers an MS in Project Management (PMGT) that is ranked among the Lone Star State’s best online masters in project management program. Sam Houston State University’s project management degree program requires the completion of 36 semester credits to meet program requirements. Coursework for this best online project management masters program from Sam Houston State University includes innovation management, quality management, staffing organizations, leading organizational changes, team leadership, and human resource management, plus a capstone project, among others. 

Sam Houston State University (Sam Houston)  is a public university that was established in 1879. More than 21,100 students attend classes offered by Sam Houston State University.

Highlight: Sam Houston State University is recognized among the oldest teacher’s training school that situated to the west of the Mississippi River.

Program: MS in Project Management

15. American University

American University offers one of the nation’s best online master’s in project management program with its Master of Science (degree program (MS) in Measurement and Evaluation. Degree candidates graduate and enter the workforce in the fields of government, healthcare, higher education, or nonprofit work. American University’s best online project management masters program requires the completion of 30 semester credits over a 20-month period. Coursework for this graduate degree in project management includes qualitative methods, theories of evaluation, innovation through technology, intercultural communication, and evaluation approaches, plus a capstone, to name a few.

American University (American) was established in northwest DC in 1893. The university’s suburban/urban campus serves more than 13,400 students and covers more than 80 acres.

Highlight: American University’s alumni include US senators, representatives, and ambassadors and operates as the first carbon-neutral institution of higher education in the country.

Program: MS in Agile Project Management

16. Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology offers an MS in Professional Studies (MPS) in Project Management that allows degree candidates to customize the program to meet their educational and career goals. Students enrolled in Rochester Institute of Technology Online’s best online masters in project management program must complete 33 semester credits, which includes a culminating capstone project. Full-time students enrolled in RIT’s best online project management masters program typically complete the degree in two years, whereas part-time students can complete the degree in about 48 months. Classes include international project management, lifecycle management for projects, and best practices for project management success, to name a few.

Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester) is a research higher learning institution that was established in 1829. The university’s suburban campus is home to more than 18,900 undergraduate and graduate students.

Highlight: Rochester Institute of Technology is renowned for its Institute for the Deaf, which serves more than 1,000 hearing-impaired students.

Program: MS in Professional Studies – Project Management

17. University of Maryland Global Campus

The University of Maryland Global Campus offers one of the best online master’s in project management programs with its Master of Science (MS) degree in Management with an academic emphasis in Project Management. This 36-semester credit best online project management masters program prepares students to sit for the CAPM and PMP credential exams. Coursework for the graduate degree in project management includes quantitative methods, project risk management, organizational theory, financial decision making, and statistics for managerial decision making, plus a project management culminating capstone project. 

The University of Maryland Global Campus (UM Global) was established in 1947.UM Global offers students and working learners more than 100 academic degree and certificate programs. 

Highlight: The University of Maryland Global Campus’s student enrollment exceeds 89,000 students, which makes it one of the largest of distance learning higher learning universities.

Program: MS in Management – Project Management concentration

18. George Washington University

George Washington University offers an MS in Project Management (OMSPM) that is recognized among the nation’s best online masters in project management programs. Degree candidates must complete 36 semester credits to earn a degree from GW’s best online project management masters program. Coursework for this graduate project management degree includes planning and scheduling, project portfolio management, executive decision making, project management finance, management and leadership, optimization models for decision-makers, risk management, and cost estimation & control, plus a culminating capstone project, among others.

George Washington University (George Washington) became a private institution of higher education in 1821. The school operates several campuses in the nation’s capital that serve more than 26,900 students.

Highlight: George Washington University is organized into fourteen colleges/schools and is ranked as the largest of all institutions of higher learning in Washington, DC.

Program: MS in Project Management

19. University of Wisconsin Platteville

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville offers one of Wisconsin’s best online master’s in project management programs with its Master of Science degree (MS) in Project Management. This graduate project management degree offers degree candidates three academic concentrations in Engineering Projects, Integrated Supply Chain Management, and Human Capital Management. This best online project management masters program from UW Platteville requires the completion of 30 to 36 semester credits, depending on the exact study path and selected academic concentration. 

The University of Wisconsin (UW Platteville) is a state higher learning institution that was established in 1866 as a normal school. The University of Wisconsin, Platteville is a member school of the state’s university system that serves more than 8,500 students online and on-campus.

Highlight: The University of Wisconsin’s athletic facilities were used as pre-season training camps for the NFL’s Chicago Bears for a decade and one-half.

Program: MS in Project Management 

20. University of Denver

The University of Denver offers an MS in Organizational Leadership that offers students an academic emphasis in Project Management. This best online masters in project management program from UD is recognized by US News among the top 100 universities in the nation. Degree candidates can complete this best online project management masters program from the University of Denver in only 1.5 years if studying full-time. The University of Denver is a registered provider of education programs as recognized by of  Project Management Institute.

The University of Denver (Denver) is a private school that was established as a seminary in 1864. This research-oriented higher learning institution serves more than 12,500 students.

Highlight: The University of Denver holds the distinction of being the oldest private institution of higher education in the Rocky Mountain area of the country.

Program: MS in Organizational Leadership – Project Management concentration

21. Missouri State University

Missouri State University offers two of the state’s best online master’s in project management programs with its Master of Science in Project Management and its Master of Science in Project Leadership & Management. The MS in Project Management is an accredited best online project management masters program that requires the completion of 30 semester credits. The MS in Project Leadership and Management degree includes coursework in delivering organizational excellence, project performance management, and leading projects in contemporary organizations, among others.

Missouri State University (MSU) was established as a normal school in 1905. The university’s campus in Springfield serves more than 23,100 undergraduate and graduate students.

Highlight: Missouri State University operates a business program in China, a strategic defense program in Fairfax, VA, and a research facility dedicated to studying fruit in Mountain Grove, MO.

Program: MS in Project Management

22. Regis University

Regis University offers an MS in Project Leadership and Management that is ranked among the state’s best online masters in project management programs. Students enrolled in Regis University’s best online project management masters program complete 30 semester credits of classes offered in 8-week terms. Students graduate from this graduate degree program in project management to find rewarding careers as process managers, team leaders, project supervisors, and management professionals, to name a few. This project management graduate degree has received accreditation from the GAC – the Global Accreditation Center for PM Education options.

Regis University was established as a Jesuit higher learning institution in 1877. The university’s 90-acre urban campus in Mile High City serves more than 8,100 students studying for academic degrees offered by Regis University’s five colleges/schools.

Highlight: Regis University was first established in New Mexico, which then merged with Sacred Heart College. 

Program: MS in Project Leadership and Management

23. Drexel University

Drexel University offers a Master’s degree in Engineering Management, with a concentration in project management that is recognized as one the best online masters in project management programs. Degree candidates enrolled in Drexel Online’s best online project management masters program are required to complete 45 semester credits in classes like statistical data analysis, operations management, financial management, advance finance for engineering managers, engineering project management, project scheduling and controlling, and global project engineering, to name a few. Drexel University offers a transfer credit policy that allows up to 15 quarter credits if the credits meet Drexel’s eligibility requirements. 

Drexel University (DU) was established by famous financier Anthony Drexel in 1891. The university’s urban campus in the City of Brotherly Love serves more than 23,900 students and offers more than 140 undergraduate & graduate students.

Highlight: Drexel University is world-renowned as it offers up to 1.5 years of full-time work experience, with compensation.

Program: Master’s in Project Management

24. Lewis University

Lewis University offers one of the state’s best online master’s in project management programs with its Master of Science degree program (MS) in Project Management. Lewis University’s best online project management masters program is delivered in five eight-week sessions each annum. Lewis University’s graduate degree in project management includes coursework in agile project management, project communications, team leadership, special topics, project governance, and advanced project management, plus a project management culminating capstone project. Students graduate prepared to sit for the available PMP – Project Management Professional designation. 

Lewis University (LU) is a private higher learning institution that was established by the Lasallians in 1932. The school’s suburban campus sits alongside the school’s airport, which served to train Navy pilots during WWII.

Highlight: Lewis University is recognized among the top aviation universities in the nation, which only first accepted women in 1949.

Program: MS in Project Management

25. Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University offers a Master of Project Management degree program that is recognized among the best online masters in project management programs in the southern United States. Western Carolina University’s best online project management masters program was the first to receive PMI accreditation nearly forty years ago. Coursework for Western Carolina University’s graduate degree in project management includes project execution, project management mindset, project selection, legal considerations, project planning, and advanced topics in project management, among others. Western Carolina University’s project management degree program has been designed with the flexibility required to be completed by active or reserve military members or veterans.

Western Carolina University (WCU) was established as an academy in 1905. The university’s campus in Cullowhee serves more than 12,100 undergraduate and graduate students and represents nearly all fifty United States.

Highlight: Western Carolina University is a member school of the state’s university system.

Program: Master of Project Management

Why Should I Get My Master’s in Project Management Online?

There are many advantages to getting a master’s in project management online when it comes to advancing your career and learning new material at your own pace. Students who take an online master’s in project management program can attend when it’s most convenient for them as well as attending from the comfort of their own home. An online master’s in project management also removes the need to attend a physical campus which opens up more educational opportunities. A student isn’t limited to the schools in their geographic area, nor do they have to relocate to attend the school of their choice. Taking an online master’s in project management course also enables you to start your career and add to your body of knowledge both on the job and off. 

How Do I Choose a Project Management Master’s Program?

Choosing a project management master’s program isn’t always easy. You have to balance the class schedule against your work schedule if you’re employed, make sure the program is accredited, and teaches the subjects you’re looking to learn. One of the metrics you can look at is project management master’s degree rankings which lists the best schools for the degree, but the ranking is only so useful if the program doesn’t accommodate your schedule or offer what you’re looking for in a program. Finding the best online master’s program in project management can become difficult when trying to match your educational needs against the classes offered by a school. 

When you’re looking at schools, also look for PMI accreditation for the program. The Project Management Institute (PMI) is part of the Global Accreditation Center (GAC) which provides accreditation to schools in the U.S. and around the world with project management master’s programs. When you see that a school has received accreditation from the PMI/GAC, you can be assured that the education you receive will meet industry standards and is recognized as valid by employers. Accreditation ensures that the school offers classes that are deemed necessary by the industry and prepares you to meet the challenges you’ll face as a project manager. When you see PMI/GAC accreditation for a project management master’s degree program, you know your time and money are well spent. 

Should I Get a Master’s in Project Management or an MBA?

This is a good question to ask, especially when weighing a master’s in project management vs MBA programs. On the surface, project management doesn’t seem all that different from the role of an MBA. However, the two types of degrees diverge quickly when taking a deeper dive into what you learn in order to earn an MBA or master’s in project management.

An MBA shows a student how to become an effective manager in all things business whereas a project management master’s helps a student learn how to manage projects from start to finish and pay attention to the details, delegate work and keep the project on track. If your ultimate goal is to learn how to run a business, an MBA program is your best option for career advancement. But if you enjoy the management of teams and their work, a master’s in project management makes more sense. 

The master’s in project management degree is a degree worth having, especially if you want to take on a management role and advance your career. The project management master’s is focused on the art and business of taking a single project, examining the requirements, determining what’s needed to meet the requirements, assembling a team of the right people for the job, and ushering the project to completion. You’ll learn how to use different types of project management structures, how to apply them, handle the management of the team, and how to communicate with the client while the project is in progress. An MBA program will only touch the surface of these aspects of project management. 

Do I Have to Take the GMAT to get a Master’s in Project Management? 

You don’t necessarily have to take the GMAT to earn a master’s in project management. There are many online master’s in project management with no GMAT requirement, but make sure the program is accredited in order to ensure you earn a degree that’s viewed positively by employers. Some schools will accept applicants without a GMAT as long as they have the required amount of experience working in project management. You may need 7 to 10 years of experience in the role of a project manager in order to be accepted by a school. 

The best way to approach applying to an online master’s in project management degree program is to take the GMAT. Having a GMAT score increases the number of schools you can apply to for an online master’s in project management. If your scores are high enough, you’ll improve your chances of getting into a prestigious or high-ranking school that can boost your career on name recognition alone. 

How is the Job Market for Project Management? 

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), Project Management is one of the world’s fastest-growing professions, with the field in the US expected to grow by nearly a million jobs in the next decade – up 19%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are a lot of reasons for the growth: experienced managers aging, retiring, or stepping back from their careers; growing industries such as tech and healthcare that need managers to keep up; and world-wide economic and industrial expansion. Salaries are up too, and expected to grow.

Project managers are skilled in bringing together diverse teams, directing and controlling budgets, negotiating and motivating, and making large-scale projects possible. Many professionals find themselves in project management roles even without formal training or education in the field. That’s just one reason many busy working adults are returning to school for a degree in project management.

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