Getting a Master’s Degrees in Project Management
Experienced professionals can earn a master’s in project management degree to qualify for leadership positions. Coursework emphasizes negotiation, communication, and conflict resolution skills. Curricula typically cover business analytics and cost estimation and forecasting. Graduates can pursue in-demand project management certifications.
Project management degree holders can work in construction, information services, and finance. This broad demand makes the degree an attractive option for workers who want to advance professionally. The following sections introduce typical program requirements and potential jobs and their salaries. This guide also answers popular questions about project management degrees.View Our Rankings List Here
Frequently Asked Questions About Project Management
Q. What can I do with a master’s in project management?
Students earning a master’s in project management degree prepare to lead large teams. Degree-seekers select a concentration to prepare for their specific career goals.
Q. How long does it take to get a master’s in project management?
Learners typically earn their project management degree in 1-2 years. Part-time students may need an additional year. Degree-seekers work with an enrollment advisor to plan their course load and graduation timeline.
Q. Are project managers in demand?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a growing demand for project managers. For example, the BLS projects employment for construction managers to increase 11% from 2020-2030. This projection indicates a strong job market for graduates.
Why Get a Degree in Project Management?
A master’s in project management degree qualifies holders to work in many fields. Graduates often secure high-paying positions. Master’s degree holders make decisions that impact entire companies and organizations. Degree-seekers learn from industry experts to prepare for these responsibilities.
Benefits of online learning include the ability to attend a top out-of-state school. The best schools provide online learners with the same academic and career-planning resources available on campus. Many programs feature asynchronous classes. This format allows students to complete coursework around their work schedule. Students who work while in school can immediately apply new knowledge and skills.
How Much Does a Project Management Degree Cost?
Institutions may charge a per-credit or per-semester tuition rate. Private schools typically cost more than public institutions. Project management degree-seekers should also budget for technology fees, materials, and graduate student fees. Online learners may also need a new computer to meet technology requirements.
Some employers offer tuition reimbursement programs. Degree-seekers should also complete the FAFSA to determine whether they qualify for federal financial aid. Students with financial need may receive federal grants and low-interest loans.
How Much Do Project Management Majors Make?
High-paying careers for project manager degree holders include construction project manager and IT project manager. Graduates can also work as administrative services and facility managers. Construction managers earn a median annual salary of $97,180, according to BLS data. However, salaries vary by position and industry. Geographic location also affects earning potential. People in areas with higher costs of living typically earn higher salaries.
For a project manager, salary often increases with a master’s in project management degree. Professionals can also earn a project manager certification to increase their earning potential. Those who specialize in an industry with a high demand for managers may qualify for higher salaries. Some workers receive a raise when they begin leading large teams.
Courses in a Master’s in Project Management Program
Project management degrees feature interdisciplinary curricula. Coursework focuses on human relations and business strategies. Potential specializations include enterprise architecture, supply chain management, and engineering. Some programs allow degree-seekers to create a custom specialization with an academic advisor.
Students earning a project manager degree often complete the following three courses. However, course topics, academic requirements, and graduate outcomes vary by school and program. Learners can consult their prospective school’s student handbook for detailed information. An admissions advisor can provide more information about the student experience.
Requirements Elicitation and Business AnalyticsProject managers in all industries need advanced business analysis skills. This class covers basic business analysis topics, stakeholders’ roles, and business analysis planning. Participants create mock documents for stakeholders. They also research business concepts. Graduates apply these skills when following workplace best practices.
Schedule ManagementProject managers create schedules for employees under their supervision. This course explores interactions among a project’s schedule, scope, and interdependencies. Learners also critique various work breakdown structures. These assignments train degree-seekers to recognize and respond to scheduling mistakes.
Cost Estimation and ForecastingThe project planning process involves estimating costs over the project’s duration. Managers make sure the project stays on budget. This class teaches basic terms and concepts, formal techniques, and independent cost estimates. During a final assignment, learners apply value management techniques.
Career and Salary Outlook for Project Management Majors
Professionals often earn a project management degree to qualify for career advancement. Management positions typically offer more responsibilities and higher salaries. These professionals often lead teams and collaborate with other managers.
The careers highlighted below feature median annual salaries exceeding $97,000. Project management degree-seekers can research career opportunities using their school’s virtual career center resources. Learners can also make a career counseling appointment.
Construction Project ManagersThese professionals supervise workers, develop budgets, and explain contracts to stakeholders. Other responsibilities include hiring subcontractors and writing reports. Construction managers overseeing large projects may also lead a team of less-senior managers. The career requires at least a bachelor’s degree and extensive on-the-job training.
Administrative Services and Facility ManagersThese managers improve their employer’s efficiency. They supervise staff, set department goals, and recommend new procedures and policies. Master’s degree holders can work in healthcare facilities, schools, and professional services companies. Individuals most qualified for this role hold a master’s degree and certification from the International Facility Management Association.
IT Project ManagersIT project managers ensure their employer’s computer networks run smoothly. Responsibilities include installing and maintaining hardware, running security checks, and researching the latest technology. They collaborate with other senior managers to develop budgets and hire new IT staff. Candidates for this position need at least a bachelor’s degree. They also need 5-10 years of relevant work experience.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Best Master’s in Project Management Degrees
A research university located in Washington, D.C., Georgetown offers a master of professional studies in project management. Students can attend full time or part time, either on campus or online. Students can take 12 credits per term and complete the degree in one year or take one course per term and finish in five years.
The 30-credit program begins with two core classes: ethics and a capstone course. Five foundation courses include project management fundamentals, project initiation and planning, and communications and collaborations for managers. Students become well-versed in agile principles and take nine credits of approved electives to customize their degree track.
The school of professional studies does not require GRE or GMAT scores. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree. Georgetown is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
University of Southern California
Located in Los Angeles, USC offers an online master of science in project management. Students may enroll full time or part time to complete the program in 12-24 months.
Students begin the curriculum with core courses introducing the principles of project management. Courses include principles of project management, elicitation and project analytics, scheduling, and cost estimation and forecasting. Students also explore risk management principles and become familiar with agile project management principles. A project management capstone towards the end of the program allows students to explore the curriculum in the context of real project analysis.
Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Students do not need to send in GRE or GMAT scores to apply. USC is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.
Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel offers a master of science in project management. Students take two courses per quarter, and most finish in as few as 24 months.
Students take project management core, electives, and a capstone course to complete the 45-credit program. Core courses include an introduction to project management, project estimation and cost management, project risk assessment and management, and managing multiple projects. Students then move to 12 credits of electives to further direct their learning experience. A capstone project allows students to examine project management principles and apply learned skills to a real project.
Students do not need to send GRE or GMAT scores to apply. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 to qualify for admission. Drexel is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The George Washington University
Based in Washington, D.C., GW offers a master of science in project management. Students can finish the 33-credit program in about two years.
Project management core courses include project management finance, directed computational project management, executive decision-making, and project portfolio management. Students take two electives: an approved option in decision sciences and one chosen in partnership with their advisor. A capstone project allows students to demonstrate mastery of skills and build a case history.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. The school does not specify a minimum GPA requirement, but the average admitted student possesses a GPA of 3.2. Students do not need to submit GMAT or GRE scores, but they may send them to strengthen an application.
GW is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Project Management Institute Global Accreditation Center.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Daytona Beach, FL
Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, Embry-Riddle offers a master of science in project management. Students take courses solely online and can finish the 30-credit program in as few as 12 months.
Students begin the program with core courses such as planning and execution of strategy, foundations for project management, management science for project managers, and contemporary project management. Students become familiar with the concepts of project scope, schedule, cost, and procurement management. A capstone experience allows students to demonstrate skills mastery.
The school allows students to transfer credits into the graduate program on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and possess a minimum GPA of 2.0 to qualify for admission. Students do not need to submit GMAT or GRE scores.
Embry-Riddle is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Project Management Institute Global Accreditation Center.