Best Master’s in Project Management Degrees 2021

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Best Master's in Project Management Degrees badge

Learners who enjoy overseeing complex undertakings often pursue careers in project management. These professionals need skills in budgeting, leadership, communication, and organization. Project managers guide undertakings through stages such as initiation and planning, implementation, and closure. Individuals in the field often manage internal teams, and they may collaborate with professionals from other organizations and areas.

While earning a project management degree, students cultivate the knowledge and skills necessary to complete project-based work in diverse industries. Graduates can secure positions in the engineering, construction, computer and information systems, and healthcare industries. Many project management positions require only a bachelor’s degree, but earning a master’s can help individuals qualify for more advanced management positions.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), project management specialists earn an average salary of $80,220 per year. Earning potential and employment projections vary by industry. According to the BLS, construction managers and information systems managers earn median annual salaries of $95,260 and $146,360, respectively. The BLS projects an 8% increase in employment for construction managers between 2019-2029 and a 32% growth in jobs for health services managers during the same time frame.

Applicants to master’s-level project management programs typically need strong letters of recommendation and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Some programs also require applicants to provide standardized test scores and to hold relevant work experience and prerequisite coursework. This guide includes academic and career information for individuals pursuing a master’s degree in project management.

Top 10 Best Master’s in Project Management Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Boston University Boston, MA
2 Georgetown University Washington, DC
3 Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA
4 George Washington University Washington, DC
5 Northeastern University Boston, MA
6 Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ
7 The University of Texas at Dallas Dallas, TX
8 University of Denver Denver, CO
9 Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS
10 Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Winona, MN

FAQ


  • What jobs can you get with a project management degree?

    A project management master’s degree can qualify holders for high-level management positions in growing industries such as construction, software development, information technology, and healthcare.


  • Is a degree in project management worth it?

    Graduates of project management master’s programs often secure higher-paying jobs, which offset the financial investment of earning a graduate degree.


  • Are project managers in demand?

    The BLS projects a 5% growth in management occupations between 2019-2029, which translates to about 505,000 new jobs.


  • Is project manager a good career?

    Project managers often enjoy lucrative and diverse career options. Professionals in the field can work in many industries, and the BLS reports above-average earning potential for project management specialists.


Best Master’s in Project Management Degrees 2021



  1. Boston University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The award-winning Master of Science in Project Management at Boston University is designed to provide students with the tools and techniques necessary to monitor and track every element of project management, including cost analysis, scheduling, resource allocation, and communications. The program benefits students with a wide range of professional responsibilities and is ideal for those working in a variety of contexts, including information technology, business, biotechnology, and consulting. Degree electives even allow students to pursue certificates in Administrative Sciences.

    Program Features

    This program is offered at Boston University’s Metropolitan College, where students have access to interactive learning experiences both on-campus and online. Required classes include:

    • Project Communications Management
    • Project Risk and Cost Management
    • Project and Program Governance
    • Financial Concepts
    • Quantitative and Qualitative Decision- Making
    • Global Supply Chains
    • The Innovation Process: Developing New Products and Services

    Notables

    Students at Boston University have access to a booming alumni community and distinguished, award-winning faculty. A unique feature of this program is the ability for online graduate students to participate in international study experiences through the Administrative Sciences department. Students can take partner courses abroad in locations such as England, France, Mexico, Germany, and Taipei.

  2. Georgetown University
    Location

    Washington, DC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Georgetown’s thirty-credit program provides students with hands-on experience in project management by enlisting them in activities such as real-world case studies, networking, and project planning. This program, which can be completed full- or part-time, generally takes around two years to complete and can be started at any time throughout the year. This makes it ideal for working professionals.

    Program Features

    The program emphasizes the technical knowledge and leadership skills for which employers are looking. Students will learn how to analyze and minimize costs and risks, as well as how to plan, manage, and incorporate research. Required courses include:

    • Ethics
    • Project Management Fundamentals
    • Project Initiation & Development
    • Communication & Collaboration for Managers
    • Project Planning
    • Project Execution & Delivery

    Notables

    Offered at the School of Continuing Studies, Georgetown’s program in Project Management is one of thirty professional certificate, custom, and corporate training programs. These programs are contemporary and hands-on, challenging students o embrace that which is out of the ordinary. As a result, Georgetown is a top-ranked university, repeatedly recognized as one of the Best Colleges by U.S. News and World Report.

  3. Lehigh University
    Location

    Bethlehem, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    This part-time program is designed for professionals who want to earn a flexible degree at their own pace. Nationally ranked and accredited, the program prepares students by involving them in the landscape of global business. Students will experience a rigorous curriculum taught by faculty who are scholars, innovators, and experienced leaders.

    Program Features

    The program is built on five guiding principles. These principles promote qualities in students such as structured/unstructured decision-making, leadership, ethical and social responsibility, extensive and inclusive thinking, and comprehensive understanding of domestic and global business. Classes built upon these themes, with students taking classes in:

    • Introduction to the Organization and its Environment
    • Project Risk Management
    • Project Management Fundamentals
    • Managing Products and Services
    • Managing People
    • Project Requirements and Scope Management

    Notables

    Lehigh is a premier private research university, ranking at the top of national research universities each year. With over 75,000 alumni worldwide, over 95% of recent graduates achieve jobs in their field within six months of graduation. Programs are highly interactive and provide a global perspective, encouraging community involvement. In fact, over seventy percent of Lehigh students participate in community service by their senior year.

  4. George Washington University
    Location

    Washington, DC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    This unique program emphasizes the personal and qualitative, as well as the technical aspects, of managing projects. Coursework is highly immersive, involving students in team-based projects to help introduce them to the integrated, interdisciplinary nature of multiple perspectives. The university designed the program under a close partnership with Project Management Institute, the world’s leading project management organization, to ensure that graduates are prepared for serious careers in project management.

    Program Features

    This program requires about eighteen months of full-time study, although some students may choose to extend their schedule as they take classes part-time. Required courses include:

    • Statistics for Managers
    • Optimization Models for Decision Making
    • Risk Analysis for Decision Making
    • Cost Estimation and Control
    • Direct Computation Project Management
    • Project Management Finance
    • Executive Decision Making

    Notables

    George Washington is located in the heart of Washington, D.C., just moments away from the White House, State Department, and World Bank. This prime location gives students unique access to speakers, hands-on learning experiences, and internship opportunities. As a result, most students obtain jobs in their fields before they even graduate.

  5. Northeastern University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Northeastern’s graduate degree in Project Management is offered both on-campus and online, each with a wide variety of entry terms that allow students ultimate flexibility. Students enrolled in this program have the opportunity to pursue tailored concentrations to ensure that they are prepared for whichever career path they are interested in. The university also offers several comparable certificate programs for individuals who are not yet ready to pursue a master’s degree.

    Program Features

    This fledgling program, launched in 2009, trains students in every aspect of project management, including planning, budgeting, and negotiations. Required classes include:

    • Project Scheduling and Cost Planning
    • Project Scope Management
    • Project Quality Management
    • Project Evaluation and Assessment
    • Foundations of Project Management
    • Project Risk Management

    In addition to these required courses, students may pursue concentrations in topics such as Organizational Communication, Program and Portfolio Management, Leadership, and several others.

    Notables

    This unique program allows students to tailor their studies towards their past professional experiences with project management, as well as to study in the dynamic city of Seattle. The college’s location lends students the opportunity to engage with prominent industries such as software development, nonprofits, life sciences, biotechnology, and information technology. Both experiential and cooperative learning programs are available to help students extend their education beyond the classroom.

  6. Stevens Institute of Technology
    Location

    Hoboken, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Steven’s thirty-credit program in Enterprise Project Management focuses on strategy as applied to the modern version of the discipline. The curriculum is unique, concentrating on business and leadership skills, as well as the technical abilities necessary to produce leaders in the industry. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of fields, such as software engineering and construction management. Students may also use this program to satisfy professional certification requirements.

    Program Features

    This interdisciplinary program exposes students to project direction, budget management, and timeline creation. Required courses include:

    • Strategic Perspectives in Project Management
    • Fundamentals of Project Management
    • Project Analytics
    • Leader Development
    • Project Management Office
    • Leading Across Projects

    Students may also choose from one of three specialized concentrations, including General Management, Software Engineering, or Construction Management.

    Notables

    This program is offered on-campus as well as online. Online students benefit from Stevens’ proximity to all kinds of industry, including finance, media, and accounting. Students studying on campus benefit from guest lectures, speakers series, special events, hands-on projects, and networking sessions. Online students can participate in live lectures and work on group projects in a program ranked twenty-eighth in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

  7. The University of Texas at Dallas
    Location

    Dallas, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Texas at Dallas offers several levels in which students can enhance their experiences in Project Management. The Project Management Core set of courses leads to a graduate certificate in Project Management, while the Master of Science in Management Science with an emphasis in project management includes additional coursework in business management and an international study trip. Students may also choose to pursue an MBA that requires completion of fourteen additional credits.

    Program Features

    This unique program features a flexible on-campus schedule for busy working professionals. Students only attend classes on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, or can participate in an asynchronous online program. Coursework will be taken in the following subjects:

    • Project Overview, Strategic and Process Management
    • Project Initiation
    • Project Planning
    • Project Execution Planning
    • Advanced Project Management and Simulation
    • Introduction to Organizational Behavior

    Notables

    This program was designed in collaboration with local industry experts to help develop the competency of their existing project managers. As a result, the program offers a superior, unique blend of technical and cultural skill development. The university was ranked one of the Best Graduate Schools in 2018, according to U.S. News and World Report, and continues to graduate successful alumni from its Project Management programs.

  8. University of Denver
    Location

    Denver, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Offered either entirely online or during evening classes on campus, the Project Management degree at the University of Denver is segmented into ten-week terms. Only twelve courses are required for degree completion in this flexible program. Students graduate fully prepared to take the PMI Project Management Professional Certification Examination.

    Program Features

    This highly customizable program allows students to design custom plans that best suit their career goals and skills. Students will take classes such as:

    • Leadership Development
    • Building the 21st Century Organization
    • Principles of Financing for Organizations
    • Principles of Project Management
    • Project Contracts and Procurement
    • Project Management Tools and Techniques
    • Project Management Dynamics

    In addition to these core courses, many students also opt to take elective classes in areas such as Leadership and Organizations.

    Notables

    The University of Denver is consistently ranked as one of the country’s top 100 universities by U.S. News and World Report. Its programs are career-focused and affordable, with tuition starting at just $660 per credit hour. Significant financial aid is available, including an institutional scholarship designed for students with academic merit and financial need. Other awards include the Graduate Impact Scholarship, intended for students planning to make an impact both locally and globally, and various need-based grants.

  9. Mississippi State University
    Location

    Mississippi State, MS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Mississippi State University offers a Master of Business Administration with a minor in Project Management. Offered both online and on-campus in Starkville, Mississippi, this program enhances students’ skills in business, speaking, writing, analysis, and presentation, allowing them to make the career advances necessary to become leaders in the field. Both programs are flexible and hands-on, with the online program receiving multiple recognitions as a frontrunner in distance learning in project management. This affordable degree has been ranked a Best Online MBA Program by U.S. News and World Report, as well as a top-ranked program for veterans.

    Program Features

    The university also hosts a graduate minor in this field. For the major, students are required to take classes such as:

    • Leadership Skills for Managerial Behavior
    • Strategic Marketing Management
    • Economics for Managers
    • Corporate Finance
    • Financial Statement and Management Accounting Report Analysis for Decision Making
    • Management Information Technology and Systems
    • Law, Business, Ethics, and Dispute Resolution

    Notables

    In addition to the rigorous coursework provided at Mississippi State, students also have access to nationally prominent faculty in a cohort-based program. This promotes constant interaction among faculty and students. Students also engage in experiential programs, such as professional development workshops (including the unique MBA+ opportunity) and consulting projects.

  10. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
    Location

    Winona, MN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota structures its Master of Science in Project Management so that students are first introduced to a profound, foundational core understanding of business practices and philosophies. Then, through skill-based projects and real-world examples, students develop the management, goal-setting, and communication skills necessary to lead any team through a complex project. Students work in a cohort-based model, allowing for maximum collaboration, and can begin studies in the spring, summer, or fall.

    Program Features

    This degree is offered on-campus in Rochester or Twin Cities, online, or in a blended program. Regardless of the setting, it can be earned in under a year. Twenty-four core credits are required, along with a range of management and capstone courses. Required courses include:

    • Fundamentals of Project Management
    • Project Planning and Scheduling
    • Technical Communication
    • Project Leadership Team and Stakeholder Management
    • Project Integration and Quality Management
    • Project Risk Management
    • Project Procurement and Cost Management

    Notables

    Because St. Mary’s is a private, nonprofit university, students are the priority when it comes to designing coursework and activities. With a low enrollment of just under 6,000 students, the school hosts a variety of extracurricular and study abroad programs to help students meet their personal goals as well as professional. It has repeatedly been ranked as one of the “Best Value,” “Best Regional,” and “America’s Top Colleges” for several years in a row as a result.

What Are the Goals of a Project Management Degree?

Project management often appears as a concentration option within master’s programs in business, management, and business administration. Students can earn an MS, MA, or MBA in project management. Master of science in project management programs typically focus on technical knowledge and skills, while MA and MBA programs usually include more general business coursework.

Students earning a project management master’s degree typically take courses on budgeting and finance, strategic management, risk management, and business communication. Learners pursuing a master of science in the field often specialize in a certain industry, such as human resources, construction, technology, or clinical trial design. Programs may also offer specializations in leadership, supply chain management, project business analysis, and human capital administration.

Why Get a Project Management Degree?



Earning a project management master’s degree can lead to benefits such as career advancement, improved job performance, and increased salary potential. The list below describes a few common benefits of obtaining a master’s degree in project management.

Salary Advancement
According to PayScale, graduates with a project management master’s degree earn an average salary of $80,250 per year. Alternatively, individuals with a bachelor’s in project management earn an average annual salary of $70,180.
Networking Opportunities
Master’s programs often attract accomplished professionals seeking additional education. Graduate students can benefit from the connections they make with peers during coursework and group projects.
Improved Job Performance
Master’s programs in project management help learners develop advanced skills that graduates can apply to roles in the field. Working professionals can apply these skills immediately to their current position.
Career Advancement
Many professionals pursue a master’s degree to become more competitive for upper-level management roles. A master’s degree can also help graduates transition to a project management career from another field.
Intellectual Stimulation
Graduate programs typically require rigorous, advanced coursework. Degree-seekers gain insights by studying research in the field, and they learn from instructors with professional experience.

What Are the Requirements for a Project Management Degree?

Applicants to project management master’s programs typically need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. The most competitive candidates generally possess an academic or professional background in the field and a strong undergraduate GPA. Applicants may submit recommendation letters, official transcripts, an essay, a portfolio, and a resume. Some programs require GMAT or GRE scores.

Full-time students typically complete their project management master’s program in two years. However, accelerated programs may require less time. Most project management programs require 33-45 credits, including core business and management classes and concentration courses or electives. Some programs offer concentrations such as construction management and information technology management.

Many master’s-level curricula include group projects. Graduate students often complete internships to gain practical experience and bolster their resume. Typically, master’s students also complete a final project or a portfolio showcasing their skills.

What is Accreditation and Why Does it Matter?

Professional Organizations for Project Management Students



Many professional organizations offer resources for project management students and professionals. These organizations often provide networking opportunities, career development resources, and access to current research and news. Professional associations may also deliver continuing education opportunities, such as certification programs and online courses. The following list highlights a few prominent organizations for project management degree-seekers.


  • Project Management Institute PMI primarily serves current and aspiring program, project, and portfolio managers. This nonprofit helps members enhance their professional performance and development by providing research, advocacy, and continuing education opportunities. PMI also sets standards for project management education and practice.

  • International Project Management Association IPMA is a global association of project management organizations. The association connects organizations regionally and globally. IPMA encourages professional collaboration and networking, and the organization delivers continuing education opportunities and awards.

  • American Academy of Project Management Founded in 1966, the AAPM connects and educates project management educators and professionals. This professional organization accredits project management programs, offers online education and publications, and sets professional standards for the field.

  • American Management Association With more than 25,000 members worldwide, this professional development organization offers training, webinars, and certifications in various management-related fields. AMA also maintains a women's leadership center and hosts networking and professional development events.

Scholarships for Project Management Students

Project management degree-seekers often apply for scholarships to reduce out-of-pocket educational expenses. Graduate students may qualify for scholarships based on their identity or background. Many organizations also offer awards based on academic merit or financial need. The list below features a sampling of the scholarships available to learners pursuing a master’s in project management.

Dr. Harold Kerzner Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply: Sponsored by the International Institute for Learning, Inc, The Project Management Institute administers this scholarship. The award supports undergraduate and graduate project management students attending accredited schools. Applicants must submit references, transcripts, a resume, and an essay.
Amount: Up to $7,500

280 Group Product Management Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The 280 Group offers this scholarship to undergraduate and graduate students in business-related programs. Scholarship winners receive access to a certification course that helps cultivate core product management skills. Applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA and must submit a short essay.
Amount: $500, plus access to the certified project manager course and exam

Mary Keith Memorial Academic Scholarship for Women

Who Can Apply: The Project Management Institute administers this scholarship to support women pursuing project management degrees at accredited U.S. schools. Applicants submit an essay, a resume, transcripts, and references.
Amount: Up to $3,000

PMI David I. Cleland Memorial Fellows Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Project Management Institute awards this scholarship to master’s students in project management-related programs. Applicants must attend an accredited school and submit transcripts, references, a resume, and a short essay.
Amount: Up to $2,000

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