There are very few industries that don’t need project management professionals. These talented individuals work to move an organization through every stage of a project at any level, including budgeting, organizing, planning, and managing a team.
If you are a project manager, you will need to know how to communicate and work effectively with others. You will need to be a powerful motivator and understand the ins and outs of projects of all kinds. Whether you work in government, healthcare, private industry, education, or any other sector, obtaining a master’s degree in project management is a wise career choice.
What kind of master’s degree in project management should you get?
While project managers are needed in just about every industry, very few individuals have the skill sets necessary to pursue these lofty positions. Employers are looking for candidates who know how to solve problems, work well with others, and, at the end of the day, get the job done.
While many companies will hire a project manager with just a bachelor’s degree, most organizations are more likely to promote a manager who has advanced education. Therefore, you should consider a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business, before moving on to a broad-based degree in project management.
Want to study Project Management online? Then take a look at our ranking of the Best Online Master’s in Project Management Degrees. You’ll be able to study with flexibility and save some money in the process.
How much money do people make with a master’s degree in project management?
Starting salaries for individuals with master’s degrees in project management vary widely depending on the industry. On average, you can expect to earn around $71,311. However, many people make more, especially if they work in a high-demand industry (such as healthcare) or have several years of experience.
Luckily, these jobs are also in high demand. Over the next ten years, this field is expected to grow by over 33 percent, creating nearly 22 million new jobs.
What can you do with a master’s degree in project management?
Almost every company needs an individual skilled in project management. Most managers work in the fields of information technology, engineering, telecommunications, architecture, or construction. In these positions, you will work to develop all stages of a project to lead it to fruition, such as planning, budgeting, and organizing the workforce.
Most college programs offer a Master of Business Administration in Project Management, meaning that many students go on to work in some type of leadership role upon graduation.
What are the requirements for a master’s degree in project management?
Most schools will require that you have a bachelor’s degree in a related subject, such as business administration, before beginning graduate studies. Several prerequisite skills are also desired by most colleges, such as communication skills, the ability to work within a team, and the ability to multitask.
Universities also like to see that you have strong budgeting and problem-solving skills, along with a great deal of flexibility. While enrolled, you will take coursework in specific topics such as finance, organization, and leadership to help you enhance your skills as a project manager.
What are the best master’s degrees in project management?
The best master’s degrees in project management are those that include the ability to specialize in a chosen concentration. Some schools allow students to take coursework in unique areas such as healthcare management or construction management, a benefit to students who are already working at some level of project management in those fields.
Furthermore, since most students who pursue degrees in project management are already employed, the best degrees are those that offer flexible scheduling. Search for a degree that is offered both on-campus and online to ensure you are receiving the most customizable and highest quality program, and be sure to find one that can be pursued either part- or full-time to ensure that it will be compatible with your busy schedule.
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $31,539
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.
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
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.
College Choice Score: 95.34
Average Net Price: $26,625
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.
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:
- Project Management Fundamentals
- Project Initiation & Development
- Communication & Collaboration for Managers
- Project Planning
- Project Execution & Delivery
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.
College Choice Score: 94.20
Average Net Price: $27,478
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.
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
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.
George Washington University
College Choice Score: 93.70
Average Net Price: $39,562
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.
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
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.
College Choice Score: 93.37
Average Net Price: $29,998
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.
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.
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.
Stevens Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 92.80
Average Net Price: $37,168
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.
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.
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.
The University of Texas at Dallas
College Choice Score: 81.50
Average Net Price: $10,254
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.
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
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.
University of Denver
College Choice Score: 80.36
Average Net Price: $32,940
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.
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.
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.
Mississippi State University
College Choice Score: 79.32
Average Net Price: $15,628
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.
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
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.
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
College Choice Score: 78.81
Average Net Price: $21,280
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.
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
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.
College Choice Score: 76.44
Average Net Price: $26,505
The accelerated and innovative Master of Science in Project Leadership and Management at Regis is designed for students who want to get a leg up on the ever-changing global marketplace. It is geared towards students who are already working in some facet of industry and wish to invoke significant change in their industry through developing their skills in project management and leadership. The school is one of only 1,600 schools in the world to be designated as a Registered Education Provider for the Project Management Institute.
Requiring just thirty credit hours, this fast-moving program can be started in January, May or August and completed online or on campus. Required classes include:
- Delivering Organization Excellence
- Leading Projects in Contemporary Organizations
- Management of Project Performance
- Project Monitoring and Delivery
- Leading Change and Innovation
- Strategic and Business Management: Project Managers
Tuition for this program starts at just $850 per credit hour, with significant financial aid and scholarships available. Regis not only allows students to graduate more quickly and affordably, but it also provides them with more desirable career outcomes upon graduation. Regis graduates earn an average starting salary of $58,000, which is fifty percent higher than the national average.
University of Michigan
College Choice Score: 74.27
Average Net Price: $11,322
The Master of Science in Program and Project Management at the Regents of the University of Michigan recognizes the growing demand for skilled and experienced project management professionals. The program is rooted in business, economics, math, engineering, physical sciences, and engineering, making it a unique interdisciplinary program that blends disciplines and concepts.
Available on-campus or online, this thirty-credit hour program provides graduates with strong foundational knowledge to pursue certification as a Project Management Professional. In addition to an integrated final capstone project, required classes include:
- Fundamentals of Project Management
- Project Management and Control
- Managing Global Programs
- Program Budget, Cost Estimation and Control
- Engineering Risk-Benefit Analysis
- Organization Behavior
The program applies to a variety of industries, including information technology, military, government, and many others. It draws upon the extensive expertise of faculty members and industry partners who have decades of experience and know exactly what is necessary for success in project management. Furthermore, it is highly affordable, with a range of tuition scholarships available for merit and financial need.
Fayetteville State University
College Choice Score: 74.19
Average Net Price: $5,787
At Fayetteville State, students may pursue a Master of Business Administration with a choice between a graduate certificate in Project Management or a specialization in Project Management. It is designed for individuals who are current business professionals wishing to advance in their careers. The program is the most affordable in the University of North Carolina System and allows students to take classes on-campus or online. Online students can even take courses from other campuses through UNC Online, offering them exclusive access to hundreds of exciting courses in the discipline.
This flexible and diverse program is accredited by AACSB International, the top accreditation for business schools throughout the world. In addition to the certificate and specialization in Project Management, other areas of study within the M.B.A. include Healthcare Management and Cybersecurity Management. Within Project Management, students may pursue a range of core and elective courses, including:
- Fundamentals of Marketing
- Project Risk Management
- Tools and Techniques of Project Management
- Communication and Procurement in Project Management
- Financial Management
The online version of this program is ranked first in the nation for its affordability and quality, coming in at just ten percent of the cost of other programs. For an out-of-state student taking classes online, for example, the entire degree program costs less than $20,000, with in-state students paying less than $10,000. Special financial aid options are available for military members and veterans, as are other financial aid programs such as internships, graduate assistantships, and employer assistance programs.
University of North Alabama
College Choice Score: 73.74
Average Net Price: $10,427
Located in the heart of Alabama, this university’s Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Project Management is designed for individuals who already have significant business experience. This challenging and relevant program is taught by highly qualified faculty at a range of campus locations, as well as online. It is flexible and can be customized to meet individual career goals and schedules.
Concentrations are available in several fields, including Health Care Management, Global Business, Human Resources Management, and ERP Systems using SAP. Of course, one of the most popular concentrations is Project Management, for which students will pursue core course content in the following subjects:
- Cases in Applied Project Management
- Leadership and Team Building
- Global Business
- Business Ethics and Responsibility in a Global Economy
- Information Systems Design and Project Management
- Leadership and MBA Essentials
Students may pursue the Project Management Certified Associate in Project Management or Project Management Professional examination upon completion of this degree. The University of North Alabama has won countless accolades for its leading business programs. It is recognized both for affordability and exceptional academics. It has been identified as a Best Buy, Best Value, Tier One in Overall Delivery, and Best Overall Master’s in Business by authorities such as CEO Magazine and Top Management Degrees.
Missouri State University
College Choice Score: 73.43
Average Net Price: $14,862
This interdisciplinary, applied program is designed for students who already hold a background in Technology, Liberal Arts, Engineering, Business Administration, or Applied and Natural Sciences. It incorporates skills development, as well as customer satisfaction training to help build upon the Project Management Institute’s Body of Knowledge. Students may pursue on-campus or online learning opportunities to gain expertise in the competitive global market.
Students will take approximately thirty-six credit hours, or thirty-three credit hours with the addition of a final thesis. Core coursework includes:
- Project Management
- Project Leadership
- Project Control Systems
- Cost Analysis for Project Management
- Management of Innovation and Technology
- Advanced Project Management
Students will also complete a comprehensive graduate-level research project to satisfy course requirements. This will give them experience in conducting original projects and developing solutions to prominent issues in the field.
An accelerated program is also available. This program allows undergraduate students to complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree in less than five years, saving both time and money. With over one hundred other graduate programs available, students at Missouri State have plenty of course options. Ninety percent of the university’s faculty holds terminal degrees, making this college a smart choice for a Master’s Degree in Project Management.
Florida Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 73.08
Average Net Price: $31,582
Florida Institute of Technology, or “Florida Tech,” offers a flexible learning environment and hands-on field experience. Students are provided small class sizes taught by expert faculty who embrace leadership, diversity, and ethics in project management. Students will solve complicated, real-world project management challenges as they progress through this degree program. It is offered online as well as at eight different campuses throughout the country, including those in Florida, Virginia, Alabama, Maryland, and New Jersey.
Students will pursue coursework in:
- Strategic Project Management
- Project and Program Risk Management
- Cases in Applied Project Management
- Introductory Managerial Statistics
- Organizational Behavior
- Cost and Economic Analysis
- Project Tools and Techniques
Students will also complete a final practicum and capstone projects that allow them to fully integrate their learning in a real-world setting. Practicum experiences often take place in a team environment and enable students to work closely with professors and industry professionals.
Florida Tech’s mission is to provide flexible, experiential education at a fraction of the cost. It promotes interdisciplinary research opportunities among faculty and students, and as a result, has received numerous accolades for its innovation. It is a top university for attracting international students, as well as one of the best overall, fastest growing, and lowest-debt universities in the nation.
College Choice Score: 72.98
Average Net Price: $19,650
Brenau’s program in Project Management is incredibly hands-on and allows students to gain course credit for previous experiences, such as military training, college credits, and work history. Courses are taught by experienced instructors who can blend academic skills with real-world experiences and projects. Class sizes are small and personalized, and most run for just seven weeks. Also, on-campus courses are often taught just one night a week in the evenings, to allow for optimum flexibility for working professionals.
This fifteen-course program prepares students to sit for professional project management certification examinations. It is offered entirely online, or at one of Brenau’s five campuses. It is an accelerated program that allows students to gain profound understandings in crucial elements of project management without having to sacrifice work or family commitments. Required classes include:
- Contract Management and Ethics
- Leadership of Project Teams
- Project Planning and Control Techniques
- Strategic Issues—The PMO
- Global Economics
- Management and Organizational Behavior
Courses at Brenau are only taught by full-time professors—not teacher’s assistants. All tuition costs are highly competitive, and even part-time students are eligible to apply for federal, state, and institutional financial aid. Brenau is incredibly affordable and close-knit, offering each student a personalized financial aid counselor to ease the transition into college life and tuition spending. As a result, Brenau is ranked one of the best overall schools as well as one of the best regional universities by several authorities, such as U.S. News and World Report.
City University of Seattle
College Choice Score: 70.75
Average Net Price: $16,748
City University of Seattle provides the only PMI-accredited program in the Northwest that is fully available online. It provides students with the ability to take the challenging Project Management Professional Certification Exam and is flexible regardless of whether it is pursued online or on-campus. Students gain insight into real-world problems and develop action-based solutions, gaining skills in leading both domestic and global teams.
Students will be eligible for senior-level jobs upon completion of this program and may pursue lucrative careers as business analysts, consultants, or program managers in a variety of industries. Coursework includes projects and theoretical knowledge, as well as working towards the acquisition of skills in using project management tools. Required classes include:
- Project Mastery and Control
- Project Financial Management
- Managing Risks: Project and Business
- Measuring Project Performance for Success
- Project Integration
- Applied Project Management in Situational Business Context
- Mastering Portfolios and Programs
Throughout this program, students will build portfolios of projects related to organizational strategy. They will execute self-designed and external projects, working closely with both internal and external stakeholders. For over forty years, City University has partnered with other universities and premier companies, both domestic and international. These local and global connections help put the university at the top of the list when it comes to colleges that provide the best networking and job outcomes for graduates.
College Choice Score: 67.50
Average Net Price: $25,893
Lasell’s convenient program in Project Management is offered online or in a blended-on campus setting. It combines affordable eight or sixteen-week courses to create an easy-to-complete program for all students, regardless of academic or financial background. Located in the small town of Newton, Massachusetts, Lasell has a commitment to student success. The college combines personal, accessible attention with extensive opportunities for students to collaborate and expand their professional networks. Career services are provided free of charge to all graduate students.
Graduates from this program are well-prepared to enter into careers as agile project managers, team leaders, operations and startup manager, and many others. Required coursework includes study in:
- 21st Century Global Leadership
- Change Management
- Business Strategy
- Marketing Management
- Organizational Theory
- Financial Management
- Operations Strategy
Starting at just $600 per credit hour, Lasell’s program in project management is both high-quality and affordable. In addition to offering extensive financial aid and scholarships, the college encourages military members and veterans to apply with an attractive, service-friendly aid package. Veterans enrolling at Lasell can receive up to $3,000 in grant money to finish their graduate studies. As a result, it has been ranked one of the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report.
College Choice Score: 66.11
Average Net Price: $20,232
Lewis University is a comprehensive Catholic university located in the heart of the Midwest. A small school with just under seven thousand students, the university is dedicated to student success and offers a student-faculty ratio of only thirteen to one. The university actively seeks out internship opportunities with local, regional, and national companies to help students gain hands-on experience in project management before leaving campus.
Students in this program will prepare for the certification examination as Project Management Professionals by taking coursework in important communication, leadership, and organizational skills. Courses are offered online or on-campus, with many available as weekend seminars and workshops. Required coursework includes:
- Project Portfolio Management
- Workshop: Advanced Business Ethics
- Workshop: Developing High-Performance Teams
- Principles of Six Sigma
- Cost Estimation and Control
- Operations Management
- Workshop: Critical Thinking for Managers
Students at Lewis receive exceptional access to student services, resources, and experiences. Over ninety-seven percent of Lewis students receive financial aid and even more participate in some sort of extracurricular activity. The school hosts twenty-two intercollegiate NCAA Division II athletic teams and well over one hundred clubs. Project Management graduate students often pursue clubs and student organizations such as the American Marketing Association, Delta Sigma Pi, and the Investment Club.