Best online master’s in project management 2021: Top picks

A project management master’s provides students with the skills and expertise to organize and lead complex projects. Degree-seekers learn to strategize, manage project scope and performance, and minimize risk. Equipped with this training, graduates can pursue many lucrative and in-demand management occupations. 

The growth of new organizations and complex management and analytical tools has created a need for leaders with updated skills and credentials. As a result, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the addition of 906,800 new management jobs between 2020 and 2030, including positions in facilities, marketing, and financial management. 

Here, we rank the top online project manager’s master’s programs to give prospective learners a head start in their search.

The best online project management master’s degrees

The following ranking leverages data from the most up-to-date publicly available information. ZDNet’s ranking methodology includes carefully curated information, national datasets, and a proprietary algorithm. 

Unless otherwise indicated, data is drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard.

1. George Washington University

Washington, D.C.

About the program: GW’s 36-credit online project management master’s program provides training in statistics for managers, risk management, and planning and scheduling. 

Acceptance rate: 41%

Graduation rate: 82%

Annual net price: $33,719

Years to degree: 1 ½ to four

Minimum GMAT score: Test scores may be required

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: George Washington University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

2. Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, Texas

About the program: SHSU’s 36-credit online project management master’s program includes courses in project management tools, leading organizational changes, and operations planning and control.

Acceptance rate: 83%

Graduation rate: 60%

Annual net price: $14,617

Years to degree: One to three

Minimum GMAT score: 500 

Minimum GPA: 2.75

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Sam Houston State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

3. University of Wisconsin Platteville

Platteville, Wisconsin

About the program: UW-Platteville’s online project management master’s program offers concentration options in human capital administration, integrated supply chain management, and managing engineering projects. 

Acceptance rate: 85%

Graduation rate: 53%

Annual net price: $15,718

Years to degree: Two to three

Minimum GMAT score: N/A

Minimum GPA: 2.75

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Wisconsin Platteville is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

4. The College of Saint Scholastica

Duluth, Minnesota

About the program: CSS’ 37-credit online project management master’s program features basic and advanced project management skills training, along with courses in global and strategic specializations.

Acceptance rate: 76%

Graduation rate: 70%

Annual net price: $24,066

Years to degree: 1 ½ to three

Minimum GMAT score: N/A

Minimum GPA: 2.8

Enrollment periods per year: Two

Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: The College of Saint Scholastica is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

5. Dallas Baptist University

Dallas, Texas

About the program: DBU’s 36-credit faith-based online MBA program features a project management concentration. This emphasis offers courses in mitigating project risk, project approaches and strategies, and organizing projects. 

Acceptance rate: 90%

Graduation rate: 58%

Annual net price: $26,387

Years to degree: 1 ½ to two

Minimum GMAT score: 425

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Enrollment periods per year: Four

Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Dallas Baptist University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

6. Elmhurst University

Elmhurst, Illinois

About the program: ELC’s 30-semester hour online project management master’s program features training in financial management, corporate communications, and Agile project management. 

Acceptance rate: 68%

Graduation rate: 70%

Annual net price: $21,485

Years to degree: Two to three

Minimum GMAT score: N/A

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Elmhurst University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

7. Brandeis University

Waltham, Massachusetts

About the program: Brandeis’ 30-credit online project management master’s program teaches students about Agile project management and the human side of project leadership. Learners can also focus in areas like procurement and project management or program management theory and practice.

Acceptance rate: 30%

Graduation rate: 90%

Annual net price: $31,165

Years to degree: Two

Minimum GMAT score: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Two

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Brandeis University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

8. Drexel University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

About the program: Drexel’s 45-credit online project management master’s program covers topics in international project management, project teamwork, and project estimation and cost management. 

Acceptance rate: 75%

Graduation rate: 66%

Annual net price: $34,914

Years to degree: Two to three

Minimum GMAT score: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Enrollment periods per year: Four

Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous 

Accreditation: Drexel University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

9. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Winona, Minnesota

About the program: St. Mary’s 36-credit online project management master’s program requires courses in project scope and scheduling, procurement management, and project cost and performance management. 

Acceptance rate: 92%

Graduation rate: 67%

Annual net price: $19,514

Years to degree: Two

Minimum GMAT score: N/A

Minimum GPA: 2.75

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery method: Asynchronous 

Accreditation: Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

10. Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne, Florida

About the program: Florida Tech’s 33-credit online project management master’s program features required courses in organizational behavior, strategic project management, and cost and economic analysis. 

Acceptance rate: 66%

Graduation rate: 61%

Annual net price: $31,097

Years to degree: One to three

Minimum GMAT score: N/A

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Enrollment periods per year: Six

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: The Florida Institute of Technology is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

11. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Daytona Beach, Florida

About the program: Embry-Riddle’s 30-credit online project management master’s program provides training in directing and controlling projects, contemporary project management, and assessing and managing project risk. 

Acceptance rate: 62%

Graduation rate: 35%

Annual net price: $20,333

Years to degree: One to three

Minimum GMAT score: Test scores may be required

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

12. Colorado State University

Greenwood Village, Colorado

About the program: CSU-Global’s 36-credit online project management master’s program features advanced training in decision sciences, financial metrics, risk management, and project control and monitoring. 

Acceptance rate: 99%

Graduation rate: Not publicly available

Annual net price: Not publicly available

Years to degree: One to three

Minimum GMAT score: N/A

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Colorado State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

13. Cornerstone University

Detroit, Michigan

About the program: CU’s faith-based 38-credit online MBA features a project management concentration. This track includes courses in communications and risk management, along with cost, quality, and team management.

Acceptance rate: 78%

Graduation rate: 62%

Annual net price: $20,740

Years to degree: Two 

Minimum GMAT score: N/A

Minimum GPA: 2.7-3.0

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Cornerstone University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

14. Granite State College

Concord, New Hampshire

About the program: GSC’s 30-credit online project management master’s program includes courses in project chartering and planning, delivering business value, and managing project portfolios. 

Acceptance rate: Not publicly available

Graduation rate: 49%

Annual net price: $12,507

Years to degree: One to three

Minimum GMAT score: N/A

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Enrollment periods per year: Four

Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous 

Accreditation: Granite State College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

15. Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, Florida

About the program: Saint Leo’s online MBA offers a 33- to 36-credit project management concentration. In this track, degree-seekers complete courses in project process groups, best practices, and strategic management.

Acceptance rate: 72%

Graduation rate: 43%

Annual net price: $18,869

Years to degree: One to three

Minimum GMAT score: 500

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Saint Leo University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

16. Bellevue University

Bellevue, Nebraska

About the program: BU’s 36-credit online project management master’s program includes training in project communications management, project management in global and virtual workspaces, and schedule management. 

Acceptance rate: Not publicly available

Graduation rate: 46%

Annual net price: $15,616

Years to degree: One to three

Minimum GMAT score: N/A

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available 

Enrollment periods per year: Four

Course delivery method: Asynchronous 

Accreditation: Bellevue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

17. Charleston Southern University

Charleston, South Carolina

About the program: CSU’s 30-credit online project management master’s program offers courses in managerial innovation strategies, talent management, and managing diverse cultures. 

Acceptance rate: 50%

Graduation rate: 39%

Annual net price: $17,804

Years to degree: One to two

Minimum GMAT score: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Four

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Charleston Southern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

18. Wayland Baptist University

Plainview, Texas

About the program: WBU’s faith-based 48-credit online MBA features a project management specialization. This master’s program provides courses in managing complex projects and project management information systems, along with power and politics in organizations. 

Acceptance rate: 97%

Graduation rate: 49%

Annual net price: $25,152

Years to degree: Two to three

Minimum GMAT score: N/A

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Enrollment periods per year: Six

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Wayland Baptist University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC).

19. Brenau University

Gainesville, Georgia

About the program: Brenau’s online MBA features a specialization in project management. This concentration includes courses in project management technologies, leadership of project teams, and strategic issues in project management. 

Acceptance rate: 58%

Graduation rate: 46%

Annual net price: $21,745

Years to degree: One to three

Minimum GMAT score: N/A

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Brenau University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC).

20. Golden Gate University

San Francisco, California

About the program: GGU’s 30-credit online project management master’s program offers advanced courses in project governance, Agile management, and project risk management. 

Acceptance rate: Not publicly available

Graduation rate: 45%

Annual net price: Not publicly available

Years to degree: One to three

Minimum GMAT score: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Golden Gate University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WSCUC).

What to expect in an online master’s in project management degree program

Similar to online MBA programs, online project management master’s programs focus on building well-rounded leaders who have a grasp on several different management roles. These programs tend to differ, however, in that project management features more practical training in specific management duties, such as scheduling, costing, and staffing. 

At the master’s level, project management training combines research, group discussions, and presentations. Programs may conclude with a thesis, a capstone project, or an extensive group project. 

The type of study available depends on the program format, but online learners may need to attend live virtual classrooms or study independently. The latter requires self-motivation and ambition. Project management master’s programs may come as an MBA concentration or they may offer their own specialization options, such as project management technologies and leadership.

Master’s in project management courses

At the graduate level, project management combines advanced business management training with behavioral sciences. Through coursework, reading, and projects, students learn how to manage people, expectations, and decisions. They also fine tune their communication, leadership, and analytical skills.

The courses offered in a project management master’s degree differ between programs, schools, and students. Most programs emphasize similar core courses, such as those listed below. 

Strategic Management

In this course, students learn to develop effective strategies based on an organization’s goals and principles. The training covers different methods for organizational and environmental analysis, along with planning techniques and models to improve the execution and implementation.

Project Scheduling

This course teaches students how to use different techniques and technologies for developing a project schedule. Learners look at how to assign resources efficiently and how budgets and staffing can influence schedules.

Project Cost Management

Students in this course learn to create accurate project budgets. The training explores methods for estimating and controlling costs, assigning resources and personnel, and presenting budgets to management. 

Scope, Quality, and Risk Management

In this course, students learn how to define and manage the various components of a project. They examine methods for assessing risk and performances, along with ways to make improvements and adjustments on the go.

In conclusion

A project management master’s provides students with widely applicable skills for many leadership positions and organizations. The management field features strong projected growth and median annual wages of $109,760, as per the BLS. Prospective learners can take advantage of this by pursuing one of the programs listed in these rankings.