Online master's degrees in project management are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. This is because the demand for qualified project management professionals continues to increase, as more and more businesses rely on charismatic leaders to motivate employees and execute strategies. The most recent statistics reveal that project management specialists can make nearly $90,000 a year, and those with master's degrees often earn north of $100,000 annually.
To earn your degree in project management, all you need to do is research online colleges within your budget. Some schools exist entirely in the virtual realm, while others exist as an "e-campus" version of larger state institutions. Either way, you're practically guaranteed to find a school that offers the degree you want at the price you need – and you won't even have to leave your house!
The schools on the list below include general master of science and online MBA degrees in project management. Many of them have special accreditation due to the quality of their curricula, and some also follow special guidelines recommended by the Project Management Institute. Many have also garnered top rankings from such well-known publications as U.S. News, Forbes, and Princeton Review. But most importantly, they represent the 20 cheapest online project management degrees available, ranging from just $17,000 in tuition to less than $4,000 a year! Tuition information is sourced from the U.S. Department of Education's College Navigator website.
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20. University of Wisconsin at Platteville
Masters in Project Management Degree Online
The University of Wisconsin at Platteville's online master's degree in project management is an internationally accredited program, with curriculum approval from the Global Accreditation Center for Project Management. Classes are designed to help students prepare to cultivate relationships between employees and customers, lead complex teams, and manage their time and money. Core courses include "Project Management Techniques," "Advanced Quality Management," "Organizational Communication," and "Interpersonal Skills for Project Teams." Due to the program's wealth of online resources and great academics, U.S. News & World Report rated it one of the best online master's degrees in project management, as a part of its selection of top 100 online graduate schools in business.
Tuition: $7,640/yr (In-state) $16,771/yr (Out-of-state)
19. University of Mary
Online Project Management Master's Degree Program
The University of Saint Mary's online master's degree in project management prepares students to lead teams decisively and efficiently, completing projects on time and within budget. Students gain communication and leadership skills while taking most courses online, with satellite locations at a variety of sites around North Dakota. The curriculum also integrates Christian, Benedictine, and Catholic values into courses to help students develop the morals they need to succeed in both their professional and personal lives. Students on College Prowler give particularly high reviews of the knowledgeable professors and helpful career services department.
18. University of Alaska Anchorage
Online Master of Science in Project Management
Students who want to take advantage of the resources of the University of Alaska can do so without traveling all the way up to the frozen north. The school's online master's degree in project management is available entirely over the internet, with courses designed for the working professional. Students can also complete short training courses or even attend some classes for free! Classes cover everything from educating employees to improving productivity and financial performance. U.S. News and Forbes both place UAA on their lists of top colleges, and the former publication even included it as one of the best 20 public schools in the West.
Tuition: $7,820/yr (In-state) $15,980/yr (Out-of-state)
17. Brenau University
Online Project Management MBA
Brenau University understands that effective project managers are in high demand in the business world. That's why the administration created an affordable online master's degree in project management, which can help students learn how to define objectives, marshall resources, develop plans, and accomplish tasks on schedule. The 15-course, 45-credit program not only covers all the core aspects of project management, but also prepares graduates to sit for the professional certification exams offered by the Project Management Institute. Brenau has earned awards as a U.S. News "Best Regional College" and "Best for Vets," and has received additional recognition as a Military Friendly School.
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Walden University boasts a top online master's degree in project management, as evidenced by its prestigious accreditation by the Global Accreditation Center for Project Management. Walden is also an approved provider of project management training and is considered a "PMI Registered Education Provider." The program can also help students become Project Management Professional certified, but only if they meet all experience requirements and sit for the exam. Potential classes include "Planning and Administering Project Contracts," "Business Process Management and Systems," and "Leading Vibrant and Diverse Teams," as well as a Capstone Course.
15. Regis University
Online MSOL Project Leadership & Management
Regis University has created an online master's degree in project management and leadership that encourages its members to "explore leadership from a strategic perspective." As a best regional university in the West (U.S. News), Regis is known for providing quality education to ambitious learners. The program is organized as a graduate degree in organizational leadership, augmented by a specialization in project management. It is also a Registered Education Provider, certified by the PMI, and is qualified to offer "professional development units" that can help maintain PMP certification. Students can also earn a related certificate in Executive Project Management, Executive Leadership, or Strategic Human Resource Integration.
14. New England College
Master of Science in Management – Project Management – Online
This accredited online master's degree in project management is 100% online, offering students 24/7 access to classes via the web. The flexible program also offers new classes every 7 weeks, meaning there are a variety of start dates throughout the year. There is also no GRE, GMAT, or residency requirement. The curriculum covers technical tools, such as GANTT and PERT; offers quality analysis in ISO 9000, 9001, and 9002, and provides instruction in all the dynamics of facilitating projects, including costs, schedules, risks, manpower, workflow, and the supply chain. Students will also strengthen their understanding of ethics, strategic communication, accounting, finance, and transformational change.
13. Colorado State University-Global Campus
Online Master's Degree in Project Management
Colorado State University-Global Campus is a well-established online college with degrees available in a multitude of areas. One of these is the online master's degree in project management, which also includesspecializations in information technology, healthcare administration, international management, criminal justice leadership, and more. The degree is designed to help professionals build on their past work experience, offering advanced education in strategy, planning and control, tracking, negotiation and conflict resolution, finance, and accounting. CSU-Global is currently ranked #53 for Best Online Graduate Business Programs by U.S. News & World Report.
12. Bellevue University
Online Master of Project Management
Bellevue University's online master's degree in project management was created in response to the high demand for such professionals in the United States. The curriculum is aligned with the Project Management Institute's globally-recognized standards and covers all the core areas suggested in the "Project Management Body of Knowledge" Guide. Students first expand their theoretical understanding of project management before exercising their new-found knowledge in real-world situations. The fundamentals of team dynamics, multiculturalism, and virtual teams ground the curriculum and provide a solid launch pad for more advanced topics.
11. Missouri State University
Online Project Management Graduate Program
This Global Accreditation Center (GAC)-accredited program is another of the best online master's degrees in project management in the nation. It prepares students to become accredited professionals in the field, offering such classes as "Product Design and Development," "Management of Innovations and Technology," "Project Risk Analysis," and "Project Leadership." Other topics of study include cost analysis, control systems, and management, while electives cover everything from communicaton to statistics. Forbes ranks Missouri State on its list of top 150 colleges in the Midwest, and in the top 600 in the nation.
Tuition: $5,928/yr (In-state) $11,856/yr (Out-of-state)
10. Western Carolina University
Online Master of Project Management (MPM) Program
Western Carolina University's affordable online master's degree in project management is yet another program with GAC approval. In fact, it was the first program to ever be accredited by the Project Management Institute, due to its high quality, international faculty and global focus. Students learn all the "soft skills" they need to become effective project management professionals, and work in virtual teams despite taking classes online. The department keeps the program small (between 20 and 30 total students over the past few years) to ensure that each individual gets the attention they need to succeed.
Tuition: $4,098/yr (In-state) $13,684/yr (Out-of-state)
9. Liberty University
Online Master of Business Administration – Project Management
Liberty University's program differs somewhat from the other schools on this list, in that it offers an online MBA degree in project management, as opposed to a traditional master's of science. The MBA designation indicates that much of the program's focus is on general business principles. Students learn about marketing, finance, business law, human resources, economics, and organizational business as part of their core requirements, and only afterward take a few concentration classes in project management. Both Liberty's general graduate business and specialty MBA degrees are reocgnized by U.S. News as some of the best available, an indication that it truly provides a top online master's degree in project management.
8. Avila University
Online Master's in Management With an Emphasis in Project Management
Students of project management at Avila University go beyond numbers, focusing instead on the importance of people and relationships in business. They take all classes in the master's degree in project management online, gaining critical thinking and communication skills while also practicing how to motivate employees. The university is yet another Registered Education Provider through PMI, and awards 10 credits of graduate coursework to current PMP-certified individuals. This means that well-qualified individuals can acquire their master's degree in just 24 credits, or potentially just one year! Classes are flexible and are available in both 8-week long and weekend-intensive formats.
7. Granite State College
Online Project Management (M.S.)
Granite State College offers a cheap online master's degree in project management with in-state and out-of-state tuition rates that are similarly low. Highly qualified instructors provide education on how to manage risk, make ethical decisions, employ effective strategies, evaluate processes, and lead teams. The program is a great choice for professionals currently working in project management, but is also suitable for working adults simply seeking a career change. Washington Monthly and U.S. News have both recognized GSC's academic excellence, and a recent study by the U.S. Department of Education named the school the cheapest four year college in New England.
Tuition: $7,875/yr (In-state) $8,295/yr (Out-of-state)
6. Saint Leo University
Online M.B.A. Project Management Concentration
The online MBA degree in project management from Saint Leo University is a great choice for students with a serious interest in business. It combines broad-based business principles with speciality training in project management, and thus is a great choice for professionals in construction, information technology, telecommunications, healthcare, entertainment, or even defense. The curriculum combines leading software resources with team training mechanisms, using collaborative learning to help students excel. All classes follow the guidelines set forth by the "Project Management Body of Knowledge" 5th Edition and can help members prepare for the PMP certification exam.
5. Sam Houston State University
Online Master of Science in Project Management
Sam Houston State University's affordable online master's degree in project management is practically a steal, coming in at less than $5,000 annually for in-state students. Department professionals designed the high caliber program to cater to the needs of current businessmen and women. They place emphasis on all aspects of the project life cycle, pushing students to face challenges head on and adapt to an ever-changing business environment. SHSU's commitment to education has launched it into the top 100 on U.S. News' list of best online business programs, landing at 69th.
Tuition: $4,410/yr (In-state) $10,782/yr (Out-of-state)
4. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Online Master of Science in Project Management
Like many other programs on this list, Saint Mary's University's online master's degree in project management is accredited by the Global Accreditation Center for Project Management. A degree from SMU in Minnesota can help professionals advance their career in a big way, opening the door to high level project management positions. The principles and practices of the curriculum closely mirror the PMBKG guidelines, including human resource management, quality control, planning and estimating, and project evaluation. Princeton Review conducted a comprehensive review of SMU's affordability, academics, and resources, and named it one of the best schools in the Midwest.
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The cheap online MBA in project management from Grand Canyon University is an incredible bargain for what it provides. Although it's less than $7,500 a year in tuition dollars to attend, the program offers a comprehensive curriculum covering all aspects of project management. Classes are structured around the three main PMI certifications: the Certified Associate in Project Management, Project Management Professional, and the Agile Certified Professional. Students on College Prowler make plenty of positive reviews of GCU, and rate the knowledgeable professors, valuable education, and low-stress course load as major benefits.
2. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Online Master of Science in Project Management
An master's degree in project management online from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University can do wonders for students' careers. Taking into consideration the complex nature of today's business environment, program faculty focus on how to maximize organizational efficiency within corporations – even in the face of looming deadlines or tight budgets. ERAU offers classes online and all over the world, and its global presence adds an important element of diversity to web-based classrooms. The curriculum boasts Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education approval, in addition to being acknowledged by U.S. News for its top online college status.
1. Grantham University
Online Master's in Project Management (MS-IMPM) Program
The accredited online master's degree in Grantham University sacrifices nothing to maintain its low cost. Despite being less than $4,000 a year, the program is nonetheless PMI-approved, closely following the reputable "Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge" (GPMBK) guidelines. For rock bottom tuition, students get a set of classes adhering to the same high quality standards that much more expensive schools boast. Required courses include "Organizational Behavior," "Project Management Essentials," "Emerging Technologies," "Project Management Integration," and much more. College Prowler survey respondents laud Grantham and its online master's degree in project management for its meaningful online courses, flexibility, and affordability.
About the Author:
Iris Stone began her writing career when she started working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates' careers. Her interests actually span far beyond writing, and she is currently studying to be a physicist! Check out her Google+ Profile.