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What is an MBA in Project Management?

Graduates with a project management master’s degree online are in demand, with a job growth rate of 15% in IT-related positions alone. Project management careers can be challenging, rewarding, and lucrative. Earning a project management MBA online is a convenient and affordable step towards finding the job you want.

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A quality project management MBA online program will give you the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to take on a variety of positions in the business sector.

Is earning an online MBA in project management really worth it? After examining the data, it’s clear: higher education leads to higher salaries. Using data from PayScale, the following chart demonstrates how much an MBA can increase earning power, even among entry-level employees.

Comparison of Project Management Master’s Degrees

Researching the best online schools for project management programs can become overwhelming. Many graduate programs offer courses in project management or an online MBA with a project management concentration, but only an online MBA in project management program combines its core concepts with the fundamentals of business theory and practice.

Degree Description Average Salary (1-4 years experience) Length
MS in Project Management While an MS in project management has many similarities to an MBA, this program emphasizes specific topics relating to project management, rather than general theory. Designed for students with a specific career path in mind, an MS program often approaches concepts in project management through the lens of another industry, such as information security. $63,420 2 Years
MS in Management Studies This program takes a much broader approach to management principles, addressing concepts in business theory, marketing, law, and communication along with the basics of project management. Emphasizing entrepreneurship and innovation, coursework encourages a creative approach to common business challenges, making it ideal for future business owners. $64,406 1-2 Years
Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in Project Management Offering instruction in the fundamentals of business theory along with specialized knowledge in project management, this program provides graduates with a broad skill set. Through hands-on activities and assignments based on real-life project management scenarios, students develop a versatile skill set that will make them a valuable addition to any professional setting. $57,536 1-2 Years

A quality project management MBA online program will give you the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to take on a variety of positions in the business sector. While curricula can vary greatly between schools, you’re likely to encounter some variation of the following courses in nearly any program.

Course Competencies Developed Occupational Skill Level
Budget Management Develop, maintain, and balance realistic budgets according to financial goals TITLE: Project Manager, Construction
SALARY: growth of 7%
Strategic Project Management Create and implement business strategies TITLE: Senior Project Manager
SALARY: growth of 2%
Product Development Develop and prototype a physical product based on consumer needs TITLE: Product Manager, Engineering
SALARY: growth of 4%

Earning an MBA in project management online can provide career advancement. The following positions represent common graduate careers:

Project Manager, Construction Median Salary: $71,133
  • Contracting companies
  • Architectural firms
Construction project managers estimate, budget for, and oversee building projects. Working with subcontractors, they review designs and ensure that standards are met through every step of the construction process.
Senior Project Manager, IT Median Salary: $110,899
  • Public and private organizations
  • Insurance companies
  • Healthcare facilities
Senior IT project managers are tasked with developing project plans according to financial and technological restraints and the requirements of stakeholders. They track the progress of a project from implementation to completion, adjusting details accordingly.
Senior Project Lead Median Salary: $91,132
  • Production facilities
  • IT service providers
  • Public and private organizations
Employed in a variety of settings, senior project leads develop and deliver project plans while taking into consideration all available resources and constraints. They monitor trends in technology, business, and marketing, applying innovations to project plans when necessary.
School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Albertus Magnus College

Location New Haven, CT Tuition Tuition $40,848 % Receiving Financial Aid 80% Student Population 1,515 School Type Private
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Amberton University

Location Garland, TX Tuition Tuition $9,540 % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population 1,379 School Type Private
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Ashland University

Location Ashland, OH Tuition Tuition $29,500 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population 5,677 School Type Private
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Bellevue University

Location Bellevue, NE Tuition Tuition $20,340 % Receiving Financial Aid 44% Student Population 9,760 School Type Private
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Brenau University

Location Gainesville, GA Tuition Tuition $24,660 % Receiving Financial Aid 47% Student Population 2,883 School Type Private
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Carlow University

Location Pittsburgh, PA Tuition Tuition $29,700 % Receiving Financial Aid 57% Student Population 2,272 School Type Private
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City University of Seattle

Location Seattle, WA Tuition Tuition $33,024 % Receiving Financial Aid 50% Student Population 2,347 School Type Private
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Colorado Christian University

Location Lakewood, CO Tuition Tuition $21,645 % Receiving Financial Aid 52% Student Population 6,879 School Type Private
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Colorado State University - Fort Collins

Location Fort Collins, CO Tuition Tuition $39,732 % Receiving Financial Aid 45% Student Population 30,614 School Type Public
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Concordia University - Portland

Location Portland, OR Tuition Tuition $26,316 % Receiving Financial Aid 73% Student Population 7,182 School Type Private
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Cornerstone University

Location Grand Rapids, MI Tuition Tuition $21,850 % Receiving Financial Aid 74% Student Population 2,572 School Type Private
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Dallas Baptist University

Location Dallas, TX Tuition Tuition $32,616 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 5,319 School Type Private
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DeSales University

Location Center Valley, PA Tuition Tuition $30,240 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 3,136 School Type Private
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East Carolina University

Location Greenville, NC Tuition Tuition $12,342 % Receiving Financial Aid 57% Student Population 28,289 School Type Public
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Endicott College

Location Beverly, MA Tuition Tuition $31,454 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 4,695 School Type Private
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Everglades University

Location Boca Raton, FL Tuition Tuition $28,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 98% Student Population 1,498 School Type Private
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Fayetteville State University

Location Fayetteville, NC Tuition Tuition $7,813 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 6,104 School Type Public
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Ferris State University

Location Big Rapids, MI Tuition Tuition $27,072 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 14,715 School Type Public
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Florida Institute of Technology

Location Melbourne, FL Tuition Tuition $32,256 % Receiving Financial Aid 41% Student Population 6,631 School Type Private
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George Washington University

Location Washington, DC Tuition Tuition $97,957 % Receiving Financial Aid 40% Student Population 26,212 School Type Private
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Golden Gate University - San Francisco

Location San Francisco, CA Tuition Tuition $54,810 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 2,735 School Type Private
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John F. Kennedy University

Location Pleasant Hill, CA Tuition Tuition $31,920 % Receiving Financial Aid 93% Student Population 1,111 School Type Private
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King University

Location Bristol, TN Tuition Tuition $21,780 % Receiving Financial Aid 69% Student Population 2,920 School Type Private
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Lakeland College

Location Plymouth, WI Tuition Tuition $21,780 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population 3,671 School Type Private
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Lamar University

Location Beaumont, TX Tuition Tuition $14,688 % Receiving Financial Aid 54% Student Population 14,965 School Type Public
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Lawrence Technological University

Location Southfield, MI Tuition Tuition $34,560 % Receiving Financial Aid 32% Student Population 3,516 School Type Private
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Liberty University

Location Lynchburg, VA Tuition Tuition $20,340 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 80,494 School Type Private
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Maryville University

Location St. Louis, MO Tuition Tuition $27,300 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 6,414 School Type Private
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Metropolitan State University

Location Saint Paul, MN Tuition Tuition $15,600 % Receiving Financial Aid 52% Student Population 8,424 School Type Public
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Milwaukee School of Engineering

Location Milwaukee, WI Tuition Tuition $35,550 % Receiving Financial Aid 70% Student Population 2,906 School Type Private
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Mississippi State University

Location Mississippi State, MS Tuition Tuition $14,430 % Receiving Financial Aid 50% Student Population 20,873 School Type Public
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Missouri University of Science and Technology

Location Rolla, MO Tuition Tuition $43,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 52% Student Population 8,886 School Type Public
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Montclair State University

Location Montclair, NJ Tuition Tuition $29,900 % Receiving Financial Aid 60% Student Population 20,465 School Type Public
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New England College

Location Henniker, NH Tuition Tuition $23,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 77% Student Population 2,517 School Type Private
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Northwest University

Location Kirkland, WA Tuition Tuition $29,055 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population 1,236 School Type Private
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Norwich University

Location Northfield, VT Tuition Tuition $28,512 % Receiving Financial Aid 64% Student Population 3,870 School Type Private
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Oklahoma Baptist University

Location Shawnee, OK Tuition Tuition $19,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 51% Student Population 1,986 School Type Private
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Oklahoma Christian University

Location Edmond, OK Tuition Tuition $19,440 % Receiving Financial Aid 53% Student Population 2,570 School Type Private
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Park University

Location Parkville, MO Tuition Tuition $18,117 % Receiving Financial Aid 46% Student Population 11,720 School Type Private
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Pennsylvania State University

Location University Park, PA Tuition Tuition $56,880 % Receiving Financial Aid 50% Student Population 47,307 School Type Public
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Saint Leo University

Location Saint Leo, FL Tuition Tuition $25,920 % Receiving Financial Aid 60% Student Population 15,800 School Type Private
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Southern New Hampshire University

Location Manchester, NH Tuition Tuition $22,572 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 61,285 School Type Private
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Stevens Institute of Technology

Location Hoboken, NJ Tuition Tuition $74,592 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 6,359 School Type Private
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The Sage Colleges

Location Troy, NY Tuition Tuition $28,560 % Receiving Financial Aid 81% Student Population 2,897 School Type Private
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Trevecca Nazarene University

Location Nashville, TN Tuition Tuition $18,720 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population 2,640 School Type Private
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University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Location Colorado Springs, CO Tuition Tuition $29,484 % Receiving Financial Aid 47% Student Population 11,988 School Type Public
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University of Hartford

Location West Hartford, CT Tuition Tuition $35,445 % Receiving Financial Aid 69% Student Population 6,912 School Type Private
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University of Mary

Location Bismarck, ND Tuition Tuition $15,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population 2,872 School Type Private
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University of North Alabama

Location Florence, AL Tuition Tuition $15,450 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 7,078 School Type Public
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University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

Location Oshkosh, WI Tuition Tuition $29,448 % Receiving Financial Aid 54% Student Population 14,051 School Type Public
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University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

Location Whitewater, WI Tuition Tuition $22,932 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 12,360 School Type Public
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Wayland Baptist University

Location Plainview, TX Tuition Tuition $21,600 % Receiving Financial Aid 82% Student Population 5,231 School Type Private
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West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Location West Chester, PA Tuition Tuition $45,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 16,597 School Type Public
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Wright State University

Location Dayton, OH Tuition Tuition $21,120 % Receiving Financial Aid 55% Student Population 17,070 School Type Public
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Load 44 More Schools

If you’ve decided that an MBA in project management is right for you, then it is time to start narrowing down the list of schools you are interested in. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you through this process.

  • Search for schools in your area

    Even though you are looking for online programs, it can be helpful to choose a school that is within a 100 mile radius of your home. Online students often report that they enjoy having the ability to visit campus if they want to. In addition, schools often partner with local businesses, meaning a school in your area will have a better chance of helping you find a job close to home.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Many schools will readily provide this information on their website; however, if you can’t find it, be sure to contact the school and ask for it. This data should include graduation rates, employment rates, and the compensation levels of recent graduates. When looked at side-by-side, this information can give you an easy glimpse of program quality.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Prospective students often underestimate the total cost of their program. Make sure you calculate the total number of credit hours you will need to graduate, and multiply that by cost per credit hour. Do not forget to include the cost of supplies, internet, and time you will spend not earning an income. Additionally, compare financial aid options, different schools may offer better financial aid packages and/or scholarships that can offset the cost of education.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    One of the central benefits of online education is flexibility. However, some programs will require set meeting times, synchronous workshops, and mandatory campus visits. Be sure that you are aware of all time commitments and that they will fit into your current schedule.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    The main objective of getting your MBA in project management is to find a job with a healthy salary in a field you enjoy. Attending a school that is well connected with local businesses can provide an advantage. Many of these partners will offer internships to students that can lead to full-time employment or provide the network and experience you need to get a job elsewhere.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation is the formal review process that ensures a school is offering a reputable program adhering to minimum academic standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the national agency that accredits for undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs in business and accounting. By checking a program’s status with the AACSB, you can be confident you are receiving a recognized, quality degree. Employers generally will not hire job candidates who possess a degree from a school that is not accredited, and schools will not accept academic credentials from an unaccredited program.

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    One of the best resources when it comes to making a final decision on an online MBA in project management program is actual students and graduates. They can give you an unbiased, real-world take on how the program has served them, what they have liked, and what they have disliked. Ask an admissions counselor to put you in touch with a current student or recent alumni. Alternatively, use LinkedIn or Facebook to find and reach out to people.

Some positions in the field of project management require additional certification. While you may encounter preparatory coursework for licensure exams as you earn your online master’s in project management, certification typically occurs outside of a university setting. The following certifications may not always be mandatory, but are frequently sought out by employers and can enhance your marketability:

Liscense Description
Project Management Professional (PMP)® This internationally-recognized certification requires 7,500 hours of directing projects and 35 hours of project management education in addition to an exam. PMP recipients report 20% higher wages.
Program Management Professional (PgMP)® Applicants with a bachelor’s or master’s degree must have acquired 6,000 hours of project management experience and 6,000 hours of program management experience.
Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® Designed with students and entry-level applicants in mind, this certification can be obtained through 23 hours of project management education and by passing an exam.

Paying for your online MBA in project management might seem overwhelming at first. There are many scholarships available to students interested in this growing field. With project management specialists in high demand, public and private organizations are offering financial awards to promising students. Ranging from $1,000 to $7,500, most scholarships are open to traditional students as well as those earning their project management master’s degree online. These include: