2022’s Top 5 Undergraduate Project Management Degrees

| Mary Blowers Modified on May 20, 2022

2022’s Top 5 Undergraduate Project Management Degrees

Are you ready to discover your MBA program?

Bachelor's degrees in project management prepare students to coordinate and direct project-based operations for organizations. The best undergraduate project management degrees provide a foundation in business strategy, goal setting, and problem-solving.

Project managers possess strong communication, organizational, and leadership qualities. They must regularly work to support their teams and delegate tasks to meet deadlines.

Project managers can work in any industry that relies on project-based work. Some of the top industries for project managers include computer systems design, engineering, and business construction.

This page offers insight on what to expect from bachelor's in project management degrees. Continue reading to learn about popular project management courses and career prospects after graduation.

Why Enroll in an Undergrad Project Management Program?

Completing a degree in project management can provide graduates with leadership skills, high salary potential, and opportunities for impactful work. Candidates with a knack for leadership or management may be well-suited to this program.

  • Leadership Skills: Earning a degree in project management prepares graduates to lead and manage teams in various settings. In their studies, enrollees learn to coordinate activities, assign tasks, and evaluate performance. These highly transferable skills prepare graduates to enter nearly any work environment.
  • Salary Potential: Project managers may pursue high salaries for their leadership responsibilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median annual salary of$94,500 for project managers with the top ten percentile earning as much as $159,140. Completing a top undergraduate project management degree is the first step in attaining those salary figures.
  • Impactful Work: Project managers directly impact their organizations' success. They often hold responsibilities for following timelines, resolving issues, and meeting company goals. These challenging careers require high accountability but may offer high reward.

Why You Should Get Your Project Management Degree Online

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools expanded their online learning and distance education opportunities. Remote students can select the program format that best meets their needs, including synchronous, asynchronous, and hybrid options.

Online project management degrees may also offer some time and cost-saving benefits:

  • Online learning allows students greater flexibility in balancing work and family obligations.
  • Studying project management remotely gives students greater access to top schools without needing to relocate closer to campus.
  • Online learners can avoid costs related to commuting and on-campus fees.

Curriculum

Project management curriculum varies by program but degree-seekers can generally expect to receive a strong foundation in business and management principles. Popular project management courses include principles of management, operations management, leading global projects, principles of marketing, and purchasing and sourcing management.

Principles of Management This course teaches the foundations of planning, executing, and leading projects. Principles in management also instructs students on becoming effective managers by balancing social and technical perspectives in all project-based operations. Students build on this course with other classes and experiences.
Operations Management This course focuses on the challenges and opportunities of operational business functions. Students examine the implications and applications of team relationships and customer-centered improvement. Operations management courses also offer students the opportunity to apply and practice skills using quantitative management tools.
Leading Global Projects This course covers global project management with an emphasis on strategic project management and cross-cultural effectiveness. Enrollees in this course learn to build on project management fundamentals with a global perspective. This course also teaches students to prepare for global challenges related to communications and culture.
Principles of Marketing This course examines pricing, promoting, and distributing products and services. Students learn to plan and market organizational exchanges and objectives. Project management students need a solid understanding of marketing and how it impacts their projects' end goals.
Purchasing and Sourcing Management This course focuses on the tools, techniques and procedures that project managers use in the procurement and sourcing process. Students learn about cost analysis, price analysis, negotiations, and contract management. These courses may offer hands-on experience with purchasing and sourcing through case studies.

What to Expect From Online Project Management Programs

Online and in-person project management programs often share the same curriculum. Students can also expect similar learning opportunities, challenges, and assessments with both online and traditional learning.

However, online learners should prepare for some key differences. For example, remote learners must work independently and motivate themselves to study without instructors or peers. Online degree-seekers may also need to designate a specific study space in their homes to stay organized and complete school work.

Undergraduate degrees in project management can prepare graduates to pursue business careers and act as stepping stones to further educational opportunities. Pursuing an MBA in project management helps professionals hone their leadership skills and prepare for higher levels of responsibility in the workforce.

These degrees share a goal of educating effective project managers, but they differ in several aspects. Read more about these degrees below.

Comparing Project Management Bachelor’s and MBA Degrees

Bachelor Degree

MBA

Focus

Bachelor's degrees focus on developing leadership, communication, and critical thinking skills.

MBA degrees focus on managing teams, measuring performance, practicing quality control, and managing risk both nationally and globally.

Admission Requirements

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Official transcript demonstrating minimum GPA per program requirements
  • SAT/ACT test scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Undergraduate degree in business, project management, or related field
  • Official transcript demonstrating minimum GPA per program requirements
  • GRE/GMAT test scores
  • Statement of purpose
  • Professional resume
  • Letters of recommendation

Average Cost

$28,123/year

$19,314/year

Length of Study

3-4 years

1-2 years

Average Credit Load

120-140 credits

30-45 credits

Source: NCES

Should I Get an MBA in Project Management

An MBA in project management can communicate to employers that applicants have a higher level of proficiency and job readiness. MBA degrees cover business administration and project management, offering graduates a well-rounded skill set for leadership and management roles.

MBA degrees tend to meet the preferred qualifications for many hiring organizations while bachelor's degrees often meet the minimum requirements. Earning a graduate degree can give you a competitive edge in the job market and salary negotiations.

Career Opportunities After Graduation

Bachelor's in project management degrees help prepare graduates for a wide variety of business management roles. Graduates learn valuable business knowledge plus communication and leadership skills, which can apply across industries and satisfy many employer preferences.

Some of the highest paying roles in business project management include training and development managers and public relations and fundraising managers. Keep reading to learn more about career opportunities after graduation.

Project managers plan strategies, define goals, and follow timelines for the projects they supervise. These professionals also document findings, assign tasks, manage budgets, and allocate resources to ensure project success.

Required Education: Bachelor's in project management or related field

Average Annual Salary: $75,950 as of May 2022


Training and development managers design and implement education and skills training programs. They often assess staff training needs and then plan, coordinate, and direct training projects for an organization.

Required Education: Bachelor's in business related field

Job Outlook (2020-30): +11%

Median Annual Salary: $120,130


Public relations managers organize projects that enhance the public image of their employer or client. Fundraising managers direct campaign projects that generate income for their organizations.

Required Education: Bachelor's in business related field

Job Outlook (2020-30): +13%

Median/Average Annual Salary: $119,860


Marketing communications directors oversee a company's marketing projects. They collaborate with teams to plan campaigns and analyze market data to best meet company goals.

Required Education: Bachelor's in business-related field

Average Annual Salary: $85,520 as of May 2022


Advertising and promotions managers develop campaigns that draw attention to their organization's products and services. These professionals create and implement marketing projects and promotional strategies to help their company reach its goals.

Required Education: Bachelor's in business related field

Average Annual Salary: $65,350 as of May 2022

Top Five Online Undergraduate Programs in Project Management

This ranking explores five of 2022's best online bachelor's degrees in project management (PM). We rank programs based on factors such as academics and affordability.

#1 Online College in Minnesota

Minnesota State University Moorhead

School Information
Location Moorhead, Minnesota
Admission Rate 65%
Graduation Rate 53%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

MSU Moorhead enrolls about 5,500 students and offers 76 undergraduate majors. Students participate in classes with an 18-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, which facilitates personalized learning.

BS in Project Management

The BS in project management at MSU Moorhead develops specialists who can plan, execute, and close projects. The degree prepares enrollees to pursue Project Management Institute (PMI) certification. Degree-seekers can begin the program as first-year students. The 2+2 option allows enrollees to transfer their associate degrees to finish the BS more quickly.

The core curriculum explores business topics such as marketing and accounting. Students receive an introduction to project management, project software, and various stages of PM methodology. 

Enrollees learn to build and lead teams, along with developing expertise in Agile project management. Students can pursue PMI's certified associate in project management or project management professional certification.

Applying to MSU Moorhead
Admission requires a high school diploma or GED certificate for first-year applicants and all school transcripts for transfer students.

Program at a Glance 

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC); Project Management Institute Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs 
  • Tuition: $4,270/semester for Minnesota residents; $8,540/semester for out-of-state students
  • Required Credits: 60-120
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous), on campus, and hybrid
#2 Online College in Virginia

Liberty University

School Information
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

LU, a Christian college located in Lynchburg, Virginia, operates a comprehensive virtual college with 100 undergraduate programs. The school offers affordable tuition and a generous credit transfer policy. 

BS in Business Administration - Project Management

LU's business school offers a BS in business administration (BSBA) in project management. The BSBA helps students prepare for the Project Management Institute's (PMI) certified associate in project management exam. Enrollees complete the BSBA's 120 credits entirely online.

The business major teaches skills such as marketing and operations management. Specialized courses cover project management foundations, PM competencies, and how to lead global projects.

Degree-seekers can transfer up to 90 credits into the BSBA. Eight-week sessions help enrollees finish the degree more quickly. Undergraduates receive free electronic textbooks and pay affordable tuition rates. Military students save even more with a tuition discount. Online students receive access to resources, including tutoring and academic advising.

Applying to LU
Admission requires a high school diploma or GED certificate, a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA, and school transcripts.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • Tuition: $390/credit
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Program Length: 3.5 years, on average
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
#3 Online College in Missouri

Saint Louis University

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 79%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

SLU enrolls about 13,000 students as one of the nation's oldest Catholic colleges. The school offers a comprehensive catalog with 89 undergraduate majors.

BS in Project Management

SLU develops online programs, such as the BS in project management, for working professionals. The school is a Project Management Institute-registered provider of training. Its 120-credit BS blends coursework and project-based learning.

Students can complete general education credits at SLU or transfer them from other colleges. The major explores project data analysis, proposal management, and project selection and scope. Enrollees learn how to manage the supplier contract process, including financial issues like estimating and pricing.

SLU Online provides enrollment flexibility with six eight-week terms. Each year, SLU awards more than $100,000 in scholarships to online learners.

Applying to SLU
Admission requires a high school diploma or GED certificate. Each transfer student must have a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA and at least three years of work experience, or the equivalent.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) 
  • Tuition: $650/credit 
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
#4 Online College in Oregon

George Fox University

School Information
Location Newberg, Oregon
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 68%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 11% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

George Fox University is a private school located in Newberg, Oregon. The Christian college's accelerated programs allow working students to conveniently finish degrees.

BS in Project Management

George Fox offers a degree-completion BS in project management that aligns with the Project Management Institute's training framework. Students can complete the program entirely online as part of a cohort that begins with a synchronous Zoom launch. 

The management core develops business expertise in areas such as operations management and financial decision-making. Enrollees learn key project management concepts such as risk management and how to lead teams. One course focuses on Agile methodologies, such as Scrum.

Students can apply their knowledge during required internships and other supervised field experiences. Degree-seekers may need to complete general education coursework and other credits to graduate.

Applying to George Fox
Admission to the major requires at least 66 credits and a minimum cumulative 2.0-2.5 GPA. Each applicant also needs at least two years of post-high school experience. Candidates without the required credits can complete them at George Fox.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Tuition: $499/credit
  • Required Credits: 120 
  • Program Length: 16 months
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
#5 Online College in South Carolina

Charleston Southern University

School Information
Location Charleston, South Carolina
Admission Rate 50%
Graduation Rate 41%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

CSU is a Christian college located in South Carolina. The school enrolls 3,300 students and manages a catalog with 29 online degrees.

BS in Project Management

CSU's College of Adult and Professional Studies offers a BS in project management. Its degree-completion curriculum suits learners with prior college credit and attracts project management employees, along with individuals looking to enter the field.

Students can complete the BS online in 17-24 months. Enrollees learn general business skills like accounting and management principles, in addition to planning, implementing, and initiating projects. A course covers best practices for project quality control and assurance. 

The degree equips students with problem-solving and time management skills. Enrollees complete the degree more quickly through accelerated seven-week courses.

Applying to Charleston Southern
Admission requires college-level English and math coursework and a minimum 2.0 GPA on transferable credits.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $515/credit
  • Required Credits: 125
  • Program Length: 17-24 months
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)

Featured Image: nikkimeel / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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