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Best online project management degrees 2021: Top picks

An online project management degree trains graduates for in-demand careers in tech, construction, and business.

During a project management program, distance learners study core business concepts and the best practices for managing teams and projects. An online bachelor's in project management prioritizes flexibility, making it easier for undergraduates to complete their degree. Many top-ranked colleges offer online project management programs. 

This page ranks the best online project management programs. These rankings help students considering a project management degree find the right fit for their schedule, budget, and career goals.

The best online bachelor's in project management degrees

To rank the top project management programs with an online enrollment option, we drew from reputable sources and applied ZDnet's ranking methodology. Prospective project management majors can use our ranking to learn more about the best online bachelor's programs in the field.

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

1. Minnesota State University Moorhead

Moorhead, Minnesota

About the program: The online project management degree emphasizes technical and managerial skills. The customizable and versatile degree encourages collaboration, leadership, and planning.

Acceptance rate: 65%

Graduation rate: 50%

Net price: $16,893

SAT Range: 930-1220

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Not publicly available

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

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

2. Colorado State University Global Campus

Aurora, Colorado

About the program: The 120-credit bachelor's in project management program at CSU-Global uses an online, Project Management Institute-accredited curriculum to train learners in planning and management.

Acceptance rate: 99%

Graduation rate: Not publicly available

Net price: Not publicly available

SAT Range: 950-1140

Minimum GPA: 2.8

Enrollment periods per year: 12

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

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

3. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Daytona Beach, Florida

About the program: Distance learners in the 120-credit project management program at Embry-Riddle receive academic and career counseling from certified Project Management Professionals. 

Acceptance rate: 62%

Graduation rate: 35%

Net price: $20,333

SAT Range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: N/A

Enrollment periods per year: Five

Course delivery method: Online

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

4. Charleston Southern University

Charleston, South Carolina

About the program: The 125-credit bachelor's in project management program at Charleston Southern comprises accelerated seven-week courses. The curriculum includes core business concepts and specialized project management techniques.

Acceptance rate: 50%

Graduation rate: 39%

Net price: $17,804

SAT Range: 1020-1200

Minimum GPA: N/A

Enrollment periods per year: Not publicly available

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

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

5. Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, Florida

About the program: The online project management degree at Saint Leo incorporates experiential learning in the form of conference presentations, internships, and professional association membership. 

Acceptance rate: 72%

Graduation rate: 43%

Net price: $18,869

SAT Range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Five

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

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

What to expect in an online bachelor's in project management degree program

A project management degree emphasizes project-based leadership skills. Through a mix of lectures, projects, and presentations, majors gain career-focused knowledge and abilities. Students may also complete an internship that provides real-world experience.

During a bachelor's program, project management majors complete core business courses, classes within their major, and general education requirements. The curriculum builds strong analytical and organizational skills. Majors also improve their interpersonal and teamwork skills.

An online learning format prioritizes flexibility. Distance learners often complete the same courses as on-campus students. Virtual classroom environments, discussion boards, and interactive online forums allow distance learners to connect with professors and classmates.

Project management courses

Project management courses build the knowledge and skills required for careers in the field. These courses cover the lifecycle of a project, from planning to procurement and execution. This section introduces common project management classes.

Project planning

The project scope and planning stage represents a critical step in managing projects. Learners examine project planning methods, including determining project resources, estimating the timeline, and budgeting for projects.

Project procurement

Procurement represents an important step in the project lifecycle. This course introduces learners to buying and selling as part of managing a project. Students learn how to estimate costs, write proposals, and create procurement plans. 

Team leadership

Project managers require strong team leadership skills. This course explores effective strategies to lead teams and complete projects. The coursework also emphasizes communication and leadership styles. 

Project risk management

Learners examine techniques to manage uncertainty in project planning and execution. The topics include identifying risks and monitoring potential threats. Students learn how to create a risk response approach. 

Project management degree levels

Colleges offer project management degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level. Typically housed within the business school, project management programs emphasize career-focused skills. At each level, project management degrees prepare graduates for different career paths. For example, most project managers hold at least a bachelor's degree.

Associate in project management

  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: $3,000-$16,000
  • Post-grad careers: Project assistant; associate project manager; project coordinator

An associate degree in project management introduces learners to core concepts in business and management. In addition to foundational classes in business, the curriculum covers the project lifecycle and key project management skills.

While many project management jobs require a bachelor's degree, an associate degree leads to opportunities as a project assistant or project coordinator. After earning an associate degree, graduates can transfer into a bachelor's program to advance their education. 

Bachelor's in project management

  • Length: Four years
  • Cost: $45,000-$60,000
  • Post-grad careers: Manufacturing project manager; construction project manager; general project manager

A bachelor's degree in project management teaches foundational courses in business. After taking classes in accounting, finance, and management, project management majors complete specialized coursework. The project management curriculum trains majors to plan a project, develop a schedule, address challenges, and deliver a finished project on time. Many programs also incorporate an internship to gain hands-on experience.

The degree emphasizes communication and collaboration skills. Project management majors also strengthen their organizational and problem-solving abilities. 

Master's in project management

  • Length: One to two years
  • Cost: $20,000-$40,000
  • Post-grad careers: IT project manager; engineering project manager; marketing project manager

A master's degree in project management provides advanced, focused coursework for professionals interested in project management careers. During a master's program, graduate students take courses in procurement, risk management, and project planning. Programs also incorporate project-based assignments and experiential learning opportunities, including internships. 

After completing a master's degree, graduates work as project managers in diverse industries such as engineering, architecture, marketing, and tech. Specialized graduate coursework helps professionals prepare for these roles. 

Doctorate in project management

  • Length: Three to four years
  • Cost: $35,000-$60,000
  • Post-grad careers: Project management professor; lead project manager; senior project manager

A doctorate in project management represents the highest degree in the field. Earning a doctorate thus requires a large time commitment.

At the doctoral level, students pursue a doctor of business administration degree with a focus in project management or a Ph.D. in business management. Both options include doctoral-level coursework, doctoral exams, and a dissertation project. A Ph.D. emphasizes research skills and typically leads to academic careers, while a DBA prepares graduates for industry careers.

In conclusion

An online project management degree helps learners launch careers in a growing field in tech, finance, and engineering industries. After researching the top programs, prospective students can reach out to schools to learn more about their admission requirements, financial aid opportunities, and application deadlines.