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Best online graduate certificate in project management 2022: Top picks

Project managers play a key role in diverse industries. A project management graduate certificate prepares professionals for leadership opportunities.
genevieve-carlton.jpg
Written by Genevieve Carlton, Contributing Writer on

A graduate certificate in project management trains students in strategic project selection and project planning, execution, and completion. Certificate programs provide a focused curriculum that emphasizes practical, career-ready skills. And many programs design their coursework to meet professional certification requirements.

With a graduate certificate, professionals pursue opportunities in project management or move into roles like senior project management or project director. The credits may also transfer to master's programs. Enrolling requires at least a bachelor's degree.

Our list ranks the best project management graduate certificates with online enrollment options. Prospective students can use the rankings to find the right fit for their schedule, budget, and career goals. 

Top 5 online schools for graduate certificates in project management

College

Program stats

How much?

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA

  • Graduate certificate in project management
  • Acceptance rate: 24%
  • Graduation rate: 94%
  • 18 credits

Per credit: $524 

Application fee: $70

The College of St. Scholastica

Duluth, MN

  • Graduate certificate in project management
  • Acceptance rate: 76%
  • Graduation rate: 70%
  • 12 credits

Per credit: $565

Application fee: Not publicly available

Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant, MI

  • Graduate certificate in project management
  • Acceptance rate: 70%
  • Graduation rate: 59%
  • 15 credits

Per credit: $682

Application fee: $50

Dallas Baptist University

Dallas, TX

  • Advanced certificate in project management
  • Acceptance rate: 90%
  • Graduation rate: 58%
  • 12 credits

Per credit: $1,104

Application fee: Free

Old Dominion University

Norfolk, VA

  • Graduate certificate in project management
  • Acceptance rate: 89%
  • Graduation rate: 58%
  • 12 credits

Per credit

$551 in-state

$1,387 out-of-state

Application fee: $50

The best online graduate certificate in project management degrees

The best graduate certificates in project management prepare learners for career advancement and professional certifications. We ranked the top programs based on ZDNet's ranking methodology. Factors weighed include cost, school reputation, and academic rigor.

Unless otherwise indicated, data is drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, College Scorecard, and each program's website.

1. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia

About the program: The online project management graduate certificate focuses on team leadership, cost control, and project risk management. Learners prepare for Project Management Institute certification.

  • Acceptance rate: 24%
  • Graduation rate: 94%
  • Avg. annual net price: $20,397
  • Time to completion: One year
  • SAT range: 1340-1520
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery methods: Online

2. The College of St. Scholastica

Duluth, Minnesota

About the program: This Benedictine Catholic college's fully online project management graduate certificate covers processes and techniques in project management. The program trains students in leadership skills.

  • Acceptance rate: 76%
  • Graduation rate: 70%
  • Avg. annual net price: $24,066
  • Time to completion: Two semesters
  • SAT range: Not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: 2.8
  • Enrollment periods per year: One
  • Course delivery methods: Online

3. Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant, Michigan

About the program: The 15-credit project management certificate uses eight-week terms designed for working professionals. The coursework prepares graduates for professional certification or a master's degree. 

  • Acceptance rate: 70%
  • Graduation rate: 59%
  • Avg. annual net price: $15,981
  • Time to completion: One year
  • SAT range: 990-1200
  • Minimum GPA: 2.7
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery methods: Online

4. Dallas Baptist University

Dallas, Texas

About the program: The project management graduate certificate at this Baptist institution emphasizes theoretical and practical approaches to project leadership. The curriculum includes project lifecycles, schedule, risk management, and budgeting.

  • Acceptance rate: 90%
  • Graduation rate: 58%
  • Avg. annual net price: $26,387
  • Time to completion: One year
  • SAT range: 1030-1250
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Four
  • Course delivery methods: Online

5. Old Dominion University

Norfolk, Virginia

About the program: The graduate certificate in project management emphasizes core concepts, management tools, and processes. Students watch recorded lectures and participate in projects and online discussions.

  • Acceptance rate: 89%
  • Graduation rate: 58%
  • Avg. annual net price: $16,493
  • Time to completion: One year
  • SAT range: 980-1180
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery methods: Online

6. Regis University

Denver, Colorado

About the program: The project management certificate at Regis, a Jesuit Catholic university, trains learners in timeline planning, strategic management, and other practical skills. The program emphasizes teamwork and creative problem-solving.

  • Acceptance rate: 71%
  • Graduation rate: 57%
  • Avg. annual net price: $25,483
  • Time to completion: 6-12 months
  • SAT range: 1030-1240
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six
  • Course delivery methods: Online

7. Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester, New York

About the program: The 12-credit advanced certificate in project management offers graduate coursework in a flexible format. Designed as a part-time program for working professionals, learners strengthen their leadership and team management abilities.

  • Acceptance rate: 71%
  • Graduation rate: 69%
  • Avg. annual net price: $33,167
  • Time to completion: One
  • SAT range: 1220-1410
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery methods: Online

8. Drexel University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

About the program: The 16.5-credit project management graduate certificate offers a fully online route to graduate-level project management training. The program lets students choose one elective to customize their study. 

  • Acceptance rate: 75%
  • Graduation rate: 66%
  • Avg. annual net price: $34,914
  • Time to completion: One year
  • SAT range: 1190-1390
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery methods: Online

9. Webster University

St. Louis, Missouri

About the program: Learners in the 12-credit project management graduate certificate strengthen practical skills in budget planning, project design, and completion. Students take online courses through the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology.

Acceptance rate: 57%

Graduation rate: 64%

Avg. annual net price: $22,768

Time to completion: One year

SAT range: 1010-1250

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online

10. Park University

Parkville, Missouri

About the program: The 12-credit graduate certificate in project management emphasizes project leadership and problem-solving. The program's content prepares learners for the project management professional credential. 

  • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
  • Graduation rate: 25%
  • Avg. annual net price: $15,579
  • Time to completion: One year
  • SAT range: Not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Not publicly available
  • Course delivery methods: Online

What to expect in an online graduate certificate in project management degree program

Project managers rely on organizational, teamwork, and communication skills. In an online graduate certificate in project management, learners strengthen these abilities through advanced coursework. Programs generally prioritize practical, career-applicable skills. The credential prepares professionals for leadership roles.

Learners often complete individual and group projects. Depending on the program, they may design a project schedule, evaluate a project plan, or carry out a project. Online programs let students complete their coursework in a virtual learning environment. Learners interact with their fellow students and collaborate using distance learning platforms.

Students may complete a culminating project. Many universities allow certificate students to apply their credits toward a master's in project management.

Graduate certificate in project management courses

A graduate certificate in project management offers a focused curriculum covering the project lifecycle. 

Learners master project selection, planning, execution, and completion. Throughout the curriculum, students master analytical and leadership skills. They also complete project-based assignments to strengthen collaborative abilities.

Project management certificates and master's degrees often share courses. While the curriculum varies depending on the program, many offer these classes.

Strategic project management

Project leaders take a strategic approach to planning and decision-making. The course covers the project selection process and the best practices for managing projects. Learners also explore techniques in management.

Project planning

In the planning phase, project managers must set clear goals and metrics to measure success. The class trains students to create a plan, implement measurement methods, and launch complex projects. 

Project execution

Project managers learn to monitor project performance and schedule during the execution phase. The coursework covers topics like resource allocation, optimization, and software tools. 

Project completion

Learners examine the final stage of projects, including evaluating the project from an accounting and management perspective. The course also covers professional responsibilities during project completion.

Project management degree levels

Colleges offer project management degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Learners can also earn non-degree certificates.

Prospective students should evaluate each option's time commitment, cost, and career paths. You can start with this overview.

Project management certificate

Length: Under one year

Cost: $5,000-$6,000

Post-grad careers: Project manager; project consultant; senior project manager

A project management certificate provides a focused, concentrated course of study. Colleges offer certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

Professionals add valuable skills to their resumes, including project scheduling and planning. A certificate may help professionals advance into project management roles.

Associate in project management

Length: Two years 

Cost: $3,000-$16,000

Post-grad careers: Project coordinator; administrative assistant; cost estimator

An associate degree in project management introduces learners to foundational business and project management concepts. Students take courses in business administration, financial accounting, and organizational behavior. The degree strengthens analytical and decision-making skills. Majors also build communication and teamwork abilities.

With an associate degree, professionals work in assisting roles, including as a project coordinator or administrative assistant. The degree also prepares graduates to transfer into a four-year project management program.

Bachelor's in project management

Length: Four years

Cost: $45,000-$60,000

Post-grad careers: Project coordinator; project scheduler; project manager

A bachelor's degree in project management prepares majors for entry-level roles in the field. Learners strengthen their analytical, organizational, and business skills during a project management degree

Most programs incorporate core business classes in accounting, finance, and management. Majors also take specialized project management courses and electives to customize their course of study. Some programs incorporate internships or capstone projects to prepare learners for the workforce.

Master's in project management

Length: One to two years

Cost: $20,000-$40,000

Post-grad careers: Project manager; senior project manager; project director

A project management master's degree trains graduate students for senior and management roles. During a master's program, learners study cost management, risk management, and strategic leadership. These courses strengthen analytical and managerial skills.

In addition to master's programs in project management, students can also earn an MBA with a concentration in project management. An MBA concentration offers focused coursework in addition to business administration classes. 

Doctorate in project management

Length: Three to five years

Cost: $35,000-$60,000

Post-grad careers: Senior project manager; director of program management; project management professor

A project management doctorate is the field's terminal degree. Graduate students complete advanced business administration and project management coursework. Programs often incorporate doctoral exams and a research-based dissertation or project. 

With a doctorate, project managers work in diverse industries and academic positions. They oversee engineering, technology, and business projects. Graduates in academia are project management professors, conducting research and educating learners about project management.

In conclusion

A graduate certificate in project management builds advanced skills in leadership, project planning, and project execution. The certificate helps professionals move into management roles and take on additional responsibilities. 

Prospective students can reach out to universities directly to learn more about project management graduate programs' cost, curriculum, and enrollment options.

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