The Best Online MBA in Project Management Programs

The best online MBA programs in project management offer affordability and flexibility, and prepare you for leadership roles. See which programs scored highest this year and learn more about the curriculum and career options.

An MBA in project management could be your next step towards a leadership position in your chosen field. Whether you work in construction or web design, this degree often leads to increased career options and higher pay. Combining rigorous core business and project management coursework with the flexibility of an online degree, an MBA project management online degree allows you to keep working while earning an advanced education. An online MBA in project management offers an expedited path into management positions and the potential for significantly more money.

This guide details this year’s best MBA project management online programs and highlights some common courses. It also looks at potential careers and salaries for MBA project management online degree graduates. Get started on your journey towards an online MBA in project management below.

B-School Spotlights: Best Online MBA Programs in Project Management in 2021

The best online MBA project management programs offer working students an affordable and flexible academic option compatible with personal and professional obligations. The three programs highlighted below won’t break the bank and rely on a 100% online format. They also preview our full ranking arriving later in 2021. Check back later to see the complete list of the best MBA project management online degree programs.

Trevecca Nazarene University

This Nashville, Tennessee school offers an affordable online MBA with a specialization track in project management. Trevecca Nazarene University provides several online and hybrid pathways, including an intensive, accelerated track completable completely online in less than 15 months. A more traditional path takes 22 months and allows augmentation of online work with one in-person class weekly.

Core MBA classes include organizational behavior and leadership, IT strategy in business, and business analytics. Project management courses focus on building critical skills like budgeting, time management, and organizational management. Coursework includes an introduction to project management, procurement management, and project schedule and risk management.

Applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75 and provide all prior transcripts. If you do not meet these requirements, the school also has a conditional admissions policy. Trevecca does not require GRE or GMAT test scores.

Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University serves more than 21,000 students and offers a flexible and affordable online MBA in project management. You can begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer semester and should plan to spend about two years completing the required 36 credits.

Core degree requirements include managing information systems in a global economy, marketing-based management, and international business and sustainability. Project management concentration classes include project management fundamentals, project management principles, and advanced project management.

Admissions counselors look for candidates with previous coursework in economics, statistics, and accounting. You must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.7 and supply a professional resume and a statement outlining professional goals. The admissions committee reviews applications holistically, and students not meeting requirements may earn conditional admission on a case-by-case basis.

University of Mary

The University of Mary offers an online MBA in project management that prioritizes accounting, budgeting, and operational skills. You can typically complete this 36-credit program in as few as 16 months while paying just $550 per credit. This affordable and flexible MBA degree holds specialized accreditation through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).

Core MBA classes include managerial finance, managerial accounting, and law in an administrative environment. The project management concentration comprises three courses: project initiation, project planning, and project execution. As a degree-culminating capstone project, students complete a literature review on a business topic, synthesizing information learned throughout the program.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 2.75. Standardized test scores are not required for consideration.

What to Expect from An Online MBA in Project Management

An MBA project management online degree prepares you for leadership roles within many fields. Programs and curriculum vary significantly, but it is common for successful students to combine prior business experience with strong analytical, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills.

With many programs offering coursework 100% online, you can more easily manage academic, professional, and personal responsibilities. For many schools, online and in-person educational programming is the same. Whether synchronous or asynchronous, the best schools use cutting-edge online teaching platforms for effective engagement. Web conferencing, live lectures, and interactive cohort projects are standard online learning tools.

Most online MBA coursework requires 30-45 credits. Core business courses make up most of the curriculum and cover topics like business ethics, global business, and business economics. Project management concentrations include classes like operations management, supply chain management, and project planning and control. You also typically complete a degree-culminating experience in the form of a thesis or capstone project.

Common courses found in most online MBA project management programs are detailed below.

Common Courses

  • Project Scheduling and Risk Management

    Understanding and addressing the sequencing and timing of project details is critical. This course explores the qualitative and quantitative techniques of risk management and examines the human, operational, and technical threats to effective project management. You also learn how logistical challenges affect finances and productivity.

  • Cost, Contract, and Procurement Management

    This course highlights the ways financial, legal, and technical issues influence project delivery. By exploring how contracts and outsourced work complicates a project’s potential success, you learn to tackle real-world problems involving competitive bidding, technological advancements, and state and federal law.

  • Application of Project Management Principles

    By examining real-world project management dilemmas in simulated projects, students utilize theoretical fundamentals to build project organization, staffing, and qualitative skills. In addition to implementing project management principles, you work within a cohort to address interpersonal and organizational issues. The course also emphasizes improved written and verbal communication skills.

  • Project Planning

    Project planning is an essential part of project management. In this course, you create mock projects and learn the skills necessary to define the scope of a project, preemptively identify problems, and explore a sound plan’s attributes. You also explore the value of effective communication and how setting expectations can affect decision-making.

  • Project Execution and Control

    Effective project planning is critical but executing plans harnesses another set of skills. This online course focuses on a complex list of requirements for delivering a product or service. It covers topics like project schedules, quality control processes, and cost management. Through simulation exercises, you learn to adjust plans on the fly while monitoring the progress of deliverables.

What You Can Do with an MBA in Project Management

Effective project managers are prized in countless industries. From manufacturing to marketing, these professionals have the technical and interpersonal skills needed to lead projects, manage people, and boost profits. An MBA in project management offers you the tools necessary for thriving as a manager and leader in your field.

Careers like construction project managers, engineering managers, and management analysts all rely on project management expertise and are projected to grow over the next decade. Like most management-based careers, salaries for production managers and marketing managers all pull in median salaries well over $100,000 per year.

Construction Manager

Construction managers oversee almost every element of a construction project. From planning to delivery, these professionals manage budgets, facilitate contractual agreements, and monitor progress. Working closely with other managers, architects, and engineers, project managers also navigate day-to-day problems.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$56,140 $95,260 $164,790

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021

Engineering Manager

An MBA in project management is a great choice for engineers interested in managerial roles. These professionals plan, organize, and coordinate projects for their organizations. Tasked with myriad responsibilities, engineering managers address staffing issues, propose budgets, and oversee technical work. They are also involved with research and development, product design, and staff training.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$92,510 $144,830 $208,000

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Industrial Production Managers

Overseeing the daily operations of manufacturing facilities, industrial production managers direct staff to produce a variety of goods. These professionals plan and execute projects and hire, train, and manage employees. Industrial production managers also work with critical financial information, analyze production data, and streamline production.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$65,050 $105,480 $176,070

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers rely on project management daily to develop and execute market strategies and to manage budgets. They also play an essential role in developing advertising strategies. Marketing managers evaluate and conduct market research while supervising other marketing staff.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$61,930 $125,510 $208,000

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Management Analyst

Management analysts, often working as consultants, develop ways to improve an organization’s efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Knowledgeable in working with financial reports and project oversight, these professionals gather and analyze critical business data to recommend new procedures and organizational changes. Management analysts often have strong logistical and managerial skills for developing solutions to pressing business problems.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$49,700 $85,260 $154,310

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Costs and Financial Aid for Online MBA Degrees in Project Management

Online MBA project management programs are significant financial investments, and tuition costs vary significantly among programs. The Stevens Institute of Technology, for example, has tuition rates of nearly $1,700 per credit, while Liberty University only costs $565 per credit. Research tuition and fees to find the program that best matches what you are willing to invest.

Make sure to check out the many financial aid options available. When applying to an online MBA project management program, reach out to the financial aid office to inquire about scholarships and grants. Professional organizations like the Project Management Institute are also often good sources for scholarships.

How Much Your Online MBA in Project Management Might Cost

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Est. Total Tuition Cost

Liberty University

45

$565

$25,425

Missouri University

of Science and Technology

36

$1,200

$43,200

Central Michigan University

Amherst

36

$662

$23,832

FAQs About Online Project Management MBA Programs

What are the typical admissions requirements for an online MBA in Project Management?

Because admissions requirements vary among schools, check with an admissions coordinator for any prospective MBA project management online program before enrolling. Some schools want extensive experience in the business world, but others do not. Some require standardized test scores, and some do not.

Some of the more common admissions requirements include the following:

  • Official academic transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • GRE or GMAT standardized test scores
  • Resume detailing academic, professional, and extracurricular experience
  • Personal essay laying out career goals
  • Admissions interview
  • Application fees
  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Professional experience in the field
  • Prerequisite business courses like finance and accounting

Are there quality online project management MBA programs that don’t require the GMAT?

While many programs accept GMAT scores to fulfill standardized test score requirements, most also accept GRE scores. Additionally, many programs rely on past academic and professional experience, nixing a standardized test requirement. Schools like Central Michigan University and the University of Mary do not require GMAT or GRE scores and review applications holistically on a case-by-case basis.

How long will it take to complete my MBA in project management online?

Most online MBA project management programs take about two years to complete. Many personal and academic influences affect how long it will take, including your status as a full-time or part-time student. Some programs, like those at the University of Mary and Trevecca Nazarene University, offer accelerated tracks with MBA programming you can complete in as few as 16 months. Additionally, taking winter and summer semester courses can offset the time it takes to graduate.

Can I earn my MBA in project management completely online or do I need to go to campus?

Many of the best MBA in project management programs are offered 100% online. Pricier options like Creighton University and the Maryville University of Saint Louis as well as less-expensive options like Trevecca and Central Michigan University are all completely online. These programs integrate cutting-edge technology to best mirror in-class experiences, and most use web conferencing, message boards, and other group activities to keep you engaged.

What’s the difference between an MBA in Project Management and a Master’s in Project Management?

MBA project management programs are mainly made up of core business classes that focus on topics like managerial accounting, marketing, and finance and enhanced by a few project management courses. Conversely, a master’s in project management focuses heavily on project management coursework.

The best online MBA programs are also notoriously picky about who they admit, and admissions standards are relatively high. Additionally, MBA programs typically come with a heftier price tag than master’s programs.

Read our full guide to online master’s in project management to see if it’s the better choice for you.