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Best MBA in Project Management Online Programs

Best MBA in Project Management Online Programs

If you’re interested in taking on a leadership role in business, and you excel at seeing an idea through to tangible results, you might be a great project manager — and earning an MBA in Project Management online will prepare you for this lucrative role. Learn about some of the best online MBA Project Management programs available today.

You know the excitement of having a big idea? It’s a great feeling — but equally fulfilling for some is the idea of planning the steps to make that big idea come to fruition. If this sounds like you, and you’re excited by the prospect of tracking projects from concept to completion, you’re already thinking like a project manager. Project management is typically a leadership function; you’ll be in charge of delegating and overseeing diverse tasks from idea generation all the way through to launch.

If you’re planning to make a career in project management, an MBA can be an effective signal to employers that you’re an expert in the complex role and have the skills needed to see the job through. And if you’re looking for a convenient, flexible way to earn your Project Management MBA, online programs can be a great option to fit graduate studies into your busy life.

But what will studying for an MBA in Project Management online look like? And what schools offer the best programs? Here’s a deeper look at top programs.

Spotlight on 3 Top Online MBA Programs in Project Management for 2023

While many different universities, public and private, offer online MBAs in Project Management, a few stand out from the pack. These programs are all accredited, and all offer combinations of flexibility, rigor, and opportunity — in addition to widely respected reputations that make them worth your consideration:

  • Pennsylvania State University

    Pennsylvania State University, also known as Penn State or PSU, offers a 48-credit, fully-online MBA program where students can select one of 25 concentrations — including Project Management. For this concentration, you’ll take 39 core business credits, in addition to nine credits earned in three courses: Project Management, Cost and Value Management, and Planning and Resource Management.

    All coursework is asynchronous and includes group projects that simulate real-world business environments to encourage peer interaction and to build a learning community among the students. Penn State advises that you’re more likely to be admitted with at least seven to 10 years of work experience and an undergraduate GPA of 3.3 or higher. You will not need a GRE or GMAT, and tuition for in-state or out-of-state students is set at $1,236 per credit — with discounts given if you take 12 credits or more in a semester.

  • Lehigh University

    Another Pennsylvania institution, private Lehigh University, offers what they call the 36-credit FLEX MBA online with a concentration in Project Management. The FLEX program is designed as a flexible hybrid program, to be completed however works best for you — through synchronous online classes, on campus, or a mix of the two. Students take a mix of core courses and electives within their concentration. In the Project Management concentration, you can tailor your education from among a list of offerings, including courses devoted to leadership, innovation, and teamwork.

    If you’re applying to this program, you’ll need an undergraduate degree and proven experience in computer literacy, microeconomics, macroeconomics, financial accounting, and statistics — either through your undergraduate work or courses taken later with a grade of “B” or higher. Tuition is $1,295 per credit for both the hybrid and fully online options. 

  • University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

    A part of the state university system of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UWW) offers a 36-credit online MBA with an emphasis in Project Management (one of 13 possible emphases). Tuition is $678 per credit, regardless of state residency. As an online MBA Project Management student at UWW, you’ll complete 25 general MBA credits and nine in your area of emphasis; for students interested in a deeper study of the subject, the Project Management Graduate Certificate includes five courses (14 credits) that can be completed online.

    Asynchronous courses are facilitated by faculty who hold a doctoral degree, have professional project management experience, and Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. To apply, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (although some exceptions apply), and while many students qualify for admission without taking the GRE or GMAT, you should check your own circumstances

Cost of an Online MBA Program in Project Management

While tuition of graduate programs will vary, there are a few universal factors to consider regarding the cost of your MBA in Project Management online. Tuition is obviously the largest expense you’ll encounter, but you’ll likely have to pay additional fees, like for technology services and the cost of textbooks.

Luckily, many schools offer financial aid, and you may also be eligible for federal student aid, including grants and loans. It’s important to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) as soon as possible to see what aid you qualify to receive. In addition, explore all the financial aid opportunities — including merit-based aid and work-study — that your school may offer to online MBA students. Finally, many private scholarships are available for graduate study, and while they can be competitive, they can also be extremely helpful in funding your MBA studies.

While you’re considering the costs of your online MBA in Project Management, be sure to compare the costs between schools. Below, you’ll see a snapshot of the range of tuition costs students will find:

How Much Your MBA in Project Management Online Program Could Cost

School NameNo. of CreditsCost per CreditTotal Tuition
Penn State48$1,236$59,328
Lehigh University36$1,295$46,620
University of Wisconsin- Whitewater36$678$24,480
Fayetteville State University36$560$20,160
City University of Seattle39$735$28,665

What to Expect in Your Online MBA Program for Project Management

During your course of study for an MBA in Project Management online, you can expect to gain a broad range of upper-level business and management skills, as well as learning in detail about the specific skills related to project management. You’re likely to cover the basics of accounting, economics (micro and macro), statistics, business policy, marketing, ethics in business, and other fundamentals. In your Project Management courses, you’ll delve into the specifics of operations and logistics, quality control, resource management, global project management, and more, potentially with opportunities for electives. Electives can range from international affairs and business to business and public health and more, depending on your school.

As an online student, you can expect to be conducting self-directed research, in addition to attending online lectures and study sessions. Depending on whether a given class is synchronous or asynchronous, you may also be doing collaborative work with your fellow students over video conferencing. And remember, while many online MBAs in Project Management don’t include a mandatory internship, some do, which you’ll have to balance with your classes. This can be a good thing, though — an internship is an opportunity to network and gain real-world experience, whether your program requires it or not.

Below, you’ll find descriptions of common courses you’ll encounter during your online MBA program.

Common Online MBA Courses

  • Foundations of Business Accounting

    It’s time to crunch some numbers! In a foundational course on business accounting, you’ll learn how to balance your books, track profits, expenses, and losses, and stay compliant with U.S. tax law. You may also study the different ways businesses are taxed, and how to register different types of business to maximize tax benefits.

  • Business Ethics

    To run a business in accordance with ethical and legal standards, you’ll need to know the philosophical and practical aspects of business ethics. This course is part philosophy, part real-world understanding of the ethical and moral implications of different aspects of business — from resource management to employee compensation.

  • Marketing Strategy

    Even the best business needs to get the word out. In this foundational course on marketing and strategy, you’ll learn the basics of different types of marketing, how to reach the right audience for your business, how to analyze if your marketing strategy is effective or needs reform, and more.

  • Financial Analysis for Management

    Quantitative financial analysis is one of a business’ most important tools for predicting future trends and making predictions about what to change — and what to keep — in their current strategy. In this advanced mathematics course, you’ll learn statistics-based financial analysis and how to apply it in a business context at different stages of a project.

  • Global Supply Chain Management

    Shortages during the coronavirus pandemic had everyone talking about supply chains — but how exactly do they work? In this course on global supply chain management, you’ll learn how supply chains can span countries and continents, and how management can effectively track their supply chain even across the world.

FAQs About Online MBA Programs

  • What’s the difference between an online MBA and traditional MBA program?

    An accredited online MBA is an MBA — and your future employers will recognize it as one. The main difference is simply the way you study. In an online MBA, you’ll be studying from home at your computer, rather than in a classroom with other students.

    This also makes online MBAs particularly well-suited to students with jobs or family responsibilities that make it difficult to relocate to campus. The lack of moving expenses can also help make an online MBA more affordable than studying on campus.

  • Can I work full-time while pursuing an online MBA?

    It’s entirely possible to work full-time while pursuing your MBA online. Some students may find it difficult to balance their class schedule with their professional responsibilities, but this is where an online MBA can make things easier than a traditional on-campus program. You will not have to physically commute to school, and — if your program offers asynchronous or self-paced classes — you can set your own class and study schedule. All this means you can schedule your online MBA studies around your working hours.

  • What are the admissions requirements for an online MBA?

    As with any graduate program, admissions requirements for an online MBA will vary from school to school. However, some common requirements include:

    • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited school (sometimes with a GPA requirement, such as 3.0 or higher)
    • Official transcripts from all previous schools
    • Several years of work experience in a business context (often 5-10 years)
    • GMAT or GRE scores
    • Letters of recommendation from academic and professional references
    • A personal statement and an online application form (sometimes with application fee)
  • How long does it take to earn an MBA in Project Management?

    Traditionally, an MBA in Project Management online will take about two years to complete. At some schools, like the University of Maryland, this is the typical timeline whether you study online or in-person. However, you can take a longer or shorter amount of time to complete your online MBA: studying part-time will require more time to complete your degree, while pursuing an accelerated online MBA — like the one offered at Fayetteville State — can take as little as one year to complete.

  • Can I earn my MBA 100% online, or do I need to visit campus?

    Depending on your online MBA program, you may need to visit campus briefly (for one or two weeks in some cases) for a residency or orientation. However, programs that advertise themselves as fully online will generally offer remote options to fulfill these requirements, meaning you can complete 100% of your degree without setting foot on campus. Be sure to confirm whether your program is fully online or hybrid, as hybrid programs will typically have an on-campus requirement.

What You Can Do with an Online MBA in Project Management

Once you’ve completed your MBA in Project Management online, you’re ready to apply for a new job with more responsibilities — and hopefully, higher pay. But what kind of jobs should you be applying for?

With this in-demand degree, you’ll be qualified for a wide range of career possibilities. A good project manager is an important team member in business fields ranging from IT to healthcare to construction and beyond — and the research and business management skills you’ll earn can take you even further. Better still, your MBA opens doors for high-demand jobs that pay well into the six-figure range. Here’s a look at a few of your post-MBA career options:

Project Management Specialist

Project management specialists are responsible for all the “moving parts” in a company’s undertakings — and your MBA will help you take on such a complex job. A person filling this important role coordinates the budget, schedule, and technical work assignments in any given project in a business.

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Financial Manager

A financial manager keeps track of the overall financial wellbeing of a company. They track profits, losses, operating costs, and investments, and create reports using statistical analysis to predict where the company’s finances are going. An MBA in Project Management will teach you the statistical and quantitative skills to be a financial analyst who sees the bigger picture.

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Management Analyst

A management analyst is sometimes called a management consultant. It’s your job as a management analyst to figure out ways to make a company’s operations more efficient. An MBA in Project Management will teach you the ins and outs of every piece of the company, so you know how any given decision will affect the company’s efficiency and overall wellbeing.

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022