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Most people considering an online Master’s in Project Management degree are working adults who are already in their career, so their priorities are different than the traditional undergraduate business student. If they are working to improve their credentials and advance in their field, getting the degree done fast may be one of the biggest priorities. An accelerated project management online degree can make a big career improvement fast. Since accelerated doesn’t mean the same thing for every program, applicants need to pay close attention to exactly what it is the program offers. For example, some accelerated programs will allow a student to transfer credits to cut out some introductory or beginning classes. This frees them to pursue the intermediate and advanced parts of the course immediately.

Some accelerated courses entail giving credit for things like work experience or even life experience. These types of programs can work in much the same way as transferring credits, and can sometimes work along with transferring credits as well. However, the most common form of accelerated Master’s programs has to do with a shorter schedule. Typically, this will mean a student will have a full-time schedule of condensed coursework. Some accelerated courses may allow for a flexible schedule, especially to cater to working adults, but even with the flexibility, the student will have to remain diligent and work hard to keep up with the pace of the course.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Accelerated Project Management Online Degree Programs

While speed may be foremost on the students’ mind, Great Business School editors look for more than just a fast completion time in ranking the best accelerated project management online degree programs. Besides featuring only accredited, reputable institutions, GBS ranks programs according to four practical criteria: Cost, Income Potential, National Reputation, and Student Satisfaction. That means the programs ranked by GBS aren’t just fast – they’re also quality. 

1. Northeastern University

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Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies offers a Master of Project Management (MPH) degree program prepares students with the theories and practical skills needed to manage complex ongoing projects. Students can attend the program full-time or part-time. NEU’s accelerated project management online degree can be completed in 1.5 years to 2.5 years. Northeastern University’s Master of Project Management degree has received accreditation from the Project Management Institute’s Global Accreditation Center (GAC). Coursework includes Project Scope Management, Quality Management, and Project Finance, among others.   

Northeastern University was established as a private research institution of higher learning in 1898. The school operates with several campuses in Boston neighborhoods of Roxbury, Fenway-Kenmore Square, and the South End; satellite facilities across the country and internationally. The school serves more than 25,000 students each year. Northeastern University’s cooperative education program is world-renowned.    

Degree: MS in Project Management – 18 months

2. University of Southern California

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The University of Southern California’s Bovard College offers an MS in Project Management that can be completed entirely online. USC’s prepares its graduates with skills related to relationship elements of negotiation, conflict management, and effective communication. USC’s MS in Project management is an accelerated project management online degree that can be completed in one or two years. Coursework includes Portfolio Management, Cost Estimation, Agile Project Management, and Risk Management, to name a few. Students must also complete a capstone project related to Project Management.     

The University of Southern California was established in 1880. USC operates with two campuses — the University Park campus and the Health Sciences campus. Together, these campuses serve more than 45,000 students studying for the many degrees offered by USC’s eighteen professional schools. The University of Southern California holds the distinction of being the oldest private research university in the state of California.  

Degree: MS in Project Management – 12 months

3. American University

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American University offers a Master of Science (MS) in Agile Project Management that is available to be completed entirely online. AU’s accelerated project management online degree is a twenty-month project that prepares students with the skills to innovatively solve and manage project management tasks. AU’s Project management online program prepares graduates for rewarding careers as a Senior Business Analyst, IT Sr. Project Manager or and IT Project Manager, among others. The Princeton Review recognizes American University among the ‘best colleges’ in the country.   

American University was established in 1893. The school is a space coast institution of higher education and affiliated with the Methodist Church. American University’s 80+-acre campus is home to more than 13,000 students studying from among the more than 160-degree programs offered.  American University is one of only a few schools that were chartered by an act of the United States Congress. 

Degree: MS in Agile Project Management – 20 months

4. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

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Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota offers an MS in Project Management that available entirely online. This accelerated project management online degree is designed in alignment with the standards set forth by the Project Management Institute and can be completed in only twelve months. SMU’s online Project Management graduate degree requires the completion of 36 credit units, comprised of 33 credits in coursework and another earned through a 3 credit unit capstone project. Coursework includes Project Leadership, Agile Projects, Risk Management, and Quality & Quantity Methodologies. 

The Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota was established in 1912. SMU is affiliated with the Lasallians Roman Catholic Church. SMU offers programs in several Minnesota locations in addition to facilities in Jamaica, Kenya, and Wisconsin. The Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota serves more than 5,800 students each semester.  Men studying for an entrance into the priesthood study at the school’s Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary.   

Degree: MS in Project Management – 12 months

5. Troy University

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Troy University’s Sorrell College of Business offers an MS in Management in Project Management degree program that can be completed in only twelve months (five semesters) and entirely online. Troy University’s MSM in Project Management degree consists of ten required online courses that cover project management in the context of a global network.  Troy University’s MSM in Project Management has received accreditation from by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (AACSB) — a worldwide association that offers intelligence and quality assurance for business education. 

Troy University was established in 1887 as a state-sponsored normal school. More than 18,000 students study attend Troy University, either online or at one of their several campuses. The school is organized among seven schools/colleges offering 69 different degree programs from the baccalaureate to doctoral level.  Troy University is recognized as the flagship institution of higher education within the Troy University System.   

Degree: MS in Project Management – 12 months

6. Wentworth Institute of Technology

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The College of Professional & Continuing Education at Wentworth Institute of Technology offers an MS in Project Management degree program that is entirely online. WIT’s accelerated project management online degree program offers the flexibility needed for working learners and can be completed in less than two years. WIT’s graduate Project Management requires the completion of ten classes, across five semesters for a total of 30 credit units.    

Wentworth Institute of Technology was established in 1904. WIT’s 30+-acre campus is home to more than 4,500 vying for the career-focused degrees offered by the school. All degree candidates must complete at least two cooperative education work placement in their field of study.  The Wentworth Institute of Technology was created by the bequest of Arioch Wentworth, a successful businessman with an objective to open an industrial school in Bean town. 

Degree: MS in Project Management – less than 2 years

7. University of Denver

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The University of Denver’s University College offers an MS in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Project Management degree program that is available through its distance-learning platform. DU’s Project Management degree program prepares students to sit for the PMI Project Management Professional (PMP) examination that leads to certification. Coursework covers five core courses, four concentration classes and another three courses selected as an elective. DU’s online Project Management degree program’s required 48 credit units can be completed in 1.5 years.  

The University of Denver was established in 1864. The school’s urban campus is home to more than 11,000 students, just a few miles south of downtown Denver, and an officially designated arboretum. Although the Methodist community founded the University of Denver, the University of Denver is now considered a nonsectarian university.  The University of Denver is the oldest Rocky Mountain Region private institution of higher education.  

Degree: MS in Organizational Leadership – Project Management – 18 months

8. Southern New Hampshire University

southern new hampshire snhu

Southern New Hampshire University offers an MS in Project Management & Operations degree program that is available online 100%. SNHU’s online Project Management degree requires students to complete 36 interdisciplinary credit units over a fifteen-month period. SNHU is a Project Management Institute (PMI) is recognized as a REP — a PMI Registered Education Provider. The curriculum includes Decision Making Quantitatively, Operations Management, a Project Management Seminar, and a capstone project, among others.   The ACBSP Global Business Accreditation association accredits SNHU’s Project Management   

Southern New Hampshire University was established in 1932. Southern New Hampshire University’s dual and virtual campuses serve more than 90,955 students studying for degrees offered by six colleges/schools. Southern New Hampshire University also offers a three-year honors program.  Southern New Hampshire University is recognized among the fastest-growing institutions of higher learning due to its highly successful distance learning programs.    

Degree: MS in Project Management and Operations – 15 months

Accreditation: PMI REP 

9. Lasell College

lasell college

Lasell College’s Graduate and Professional Studies offers an MS in Project Management degree program that can be completed online. Lasell College’s Project Management graduate program can be completed in as little as one year. The coursework and curriculum align with the global standards set forth by PMI. Graduates are prepared to sit for the PMI, RMP or PMP certification examinations. Lasell College’s Project Management graduate program has received accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP). 

Lasell College was established in 1851. The school’s 50+acre campus is home to more than 2,000 students studying from the many degree offerings. Lasell College was initially chartered as an all women’s seminary. Lasell College has also been recognized among the ‘best value’ schools.  US News recognizes Lasell College as one of only five universities with every graduate having participated in a relevant internship.   

Degree: MS in Project Management – 12 months

10. College of St Scholastica

college st scholastica

The College of St Scholastica offers an MS in Project Management degree program that is available entirely online. The College of St Scholastica is a Project Management Institute (PMI) is recognized as a REP — a PMI Registered Education Provider. CSS’s Project management degree program requires the completion of 37 credit units by following a GAC accredited curriculum. 

The College of St Scholastica is a private institution of higher learning that was established in 1912. The school was founded by the Benedictine Sisters and remains affiliated with the Roman Catholic Order of Saint Benedict Church.  The College of St Scholastica operates a main campus in Duluth in addition to Brainerd, Rochester, St. Paul and St. Cloud, MN. Additionally, CSS operates a satellite facility in Phoenix, as well as a virtual campus.    

Degree: MS in Project Management  – less than 2 years

Accreditation: PMI REP 

Will I Make More with a Master’s in Project Management?

What makes a Masters in Project Management worth it is the increase in salary that comes along with the degree. Is a Master’s degree in Project Management worth it for everybody? The answer to that question will depend on the individual. Nevertheless, with accelerated courses available, it can make a lot of sense to go ahead and fulfill the requirements to receive a Master’s degree in Project Management, if possible.

According to PayScale, depending on the type of project management position involved, someone with an MS in Project Management can earn, on average, anywhere from $80k to $111k. By contrast, the same site shows the salary averages, depending on the position, for those with a BS in Project Management as $63k to $79k.

If an applicant thinks an extra $20,000 makes a difference, then they can answer the question of is a Masters degree in Project Management worth it.

Is a Project Management Certification Worth It?

The best project management certification will help a project manager stand out from the crowd, obtain particular types of jobs, and show they’re current on changes and developments in the project management field. While certification isn’t always necessary, it can help a great deal even when it’s not needed for a path of employment.

What Is a project manager certification? For those wondering what is a project manager certification, it’s best to describe them as a document pointing out that a project manager has a specialized education or went through training to earn a particular skill. The best project management training will often include some form of certification.

However, there are several project management certifications out there. The best project management certification is the one that can advance someone’s career or increase their opportunities.

Is CAPM certification the best project management certification? CAPM certification is often brought up first when talking about the best project management certification to have. Project managers or potential project managers can sign up for the CAPM certification program after 1,500 hours of experience or after taking 23 hours of educational courses.

The CAPM certification shows that a project manager already has a certain level of experience and education. This helps them stand out from other applicants who may lack those things or proof of those things in the form of CAPM certification.

Is PMP certification the best project management certification? PMP certification comes after a test that covers the field of project management. Many people wonder is the PMP exam hard. In truth, the test does represent a challenge for many. But, is the PMP exam hard or does it just require some extra effort from applicants? The PMP exam questions, based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge can seem hard.

Still, applicants will have access to the study materials after they pay the PMP certification cost. The PMP exam questions may not seem to difficult for those who took their project management career seriously up to that point. Consider that even before paying the PMP certification cost, applicants will have to accrue 7,500 hours of project management experience or 35 hours of education.

Other types of certifications exist as well. Project managers will have to choose the right ones for their needs.

What Kinds of Jobs Can I Get with a Master’s in Project Management?

Masters in Project Management jobs tend to represent an upgrade to the same available job titles. Project management exists in practically every industry, so there’s a lot of unique job descriptions for a project manager between industry types.

In most cases, the Masters in Project Management jobs tend to represent senior management positions in those industries. Instead of being part of a team, a Master’s can allow someone to manage the team and create management plans for their respective businesses.

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