Project management

Best Online PhD in Project Management | ZDNet

Project managers plan, develop, and oversee a project’s personnel, budgets, schedules, and scope. By creating goals, maintaining communication, and defining individual responsibilities, project managers help optimize an organization’s performance and results.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that more than 900,000 new positions in management positions will be added from 2020 to 2030. Project management roles like construction manager and computer and information systems manager are expected to see a 11% growth over the same period, which is faster. than the national average growth rate for all occupations at 7%.

Finding the right PhD in Project Management is important for achieving your personal and professional goals. The information on this page can help you.

Best Online School for PhD in Project Management: Quick Facts


Program statistics

How much?

North Central University

San Diego, California

  • DBA in project management
  • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
  • Graduation rate: 25%
  • Students receive personalized mentoring

Per credit: $1,139

Registration fees: $25

The Best Online PhD in Project Management

ZDNet’s ranking methodology integrates data from federal sources and information from industry experts to provide an objective assessment of project management programs. ZDNet’s proprietary formula evaluates programmatic and career outcomes to determine the best online degrees.

Unless otherwise specified, data are taken from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and the College Scorecard.

North Central University

San Diego, California

About the program: The Project Management Specialization of NCU’s Doctor of Business Administration consists of 48 credit hours, during which students benefit from in-depth one-on-one mentoring.

  • Acceptance rate: Not accessible to the public
  • Graduation rate: 25%
  • Avg. annual net price: Not accessible to the public
  • Years of completion: three to four years
  • GRE/GMAT: N / A
  • Minimum MPC: 3.0
  • Registration periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

What to expect in an online PhD program in project management

PhDs in project management come in different formats. Doctoral programs in engineering, information technology, and education may have specialization options in project management.

A Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in Project Management emphasizes evaluating, strategizing, and executing projects in practical business settings, while a Ph.D. in Project Management focuses on research alongside the principles, tools, and theories of project performance and organizational effectiveness.

Project management doctorates integrate both coursework and research to prepare students for comprehensive exams and a thesis proposal. Graduate students will identify a specific project management problem or challenge to focus on when writing their dissertation.

A PhD in Project Management requires dedication, hard work, and self-motivation. Active engagement with classmates and faculty will help students thrive in their doctoral program.

PhD in Project Management

Courses in a doctorate in project management vary by institution, but some core classes remain consistent across programs. Common courses include project risk management, legal aspects of project management, cost accounting for project managers, and improving individual and team performance.

Project risk management

Courses in project risk management cover the theories and application of decision making in project management. Topics include risk identification, assessment and monitoring; Risk analysis; and project planning, preparation and risk response.

Analytical and financial accounting in project management

This course trains students to plan and manage budgets. Topics include cost estimating, project performance evaluation, cost control, and management and contingency reserves.

Legal aspects of project management

By exploring the ethical and legal challenges faced by project managers, students in this class learn their responsibilities in different types of projects. Topics include: contracts and procurement; health, safety and legal implications; labor law in project contexts; and data protection and privacy.

Optimization of individual and collective performance

Individual and team performance optimization courses focus on the theories and techniques used to work with people and processes. Topics include optimization models for decision making, planning and scheduling, prioritization and delegation, and objective evaluation.

Project Management Education Levels

Project management undergraduate degrees introduce you to the fundamentals of the field to prepare you for entry-level and intermediate-level project management roles. Graduate programs include advanced courses to increase your overall knowledge and skills while developing expertise in specific aspects of project management.

Bachelor in Project Management

  • Length: Four years
  • Cost: $12,000 – $12,000
  • Post-Graduation Careers: Site manager, project coordinator, project manager

A bachelor’s degree in project management includes four years of general education, majors, and electives. Courses in accounting and finance accompany courses on project performance and quality assurance, risk and change management, and business analysis.

Project management degrees integrate projects into coursework to give students hands-on experience and hone their skills in strategy, communication, and time management. A culminating requirement often includes a portfolio and a project during which students incorporate everything they have learned throughout the course of study.

Graduate Certificate in Project Management

  • Length: One year or less
  • Cost: $2,000 to $5,000
  • Post-Graduation Careers: Project Management Consultant, Senior Project Manager, Project Coordinator

Graduate certificates in project management build on existing knowledge to prepare students for leadership roles. This is true for newbie project managers and people with no previous project management experience.

Many graduate certificates in project management focus on specific industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and information technology. Courses for a graduate certificate in project management include risk management, project performance measurement, and project planning and control.

Master in Project Management

  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: $8,000-$45,000
  • Post-Graduation Careers: Senior Project Manager, Program Manager, Project Management Consultant

A master’s degree in project management spans two years. Students take courses in topics such as financial management and risk assessment while developing strategic and leadership skills. Project-based learning accompanies lectures and research in anticipation of a capstone requirement.

As part of a Masters in Project Management, learners may have the opportunity to complete a specialization in an area such as information technology, healthcare, or supply chain management.

PhD in Project Management

  • Length: three to five years
  • Cost: $18,000 to $90,000
  • Post-Graduation Careers: Senior Project Manager, Management Professor, Project Management Consultant

Doctoral programs in project management emphasize research, strategy, and theory to prepare students for advanced roles in project management. A doctorate in project management can be a specialty of a doctorate in business administration, another field, or a doctorate. program.

Courses in organizational leadership, business strategy and innovation and contemporary challenges in project management accompany the qualitative and quantitative research courses. After passing their doctoral exams, students defend and write a thesis.

In conclusion

Project managers lead both projects and people. A degree in project management emphasizes teamwork, communication, and leadership through coursework in risk analysis, accounting, and finance, as well as management theory and practice .

If you enjoy seeing projects through from start to finish, a project management degree might be right for you.

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