With few online PhD in project management programs available, choosing a reputable one can be challenging. It is important to look for schools and programs with accreditation, rankings, and a solid curriculum that leads to a PhD in project management online. Thankfully, our research team found a list of reputable programs suited for individuals seeking online PhD in project management or closely related degrees. Our methodology is listed below.
Top 20 PhD in Project Management Online Methodology
We reviewed 39 colleges and universities listed by the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator that offered PhD in project management online degree (or closely related) programs. We narrowed our original pool of schools to the 20 top online PhD in project management programs by applying the following criteria: accreditation by a reputable governing body, online pathways to the PhD in project management online degree, institution rankings with at least one major publication like U.S. News and World Report. We then listed the top 20 PhD in project management online programs according to raw affordability.
Below are the results of our list of top 20 online PhD in project management programs of 2020.
#20 – California Southern University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $32,700
While online DBA in project management degree programs are limited, California Southern University offers a 60-credit program with an option to specialize in project management. Courses are delivered online and taught by California Southern’s esteemed faculty. These courses cover topics such as project management concepts and essentials, project management, integration, project management organization, and project management strategic design. The DBA in project management online degree is designed for working professionals with a bachelor’s and master’s degree from an appropriately accredited post-secondary institution. The school is recognized by U.S. News and World Report and is fully accredited.
#19 – Pace University
Online Doctor of Professional Studies in Business
New York, New York
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $31,462
Similar to PhD project management online degree programs, an online DPS in business offers like-minded classes and covers related topics. Pace University’s online DPS degree is designed for working professionals who wish to enhance their research skills and business knowledge without interrupting their careers. Coursework is offered online and includes study in management. In fact, students may earn a management concentration by taking additional classes online. Courses cover topics like competitive business strategy, global business strategy and operations, organization communication, organization development, and research methods in management. Pace ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 202nd best national university.
#18 – Northcentral University
Online DBA in Project Management
San Diego, California
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,917
Northcentral University offers one of the few online DBA in project management programs on our list. Nationally recognized as a Registered Education Provider at the Global Provider Enrollment Level by Project Management Institute (PMI), Northcentral’s DBA is a 48-credit program that consists of 16 courses. The DBA takes 39 months to complete online. Online courses cover topics in project management like developing high performing teams in a project management environment, enterprise project management, managerial budgets and project management, project monitoring and control, and project risk management. To apply to the program, you must have completed a minimum of 36 credit hours of graduate institution work and maintained a 3.0 GPA.
#17 – Temple University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,378
Temple University offers a DBA ideally designed for those interested in a PhD project management online. Through the Fox School of Business, executive-level professionals may earn an online DBA while focusing their studies on project management related classes. The online DBA is open to professionals with ten to fifteen years of managerial experience. Students must also hold an MBA from an accredited institution. Classes cover a variety of business and management topics such as innovation and entrepreneurship in the new economy, integrative perspectives on business knowledge, and understanding the firm through management and organizational theory. Temple is a top-ranked national institution. In fact, Temple ranks #104 in best national universities and #99 in best value schools.
#16 – Creighton University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,376
Creighton University’s online DBA in project management program offers many benefits. First of all, the program is AACSB-accredited and recognized as one of the best online DBA programs in the country. Students work under the mentorship of research-active faculty to complete their own dissertation research. Classes are delivered online and provide students with the freedom to work while earning their DBA. Classes cover a variety of business and management topics like applied organizational behavior and human resource management research, applied strategy research, business ethics, design and method replication, and survey of innovative business pedagogy. In addition to accreditation, Creighton offers rankings with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Creighton’s most recent rankings include #104 in best national universities.
#15 – Regent University
Online PhD in Organizational Leadership
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,179
Regent University offers an alternative doctoral degree for those seeking PhD in project management online programs. The online PhD in organizational leadership consists of 60 credits and offers five different concentrations. The organizational leadership concentration offers courses that cover project management studies. These courses include topics like followership, organizational communication, organizational culture and climate, and organizational spirituality. Admission to the doctoral program requires applicants hold a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Regent ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, Regent ranks #281 in best national universities. The school offers accreditation, rankings, and affordability, making it a top choice for those seeking online PhD in project management degrees.
#14 – George Fox University
Online DBA in Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,504
George Fox University is home to one of the few online DBA in project management programs. The online DBA in management emphasizes the development of advanced knowledge in various areas of management including human resources development, organizational theory and behavior, project management, and strategic management. Admission to the program requires applicants hold a bachelor’s and master’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0. While most of the program is online, students should expect to visit the Newberg, Oregon campus twice a year during the first three years of the program for short residency classes. U.S. News and World Report ranks George Fox #246 in best national universities and #80 in top performers on social mobility.
#13 – City University of Seattle
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,450
City University of Seattle offers a unique online DBA that allows students to fully customize a concentration. In fact, an option to earn an online DBA in project management exists due to the specialized study concentration. To customize the online DBA, students select appropriate classes that highlight their interest and meet career goals. For example, students pursuing project management might choose courses in organizational management and project planning. Even the business administration core classes include specialized courses in project management. These courses include financial decision-making, organizational development theories and trends, organizational identity and culture, and technology implementation and change movement. In addition to accreditation, City University of Seattle has received recognition from U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the West.
#12 – Jacksonville University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,274
Recognized as the only AACSB-accredited DBA program in Northeast Florida, Jacksonville University’s online DBA might appeal to those seeking PhD project management online program options. The online DBA at Jacksonville University does not require the GRE or GMAT for admission and takes a minimum of three years to complete. While classes are delivered online, some courses require campus visits and are delivered in a hybrid format. During the first phase of the program or first two years, students complete a series of core courses. After the completion of the first phase, students take a comprehensive exam, oral presentation, and dissertation proposal. The final phase of the DBA program requires students focus on their dissertation. Jacksonville University ranks #28 in best regional universities in the South and #38 in best value schools.
#11 – Colorado Technical University
Online Doctor of Management in Project Management
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,766
For individuals seeking PhD project management online programs, the online Doctor of Management in Project Management at Colorado Technical University is accredited and ranked. The program is entirely online, consists of 100 credits, and offers multiple start dates throughout the year. Also, students move through the program at a quick and rigorous pace so that they may earn their doctorate in just three years. Since the program’s focus is project management, classes emphasize topics in the discipline. These courses cover topics like advanced career strategies for the scholar-practitioner, life-cycle and performance management, portfolio and program management, risk and quality management, and special topics in project management. According to U.S. News and World Report, Colorado Tech is recognized among the top national universities in the country.
#10 – Baker College
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,610
An online DBA is one alternative to a PhD in project management online degree program. Baker College offers an online DBA that covers various business and management topics, such as project management and organizational leadership. Students enrolled in the DBA program complete a total of 60 credit hours, which includes the dissertation proposal and dissertation defense. Courses are delivered online and taught by Baker College’s experienced faculty. These courses cover topics like corporate and personal ethics, doctoral writing and literature review, introduction to research methods and designs, knowledge management and information systems, leading in the 21st century organizations, and managing in a world-wide context. While a private institution, Baker College offers rankings and accreditation. In fact, Baker College has received multiple rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report.
#9 – Hampton University
Online PhD in Business Administration
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,916
Hampton University offers a business administration doctoral degree for those seeking PhD in project management online programs. In fact, coursework covers many of the topics found in project management graduate programs. Students may tailor the broader business administration degree by taking electives that meet career goals. Some of the online courses include advanced topics in research, behavioral research methods, organizational behavior, organization theory and practice, strategy and business policy, and teaching methodology. While the courses are delivered online, two summer residencies that run four weeks are required. To successfully apply to the program, you must hold a master’s degree from an approved program and have received at least a 400 GMAT score. Hampton University ranks #218 in best national universities, according to U.S. News and World Report.
#8 – Bellevue University
Online PhD in Human Capital Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,025
Bellevue University’s human capital management PhD is a doctoral degree designed for working individuals who might be seeking online PhD in project management programs. Curriculum focuses on leadership, management, and organizational behavior. Classes cover topics like economics of human capital valuation, human learning and decision making, introduction to human capital modeling and research, research in organizations, and seminar in leadership theory. The school and program are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Also, Bellevue ranks with U.S. News as a best regional university in the Midwest.
#7 – Grand Canyon University
Online DBA in Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,760
Grand Canyon University’s online DBA in project management emphasizes professional management within organizations and businesses. GCU, a private and faith-based institution, encourages study through the lens of a Christian worldview. However, the online DBA covers similar topics as highly ranked secular programs. The courses are delivered online and taught by GCU’s esteemed faculty. These courses cover topics like economics for business decisions, emerging issues in financial management, management theory in a global economy, the sustainable future, and using business analytics for competitive advantage. Grand Canyon University has received rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks GCU #293-#381 in best national universities.
#6 – Wilmington University
New Castle, Delaware
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,636
One alternative to a PhD project management online degree is an online DBA like the one offered at Wilmington University. This leadership doctoral degree is IACBE-accredited and available 100 percent online. The program takes as little as three years to complete and consists of 54 total credits. Courses cover topics such as advanced organizational behavior, business intelligence, ethics in business and management, executive decision-making, managing innovation and change, organizational strategy and policy, and seminar on research in management. There are several admission requirements that must be met for a successful application. These include three letters of recommendation, a carefully written statement of goals and objectives, a current resumé, and official transcripts. Wilmington ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university and offers one of the most affordable online PhD programs on our list.
#5 – University of Maryland Global Campus
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,514
University of Maryland Global Campus offers an alternative to the PhD in project management online degree program. With an online DBA from University of Maryland, students become equipped to work in all areas of business and management, including project management. The online DBA is open to executive-level working professionals with business and management experience. Courses are delivered online and the program requires a total of 48 credits. Courses include topics like data analytics in practice, designing evidence-based management solutions, evidence-based research methods, interpreting and translating management theory in practice, and research as a tool for management decision making. University of Maryland ranks #64 in best national universities and #144 in best value schools by U.S. News and World Report.
#4 – Saint Leo University
Saint Leo, Florida
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,498
Individuals seeking PhD in project management online programs might also consider the versatile online DBA such as the one offered by Saint Leo University. This fully accredited and online degree provides graduates with skills in research, critical analysis, and business application. The program is highly flexible offering courses entirely online. Some of the courses offered include analytics for decision making, global leadership and ethics, global perspectives in human resource, organizational behavior and social responsibility, research methods and quantitative research foundation, and strategic management in global organizations. Saint Leo is ranked and accredited. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #25 in best regional universities in the South and #5 in best value institutions.
#3 – Liberty University
Online DBA in Project Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,333
Instead of an PhD project management online, Liberty University offers an online DBA in project management. This versatile and entirely online doctoral degree consists of 60 credit hours and takes three years on average to earn. Courses run eight weeks in length and move at a rigorous pace. Project management courses cover topics like global project management, human resource development, operations management, and quality management and productivity. To apply to the program, you’ll need official transcripts, and proof of English proficiency. Also, applicants must hold a master’s degree in business or business-related discipline and a 3.0 GPA. In addition to accreditation, Liberty has received rankings with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, Liberty ranks #293-#381 in best national universities.
#2 – Atlantic International University
Online PhD in Project Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,000
Atlantic International University offers an online PhD in project management designed for working professionals. AIU’s online doctorate is one of the few PhD in project management programs available that is both accredited and affordable. Courses are delivered online and taught by AIU’s faculty. These courses cover topics in business, leadership, and project management. Some of the courses include communications management, ethics, information technology management, organizational theory, project feasibility and selection, project law, project management leadership, project procurement, and risk management. AIU is a fully accredited institution by the U.K. Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges, and Universities (ASIC).
#1 – Trident University International
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,120
Trident University International offers an online DBA in project management degree program that can be completed 100 percent online. Courses are delivered online and the program culminates in an applied doctoral study project. Enrolled doctoral students take 36-48 semester credit hours of core courses. Each course is worth four semester credit hours. These courses cover a variety of business topics, including applied statistics for research in business and management and technology and business process improvement. Trident ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university. Also, the online DBA ranks as our most affordable online doctoral program for those seeking project management degrees.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do with an PhD project management online degree?
With an online PhD in project management, you will be qualified to work in various leadership roles within organizations and businesses. In fact, graduates of accredited online PhD in project management programs are eligible to oversee all sizes of projects. The following include possible career options for project managers:
Architecture project managers: Architecture project managers oversee design projects within architectural firms. These professionals ensure materials and methods uphold safety and structural standards and meet regulations. Individuals with advanced project management degrees are eligible to lead sizable architecture teams or manage their own firms.
Engineering project managers: An engineering project manager holds an advanced project management and/or engineering degree with at least seven years of experience. They are responsible for leading engineering teams and adhering to project schedules. They also ensure safety standards are met.
Marketing project managers: A marketing project manager oversees the development and implementation of strategic marketing campaigns. They work with clients and manage tight deadlines, ensuring client relations are favorable.
Software development project managers: Software development project managers are highly trained professionals that facilitate the development and implementation of new software programs. They typically lead a team of programmers and are well-versed in multiple programming languages.
How long does it take to earn an online PhD in project management?
A traditional PhD program takes anywhere between four and six years to complete. Online programs fall somewhere in between the average, but generally take four to five years to complete. However, several factors impact completion time.
Enrollment status impacts completion time. What is enrollment status? Whether you are enrolled on a part-time or full-time basis. As expected, when enrolled full-time, students take heavier course loads than part-time students. Full-time students usually complete program requirements quicker than part-time students. This means a full-time student may earn their degree faster than part-time students. The average completion time for a full-time student enrolled in an online PhD in project management is four to six years. The average completion time for a part-time student enrolled in the same type of program is five to seven years.
While full-time enrollment shortens completion time, full-time programs require more time and effort. On the flipside, part-time programs offer flexibility. Part-time programs are beneficial to students who work and have outside obligations, such as family responsibilities.
While there are benefits to both enrollment types, it is important to determine your needs before choosing an online program and embarking on your online PhD in project management journey.
What is the job outlook for individuals with an PhD in project management online?
Employment of management occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is projected to grow seven percent through 2028. This growth rate will result in over 700,000 new jobs. Project management jobs, a niche of the management sector, will also see an increase in new jobs.
According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), an internationally recognized certification organization, the field will see a job growth of 33 percent through 2027. Not all of these jobs will be created in the United States, but the overall job outlook will be favorable within the next seven to eight years.
Recent college graduates with an online PhD in project management should see favorable job prospects. In fact, project managers with advanced education will be needed to fill positions in academic institutions as well as private businesses and corporations. Employment growth for project managers and other management positions is expected to be driven by the creation of new organizations and businesses. Also, growth is anticipated due to the expansion of existing organizations. As businesses grow and expand their services, project managers will be needed to lead new projects and oversee existing ones. Individuals with advanced degrees, such as the online PhD in project management, should see plentiful job prospects.
Are there professional organizations for individuals with an online PhD in project management to join?
Students earning an online PhD in project management have access to joining professional organizations. These organizations benefit students by providing access to opportunities and resources. Opportunities may include additional training programs, seminars, or access to certifications. Below are the most popular and reputable professional organizations for project management students.
American Management Association:
The American Management Association or AMA offers access to publications, webinars, and webcasts. Students may visit hundreds of online training seminars within twenty-four areas of business management, including project management. AMA also offers access to project management courses put out by the association. These courses cover both basic and advanced concepts in project management.
International Project Management Association:
The International Project Management Association is joined by sixty membership countries. The IPMA hosts events for students and project management professionals, such as training courses and certification opportunities. One of the biggest benefits of joining the IPMA is access to ongoing education opportunities.
Project Management Institute:
One of the most well-known project management organizations is the Project Management Institute or PMI. PMI offers access to professional development opportunities and plentiful resources. Only members of PMI gain access to these resources and development opportunities. Members may also take online courses and seminars through PMI. In addition to the internationally recognized certification program opportunities, PMI offers access to a global job board that advertises employment openings.
What classes will I have to take for an PhD in project management online degree?
Online PhD in project management programs offer the same courses as traditional, on-campus doctoral project management programs. Coursework is designed to build skills and knowledge in project and strategic management while improving research and writing skills.
According to the programs on our list, courses cover a wide range of topics. However, courses build on a similar business and management acumen.
Some of the courses seen on PhD in project management online programs include management principles and practice, management theory, organizational leadership, project management, qualitative research methods, and strategic thinking for decision-making. Many of these courses are taught during the first two years of the doctoral program. Advanced courses build on the foundation set in the formative years. Once the foundation courses have been completed, students begin work on their research projects or thesis.
Some project management doctoral degree programs offer concentration opportunities. Degree specializations allow students to tailor their courses to align with career goals. Coursework emphasizes specific areas of project management like organizational performance or risk management. Some of the most common project management specializations include life-cycle and performance management, program and portfolio management, project-based strategic leadership, and risk and quality management. These specializations allow students to pad their resumé with niche knowledge and skills.
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