Top 10 PhD in Project Management Online Degree Programs 2024

Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson / Reading Level: Grade 10 / First Covered: January 2020

In this ranking, we profile the top 10 PhD in project management online programs. With few online doctorate in project management programs available, choosing a reputable one can be challenging. It is important to look for schools and programs with:

  • accreditation
  • rankings
  • solid curriculum

These important points will lead to a project management PhD online. If project management doesn’t feel like a good fit check out our online phd in organizational leadership degrees. Our research team found a list of reputable programs. They are suited for those seeking online doctorate in project management or closely related degrees. Our methodology is explained below.

Featured Programs

Top 10 PhD in Project Management Degree Online Methodology

We reviewed 39 colleges and universities listed by the NCES College Navigator. These schools offer PhD in project management online degree (or closely related) programs. We narrowed our original pool of schools to the 10 top online programs by applying the following criteria:

  • accreditation by a reputable governing body
  • online pathways to the project management online PhD
  • institution rankings with at least one major publication like U.S. News and World Report

Below are the results of our list of top 10 online PhD in project management programs.

#10 – Jacksonville University

Online DBA

Jacksonville, Florida

Website

Graduation Tuition: $16,293

Jacksonville University has an online DBA. It is recognized as the only AACSB-accredited DBA program in Northeast Florida. It might appeal to those seeking project management program PhD online options. Jacksonville University does not require the GRE or GMAT for admission. It 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 the first two years, students complete a series of core courses. After the completion of the first phase, students take a:

  • comprehensive exam
  • oral presentation
  • dissertation proposal

The final phase of the DBA program requires students to focus on their dissertation. Jacksonville University ranks #28 among the best regional universities in the South and #36 in best value schools.

Pros:

  • Top regional university
  • Smaller class sizes
  • More diverse

Cons:

  • Limited tech support

#9 – Colorado Technical University

Online Doctor of Management in Project Management

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Website

Graduation Tuition: $13,937

Colorado Tech has a doctorate in project management program. The online Doctor of Management in Project Management is accredited and ranked. The program is offered entirely online. It consists of 100 credits and offers multiple start dates throughout the year. Also, students move through the program at a quick and rigorous pace. They may earn their doctorate in three years. The program’s focus is project management, and 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 project management
  • risk and quality management
  • 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.

Pros:

  • Nationally ranked graduate business programs
  • 24/7 tech support

Cons:

  • Low graduation rate
  • Larger class sizes

#8 – Baker College

Online DBA

Flint, Michigan

Website

Graduate Tuition: $12,510

An online DBA is one alternative to a doctorate in project management program online. Baker College offers an online DBA that covers various business and management topics, such as:

  • project management
  • organizational leadership

Students complete a total of 60 credit hours. This 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 the 21st-century organizations
  • managing in a worldwide 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.

Pros:

  • Small class sizes
  • Nationally ranked regional university

Cons:

  • Low graduation rate
  • Less diverse

#7 – Hampton University

Online PhD in Business Administration

Hampton, Virginia

Website

Graduate Tuition: $13,099

Hampton University offers a DBA for those seeking online doctorate in project management programs. Coursework covers many of the topics found in project management graduate programs. Students may tailor the broader business administration degree. This means 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
  • teaching methodology

The courses are delivered online, but 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 #280 among best national universities, according to U.S. News.

Pros:

  • Small class sizes
  • Top HBCU

Cons:

  • More competitive
  • Significant time on campus required

#6 – Bellevue University

Online PhD in Human Capital Management

Bellevue, Nebraska

Website

Graduate Tuition: $11,340

Bellevue University’s offers a human capital management PhD. It is a doctoral degree designed for working individuals who are seeking online doctorate 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
  • 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.

Pros:

  • More diverse
  • Nationally ranked regional university

Cons:

  • Low graduation rate

#5 – Grand Canyon University

Online DBA in Management

Phoenix, Arizona

Website

Graduate Tuition: $10,655

Grand Canyon University has an online DBA in project management program. It 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
  • 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 #395-#435 among the best national universities.

Pros:

  • More diverse
  • Top-rated national university
  • Affordability

Cons:

  • Lower graduation rate

#4 – Wilmington University

Online DBA

New Castle, Delaware

Website

Graduate Tuition: $9,216

Wilmington University offers an alternative to a doctorate in project management degree online. It is an online DBA. 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
  • a 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
  • 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.

Pros:

  • IACBE-accredited program
  • Small class sizes

Cons:

  • Low graduation rate

#3 – University of Maryland Global Campus

Online DBA

Adelphi, Maryland

Website

Graduate Tuition: $9,252


University of Maryland Global Campus offers an alternative to the online doctorate in project management program. With the DBA from the University of Maryland, students become equipped to work in all areas of business and management. This includes 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
  • research as a tool for management decision-making

The University of Maryland ranks #55-58 among the best public schools by U.S. News and World Report.

Pros:

  • More diverse
  • Top-ranked public school
  • Affordability

Cons:

  • Very low graduation rate

#2 – Saint Leo University

Online DBA

Saint Leo, Florida

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,436

Individuals seeking doctorate 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
  • 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
  • strategic management in global organizations

Saint Leo is ranked and accredited. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #25 in the best regional universities in the South and #5 in best value institutions.

Pros:

  • Nationally ranked online business programs
  • 24/7 tech support

Cons:

  • Larger class sizes

#1 – Liberty University

Online DBA in Project Management

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Graduate Tuition: $7,893

Instead of a doctorate in 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
  • 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 #395-435 in best national universities.

Pros:

  • 99% acceptance rate
  • Nationally ranked online graduate business programs

Cons:

  • Less diverse
  • Limited tech support

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a doctorate project management degree?

With an online doctorate in project management, you will be qualified to work in various leadership roles. Graduates of these 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. They ensure materials and methods uphold safety and structural standards and meet regulations. Those with advanced project management degrees are ready to lead architecture teams or manage their own firms.

Engineering project managers:

Engineering project managers hold advanced project management and/or engineering degrees. They must have 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. They facilitate the development and implementation of new software programs. They lead teams of programmers and are well-versed in multiple programming languages.

How long does it take to earn an online project management PhD?

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 the 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 flip side, 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 doctorate in project management journey.

What is the job outlook for individuals with a project management online PhD?

Employment of management occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is projected to grow faster than average through 2032. This growth rate will result in over 1.1 million jobs each year. 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 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 doctorate 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.

CVO Staff

Sources

  • National Center for Education Statistics
  • PayScale.com
  • Project Management Institute
  • US Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • US News & World Report

This concludes our list of top 10 PhD project management online programs.