How Long Does it Take to Complete an Online Master’s in Project Management?

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Updated August 4, 2020

Earning a Master's in Project Management online is a great alternative for professionals who would like to work while they study. If you can't focus solely on your graduate education while you pursue an advanced degree, it's important to evaluate all of your options to find the best distance education program available. Only focus your efforts on enrolling in a program that's accredited by a body approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Studying via distance education portals for an Master's in Project Management may be the most convenient option, but it's not a program that will be completed overnight. It will take some time, along with good time management skills, to complete this huge project to advance your career. If you're mapping out a plan, here's how long you can expect to spend in school.

Related Resource: 10 Most Affordable Master's in Project Management Online 2018

Curriculum Requirements

Students should always search for programs that are accredited by professional associations in the field. For a project management degree, it's best to look at a directory of accredited programs through the Project Management Institute Accreditation Center. This is where students can find both on campus and web programs that have met curriculum requirements and passed the rigorous accreditation application process.

Students who choose a program that's accredited by PMI will have to complete at least 12 courses to complete their degree program. This adds up to a total of 36-course credits which consist of core requirements, specialization courses, and electives. How a student's schedule is organized will determine how long it will take to complete these required courses.

Enrollment Status

The time it takes you to get a degree is directly impacted by the enrollment status that you choose. If you have already completed over 60 credit hours to earn an undergraduate degree, earning 36 more doesn't sound all that difficult. Unfortunately, graduate students often have more on their plates to balance than undergrads whether it be family or a career.

Online programs offer a variety of different enrollment options to make studies convenient for their student body. Some students will enroll in their program as a part-time student, who completes 6 or fewer units per semester. Others will enroll as a three-fourths time student, who completes 9 credit units per semester. Full-time students must complete at least 12 credit hours per semester, but may be able to complete more if it is realistic.

Time to Degree

The final time to degree depends on the enrollment status throughout the life of the student's graduate student career. Graduate students who are in a traditional Master's in Project Management program and who are enrolled full-time could earn their degree in 3 semesters, which equates to 18 to 24 months. Part-time students may find themselves studying for 36 to 48 months if they earn a passing grade one each course the first time around.

Time-to-degree completion rates are gathered by organizations like the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Amazingly, there are some common factors that are linked to increased time to degree. For graduate students, the difficulty in getting required courses and need for employment can affect the duration of the program. Students who would like to earn an advanced education in project management are encouraged to set out a detailed yet realistic plan so that they don't have delays while earning their Master's in Project Management online.

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