17 Best Project Management PhD Programs In 2021 | Schools, Cost, Requirement

The success of every organization is dependent on adequate planning, organizing, implementation, evaluation, and managing of projects. Without these great structures in the system, there is bound to be a setback.

However, only highly intellectual leaders who have acquired a certain level of project management education and training can fit into these structures.

A recent study published by the Project Management Institute speculates that the demand for roles in project-oriented industries like finance and construction is projected to grow by 33% over the next seven years.

Also, according to the Project Management Institute, 87.7 million individuals will be needed to fill project-management-related positions around the world by 2027. This shows the demand for experienced and talented project managers is growing drastically.

If you have a desire for leadership and have completed a master’s degree in your current field, then, you can enroll in a doctorate in project management and attain your desired leadership role.

You don’t need to bother about how to get started, we have made the process easier for you. we will link you with the top 17 accredited project management PhD Programs in this article.

You can select the option that best fits your demand. The table below will help you navigate the options.

What Is Project Management?

Project management may be defined as the application of knowledge, skills, tools, ideas, and techniques to project activities to meet a job requirement.

Basically, project management covers five major category including Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing.

Some people see the benefits of having a Project Manager on a team, while others don’t. Actually, managing tasks and communications cannot be executed effectively without applying project management strategies that is the major reason companies and industries seek for expertise in this field.

Why Acquire Phd In Project Management?

Project Management degrees are interdisciplinary studies that teach one how to plan and organize the resources of a company or organization, in order to achieve specific goals.

By enrolling in a PhD in project management, You will develop skills, mastered professional communication, a strong business sense, and leadership abilities that will enable you to deliver projects that are goal-oriented.

Additionally, these skills may also open up new work opportunities or increase potential salaries.

Other reason you should consider an advanced degree in project management are;

  • Demonstrate effective communication with a team and manage them properly
  • Establish standards for evaluating progress
  • Spot obstacles and manage risks
  • Development of a schedule that everyone can follow
  • Oversee a project from start to finish, including changing strategy to address any problems that arise

Before you take up any program, be sure you check for factors like accreditation, the course mode(online or on-campus) program duration, cost, and many other relevant factors.

How Long Does It Take To Earn A Doctorate In Project Management?

The length or duration of Ph.D. programs in project management varies according to schools. Most institutions may require around 60 credits and take full-time students two to three years to complete.

How Much Does It Cost To Get A PhD In Project Management?

The fees and tuition associated with earning a PhD in project management vary quite a bit. The factors that determine cost include the specific institution and number of programs you are studying in, as well as your country and length of study.

What Are The Best Project Management PhD Programs In 2021?

In order to be a great project manager, you have to upgrade yourself and stay current with what is happening in your company or organization. A lot of schools offer Project Management degrees that share the science of organizing the elements of a project but not all are worth it.

That is why we have carefully selected the following degree programs based on the quality and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.

We got our data from reliable sources, testimonials, interviews, and also by contacting individual schools. Below is the list of the schools, you will have to read further to get information on the various degree programs offered, tuition info, and program options for these schools.

#1 Liberty University

Liberty University(LU) is one of the top-ranked institutions to offer project management Phd program in the Country. It is a private, non-profit Christian research university founded in 1971.

The school features an online doctor of business administration with a project management specialization.

The online DBA program consists of 60 credit hours, which include core courses, specialization courses, and dissertation work. Coursework covers the following topics;

  • Operations management
  • Advanced theory and practice in project management
  • Global project management
  • Strategic supply chain management
  • Human resource development

At the end of your program at LU, you will develop the ability to successfully lead teams and also plan and complete projects in a variety of settings.

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#2 University of Maryland

If you are seeking to study at the comfort of your home, consider the University of Maryland. The school is accredited and offers an affordable online PhD in project management degree. It is a typical 48-credit hour program.

Courses are taught by experienced professors with real-world experience and doctorate degrees. Coursework covers topics in data analytics in practice, designing evidence-based management solutions, producing original management ideas, and research as a tool for management decision making. School tuition is $8,514.

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#3  Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University(SLU) offers a PhD in management through the school of business. If you are interested in business administration, you can earn an online DBA and take courses related to project management.

This program features courses in global leadership and ethics, history of applied management theory, management learning seminar, management of financial resources, and strategic management in global organizations. 

Furthermore, SLU offers accreditation and rankings with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school ranks #61 among the best regional universities in the South and #23 among best value schools according to U.S. News. Graduate tuition and fees are $9,630.

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#4 Grand Canyon University

Another reputable institution that offers project management PhD program is Grand Canyon University. Their program features a Doctor of Business Administration with an emphasis in management. There are about 60 credits course load, with classes delivered entirely online and in eight-week sessions.

Coursework covers the analysis of existing research, contemporary business law, designing organizational structures, emerging issues in financial management, and management theory in a global economy. Tuition and fees are $10,612.

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#5 Bellevue University

Bellevue University offers a program in human capital management. A degree specifically designed for students interested in a project management PhD. 

Coursework features basically topics in current human capital models related to leadership, management, and organizational performance within various business organizations. Classes cover 58 total credits including a Ph.D. dissertation. 

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#6 Walden University

If you are seeking an advanced position as a project manager, Walden University will make a great choice for you. The school is an online for-profit university that offers numerous online degree programs. It started in 1970.

Walden offers a PhD in business administration with a project management specialization. However, the program has been reviewed and earned approval from the Project Management Institute (PMI).

The program typically consists of 49 credit hours, which include nine hours of specialization courses and 12 hours of research courses.

Furthermore, coursework covers topics in business strategy, contemporary challenges in business, fiscal leadership in a global environment, strategic innovation in globally diverse markets, and systems perspectives in global organizations. 

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In addition to coursework, students must complete a scholarly research writing assignment and two four-day on-campus residencies. Tuition and fees is $13,555.

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#7 Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University features a doctor of management with a project management specialization. The program consists of 96 credits.

Coursework typically covers topics in Portfolio and project management, Risk and quality management, Life-cycle and performance management, Advanced career strategies, and organizational alignment.

In addition to coursework, a doctoral research project and dissertation are required for the successful completion of the online project management PhD program. Tuition and fees is $12,439.

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#8 Northcentral University

Northcentral University is accredited and approved to offer doctoral degrees. It is an online university established in 1996. The school features a PhD in business administration with a specialization in project management.

Basically, the online project management PhD consists of 60 credit hours and 20 courses and takes approximately 45 months to complete. 

Coursework in this program covers the following concepts;

  • Project management theory and practice
  • Human resources management
  • Managerial budgets
  • Global management
  • Risk management
  • Organizational leadership

Northwestern graduate tuition and fees is $17,781.

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#9  Capella University

Capella University is another reputable online school that offers a Ph.D. in business management with a project management specialization. The school started in 1993.

The online program features 11 core courses, a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation project.

Furthermore, coursework covers topics in business principles and practices, ethics and leadership in global environments, management theory creation, and strategic management and practice. School tuition and fees is $15,003.

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#10 Nova School of Business and Economics

Nova School of Business and Economics is located in Lisbon, Portugal(Nova SBE). The schools offer a four years Ph.D. program in Tropical Knowledge and Management.

Basically, a doctoral degree in Tropical Knowledge and Management at Nova provides a solid theoretical and methodological basis, for you to develop independent research and approach the best management paths to make a world of a difference in the tropics.

Nova SBE has a strong international network; The school collaborates with top African Universities such as Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) and also University of Cape Verde, University José Eduardo dos Santos and University of Pretoria.

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#11 University College London (UCL)

UCL is one of the top-ranked schools in London, United Kingdom. The school offers a doctoral degree in Construction and Project Management program with a duration of 3 years.

Coursework in this program covers topics in innovation, learning, risk management, leadership, marketing, and financing in projects and project-based enterprises.

The Construction and Project Management program at UCL is aimed to supply graduate PhD students with expertise in areas including economics and finance of the built environment, management of project enterprises, and project-based networks.

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#12  University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh offers an accredited online PhD in a project management program that covers the duration of 3years. The school ranks #20 position among the top universities in the country according to QS world rankings.

Basically the school offers training in research skills and design, research methodologies in business and management, and through supervised reading courses to business management students. This helps to develop their knowledge in specific areas of business and management research.

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#13 University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne offers a Doctoral Program in Management through the Department of Management and Marketing. The program is made up of a 2-year Master of Commerce coursework program followed by a 3-year PhD.

The program at the university combines rigorous research training that will provide you with the skills and knowledge to address meaningful problems facing consumers, employees, managers, organisations, industries and communities.

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#14 International University of Malaya-Wales

International University of Malaya-Wales (IUMW) is a dynamic partnership between the University of Malaya (Malaysia) and University of Wales (UK).

IUMW is committed to providing its students with quality and globally relevant education in Project Management with advanced knowledge, skills in management practices, and research works. 

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In the space of 3 years with MYR 37,050, you can obtain a PhD in project management from IUMW.

To qualify for admission, you must possess a Master’s Degree or its equivalent in the relevant field or you can apply directly to a PhD program if you hold a Bachelor’s Degree with a CGPA of 3.70 and above.

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#15 OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology

OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology is located in Switzerland. The school offers a degree in project management. It is a 2 – 6-year duration program and courses are delivered online.

Coursework covers the following key concepts;

  • Develop and practice innovative research methods.
  • Earn the highest quality of education.
  • Achieve the expertise to publish in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Become a successful doctoral researcher and educator.

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#16 George Fox University

George Fox University offers a doctor of business administration with a project management specialization accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

The program features key concept in human resources development, organizational theory and behavior, and strategic management. 

In addition, George Fox ranks as the 23rd best regional university in the West and the 17th best value school according to the U.S. News ranks. Tuition and fees is $15,504.

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#17 Bellevue University

Bellevue University offers one of the most affordable doctor of business administration with a project management specialization. Program is online and classes consist of 58 total credits, which also include a PhD dissertation.

Coursework features key concept in economics of human capital valuation issues, human learning and decision-making, and research in organizations. Tuition and fees is $10,335.

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What Can I Do With A PhD In Project Management?

Project management graduates are employed in a variety of job settings, including information technology industries, finance, and education.

Some project managers prefer to work on their own or take on contract work. However, PhD graduates usually assume the managerial positions in any sector they find themselves.

How Much Do People With PhD In Project Management Earn?

In the project management professions, individuals with a higher degree level usually earn more starting out than those with a lower-level degree.

Data from PayScale demonstrates that individuals with a PMP certificate earn around $20,000 more annually than those without a project management certificate.

On the contrary, project managers with less than tree years of experience earned $74,900 annually and those with 15-20 years of experience earned $120,000 annually.


Every task needs planning and control in other to deliver its end products. Companies, individuals, and industries need someone who can manage the project effectively and help them achieve their goals. If you would like to advance your career in project management, take advantage of the doctoral PM programs we’ve highlighted in this article.

Frequently Asked Questions On Project Management PhD

What are the roles a project manager?

The major responsibilities of a project manager are;
 planning, implementation, evaluation and managing.

Can I get a PhD in project management with a masters degree?

Most schools accept candidates with a bachelor degree with CGPA of 3.70 and above.

How long Is Project Management PhD program?

3 to 5 years.


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