How do I get an Online Project Management Certificate?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 18 February 2018
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There are four items required to get an online project management certificate: meet the application criteria, select the appropriate school, pay the tuition, and complete the coursework. An online project management certificate is widely available from a broad range of universities, community colleges, and online schools. A project management certificate is a recognized program offered through the Project Management Institute® (PMI®). Although there are other institutes that offer a certificate in project management, the PMI® program is the industry standard.

To gain acceptance into an online project management certificate program, there are specific application criteria that must be met. Either applicants must have a four-year degree from a recognized university or college and two years' project management experience, or six years' project management experience. The experience must be verifiable, with letters and project plans accepted as evidence. The candidate must have been functioning as the project manager in order for the experience to qualify.

When selecting a school for an online project management certificate, there are several options. Many traditional universities and colleges have created online schools that function within their institutions. These schools provide course materials, assignments, access to instructors, and examinations using the Internet. There are also online schools, which are not affiliated with any tradition schools, that offer online project management certificate programs. Make sure that the school has been accredited by the PMI® before paying your tuition fees.


Online programs often have a different payment model than a traditional degree program. Students may pay for each course in the certificate on a course-by-course basis. This option helps students manage their cash flow and reduces the need for student loans. Talk with the admissions counselor about this payment option, as it is usually available from both traditional and online schools.

The coursework in an online project management certificate includes project management techniques, theory, and case studies. There is a significant amount of reading in this program, and many students find that the volume of work is quite heavy. Think about taking a speed-reading course before starting this program to reduce the time required to cover the material.

The PMI® has a fixed program curriculum, which includes two major examinations. Many students invest in the exam preparation courses that are part of the online project management certificate program. These courses often help students prepare for these notoriously difficult exams.

Upon successful completion of this program, students are awarded the Project Management Professional® (PMP®) designation. This internationally recognized certification provides assurance to potential employers of the education and experience gained during the program.



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