MBA: Project Management Emphasis

Master of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Project Management

Offered By: Colangelo College of Business

Explore Technical, Human and Conceptual Skills Across Business Functions

Curriculum in Grand Canyon University’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an Emphasis in Project Management explores technical, human and conceptual skills across the functional areas of business. This MBA program can help you position yourself for possible future leadership positions by teaching you critical project management skills and integrating the principles of efficient business practices with traditional and Agile project management skills.

The curriculum for this project management MBA is aligned with the overall mission and vision of the college. The Colangelo College of Business believes in these three aspects of how business affects the greater good:

  • Business as a force for good: With a focus on conscious capitalism, business is done the right way.
  • Free markets and purpose for prosperity: Long-term success is gained when you have a focus on keeping stakeholders engaged and happy.
  • Business as ministry: Apply a Christian worldview to your business structure and take care of your team with a loving, caring and supporting nature. 

Earn Your MBA: Project Management Emphasis From GCU

You will be taught the core competencies that effective and ethical project managers need. There is an emphasis on the role of innovation and interpersonal skills in maximizing productivity and business processes. The MBA with a project management emphasis is an academic experience intended to allow MBA candidates to prepare for certification by the Project Management Institute (PMI)®. 

This project management MBA requires a total of 54 credits for graduation. MBA courses are offered online and on campus, including evening schedules.

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GCU recognizes that graduate students often need online degree programs that are flexible and convenient. You can earn your master’s degree from home with our digital platform. Connect with your professional peers and benefit from engaging discussions on the coursework and projects. Learn from anywhere at a time that is convenient for you. You may even be able to transfer from your previous college credits to meet some of the requirements of this online MBA: project management emphasis program. Most of the online classes are eight weeks in length. 

You can earn your MBA degree as a member of an evening cohort. Our evening cohorts generally meet for class lectures and discussions on one evening each week, leaving the rest of the week available for meeting your other obligations. Enjoy in-person professional networking opportunities as you connect with your peers in your evening cohort. MBA core courses are available on campus in the evening. All project management emphasis courses are only offered online.

Project Management Skills and Courses You Will Be Taught

MBA with a project management emphasis candidates will be taught foundational knowledge and skills in project management. This degree program encompasses a comprehensive survey of project management methodologies and processes and is designed to graduate competent business leaders. In this program, you will complete a course in Agile Project Management — a flexible, iterative approach for managing both projects and teams. This course is designed to prepare students for the Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM), Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master (DASSM) and Project Management Professional (PMP) exams through a Collaborative Learning Community (CLC) case study project. Other learning objectives of the MBA with a project management emphasis include the following:

  • Core concepts in traditional project management as endorsed by the PMBOK® Guide
  • Logistics of taking the CAPM and PMP certification exams
  • The role of innovation and leadership in strategic management
  • Microeconomics and macroeconomics, and the application of economic data in responsible decision-making

Work Toward Your PMI Certifications

This MBA: Project Management emphasis is designed to prepare you for these PMI certifications:

  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)®
  • Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP)®

Career Paths for MBA: Project Management Emphasis Graduates

By earning your project management MBA, you may have the opportunity to position yourself for possible career advancement. A master’s in project management can help prepare future business leaders to pursue opportunities across a diverse range of settings. Some examples of careers that may be related to this MBA degree include:

  • Project management specialist
  • Sales manager
  • General and operations manager
  • Human resources manager 


Median annual wage for project management specialists as of May 20221

GCU Offers ACBSP and Institutionally Accredited MBA Degrees

The MBA: Project Management Emphasis program has achieved approval from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). In addition, GCU is proud to be an accredited university that prioritizes quality academics. Furthermore, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has continually accredited GCU since 1968. The Colangelo College of Business shares the university’s commitment to upholding the principles and standards established by our accrediting bodies.

MBA: Project Management Emphasis FAQs

Prior to enrolling in a project management MBA program, you may wish to do some background research on the field and your potential career outcomes. The following FAQs and answers are intended to provide a starting point.

As of May 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates job growth for project management specialists to increase by 6% from 2022 through 2032, faster than average. This indicates that employers expect to hire about 54,700 new project management specialists during this time period.2

Nearly all businesses and companies have initiated projects at some point in time to increase revenue, minimize cost or boost efficiency. Project management MBA graduates can leverage their skills and knowledge to become an important asset to a business’s bottom line. According to the BLS, project management specialists have a median annual wage of $95,370 as of May 2022.1

Professionals with project management skills offer many benefits to all types of organizations. Businesses and other entities rely on project management specialists to:3

  • Reduce expenditures
  • Ensure that the finished project met the intended outcomes
  • Complete projects on time and within budget
  • Align projects with the organization’s overall business strategies, with an eye toward mitigating risk and preserving quality

In short, project management helps businesses please their clients and customers while managing resources efficiently and keeping the team focused on continual improvements.3

It can be difficult to secure a job with no experience. Most employers look for candidates with a working knowledge of best practices in the field. While a master's in project management is not always required, it communicates your dedication to your profession and can set you apart from other candidates. Holding skills such as organization, leadership and communication shows employers that you have what it takes to manage projects and people. In addition to demonstrating academic qualifications and soft skills, obtaining certifications in project management may help you in your future career.4 

Project managers are needed in a wide variety of industries. Although very common in the IT fields, project-oriented work is also common in the following fields:5

  • Construction and engineering
  • Finance
  • Insurance
  • Healthcare
  • Advertising
  • Energy

Within these and other fields, there are a range of job titles, including:

  • Chief executives
  • General, operational and sales managers
  • Facility managers
  • Transportation and distribution managers
  • Human resource managers
  • Construction managers
  • Postsecondary business teachers 

Examine foundational skills and prepare to sit for project management certifications through earning your project management emphasis MBA at GCU. Fill out the form on this page to learn more.

1 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), Project Management Specialists, as of May 2022, retrieved on Nov. 28, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 to 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers nationwide with varying levels of education and experience. It does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as project management specialists, nor does it reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country or a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries. Your employability will be determined by numerous factors over which GCU has no control, such as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, the graduate’s experience level, individual characteristics, skills, etc., against a pool of candidates.

2 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 to 2022 may be atypical compared to prior years. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2023, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Project Management Specialists, retrieved on Nov. 28, 2023. 

3 Aston, B. (2023, Nov. 22). Why is project management important? 12 simple reasons. The Digital Project Manager. Retrieved Nov. 28, 2023.

4 Palmquist, K., PHR. (2023, July 18). How to get a project management job with no experience. Indeed. Retrieved Nov. 28, 2023. 

5 Indeed. (2023, Feb. 2). 9 common project management industries to consider. Retrieved Nov. 28, 2023.

Total Credits: 54
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $655 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

54 credits
Degree Requirements:
54 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the College of Business. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the College of Business, key concepts of leadership, and an overview of how the science of organizational behavior contributes to effective leaders and managers.

Course Description

This course is designed for students who are preparing for more advanced coursework in business but who have not had accounting in undergraduate work. Topics covered include the principles and practices of financial accounting, including the fundamentals of revenue recognition, the components of the balance sheet, and financial statement analysis. ?The course explores accounting theories using publicly traded companies and case studies.

Course Description

This course is designed for individuals who are preparing for more advanced coursework in accounting and is designed for students who have not had finance in undergraduate work. Topics covered include financial analysis, financial planning, asset evaluation, capital structure, and working capital management.

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to prepare students in mathematical, probability, and statistical concepts for their upcoming studies in quantitative methods. The course is intended for those students who have not had any prior statistical education, although students who have had statistics should also consider taking the course as a refresher.

Course Description

This course introduces microeconomic and macroeconomic concepts that are relevant to contemporary business. Emphasis is placed on using economic data for business decision making.

Course Description

This course is a study in the quantitative tools and techniques used to model business functions and applications. Emphasis is placed on how to set up models, and how to interpret and apply their results. Prerequisite: SYM-506.

Course Description

Management of the marketing function, market environmental analysis, and marketing planning, strategy, and control are fundamentals of marketing management. The course examines the marketing process, marketing research, product development innovation and diffusion, pricing strategy, distribution value drain, advertising and promotion, and strategic marketing issues. Emphasis is placed on case study analysis and current academic research with a marketing plan as a significant curriculum component.

Course Description

This course covers managerial accounting concepts and procedures for internal reporting, including the study of cost behavior, cost systems, budgeting, and performance evaluation. Coursework includes case studies, group projects, and class discussion. Prerequisite: ACC-502.

Course Description

Operations Management examines managerial concepts and strategies relating to the management of operations in both manufacturing and service environments. Emphasis is placed on methods to streamline and drive inefficiencies out of a firm’s internal processes to build a highly efficient organization. The course also focuses on external processes by examining ways to achieve greater supply chain integration with suppliers and customers. Quantitative and qualitative methods and tools are introduced and applied. Prerequisite: SYM-506.

Course Description

This course discusses elements of business financial decisions, including financial forecasting and development of proformas, management of working capital, capital budgeting, capital structure, and raising funds in capital markets. Prerequisite: FIN-504.

Course Description

This capstone course focuses on preparing and conducting a strategic analysis of a selected publicly traded firm to produce actionable intelligence used to formulate recommendations to promote the creation of a value-adding strategy. Based on the results of their strategic analysis, students are then required to prepare the framework of a strategic plan that creates significant value for the selected firm. Prerequisites: MGT-605, MKT-607, ACC-650, and FIN-650.

Course Description

This course covers fundamental aspects of traditional, agile, and hybrid project management. Microsoft Project competencies are developed while using a case study framework to illustrate the Project Management Institute's (PMI) standard of models, methods, and artifacts. Students also develop techniques for successfully planning, organizing, managing, closing, and evaluating projects.

Course Description

This course covers fundamental aspects of predictive, adaptive, and hybrid project management and the 12 principles of project management structured around eight project performance domains as delineated in the Project Management Institute's (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and the Standard for Project Management. In addition, it focuses on how agile software development, DevOps, value streams, and business teams work in an enterprise. This course prepares students for the Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM), Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master (DASSM), and Project Management Professional (PMP) exams through a Collaborative Learning Community (CLC) case study project. The course also covers the basic logistics of taking these exams via the DASM, DASSM, and PMP GCU bootcamps. Prerequisite: MGT-640.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.