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Most project management certificate programs are specifically designed to meet the standards set forth by the Project Management Institute (PMI), which is an internationally recognized nonprofit institution that offers six different certifications. These certificate programs usually require students to complete 4-8 courses, but some may be longer. Additionally, the programs are designed to prepare students to sit for one of the PMI exams, the most popular being the Project Management Professional (PMP). However, some are general programs and do not prepare students for certification. Read on to check out some of the non-profit community colleges and universities in Virginia offering certificate programs in project management.
George Mason University
Located in Fairfax, George Mason University offers prospective students a comprehensive certificate of completion in project management. The program consists of four core courses and one elective course. Students are trained to create, execute, manage and complete different types of professional projects before moving on to in-depth studies. All students are given 18 months to complete the program. The school guarantees that any student who completes the program will not only be eligible to sit for the PMP exam, but they will pass it. Students who do not pass the exam can retake the university's PMP Exam Prep course for free.
Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA)
NOVA is located in Annandale. The university's project management certificate focuses on several key process areas of the field, including integration, procurement and cost. The program requires students to complete six courses and pass an exam to earn the certificate. Course topics include quality, risk and change and dynamic team management. Students receive an individual certificate for each course completed with an attendance record of at least 90%. Each course may also be used to maintain a previous credential by earning Professional Development Units (PDUs) for PMP recertification.
University of Virginia (UVA)
UVA, which is located in Charlottesville, offers students an online certificate program. This graduate-level program can be completed in 12 months and consists of five required courses and three elective courses. The required courses cover budgeting, risk, human resources and team management. Topic choices for the electives courses include contract administration, IT systems and construction project management. All courses are taken online. UVA is an official PMI education provider, which means students may apply to sit for a certification exam upon graduating.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
Blacksburg-based Virginia Tech has a program in project management certification preparation. Graduates of the program are prepared to sit for the PMP exam and the PMI's Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) exam. Students are also trained to understand and procure project contracts and to use Microsoft Project software.
Virginia State University (VSU)
VSU is located in Petersburg and offers interested students a graduate studies certificate in project management. A total of 18 semester hours are needed to complete the program, including four core courses and two elective courses. Course topics range from management systems and risk control to quantitative methods and leadership. All classes must be completed with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Prospective students must have earned a minimum of 21 semester hours of undergraduate coursework in an occupation-based program in addition to meeting the general graduate-level admissions requirements. This program is not explicitly designed to prepare students to take a PMI certification exam.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Project Management Certificate Programs Offered||Program Tuition|
|George Mason University||Four-year; public; large suburb||Project Management Certificate of Completion||$5,495 for program (2016)*|
|Northern Virginia Community College||Two-year; public; large suburb||Project Management Certificate||$2,784 for program (2016)*|
|University of Virginia||Four-year; public; small suburb||Online Graduate Certificate in Project Management||$8,244 in-state; $15,660 out-of-state (2016-2017)*|
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||Four-year; public; small city||Project Manager Certification Preparation||$950-$1,595 (range of programs online and in different locations)*|
|Virginia State University||Four-year; public; large suburb||Certificate of Graduate Studies in Project Management||$10,574 graduate per year in-state; $19,594 graduate per year out-of-state (includes fees for 2015-2016)**|
Sources: *Schools' websites, **National Center for Education Statistics.