Top Ranked School for a Project Management Degree - Chicago, IL

Few schools in the Chicago area have top ranking project management programs. Read on to find out more about what these top schools have to offer for project management, as well as tuition and degree information.

School and Ranking Information

Both for-profit and nonprofit institutions in and near Chicago offer project management studies, with some schools offering this subject as an area of concentration in larger programs, such as business administration or information technology. The following universities are considered the top three schools in the Chicago area for project management programs, based on rankings, graduation rates and levels of study offered:

  • Winner: DePaul University is the top school because of the number of project management master's degree programs it offers and because it is the largest school in Chicago in terms of student enrollment that offers these types of programs. It is the only school located directly in the city with project management studies.
  • Runner Up #1: Northwestern University is named in the second spot because of its high national ranking and high graduation rate. The school has the second-highest student population and the lowest student-to-faculty ratio among schools in the Chicago area with programs in project management. It offers master's degrees in the field.
  • Runner Up #2: Earning the second runner up spot is Lewis University, as it is the only school offering both bachelor's and master's degrees in project management. It also has a high regional ranking.

School Comparison Chart

Category DePaul University Northwestern University Lewis University
Ranking(s) 121st among 2014 national universities* 12th among 2014 national universities;
21st among 2014 national best value schools;
20th among 2014 national best graduate engineering schools*
34th among 2014 regional universities (Midwest)*
Location Chicago, IL Evanston, IL (12.6 miles from Chicago) Romeoville, IL (30 miles from Chicago)
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $5,878 (graduate)** $43,692 (graduate)** $25,770 (undergraduate); $13,680 (graduate)**
Project Management Degree Award Levels Offered Master's degrees Master's degrees Bachelor's and master's degrees
Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2006 Entering Class 68%** 93%** 59%**
Noteworthy A variety of programs are available for students interested in information technology, business technology or software engineering*** Students attend seminars that feature professionals*** The Project Management Institute (PMI) has authorized the school as a Registered Educational Provider***

'Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator, ***Schools' websites.

Winner: DePaul University

  • Technology labs and opportunities for research are available for students
  • Students can blend online classes with on-campus classes
  • Some programs feature a capstone course in which project management professionals visit the class

In addition to offering a master's degree in IT project management, the College of Computing and Digital Media has master's programs in software engineering, information systems and business information technology, which all feature a project management concentration. Students pursuing the IT Project Management master's take a variety of project management and IT courses, as well as complete a capstone in IT portfolio management. Both the information systems and business information technology programs require business and IT courses in addition to the project management concentration coursework and capstone. The software engineering program is designed for students interested in creating and managing software projects. After completing computer science, systems engineering and project management courses for this program, students work with others to create a software system for the capstone.

Runner-Up #1: Northwestern University

  • 7-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Program specializations enable students to focus on a particular industry
  • Project management program has 34 faculty members, including some company executives

Designed for those who want to learn to manage engineering projects, the Master of Project Management program features concentrations in transportation management; construction management; sustainability, architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) business management; and real estate development. In addition to taking courses related to a specialization, students study accounting and finance and choose from additional electives that fit their interests. The engineering school also has options to complete four courses to earn a credential in engineering or to take individual courses for professional development hours. These courses can later apply toward the master's program as long as it's started within two years of course completion.

Runner-Up #2: Lewis University

  • 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Offers an accelerated management bachelor's degree for adults with work experience
  • Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM) includes preparation for the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential

Lewis University's business college offers both bachelor's and master's programs in project management. The accelerated management bachelor's program for adults features a project management concentration with both courses and seminars. Graduate students can pursue the MSPM degree, which includes seminars and courses exclusively in project management. Some general business courses are also part of the program, and students complete a capstone course and PMP certification exam review. A Master of Business Administration program with a project management concentration is available for students who want to gain a broad business background and take just a few project management courses.

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