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Portfolio Management Master's Degree & Course Descriptions

There are a few different kinds of master's degree programs available for those interested in studying portfolio management. Learn about some of the programs, common coursework and typical admissions requirements.

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Often titled with some combination of project, program and portfolio, master's degree programs in portfolio management are available as Master of Science, Executive Master of Professional Studies or Master of Business Administration with a concentration in portfolio management programs, and are commonly offered online. These degree programs are typically designed for working professionals looking to advance their career in a variety of business settings. Explore some of the degree program details below.

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Information for Master's Degree Programs in Portfolio Management

Master's degree programs in program and project portfolio management are usually 21 to 24 months in length, may require some on-campus residencies and usually incorporate experiential learning opportunities. Some programs may conclude with a capstone project, but most programs include the courses discussed below.

Ethical Leadership

These courses often use case studies and/or peer-to-peer learning to help students examine the various ethical responsibilities of leaders in today's world. Students study ethical dilemmas, and through discussion and reasoning of the issues develop possible action plans and best practice procedures. Some of these courses may contain a leadership-coaching component that further develops students' leadership skills.

Portfolio Management

Students in these courses learn about the different techniques and tools needed to help their organizations manage the necessary projects and programs to be successful. They learn how to focus on prioritizing projects that align with the organization's goals but also discuss flexibility and quality issues that can give a competitive advantage. Students often complete case studies and applied exercises to practice the execution of projects and apply concepts to workplace situations.

Program Management

Program management courses focus on teaching students the program management life cycle. Students discuss best practices and how to ensure that expected program benefits are met and managed properly. Students also learn how to monitor compliance with government standards and examine program management techniques and tools through case studies and real-world examples.

Organizational Design

Courses in organizational design may focus on implementing change and/or strategy throughout an organization. Students examine methods for identifying problems, predicting future needs and how to transition towards new strategic plans. These courses are typically based in discussions and may incorporate a consulting component in which students are able to work with real organizations to implement strategy.

Strategic Management

Strategic management courses are somewhat similar to organizational design courses but focus on the leadership skills needed to execute strategy. Students examine topics in assessing risk, developing risk response and risk management plans and translating strategy. Students also discuss risk management challenges and ways to improve organizational performance.

Common Entrance Requirements

Since master's degree programs in portfolio management are typically designed for working professionals, some programs may require at least three years of professional work experience. Executive master's programs may even prefer, but not require, eight or more years of experience. These degree programs do not usually require applicants to submit GRE or GMAT scores but do ask for official transcripts of undergraduate coursework. Applicants are also expected to fill out the appropriate applications and submit letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and a resume or CV.

Master's degree programs in portfolio management are designed for working professionals wishing to further develop their leadership and management skills. These degree programs typically require some work experience for admission into the program, as well as hands-on learning experience throughout the program.

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