Project management involves planning every step of a project and overseeing all of the resources involved. Project managers may work in a variety of specialties, such as construction or information technology. Although not required, individuals may demonstrate their skills to employers by earning the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation from the Project Management Institute.
More than 20 schools in California offers project management programs, and many of these programs provide preparation for students who wish to earn the PMP credential. Students may earn a certificate or a master's degree in project management in California; at least one associate degree is also available that leads to certification eligibility. Some certificate programs may be completed in as little as two semesters, but many are graduate certificates and require that a student hold a bachelor's degree for admission into the program.
Below are short summaries of 10 of these schools as well as a comparison table showing program offerings and tuition info.
California State University - Sacramento
Sacramento's California State University offers a certificate program in project management and is a registered education provider for the Project Management Institute (PMI). Students learn about the latest project management tools and techniques from experienced faculty members and working professionals. The 6-course program covers the basics of project management, project planning and design, project execution and control, team leadership and contract negotiation. Students also have opportunities to network with other professionals while they earn this certificate and prepare for the PMP exam. This program provides students with nine continuing education units (CEUs) and does not count for academic credit.
Golden Gate University - San Francisco
Located in San Francisco, Golden Gate University provides several graduate-level options for students interested in project management. The school works to address the needs of working professionals with three programs that may be completed online. The master's degree program in project management emphasizes management skills and requires 39 credits of coursework in topics like data analysis, purchasing and supply chain management, business negotiations and project feasibility. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) program allows students to select a concentration in project management; traditional business coursework in finance, accounting and economics is combined with 12 credits of project management coursework. The graduate certificate program in project management provides management and administration training and can prepare students to pursue the PMP designation. The program requires 18 credits of coursework, which consists of four required courses and two electives.
San Diego State University
This public university, located in San Diego, was founded in 1897 and offers a variety of courses and seminars through its College of Extended Studies, including a certificate program in project management. The program is designed for project managers and other professionals who use project management in their occupations; it also provides preparation for the PMP exam. Individuals study human resources, team building and procurement, and they also gain experience with Microsoft Project software.
San Francisco State University
This San Francisco-based university offers a certificate in project management, which requires 18 CEUs and prepares students for the PMP exam. Students can also opt for the Project Management Fundamentals Certificate program. This program requires only 10.8 CEUs and can be completed in as few as six courses. Required courses for both classes include scheduling fundamentals, project estimation and human resources management.
University of California - Berkeley
The University of California - Berkeley Extension features a certificate program in project management. Each course in the program is offered in the classroom or online. It is recommended that applicants possess a bachelor's degree before enrolling. There are six required courses, which total 210 hours of instruction. The program focuses on working effectively with teams, improving performance, delivering projects on time, staying within budget and providing effective leadership. Depending on how fast a student would like to complete the program, it can take anywhere from eight to 15 weeks to finish the requirements.
University of California - Davis
Students at this public university in Davis can pursue a certificate program in project management that trains them to coordinate teams, meet project deadlines and solve any problems that arise during the course of a project. The program is intended for professionals and includes 20.5 units of coursework. Courses are offered online and cover project integration, time management and project communications. Those who complete the program should be ready to take the PMP exam.
University of California - Irvine
University of California's Irvine Extension provides a project management certificate program that's designed for professionals who work on projects, as well as those who are new to project management but have work experience. The six required courses and two electives are administered online or in the classroom; students can follow an accelerated course of study to earn the certificate in as little as nine months. Students learn about project stakeholder management, team building and management of multiple projects. The program can also help students prepare to take the PMP exam.
University of California - Los Angeles
This university is located in Los Angeles and features a certificate program in project management. The program includes five required courses along with one elective course and provides students with the necessary training to earn the PMP credential. Online and on-site courses are available and cover topics like project quality, program and portfolio management, leadership and risk analysis; students also gain experience in specialized software, such as Microsoft Project and construction project management software.
University of California - Santa Barbara
The University of California - Santa Barbara Extension offers a professional certificate in project management. Students explore the techniques and methodologies used to plan and execute projects of all types; the project management skills covered are applicable to wide variety of disciplines and professions. Students take courses in project initiation, time management and risk management. This 6-course program can be completed within three quarters and allows students to pursue PMP certification after graduation.
University of Redlands
Located in Redlands, this private university offers a project management certificate program that teaches students project management principles and prepares them for the PMP exam. Students take 15 units, which includes courses in scheduling and risk management, project leadership and project cost. The program typically takes about 10 months to complete, and students attend class one night per week and finish the rest of their studies online.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Project Management Programs Available||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-19)|
|California State University - Sacramento||4-year, public; large city||Project Management Certificate|| $7,310 in-state,
|Golden Gate University - San Francisco||4-year, private, not-for-profit; large city|| Master of Science in Project Management,
Master of Business Administration - Project Management,
Graduate Certificate in Project Management
|San Diego State University||4-year, public; large city||Professional Certificate in Project Management|| $7,488 in-state,
|San Francisco State University||4-year, public; large city|| Project Management Professional Certificate,
Project Management Fundamentals Certificate
| $7,260 in-state,
|University of California - Berkeley||4-year, public; midsize city||Project Management Certificate|| $14,184 in-state,
|University of California - Davis||4-year, public; small suburb||Project Management Certificate|| $14,402 in-state,
|University of California - Irvine||4-year, public; midsize city||Project Management Certificate|| $13,700 in-state,
|University of California - Los Angeles||4-year, public; large city||Project Management Certificate|| $13,226 in-state,
|University of California - Santa Barbara||4-year, public; midsize suburb||Professional Certificate in Project Management|| $14,391 in-state,
|University of Redlands||4-year, private, not-for-profit; small city||Project Management Certificate||$49,504*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator