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Project Management Certificate Programs in San Diego, CA

There are three schools within 15 miles of San Diego that have project management certificate options. Read an overview of their program and admission requirements to find out which one is right for your professional goals.

San Diego Project Management Schools

Students interested in project management certificate programs in San Diego, CA, can find options at a few schools. Certificate programs are designed to help business professionals develop project oversight skills. In addition, some programs prepare students to take certification exams offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), an industry-accepted credentialing organization. Learn about the coursework requirements for programs at three colleges, and then review a table of stats and facts on each school.

  • San Diego State University offers a few classroom and online certificate programs in project management. The campus is about 10 miles from the city's center.
  • Located roughly 14 miles from San Diego's downtown area, the University of California - San Diego in nearby La Jolla offers certificate programs in professional project management and biotechnology project management.
  • Students can also find a certificate program in project management at the University of San Diego. The school is around seven miles from the central part of the city.

Comparison of Schools

All of the profiled schools are in a large city setting, but there are noticeable differences among their enrollment numbers, tuition costs and acceptance rates. Use this table to review these and other factors that could influence your education decision.

San Diego State University University of California - San Diego University of San Diego
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; public 4-year; private, not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 35,158* 35,772* 8,905*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) Individual course fees range from $449-$649** $3,990-$6,145 total program cost for project management, $4,590 for biotechnology project management (approximate, based on electives)*** Individual course fees range from $299-$725****
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2017) 59%* 59%* 85%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 35%* 34%* 50%*
Retention Rate (2017) 89% of full-time students* 94% of full-time students* 90% of full-time students*
Graduation Rate (for students who began in 2011) 74%* 85%* 82%*

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **San Diego State University, ***University of California - San Diego, ****University of San Diego

San Diego State University

San Diego State University (SDSU) is a 4-year public school located west of downtown San Diego. SDSU offers certificate programs in project management through in-class and online instruction.

Professional Certificate in Project Management

This 9-course program is offered in a classroom setting and examines the technical aspects of project management along with the roles, responsibilities, behaviors and activities that go into team building. The program is designed for professionals currently responsible for supervising projects and those planning to pursue careers in project management. Some specific courses include project risk, value management and procurement. The program concludes with a hands-on project simulation that allows students to demonstrate mastery of all project management concepts. After completing the program, students should be prepared to take the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam from PMI.

Online Project Management Certificate Programs

The most popular online certificate programs offered at SDSU are in project management and can help students prepare for PMI certification exams. The 33-course certificate program in project management prepares students to take the PMP certification exam. Coursework can be completed at an individual pace through the course of a year. Some of the program modules include cost and quality management, project integration, scoping, time management, communications and ethics. Since the PMP exam requires at least three years of project management experience, students with less experience might benefit from the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) program, which readies students for the CAPM exam by PMI. Individual online courses in project management, information technology project management and advanced project management are also available.

University of California - San Diego

The University of California at San Diego (UC San Diego) is located up the coast from San Diego and offers two professional certificate programs in project management. Some of the certificate coursework is available online.

Professional Certificate in Project Management

UC San Diego has a professional certificate program in project management that includes five core courses plus six units of electives. Some of the coursework students must take includes planning and scheduling, controlling costs and risks, working in teams and procurement. The final course is a hands-on simulation of the entire project management process and incorporates individual and group projects. A few of the courses offered online include project management essentials, earned value project management and project management simulation. Students taking one course per quarter can complete the entire program in about two years.

Certificate in Biotechnology Project Management

Students interested in project management for the biomedical or pharmaceutical industry can enter the biotechnology certificate program. Students need to have a bachelor's degree and at least two years of project management experience to qualify for the program. The program is offered fully online through a partnership with the University of Washington (UW). Two of the required courses - project planning and project execution - are offered through online UW extension studies. Additional required coursework, which is provided by UC San Diego, includes project management for biomedical and pharmaceutical development and scientific/research project management.

University of San Diego

The University of San Diego (USD) is a private Catholic university located a few minutes from downtown San Diego. The Division of Professional and Continuing Education at USD offers a certificate program in project management that prepares students to take the PMP certification exam from PMI.

Project Management Certificate

This 5-course certificate program can be completed in two semesters with courses that are scheduled in a year-round format. Some studies include project scoping and risk, team communication, managing quality, change management and leadership. Students also have the opportunity to apply everything learned midway through the program during a group project. All of the courses in this program are also offered in an online format during certain times of the year.


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