The Master of Science in Program and Project Portfolio Management is intended to better prepare project professionals for success by providing a natural alignment to the professional advancement that exists within the industry — from project manager to program manager to portfolio manager.
The increasingly important role of program and project portfolio managers is becoming clear as companies orient more and more of their work in a project-focused fashion. Another driving factor is better alignment of projects to the firm’s strategy, doing the right projects to advance the organization. The need for organizations to coordinate their related projects into programs and to seek to understand the value of their work through the lens of a portfolio is recognized throughout all industry sectors. This has been made clear through the creation of advanced industry certifications, such as the Program Management Professional (PgMP®) and the Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP®) credential by the Project Management Institute.
Managing programs and portfolios successfully in any environment requires a unique set of interdisciplinary skills. A Master of Science in Program and Project Portfolio Management is intended to better prepare project professionals for success.
Advanced coursework in program and project portfolio management will support project professionals in being prepared to focus on formulating strategies appropriate for changing and disruptive market conditions, prioritizing and funding the appropriate initiatives and/or projects, successfully executing initiatives and/or projects in order to deliver strategic results, and using the lessons from unsuccessful strategy for strategy formulation. This program seeks to bring together and train students in those skills that are most critical: program and portfolio management processes and tools, financial analysis, strategic and leadership skills, and communication skills and strategies.
The program is available for professionals with 3+ years of project management-related work experience. You must be able to articulate your role leading a team and creating key project life cycle deliverables from project initiation through closeout. If you do not meet this criteria, you may want to consider applying to our MS in Project Management program.
- Designed for current project professionals with project management-related experience, to prepare for advanced roles such as Chief Project Officer or Senior Project Manager
- Program aligns with professional advancement that exists within the industry—from project manager to program manager to portfolio manager
- Courses are taught by experienced program and project portfolio management leaders
- Experiential learning allows you to synthesize and transfer best practices to a relevant problem of practice beyond the classroom
The Master of Science in Program and Project Portfolio Management curriculum will give you the opportunity to:
- Develop a strong framework and understanding of the role of program and project portfolio management
- Develop an understanding of the program management lifecycle and how a mature approach to program management can deliver value to the organization
- Develop an understanding of how a project portfolio approach to managing projects and programs can deliver value to the organization
- Develop a personal leadership strategy for success as a program and project portfolio professional
- Develop a program and project portfolio evaluation plan to measure success
Roles or careers for which the degree offers preparation are illustrated by these positions:
- Program Manager
- Portfolio Manager
- Senior Project Manager
- PMO Professional
- Project Governance Professional
- EPMO Project Manager Specialist
- Project Director
- Project Manager I and II
- Senior Program Manager
- Chief Project Officer
- Vice President Project Management
Program Student Learning Outcomes
- Specialized Knowledge
Design and articulate effective implementation of a program or project portfolio management process while addressing complexity due to human and systems behavior, and ambiguity.
- Broad and Integrative Knowledge
Formulate solutions to address a real-world problem through the use of program and project portfolio management while drawing on the perspectives and methods of other fields of study within the professional context.
- Applied and Collaborative Learning
Evaluate implications of significant challenges involved in the implementation of a real-world program or execution of a project portfolio management process, and proactively drive actions to deliver value to the organization.
- Civic and Global Learning
Assess and develop a leadership strategy for stakeholder engagement that addresses civic, global, and/or intercultural aspects of program and project portfolio management.
- Experiential Learning
Synthesize and transfer best practices in program and portfolio management to a relevant problem of practice beyond the classroom.
- Online application
- Statement of purpose (500-1000 words): identifying your educational goals and expectations from the program; please be aware that the University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to applicant's statement of purpose
- Professional resume: Current resume that displays job responsibilities, relevant experience, and education history
- Two letters of recommendation: from individual(s) with either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, such as a faculty member, current employer, mentor, or colleague
- Unofficial undergraduate transcripts (Official transcripts required at the time of admission)
- Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language
- Project Management Experience: This master's degree is designed for professionals who have at least three years of demonstrated professional project management-related experience. If you do not meet this criteria, you may want to consider applying to our MS in Project Management program.
Our admissions process operates on a rolling basis, however we do recommend following the application guidelines below to ensure you can begin during your desired start term.
Complete two of the following:
Choose one from the following:
Complete one of the following:
Complete one of the following:
Complete four of the following:
Northeastern's signature experiential learning model combines academics with professional practice to help students acquire relevant, real-world skills they can apply to their desired industry. Each program offers its own unique experiential learning opportunities, but they might include:
- Experiential Learning at Work — Working professionals collaborate with their employer to develop a project that addresses a key business need their company has, in an area they want familiarity with.
- Experiential Network (XN) — Students work virtually with a sponsoring organization on a short-term project over a six-week period.
- Full-Time Co-op Opportunities — Students on co-op work in a paid position in their field of study for three to six months.
Our faculty represents a wide cross-section of professional practices and in fields ranging from finance to education to biomedical science to management to the U.S. military. They serve as mentors and advisors, and collaborate alongside students to solve the most pressing global challenges facing established and emerging markets.
By enrolling in Northeastern, you gain access to a network of more than 245,000 alumni and 3,200+ employer partners, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and global NGOs. Our current students and faculty across strategically located regional campuses further foster that lifelong global community of learning and mentoring.
Below is a look at where our Management alumni work, the positions they hold, and the skills they bring to their organization.
Where They Work
- State Street
- Fidelity Investments
- Dell EMC
- Liberty Mutual Insurance
What They Do
- Business Development
What They're Skilled At
- Customer Service
- Microsoft Office
- Project Management
Learn more about Northeastern Alumni on Linkedin.