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Master of Science in Project Management

"The MSPM program was very challenging, but at the same time very rewarding. I stretched myself beyond what I thought was possible and came out of the program prepared to handle any challenge coming my way. I really value the relationships that I was able to build with my classmates - working with them 'in person' during the residency week was fantastic, particularly since we had been a virtual team for so long."
- Justin Roberts, MSPM Alumni, California

The Project Management program brings realistic examples from the workplace to the classroom and integrates those examples into the overall curriculum. Professors conscientiously approach and discuss the solutions and analyses at the practical level. The program is discipline independent and focuses on no single technical domain, allowing students from a wide variety of backgrounds to benefit.

The curriculum encompasses personal and qualitative issues, as well as the technical, quantitative aspects of managing projects. Courses cover teamwork and team dynamics, helping students develop the skills necessary for tackling complex projects involving diverse perspectives. In most classes, students form teams to complete a substantial portion of the coursework, an invaluable experience for project managers.

The MSPM program is 36 credit hours long with semester-long and modular half-semester courses. Some students may be eligible for advanced academic standing, which allows them to complete the program with less than 36 credit hours.

MSPM Course Descriptions

DNSC 6202 Statistics for Managers (3 credit hours)

This course provides an introduction to various decision making tools and techniques, and to the basic statistical methods which are used both in the direct solution of managerial problems and as foundations for more advanced statistical analysis. It is expected that students will develop a good understanding of probability and its role in statistics and decision making, learn to formulate hypotheses i.e., ask the right questions, and be able to collect appropriate data and analyze it using appropriate statistical techniques. Pre-requisites: none

DNSC 6247 Organization, Management, and Leadership (3 credit hours)

Successful project managers (PMs) know how to initiate and maintain an environment that allows people to flourish while achieving project goals and objectives. The most important ingredients of any project organization are the people. In this course, students learn how to invest in people to achieve project success. The course covers the fundamentals of project human resource management and provides the tools and techniques to achieve success in managing and leading people in projects. Pre-requisites: none

DNSC 6250 Project Management Finance (3 credit hours)

This course introduces students to the basic terminology, concepts, and principles of financial accounting and managerial finance. It enhances the decision-making capability of project and operations managers by providing them with accounting and finance methods and tools to understand and evaluate a firm and the business environment in which it operates. Topics include financial statement analysis; the time value of money; capital budgeting; risk assessment; financial forecasting; and working capital management. Pre-requisites: none

DNSC 6251 Optimization Models for Decision Making (1.5 credit hours)

This course provides an introduction to optimization techniques for decision making with spreadsheet implementation. Topics covered include: linear programming; sensitivity analysis; networks; integer programming; goal programming and multiple objective optimization; and nonlinear and evolutionary programming. Models discussed span all business disciplines including finance, marketing, operations, and project management. Throughout the course, learning is reinforced via hands-on computer experience using problems and cases. Pre-requisite: DNSC 6202 Statistics for Managers

DNSC 6252 Risk Analysis for Decision Making (1.5 credit hours)

The course provides an introduction to probabilistic modeling techniques for decision making with spreadsheet implementation. Special focus is placed on the concept of risk and methods for analyzing it. Topics covered included influence diagrams; risk analysis; risk attitudes; utility theory; subjective and empirical probability distribution assessment; simulation models; queuing theory; Markov chains; and game theory. Models discussed span all business disciplines, including finance, marketing, operations, and project management. Throughout the course, learning is reinforced via hands-on computer experience using problems and cases. Pre-requisite: DNSC 6202 Statistics for Managers

DNSC 6254 Risk Management (1.5 credit hours)

Risk Management provides a thorough study of the nature of risk and its impact on management and business decision making. Decision modeling techniques are used to analyze and understand risk. The course will also provide an understanding of how to identify and manage risk in a project through: risk management infrastructure; risk management planning; risk response planning, monitoring, and control; and risk reporting. Pre-requisites: DNSC 6261 Introduction to Project Management, DNSC 6202 Statistics for Managers

DNSC 6257 Cost Estimation and Control (1.5 credit hours)

Addressing the concepts and methods of cost estimation and control relevant to project management, his course covers formalized methods for developing the project estimate during the planning stages and updating the estimate throughout a project’s life. Students are introduced to the tools and techniques used in the initial estimating and subsequent monitoring, reporting, controlling, and managing of project costs; the procedures used in managing project resources to optimize the cost of the project; and the relationships between project cost and other project parameters including scope, time, quality, estimate reliability, procurement, and risk. Pre-requisites: DNSC 6261 Introduction to Project Management, DNSC 6202 Statistics for Managers

DNSC 6258 Executive Decision Making (1.5 credit hours)

This course covers concepts and methods for making complex decisions in any environment. Students will identify criteria and alternatives, set priorities, and engage in allocating resources, strategic planning, resolving conflict, and making group decisions. Students will also examine complex choice models and intuition, logic, and decision traps. Pre-requisites: None

DNSC 6259 Project Portfolio Management (1.5 credit hours)

This course covers management of an organization’s portfolio of projects for the overall welfare and success of the enterprise; alignment of projects with an organization’s strategy and goals; and consistency with values and culture. Students will learn about: the role of governance in project portfolio management; designing projects to address an organization’s strategic objectives; determining an optimum combination of projects; evaluating alternative portfolios given different scenarios; and synthesizing individual project performance into measures of portfolio performance at various levels within the organization. Pre-requisite: DNSC 6261 Introduction to Project Management, DNSC 6202 Statistics for Managers

DNSC 6261 Introduction to Project and Program Management (3 credit hours)

Addressing the culture, principles, and basic techniques of project management, this course provides a comprehensive overview of project management. The course reviews the general stages of a project in rough chronological order and describes how they interrelate. Project management tools are introduced and subsequently used in student assignments. The principles and tools are integrated and clarified through examples from a variety of organizational settings and through creation of project management plans developed by students working in teams. Pre-requisite: none

DNSC 6262 Directed Computational Project Management (3 credit hours)

This course provides a practical examination of project management concepts through the application of project management software and a focus on technical report writing and quantitative analysis. Students will become familiar with the “sequential numerical or computational analysis” of project management through a semester long examination of a project of their choice. In the process of planning and control for the project, students integrate time, cost, quality, and scope. Over the course of the semester, students are expected to work toward and become proficient in project management software of their choice. Pre-requisites: DNSC 6261 Introduction to Project Management, DNSC 6202 Statistics for Managers, DNSC 6267 Planning and Scheduling

DNSC 6267 Planning for Projects (3 credit hours)

Students will learn integrated planning, scheduling, and control systems for planning the scope of a project. The course addresses how to optimize time, cost, and resources; define project planning processes and project scope; and monitoring and controlling schedules, including those for delayed projects. Pre-requisite: DNSC 6261 Introduction to Project Management, DNSC 6202 Statistics for Managers

DNSC 6269 Project Management Applications (Capstone) (3 credit hours)

In this course, the program’s capstone, students must demonstrate the ability to integrate their accumulated learning experience and educational knowledge as well as to produce new information by applying their skills to the creation of a project management handbook; by evaluating and suggesting improvements in specific project environments; and through a case study or by analyzing some project management practices to determine the best. Pre-requisite: MSPM candidacy and completion of all required coursework or in final semester of the program.

For a detailed look at the MSPM curriculum, please review:

MSPM Curriculum Guide

MSPM Syllabus Book


MSPM Information Packet


A comprehensive guide about GW's M.S. in Project Management.



MSPM Information Sessions

MSPM Student Webzone

Attend an information session to learn more about GW MSPM.



MSPM International Student Admissions Guide

MSPM International Student Admissions Guide
A complete admissions guide for all international students.



MSPM Student Webzone

MSPM Student Webzone

The webzone is a one-stop-shop for information for current students.



Dean Doug Guthrie's Blog

Dean Doug Guthrie

Dr. Doug Guthrie, Dean, Professor of International Business and Professor of Management at The George Washington University School of Business is an expert in the fields of economic reform in China, leadership and corporate governance, and corporate social responsibility. More