Project Management

University Center (UC), Room 155, (907) 786-1924

The Master of Science degree in Project Management (MSPM) is designed to provide a rigorous background in contemporary theory and practice in project management, strengthened through the extensive application of tools, concepts and critical thinking in a case study environment. The MSPM provides students with perspectives and skills to prepare them for increasingly significant and complex project leadership roles within a broad range of public and private sector organizations:  engineering, construction, oil and gas, natural resources, health care, information technology, communications, utilities, education, financial services, government, military, transportation, and others. 

The MSPM degree program is accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI) Global Accreditation Center (GAC). The structure and content of the curriculum is designed to enable students to learn, apply, and demonstrate mastery of project management theory and practice in the context of hands-on project case studies managed and integrated progressively over the end-to-end project lifecycle as well as electives that provide opportunities for advanced study and application of project management in targeted industry sectors. Additionally, students will develop and strengthen leadership, communication, teamwork, and professional responsibility traits necessary to lead and manage successful projects in a complex, global environment. The MSPM degree requires a research or project oriented capstone.

The program serves full- and part-time students. Classes are generally held during the evening and selectively on weekends. The program provides a unique, real-time distance educational environment where students from across the state and around the world can join local students and faculty in the live classroom environment. This approach also accommodates students who may need to travel regularly for their employment.

Master of Science,
Project Management

Student Outcomes

Student outcomes are based on the professional best practices of the Project Management Institute (PMI) Global Accreditation Center (GAC) standards and guidelines, and UAA paradigms. Students who successfully complete this program will:

  1. Demonstrate the capability to successfully manage projects across a broad range of scale, complexity, scope, environments and inherent risks.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to employ the full range of project management tools and techniques to best satisfy industry and agency stakeholder requirements.
  3. Conduct research that significantly contributes to and expands the diverse project management body of knowledge and produces a final project and product that demonstrates academic and project management success.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to plan and execute project management activities across a broad range of industry sectors and organizations, and to employ the appropriate project management tools and techniques across a wide spectrum of project types, technologies and requirements.
  5. Have the skills to determine the needs and balance the interests of project stakeholders in any organizational context and within cross-cultural business environments.
  6. Demonstrate effective project team leadership and team development throughout the project management life cycle.
  7. Effectively apply the principles of scope management, risk management, cost planning and control, quality planning and management, resource allocation and management, time management and project scheduling, and change management in the project environment.
  8. Demonstrate a facility for comprehensive and objective analysis, structured decision-making, process optimization, and problem solving in the project management environment.
  9. Understand and apply the principles of cost-benefit analysis, strategic alignment, project portfolio management and project performance analysis and metrics.
  10. Understand and apply project planning and execution optimization and control in the context of the triple constraint; project scope, schedule, and budget.
  11. Act with integrity and fairness in an ethical manner, understanding and demonstrating adherence to the principles of the Project Management Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (
  12. Demonstrate effective project management communications and problem-solving techniques related to project team management, project status reporting, conflict management and project stakeholder management.

Professional Program Fee

A professional program fee is required of all students in the MSPM program in addition to course tuition fees, fees, course material fees, and student activity fees. The professional program fee is a sum equal to the current level of resident graduate level tuition. Therefore, this fee is applied to either resident or non-resident tuition equally and is charged upon enrollment in PM courses. The fee contributes directly to program support.

Admission Requirements

See the Admissions Requirements for Graduate Degree at the beginning of this chapter.

Provisional/Conditional Admission

Provisional/Conditional admission to the MSPM program in project management is offered to applicants who provide sufficient evidence that they meet the requirements for study at an advanced level. Applicants must meet the minimum admissions requirements of the University of Alaska Anchorage. In addition, an entering master’s degree student will have:

  1. Earned at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, science, or equivalent areas (or as agreed to by the department chairman), from an accredited university with a minimum of a 3.00 (B) GPA.
  2. A grade of 3.00 (B) or higher in an undergraduate or equivalent research methods course and a statistics course that covers descriptive and inferential statistics.  ESM A620 may be taken in lieu of the statistics requirement.
  3. Completed a minimum of two years of appropriate project management experience in a science or engineering related field as shown by the applicant’s resume.
  4. Obtained three letters of recommendation from professors, former or current employers, or supervisors who are familiar with the candidate’s work experience.
  5. Provided a statement of professional career objectives related to the study of project management.

Full Admission

Full admission to the MSPM program is offered to students who have:

  1. Previously been admitted in Provisional/Conditional admission status.
  2. Completed the first 9 credits of the core PM classes (PM A601, PM A602 and either PM A603 or PM A604) with a minimum 3.00 (B) in each.
  3. Undergone departmental review in Phase Gate 1 and have been successfully judged to have made satisfactory progress, met performance standards and demonstrated aptitude in project management by the MSPM Admissions Committee.

Note: The department retains the right to remove any student from the program who fails to maintain sufficient academic performance and progress.


Additional Requirements

Enrolled students must have access to a personal computer and Internet connection speed the department finds acceptable. All students are expected to have basic computer and keyboarding skills prior to entry into the program, for example:

  • Word processing (preferably Microsoft Word), presentation software (preferably Microsoft PowerPoint) and spreadsheet software (preferably Microsoft Excel).
  • Sending and receiving e-mail with attachments.
  • Accessing and navigating the Internet/World Wide Web.
  • Understanding how to use basic software, computer, and peripheral hardware.

Remote (distance) students in the program are additionally responsible for:

  • Any incremental, individual long distance or high speed Internet connection costs.
  • Any additional hardware (such as webcams, headsets, etc.) necessary to facilitate class participation.
  • Contacting the distance learning coordinator before classes start to set up and arrange for distance delivery.

Academic Progress

Students enrolled in the MSPM program must:

  • Achieve at least a 3.00 (B) in each of the program’s required courses.
  • Must receive a 3.00 (B) or better in all core classes.
  • Receive no more than one 2.00 (C) grade in any elective course.
  • Earn all credits, including transfer credits, within a consecutive seven-year period prior to graduation. See University Requirement for Graduate Degrees in this chapter for additional information.
  • As a prerequisite for PM A686A registration, students must have a cumulative 3.00 GPA or better in courses listed on their official Graduate Studies Plans.

The faculty reserves the right, where warranted by evaluation of a student’s progress and apparent knowledge, to require additional coursework or other preparation to ensure the degree candidate possesses adequate professional skills and capabilities. This includes the ability to reason and communicate effectively orally, in writing, and quantitatively.

Noncompliance with academic progress expectations will result in probation and possible dismissal from the program. See the Academic Good Standing Policy in this chapter for more information.

Course Delivery

Students in the MSPM program can attend courses in the classroom and/or by state-of-the-art, real-time video capabilities. This format allows students from across the state and around the world to join local students and faculty in real time, in the classroom as an active course participant using readily available, off-the-shelf technology. This real-time capability also enables students who must travel during the semester to join the class via ad hoc connections from wherever they may be located (connection speed permitting). Additionally, all class sessions are recorded and posted to the UAA Learning Management System after the class session is completed so that students can review the material in the event that a class session is missed. This approach provides flexibility for students to begin and complete the program from wherever their work assignments or personal situations may take them.

Graduation Requirements

Complete University Requirements for Graduate Degrees at the beginning of this chapter as well as the program requirements below.

Program Requirements

  1. Complete the following requirements:
    1. Core Requirements (21 Credits)
      1. PM Overview (6 Credits)
        PM A601 Project Management Fundamentals 3
        PM A602 Application of Project Management Processes 3
      2. PM Process Series (9 Credits)
        PM A603 Project Initiation and Planning 3
        PM A604 Project Executing, Monitoring and Control 3
        PM A605 Operational Integration and Project Closure 3
      3. Capstone Project Demonstration of PM Mastery (6 Credits)
        PM A686A Capstone Project: Initiating and Planning 3
        PM A686B Capstone Project: Executing, Controlling, and Closing 3
    2. Electives (12 credits)
      1. Complete an additional 12 credits of PM courses as electives.
      2. A student may petition for a single elective 3 credit graduate
        level course from outside the program.
    3. Departmental Review/Phase Gates
      1. Phase Gate 1 (after completion of the first three core classes: PM A601, PM A602 and either PM A603 or PM A604)
        Students will be admitted provisionally/conditionally to the program until this phase gate has been successfully completed.  Phase Gates are established in order to evaluate a student’s progress, performance, and their demonstrated potential to be a successful project manager.
      2. Phase Gate 2 (after completion of PM A686A)
        Students must receive departmental and advisory committee approval prior to enrollment in PM A686B after the successful completion of an approved project management plan completed in PM A686A.
  2. A total of 33 credits are required for degree completion.
  3. An approved Graduate Studies Plan will be created, approved, and fulfilled for each student to define their individual program of study (per the requirements set forth in this chapter).
  4. Local classroom and/or real time distance participation is required.

Capstone Project

Three credits of PM A686A and 3 credits of PM A686B, taken over two semesters, are required for the degree.

All capstone project work must meet the following requirements:

  • The work must contribute to the body of knowledge in the student’s graduate field of study.
  • A literature search is required to demonstrate how the work is associated with the current state of the art in the student’s graduate field of study.
  • The final capstone project report, as judged by the student’s graduate committee, must be of sufficient quality to justify publication in either a peer-reviewed technical conference proceeding or a peer-reviewed journal. Publication of a manuscript in a journal or conference paper is not a requirement for graduation, but submissions are encouraged.
  • The work must demonstrate command of knowledge and skills associated with the student’s graduate program of study.
  • The project must have sufficient scope to clearly demonstrate the student’s advanced expertise in and mastery of project management.
  • The work must require a level of effort consistent with 6 graduate level credit hours.
  • The student must satisfactorily present their capstone project and be evaluated by a panel of faculty and project management practitioners.
We are working to ensure reporting student performance information is consistent with institution policies. If you are interested in learning more about performance and expectations, please contact our department for more information. 

Engineering, Science, and Project Management Department
Project Management (PM) Program
(907) 786-1924
(907) 786-1935 fax

  • Mailing address:
  • University of Alaska Anchorage
  • 3211 Providence Drive
  • University Center 155
  • Anchorage, AK 99508-4614

Roger Hull, Assistant Professor, 

Seong Dae Kim, Assistant Professor,

LuAnn Piccard, Assistant Professor and ESPM Department Chair,


Project Management catalog entry printable version

The MSPM curriculum has been recently redesigned and implementation began in Fall 2011.  This new curriculum is explained in the MSPM catalog entry above.  For a more visual layout of the new curriculum click here.