The ability to lead and manage projects has become a core 21st century workplace skill for all levels in almost any organization, for-profit or nonprofit. Project managers lead both the people and the process that guide a team to achieve goals efficiently and effectively with relationships not only intact but strengthened. Project management (PM) enables everyone to do their best work. The benefits of effective project management compound to positively affect the entire organization.
The purpose of the PM certificate is to give learners significant knowledge and sufficient skills to take on the responsibility of managing a project for the first time and to enhance the abilities of managers who are already leading projects. The certificate is not a “certification” level of study nor is it a preparation series for those wishing to take the PMI PMP® (Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional certification) exam. To receive the certificate, learners must take each of the three required two-day classes and complete a Project Management Applied Learning Review guided by an experienced PM mentor.
At a glance
The Project Management Certificate consists of three required two-day classes (for a total of six days), plus an individual mentor-led Project Management Applied Learning Review.
The required classes are scheduled for 9 a.m.–3:45 p.m. Central time.
Currently, all classes and the Applied Learning Review are conducted live online using the Zoom platform.
The total cost for the certificate is approximately $2,100–$2,600, depending on the for-profit/nonprofit status of the organization paying the learner’s fees. Please consult the class listings for exact prices.
Continuing education credits
CEUs for the full certificate are approximately 4.2, comprised of 42 instructional hours and prep work.
How to get started
First, take The Fundamentals of Project Management class. You can then take the other two required classes in any order that works for you. You must complete all three classes within a two-year period. As soon as possible after completing the three classes, register for the Project Management Applied Learning Review. A mentor will be assigned to work with you.
You may register online or by phone at 608-262-2451 for all certificate requirements at the same time or individually.
If you are unsure if you want to do the entire certificate, take the Fundamentals class. Completing that class does not obligate you to continue with the certificate. All three certificate classes are open to learners who are interested in the topics covered in the classes and are not working toward the certificate.
The Applied Learning Review requirement
The purpose of this final step is to give learners an opportunity to:
- Discuss their personal goals for applying best practices and skills of project management
- Review important aspects of managing projects
- Ask questions to further their learning
- Demonstrate that they have achieved at least a basic level of understanding of project management
The review is not a formal test, and there are no grades. Mentors assigned to each individual learner will engage in up to three hours of private conversation on Zoom. During this discussion with the mentor, learners can review a project plan, engage in a case study or respond to a series of questions that are easily answered if the learner was attentive during the three required classes. There are no trick questions. The focus is on concepts, not memorizing jargon and terms.
Ideally, the conversations will focus on an actual project the learner is working on. Although it is possible to fail the Applied Learning Review, this would happen typically only if a learner had taken an extremely casual approach to attending the three classes. All leaners will be given support and options so that they can receive the certificate. Any exceptions will be referred to the program director in charge of the PM certificate.
The certificate is open to anyone who has interest in the subject areas. There are no formal requirements or eligibility limits for the certificate other than proficiency in English. In general, learners are supported by their organizations to engage in the PM series, so if language proficiency is not strong, your organization may be able to assist.
Only classes that were completed up to two years prior to registering for the Project Management Applied Learning Review will be counted toward the certificate. Credit for attendance at similar classes offered by institutions outside of the University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of Continuing Studies are not transferable to the PM certificate. Any request for exceptions to this or other related policies must be made directly to the PM certificate program director.
The certificate’s classes are not transferable to for-credit courses at UW–Madison or other UW for-credit programs.
Because certificate classes are only two days each, missed days must be made up. Classes within the certificate are offered twice annually, so makeup dates can be reasonably scheduled.
Each of the three required classes and the Applied Learning Review is priced individually. Consult the specific class listings for exact prices. Payment is generally made at the time of registration, class by class. Class prices are subject to change without notice other than in official class listings and promotions.
The total cost for certificate completion is currently $2,100–$2,600, depending on the for-profit/nonprofit status of the organization paying the learner’s fees. Each class in the certificate series has standard prices as well as gov’t/nonprofit prices that are somewhat lower.
Generally, cancellation of a registration without sending a substitute learner carries a $25 administrative fee. Cancellation less than three business days before the start of a class or non-attendance requires full payment. There are no additional “graduation” or “final” fees added when the certificate is completed.