Project Management Degrees: The Value of a GAC Accredited Program

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By DeVry University

October 19, 2021
5 min read

Making the decision to pursue further education in project management is an exciting step. It means you've found a subject area that you're passionate about, and you're ready to commit time and put in the work to create your future.

Now that you know what you want to do, it's time to do your research. You want to find a program and institution that's not only going to suit your life and learning style, but also provide a high-quality education with knowledge and skills that are relevant in your industry. Finding an accredited university is an important part of this process.

Read on to learn more about what it means to pursue a program that is accredited through the Project Management Institute's Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC) and how you can enroll in a GAC accredited program at DeVry University.

What is a GAC Accredited Program?

A GAC accreditation is like a stamp of approval. Educational institutions that are accredited through GAC have met specific requirements of quality and integrity. GAC acts as an independent body that sets parameters for education programs from a bachelor's degree to a doctorate.

As defined on their website, the GAC’s mission is "to advance excellence in project management education worldwide, while its primary objective is to ensure that GAC accredited programs prepare students to meet the current and anticipated needs of businesses and government organizations for qualified professionals working in the field."

The application and review process universities must follow is a rigorous 4-step process that typically takes one year to complete.

  • The institution must submit a letter of intent that includes a comprehensive overview of the program.
  • A self-assessment report is submitted to showcase how the program meets the GAC accreditation standards.
  • An on-site peer evaluation is conducted by experienced Project Management (PM) professionals.
  • A decision is made by the GAC Directors who review the evidence and grant final accreditation approval if they find that the institution demonstrates sufficient proof that it meets the GAC accreditation standards.

What are the Benefits of Enrolling in a GAC Accredited Program?

Aside from gaining a high-quality education, here are just a few of the benefits you might find when you earn your degree from a GAC accredited program:

Earn a Degree With Internationally Recognized Accreditation

When a university has an accredited project management program through the GAC, it demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement.

GAC Accredited Programs must submit an annual report that includes any changes to curriculum content, notable innovations and best practices, as well as details around continuous improvement activities. By regularly re-evaluating its project management program's content and sharing new ideas for improvement, the institution ensures that its students receive the most up-to-date standards as stated by the industry at a global level. As a student, you'll take comfort in knowing that you are learning content that can be highly relevant when you're ready to enter the workforce.

Pursue Career Opportunities After Graduation

Earning a degree through a program with project management accreditation may help you stand out when searching for jobs. GAC accreditation is typically a well-regarded designation in the project management industry and demonstrates your commitment to gaining a high-quality education.

Pursue Employment in Other Regions with a GAC Accredited Program

Have you ever wanted to explore other cities, states and even countries but are worried about how transferrable your skills and education might be? GAC grants accreditation to institutions and programs that meet standards and expectations that an independent governing body deems important around the world. Because GAC accreditation is applicable on a global level, you’ll gain skills that can apply to roles in a variety of locations.

Earn Credit Toward PMI Certifications

When you graduate from a GAC accredited program, it can help you meet some of the requirements for industry certifications offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Typically, completing a GAC accredited program gives you credit toward the experience requirement needed to apply for many of the PMI certification examinations.

Can Graduating from a Project Management Accredited Program Help You in Your Career?

We think so! Here are a few ways that accredited programs provide long-term value to students:

Receive High-quality Education to Support Your Future

Earning a project management degree from a GAC-recognized program means you can have confidence that your instructors are preparing you with a practical and tactical education that you can carry throughout your career. The program's annual review process includes built-in continuous improvement requirements and a commitment to teaching contemporary industry practices – this ensures you're gaining practical skills that you'll actually use on the job.

Demonstrate High Standards of Quality

Once your education is complete, it's on to the job hunt! By bolstering your resume with educational experience from a GAC accredited project management program, it can help you show future employers that you care about a comprehensive and high-quality education. This signals that your academic experience is consistent with project management standards internationally.

Gain Skills Used in the Working World

Earning a degree through an accredited program means you'll not just be learning the project management tools and methodologies you need to prepare for your career, but you'll also be gaining relevant and real-world experience to help you on the job. You'll be prepared to use your skills and experience across a multitude of situations and projects, giving you the confidence to put your best foot forward.

Get Started in Project Management

At DeVry University and our Keller Graduate School of Management, we’re proud to offer specific degree programs accredited by the GAC. Classes for our Project Management Bachelor’s Degree Specialization, Master’s in Project Management and MBA Specialization in Project Management start every 8 weeks and are designed to fit your busy schedule.

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