Project Management Certificate Programs

Virtually all organizations, for-profits, non-profits, government agencies and social organizations, initiate projects to accomplish their strategic objectives.

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently; on time and in budget. It is a strategic competency that enables organizations to strengthen their weaknesses, exploit opportunities, and guard against threats. Project Management has always been practiced informally, but it began to emerge as a distinct profession in the mid-20th century. Today, project management is one of the top skills demanded by successful organizations around the world.

Sonoma State University offers two courses in project management: traditional and agile. Traditional project management usually involves the creation of a physical product such as a building, whereas agile project management often involves the creation of an intellectual product such as a software program. Some organizations in rapidly evolving markets are successfully employing agile techniques to develop physical products such as prototypes. In addition to a certificate from Sonoma State University, both courses will prepare you to take the appropriate certification examinations offered by the Project Management Institute®.

The Sonoma State University Project Management Certification Course (traditional) meets for about 4 hours one night a week for 17 weeks and satisfies the educational requirements necessary to sit for the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®) or the Project Management Professional (PMP®) examinations. The course includes the project lifecycle phases of initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. Other topics include project integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resource, risk, procurement and stakeholder management. In addition to meeting the PMI requirements, the SSU course provides hands-on training in the use of Microsoft Project.

The Sonoma State University Agile Project Management Certification Course meets for about 3 hours one night a week for 15 weeks and satisfies the educational requirements necessary to sit for the PMI® Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP®) examination. The course includes agile principles and mindset, the agile manifesto, scrum, extreme programming (XP), lean product development, and kanban. Other topics include value-driven delivery, stakeholder engagement, team performance, adaptive planning, problem detection and resolution, and continuous improvement of product, process, and people.

Both SSU courses are pass/fail based primarily on a final exam that mimics the PMI exams. Neither course includes the actual PMI exams as they must be administered by a PMI-licensed testing facility.

Upon successfully completing either SSU course, you will receive a Certificate in Project Management, or a Certificate in Agile Project Management, issued by Sonoma State University, regardless of your status with the PMI examinations.

Who Should Attend:
  • Project managers desiring a structured learning environment before taking the PMI exam.
  • Project team members desiring formal recognition of their knowledge and expertise.
  • Individuals making a career change into traditional or agile project management.
  • Managers leading the transition from traditional to agile project management.
  • Senior managers responsible for overseeing projects and hiring or appointing project managers.

Which course should you take?

Project Management Certificates Prerequisites
CertificateArea Issued by Degree PM Experience PM Education
SSU Project Management Traditional Sonoma State University None None None (provides 56 hours)
Certified Associate in Project Management, CAPM® Traditional Project Management Institute, PMI Secondary degree
1,500 hours of project experience 
or 23 hours of PM education
Project Management Professional, PMP® Traditional Project Management Institute, PMI Secondary Degree 7,500 hours PM Leadership 35 classroom hours
Project Management Professional, PMP® Traditional Project Management Institute, PMI Four-year Degree 4,500 hours PM Leadership 35 classroom hours
SSU Agile Project Management Agile Sonoma State University None None None (provides 45 hours)
PMI Agile Certified Practitioner, PMI-ACP® Agile Project Management Institute, PMI None 1,500 hours, Agile 2,000 hours, PM Teams 21 classroom hours

There are no prerequisites for either SSU course; choose whichever course best meets your needs.

  • If most of your experience is with physical products, you may prefer the SSU Project Management Course, optionally followed by the CAPM® or PMP® exam.
  • If most of your experience is with intellectual products, you may prefer the SSU Agile Project Management Course, optionally followed by the PMI-ACP® exam.
  • If you have little project experience, you will probably prefer the SSU Project Management Course, followed by the CAPM® exam. This path will help you obtain the required experience to take the PMP® exam at a later date, and will help you move up from team member to Project Manager.

Your Critical Path:
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Your instructor:

Jim Robison has over 30 years' experience in business management as director of supply chain, director of production control, materials manager, inventory manager, purchasing manager, accounts payable manager, and as the owner of a small business. Jim has served as a project manager, or project team member, in several organizations. He has a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree in operations and technology management from Golden Gate University, a Master of Business Administration degree from Sonoma State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in business and industrial management from San Jose State University. Jim is certified as a Project Management Professional, PMP®, by the Project Management Institute. He is also a Certified Fellow in Production and Inventory Management, CFPIM®, and is Certified in Integrated Resource Management, CIRM®; both certifications awarded by APICS, the Association for Operations Management. In addition, Jim earned the Certified Purchasing Manager, C.P.M., designation from the Institute for Supply Management. He retired from the US Army Reserve, after 22 years of service, as a Lieutenant Colonel. He has been teaching business courses at Sonoma State University since 2001.