MS in Agile Project Management: Course Descriptions

The 30-credit online MS in Agile Project Management includes 12 credits of Agile project management courses as part of a larger project management curriculum including related business and leadership coursework.

Employer-driven, expert-developed

Success in the workplace requires more than possessing relevant knowledge. You must also know how to communicate your ideas, work with teams, make ethical decisions, think critically, and demonstrate cross-cultural competence.

To ensure our graduates learn these skills - and more - our online MS in Agile Project Management program was designed using a unique curriculum structure called the Professional Studies Experience (PSE).

The four-phase curriculum model, or framework, blends professionally aligned advanced training and workplace skill-building with the standard course work required of your Agile Project Management degree. When you complete the professional skills courses, you'll be able to:

  • Examine and demonstrate the use of analytic tools, both quantitative and qualitative, to provide descriptive, predictive and prescriptive project data
  • Assess emerging trends in the global workplace and the impacts of ever-changing technologies
  • Value the importance of ethical, intercultural, and agency/client/stakeholder relationships
  • Establish professional relationships with all stakeholders by demonstrating leadership skills and using appropriate correspondence channels

With this holistic curriculum, you will stand out from the crowd with the knowledge and skills that are in demand among employers.

Field/Professional Courses in Agile Project Management (12 credits)

This course introduces the concepts, principles, and methods of the foundations of all project management and development. Learners will examine traditional, agile, and adaptive styles of management. Explore the advantages and disadvantages of Agile development, including variants such as Scrum, and discuss and demonstrate how to apply best practices from various methodologies to organize and lead an Agile team. A particular emphasis is adaptive project management, which is based on Agile principles but blends traditional methods as needed to adapt to particular environments and management needs.

Understanding the impact of Agile on the bottom line and how this affects the financial management and appraisal of projects is important to executives, project sponsors and managers, risk managers, staff, and anyone in the organization that shares an interest in the initiative. This course focuses on the elements of Agile that are relevant to risk assessment and management, including requirements gathering and estimation (“story” writing and “sizing”), contracting (team total and iteration “backlogs”), cost accounting (time and task recording) and the handling of operational and capital expenditure, ROI, financial decision-making, the impact of budgetary practices, and financial uncertainty. Some of these activities are done by the project manager alongside, instead of inside, the project team. Additionally, students will be introduced to DeOps on the importance of the relationship and communication between Development and Operations. Prerequisite: APM 600.

This course is designed specifically with the non-economist in mind, including adult professionals who may have little or no academic preparation in economics. It includes recent developments in the theoretical and empirical cost-benefit analysis (CBA) literature, beginning with a detailed discussion of welfare economics and the microeconomic foundations of CBA. It gives comprehensive treatment to CBA methodology and concludes with the current state of CBA as it is practiced by a variety of public, private, and international agencies with applications in areas such as healthcare, environmental management, energy, law enforcement, internet strategy, and others. No prerequisites.

The final capstone is a culminating project that utilizes a set of skills which demonstrate maturity and professionalism in strategic thinking in Agile Project Management. Informed by an understanding of data, technology, emerging trends in Agile Project Management, leadership, and information technology, the course focuses on high-level independent document delivery and writing, applied research and analysis, and the creation of a polished, professionally written business plan. The major content of this course focuses on high-level independent document delivery and writing, applied research and analysis, and the creation of a polished, professionally written analytical report that will be shared with a local organization. From a personal development perspective, this course adds value in its requirement for self-directed time management, meeting milestones, individual project management, and peer review of colleagues’ work. Academically, this course provides a valuable in-depth experience into the careful planning, preparation, research, analysis, and writing required for high-level leadership in the healthcare industry. All work is supported by an instructor, a structured course that provides milestones and deadlines, and interaction with peers who will experience the same course simultaneously. Prerequisites: All other courses in the program.

Core Courses (9 credits)

This course explores the current and potential impacts of new, emerging, and rapidly evolving technologies on organizations and their operations, across a range of industries and sectors. Topics include project design, data collection, and data storage as well as legal and privacy issues. Students will gain hands-on experience with techniques for gathering and analyzing information including audio, video, and text capture; media analytics; mapping and data visualization; mobile data collection systems; and more. In addition to tools and best practices, participants will examine challenges and opportunities for designing projects that implement current and emerging technologies to ensure success.

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The main objective of this course is to improve the intercultural competencies and communication skills of students, with a particular focus on aspects of intercultural communication highly relevant for technical experts and managers. Students will increase their understanding of, and ability to work with, the processes involved when cultures come into contact. This course will enhance the student’s ability to think critically and creatively about today’s cultural challenges, to practice intercultural relations, and to provide a perspective on one’s personal and social responsibility as current and future leaders.

The primary goal of this course is to explore quantitative and qualitative tools and methods used to evaluate, present, and communicate data (big and small). Students will also learn how to summarize and communicate findings to stakeholders so that they may make informed decisions that will improve the overall quality and efficiency of an organization. Topics include asking the right questions of data, constructing Statements of Work for performance and impact evaluation, conducting t-tests, ANOVA, ANCOVA, matching, differences in differences, regression discontinuity in program evaluation, and disseminating quantitative findings. No prerequisites.

Required Courses (6 credits)

This course provides students with the skills needed to collaborate with global partners and widespread teams and to effectively communicate with clients, including large and small corporations, internal and external customers, and members of the project team. Drawing on real-world case studies, students will learn how to prepare and document project correspondence, how to master the art of persuasion, and how to satisfy clients despite budgetary and methodological restrictions. No prerequisites.

This course will cover identifying challenges with virtual teams, increasing awareness of the need for virtual leadership, assessing the strengths and recognizing the unique differences between creating and sustaining trust. Additionally, a major goal is recognizing and influencing levels of engagement and appreciating generational and cultural differences in the way people operate and manage conflict among team members in the absence of normal interactive and visual cues.

Elective Courses (3 credits)

Choose 1 of the following courses:

This course evaluates the healthcare delivery system in the U.S. and the impact initiatives have on healthcare quality, cost and access. Students will become familiar with the costs involved, tiered services, preventative healthcare, trends in healthcare utilization, and the role of major providers and payers.

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This course will explore the breadth and depth of the range of systems that cover the workplace and human resource management. The leading performance tools as well as tracking tools will be presented and the importance of new cloud based public and private tools will be examined. Human resource management has become a technology-based profession. In many organizations, employees view the face of HR as a portal rather than as a person. This transformation of HR service delivery is known as "e-HR," which requires a vital change in the way HR professionals perform their roles. Many of what used to be time-consuming manual processes are now performed by computers, freeing HR professionals to work on higher-value strategic activities. As a result, the demand for technological solutions to HR issues are constantly increasing. No prerequisites.

This rigorous course covers the systems approach for instructional design, including the analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of instructional materials (ADDIE). It also presents learning domains (including the affective/motivational domain), metacognition (knowing what you know, and how you learn), and evaluation levels. Although this class is strongly rooted in ID theory, it will provide relevant examples of real-world contexts.

This course introduces the terminology, critical issues and current debates in the field of evaluation, independent of specific disciplines. It also covers the design of monitoring and evaluation plans and of logical models.

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Learn the principles of managing a sports organization and gain a broad overview of the sports business marketplace, including the financial and accounting acumen necessary for success. Students will be introduced to various types of sports organizations and to topics such as fiscal and budgetary control, ownership, and day-to-day operations, as well as learning the techniques, tools, theories and attributes required in sports leadership and management.

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When initiating change, organizations need to identify the right change for their organization and decide how to implement the change correctly. In the decision making process, critical factors need to be taken into consideration in a methodical, deliberate, and measurable way. This course provides the benefits of and insights into pre-implementation decision-making processes for framing and subsequently implementing strategic change. The impact of measurement and metrics on decisions for successful strategic change is discussed. It will conclude with a reflective evaluation of the lessons learned. No prerequisites.

This course explores professional ethics and leadership to maximize organizational and personal success across a wide range of disciplines and fields. Participants will learn about ethical issues involved in working with clients and donors, professional correspondence, and managing monitoring and evaluation functions. These topics will be approached within a framework of organizational leadership theories and current trends. No prerequisites.

This course teaches qualitative research skills for project planning, monitoring, and evaluation activities. Students will analyze the strengths, weaknesses, and uses of qualitative data, investigating the circumstances under which planners and evaluators use qualitative methods. Working with an academic practitioner, students will learn qualitative data collection tools and techniques, including participant observation, interviews, and focus groups. In collaboration with an organization in their local community, students will complete practical assignments that require the application of several data collection techniques.

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This course explores quantitative methods in project planning, monitoring, and evaluation. It provides opportunities for students to design quantitative evaluations and apply statistical measures to test hypotheses. Students will explore the use of statistical software in managing and manipulating data and the production of descriptive and analytical reports that meet the guidelines and expectations of professional practitioners in the field. They will develop an understanding of an often intimidating and difficult subject with an approach that is informative, personable, and clear as they are guided through various statistical procedures, beginning with descriptive statistics, correlation, and graphical representation of data through inferential techniques, variance, and more.

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To learn more about American University’s online MS in Agile Project Management program, call 855.725.7614 to speak with an admissions adviser or request more information.