Program Officer Education Requirements And Degrees

There are several education requirements to become a program officer. Program officers usually study business, political science or psychology. 57% of program officers hold a bachelor's degree and 24% hold a master's degree. We found these by analyzing 4,381 program officer resumes to investigate the topic of program officer education more precisely.

The most common colleges for students to pursue their goal of becoming a program officer are George Washington University, The and American University. We also broke down what colleges provide the best overall education for a program officer. Students have a great path to earning their program officer qualifications at the following schools:

  1. University of Pennsylvania
  2. Northwestern University
  3. Pennsylvania State University

If you're interested in getting a college degree in an affordable college for program officers - Hunter College of the City University of New York is an excellent option for you. If your SAT or ACT score aren't as high as you'd like, you can look at Mount Saint Mary's University, as the admission requirements aren't too selective. On the other end of that spectrum are the Northwestern University, University of Pennsylvania and New York University.

For those who would rather stay in your pajamas during the day, we prepared some online courses that can help in program officer education paths.

We prepared a list of a program officer certifications that you should consider. The necessary certifications that program officers must have to succeed are Project Management (2005) and Project Management Professional (PMP).

What Degree Should I Get to Become a Program Officer ?

We assessed our data to determine the typical level of education for program officers. The most common degree for program officers is bachelor's degree. In fact, 57% of program officers earn that degree. A close second is master's degree with 24% and rounding it off is associate degree with 4%.

  • Bachelors degree, 57%
  • Masters degree, 24%
  • Associate degree, 4%
  • Doctorate degree, 3%
  • Other Degrees, 12%
What Should I Major in to Become a Program Officer ?

According to our resume data, most program officers, 16% to be exact, major in business. Some other common majors for a program officer include political science and psychology majors.

Most Common Colleges for Program Officer

Here are the most common colleges for a program officer career in the US based on their resumes. Program officers often get their degree in George Washington University, The, American University, and New York University.

George Washington University, The

American University

New York University

Georgetown University

Harvard University

Average Program Officer Salary by Education Level

Program officers with a Doctorate degree earn more than those without, at $109,946 annually. With a Masters degree, program officers earn a median annual income of $87,219 compared to $75,569 for program officers with an Bachelors degree.

Some College/ Associate Degree

Bachelor's Degree

Master's Degree

Doctorate Degree

Educationascdesc
Salaryascdesc
Some College/ Associate Degree$68,248
Bachelor's Degree$75,569
Master's Degree$87,219
Doctorate Degree$109,946

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Most Common Certifications For Program Officer

There are certain things that come along with being certified. In addition to earning a credential that proves you know what you're doing, you might also receive some extra benefits or a salary raise from your company. Sometimes it pays to do the extra work. If you're interested in making more money as a program officer, you might consider earning these certifications:

  • Project Management (2005)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Certified Professional - Human Resource (IPMA-CP)

1. Project Management (2005)

Our Project Management 2005 test measures your knowledge of how to manage projects to ensure that objectives are completed on time and within budget. The test is based on Project Management Institute's (PMI's), Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Third Edition methodology. Designed for all professionals, this test covers the following topics: Project Costs, Project Framework, Project Human Resources and Communications, Project Integration, Project Processes, Project Procurement, Project Quality, Project Risk, Project Schedule, Project Scope.

Our Project Management 2005 test measures your knowledge of how to manage projects to ensure that objectives are completed on time and within budget. The test is based on Project Management Institute's (PMI's), Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Third Edition methodology. Designed for all professionals, this test covers the following topics: Project Costs, Project Framework, Project Human Resources and Communications, Project Integration, Project Processes, Project Procurement, Project Quality, Project Risk, Project Schedule, Project Scope.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? 
Certifying Website
Project Management (2005)
Certifying Organization
Brainbench
Course That Help You To Prepare For Certification
Project Management Certification Training + 2 Practice Exams
udemy
4.8
(116)
2. Project Management Professional (PMP)

The PMP designation following your name tells current and potential employers that you have demonstrated a solid foundation of knowledge from which you can competently practice project management.To be eligible for a PMP Credential, you must first meet specific educational and project management experience requirements and agree to adhere to a code of professional conduct. The final step to becoming a PMP is passing a rigorous multiple-choice examination designed to objectively assess and measure your ability to apply project management knowledge in the following six domains: initiating the project, planning the project, executing the project, monitoring and controlling the project, closing the project, and professional and social responsibility. This computer-based examination is administered globally with translation aids in 10 languages.

The PMP designation following your name tells current and potential employers that you have demonstrated a solid foundation of knowledge from which you can competently practice project management.To be eligible for a PMP Credential, you must first meet specific educational and project management experience requirements and agree to adhere to a code of professional conduct. The final step to becoming a PMP is passing a rigorous multiple-choice examination designed to objectively assess and measure your ability to apply project management knowledge in the following six domains: initiating the project, planning the project, executing the project, monitoring and controlling the project, closing the project, and professional and social responsibility. This computer-based examination is administered globally with translation aids in 10 languages.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 3 year(s)
Course That Help You To Prepare For Certification
Project Management Certification Training + 2 Practice Exams
udemy
4.8
(116)
3. Certified Professional - Human Resource (IPMA-CP)

IPMA-HR strives to encourage excellence in public sector human resources, promote continuous learning and develop the next generation of leaders. To that end, IPMA-HR offers two internationally recognized certification programs to the public HR community: the IPMA-CP and the IPMA-CS.

IPMA-HR strives to encourage excellence in public sector human resources, promote continuous learning and develop the next generation of leaders. To that end, IPMA-HR offers two internationally recognized certification programs to the public HR community: the IPMA-CP and the IPMA-CS.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 3 year(s)

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Program Officer

Top Online Courses For Program Officers

Sometimes things are just better when you get to stay in your pajamas all day. That includes school. We found top courses for program officers from Udemy, Coursera, EDX, and ed2go that will help you advance in your career. Here are essential skills you need to be a program officer:

  • Project management
  • Public health
  • Powerpoint
If you want to improve program officers skills these courses could help you in this.

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Top 10 Colleges For Program Officers

In a lot of cases, a higher education can mean a higher salary or even a better job. That's why we found out the best colleges for program officers. We based this list on these metrics: admissions rate, retention rate, mean earnings of students working, ratio of working vs. non-working students 10 years after admission, average cost of attendance and median debt for graduates.

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

4. California State University - Dominguez Hills

Carson, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,942
Enrollment
13,871

5. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905

6. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

7. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

8. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

9. University of North Texas

Denton, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,852
Enrollment
31,375

10. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

Top 10 Affordable Colleges For Program Officers

If those top 10 were a bit out of your price range, you might want to check these schools instead. After factoring in in-state tuition and fees, average cost of attendance, admissions rate, average net price and mean earnings after 6 years, we found that these are the most affordable schools for program officers.

1. Hunter College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,182
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$13,998

2. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$16,714

3. California State University - Fullerton

Fullerton, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,886
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$17,645

4. California State University - Dominguez Hills

Carson, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,942
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$14,469

5. Baruch College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,262
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$14,046

6. University of South Florida

Tampa, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,410
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$20,456

7. Brigham Young University

Provo, UT • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,620
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$18,136

8. Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,656
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$21,623

9. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$18,306

10. California State University - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,749
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$14,823

Top 10 Hardest Colleges To Get Into For Program Officers

Some people like a challenge. Well, we challenge you to get into one of these schools. It's not going to be easy. We know this based on these institutions' admissions rates, average SAT scores accepted, median ACT scores accepted and mean earnings of students 6 years after admission.

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

Admissions Rate
8%
SAT Average
1,508

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

Admissions Rate
8%
SAT Average
1,492

3. New York University

New York, NY • Private

Admissions Rate
20%
SAT Average
1,419

4. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

Admissions Rate
11%
SAT Average
1,513

5. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
5%
SAT Average
1,520

6. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
13%
SAT Average
1,445

7. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

Admissions Rate
6%
SAT Average
1,512

8. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
19%
SAT Average
1,466

9. George Washington University, The

Washington, DC • Private

Admissions Rate
42%
SAT Average
1,380

10. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
22%
SAT Average
1,420

Top 10 Easier To Apply Colleges For Program Officers

Why make getting a job harder on yourself than it has to be? With these colleges, you're sure to be accepted in no time. We compiled admissions rates, average SAT scores, average ACT scores and average salary of students 6 years after graduation in order to uncover which were the easiest schools to get into.

1. Mount Saint Mary's University

Los Angeles, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
84%
SAT Average
1,031

2. Notre Dame de Namur University

Belmont, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
82%
SAT Average
983

3. University of North Texas at Dallas

Dallas, TX • Private

Admissions Rate
83%
SAT Average
992

4. Wayland Baptist University

Plainview, TX • Private

Admissions Rate
98%
SAT Average
1,003

5. Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Valley, PA • Private

Admissions Rate
92%
SAT Average
1,031

6. Barry University

Miami, FL • Private

Admissions Rate
91%
SAT Average
1,006

7. Holy Names University

Oakland, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
70%
SAT Average
849

8. University of Baltimore

Baltimore, MD • Private

Admissions Rate
78%
SAT Average
1,020

9. Oklahoma Wesleyan University

Bartlesville, OK • Private

Admissions Rate
68%
SAT Average
964

10. Grand View University

Des Moines, IA • Private

Admissions Rate
92%
SAT Average
1,060

Program Officer Internship Jobs

Program Officer Jobs

Updated April 30, 2021