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Master's in construction management programs prepare graduates for careers in a diverse, lucrative, and growing industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 8% employment growth for construction managers between 2019 and 2029. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $95,260.
Construction management students aren't limited to a single field. Thanks to their diverse skill sets, graduates can qualify for management occupations across various business occupations.
This page delves into construction management programs, offering information about courses, careers, and requirements. For additional information, check out our master's in construction management program guide.
What Are the Best Online Master's in Construction Management Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|1||University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA|
|2||University of Washington||Seattle, WA|
|3||Clemson University||Clemson, SC|
|4||Worcester Polytechnic Institute||Worcester, MA|
|5||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||Champaign, IL|
|6||Stevens Institute of Technology||Hoboken, NJ|
|7||Florida International University||Miami, FL|
|8||Arizona State University||Scottsdale, AZ|
|9||Louisiana State University and A&M College||Baton Rouge, LA|
|10||Purdue University||West Lafayette, IN|
- How We Rank Schools
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Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
2021 Best Accredited Online Master's in Construction Management Programs
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University of Southern California
|Los Angeles, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 92%||
USC's master's in construction management program accepts full-time and part-time students. The program's 32-credit curriculum emphasizes construction practices, construction business, and project controls. Learners also select four electives that align with their personal interests and career goals. Students usually take four semesters to graduate.
USC provides distance learners with access to virtual career fairs. The school also oversees a unique mentorship program for first-generation college students.
Prospective students can apply for the fall or spring semester. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree in engineering, GRE scores, and a personal statement. Financial aid opportunities for online graduate students include Stafford Loans.
University of Washington
|Seattle, WA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 84%||
UW's 42-credit online master's degree in construction management uses a quarter system and includes coursework in construction materials, environmental regulations, and temporary structures. Full-time students can complete the program within one year.
Nearly 80% of UW alumni report a positive career or education outcome within six months of earning a degree. The university hosts a career and internship center that offers numerous resources for online learners, including Skype sessions with a counselor and virtual workshops.
UW admits new learners throughout the year. Admission requirements include a bachelor's in construction management or engineering, two recommendation letters, and GRE scores. The university charges the same tuition and fees to all online learners in this program, regardless of residency.
|Clemson, SC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 83%||
Distance learners who want to participate in synchronous online courses can enroll in Clemson's master's in construction science and management program. The curriculum requires 21-30 credits and includes thesis and non-thesis tracks. All students take courses in advanced planning and scheduling, project management, and emerging technologies. Learners can supplement the degree with a certificate in integrated project delivery.
Clemson's Center for Career and Professional Development features virtual workshops delivered through Zoom and a career planning guide. These services help over 80% of alumni find employment or earn admission into another graduate program.
Admission requirements include a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, an engineering degree, three recommendation letters, and GRE scores. Applicants must also have relevant work experience.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
|Worcester, MA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 87%||
WPI's 33-credit online master's degree in construction project management features coursework in advanced project management, financial decision-making for value creation, and advanced cost estimating. The curriculum does not include a thesis requirement.
Over the past three years, 100% of WPI's construction management alumni have found employment soon after earning a degree. Current students can speak with a career advisor through Skype and research the latest job openings through the university's website.
Prospective students should hold a bachelor's in architecture, management engineering, or civil engineering. Applicants with a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA may qualify for the Gateway Scholarship. Students may also be able to set up a monthly payment plan.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
|Champaign, IL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 84%||
U of I's master's in construction management online program includes a 12-course, 36-credit curriculum that emphasizes construction cost analysis, construction case studies, and virtual sensing for civil infrastructure engineering. Students can select between thesis and non-thesis tracks. Some learners can graduate within one year.
Career resources for engineering students include Handshake software, a career readiness guide, and an internship board. Degree-seekers can also review network tips and use VMock — an online platform that provides detailed resume critiques.
Admission requirements include a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, GRE scores, and three recommendation letters. U of I does not charge out-of-state students a higher tuition rate for this online program. The university considers all incoming learners for institutional fellowships.
Stevens Institute of Technology
|Hoboken, NJ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 87%||
Stevens' online master's degree in construction management delivers coursework asynchronously and features three focus areas: management, experiential opportunities, and technical skills in the built environment. The program focuses on practical learning through case studies and projects.
More than 95% of Stevens alumni start a job immediately after graduation and enjoy an average $76,400 per year salary. Students can research job openings on the university's website and hone their interviewing skills through InterviewStream software.
Admission requirements include a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, GMAT or GRE scores, and two recommendation letters. Stevens waives the standardized test score requirement for part-time learners. Full-time students pay a per-semester tuition rate, which can save them thousands of dollars compared to part-time learners.
Florida International University
|Miami, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
FIU's master's in construction management program requires 30-36 credits. Notable courses include productivity in construction, construction information systems, and construction claims. Additionally, students planning to enter a doctoral program can pursue a thesis track.
FIU offers learners online handouts that cover resume writing, interviewing tips, and internship opportunities. Over 33% of learners who complete one or more internships while studying at FIU receive a job offer before graduating.
Admission requirements include a minimum 3.0 GPA, a resume, and an essay. However, applicants need not submit standardized test scores. Florida residents save approximately 20% on tuition compared to non-residents.
Arizona State University
|Scottsdale, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 48%||
ASU's online master's degree in construction management and technology features full-time and accelerated options. The 30-credit curriculum includes required courses in the principles of leadership for project managers, facilities operations and maintenance, and construction company financial control. Students can customize the degree by selecting three electives.
ASU offers multiple resources for online learners, including virtual advising sessions and Handshake software. These resources help more than 90% of graduates receive at least one job offer within three months of earning their degree.
Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree in any field and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants must also submit a resume and a personal statement. ASU charges all online learners the same tuition rate.
Louisiana State University and A&M College
|Baton Rouge, LA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 67%||
The master of science in construction management at LSU can be completed entirely online. This program blends concepts related to business, engineering, and construction management. Online students follow a non-thesis professional pathway, completing 36 credits of coursework: nine credits of core courses and 27 credits of guided electives.
LSU's construction management alumni enjoy an average salary of $110,500, finding work as estimators, materials managers, and code inspectors. Students can research career opportunities and receive personal statement and resume reviews on the university's website.
Admission requirements include a minimum 2.75 undergraduate GPA and GRE scores. LSU waives the GRE requirement for applicants who hold a bachelor's degree in construction management or a similar field. LSU's Department of Construction Management awards a limited number of scholarships to online graduate students.
|West Lafayette, IN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 81%||
Purdue's online master's degree in construction management uses a synchronous delivery method in which courses meet in the evenings. As such, the program is a good fit for students who work full time. During the program, students analyze risk management in construction, sustainable site development, and construction leadership and marketing. Most learners can earn their degree in two years.
Purdue's online job search toolkit provides students with guides that cover resumes, networking, and salary negotiation. The university also maintains a global internship board, which is an excellent resource for construction management students planning to work abroad.
Admission requirements include a bachelor's in construction management, three recommendation letters, and a statement of purpose. Indiana residents save approximately 33% on tuition.
What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Construction Management Program?
Successful construction management professionals need time management, interpersonal, analytical, and leadership skills.
Successful construction management professionals need time management, interpersonal, analytical, and leadership skills. They also need knowledge of business and construction methods. Most of these programs require 30-45 credits, and students typically graduate in 18-24 months.
These programs often award either an MS or master of construction management (MCM) degree, with few differences between the degree types. Some schools offer construction management specializations within MBA programs, which focus more on general leadership and project management skills.
Core courses in construction management focus on topics like facilities, finance, and project management. Some programs offer concentrations in areas like real estate development, sustainability, and design. Many programs also allow students to complete an internship to gain experience in the field.
Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Construction Management Programs
Admission requirements vary between programs, but most schools require a bachelor's degree at minimum. Some programs require applicants to meet GPA, GMAT, or GRE score cutoffs. Prospective students must also submit letters of recommendation.
Depending on the program, candidates may also need professional experience or relevant prerequisite training.
For more information, consult our graduate admissions guide.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Construction Management Program?
Each online master's in construction management program is unique, although most programs cover similar core topics. The following section highlights five common courses at this level.
- Facilities Operations
Facilities operations courses examine various management methods and the responsibilities of facilities managers. Covered topics include contract management, building codes, and design and building techniques. Students also consider security, health and safety, and sustainability.
- Construction Methods
In construction methods courses, students learn how to identify necessary equipment, budget materials, and understand specifications. Degree-seekers also learn how to ascertain building codes and evaluate how regulations impact jobs and material requests.
- Energy Management
In this course, learners study energy- and cost-saving strategies for buildings, including new designs and retrofitted systems. Students explore air and water systems, security, and lighting. Learners also examine different energy codes and certifications.
- Quality Management
Quality management courses teach students notable strategies for quality control and leadership techniques for construction managers. Coursework explores the planning process, as well as the impacts of tests and inspections. Students also learn risk-based quality management, which incorporates quality controls into the design process.
- Budgeting and Bidding
This course covers job budgeting and bidding processes in the construction industry. Students learn how to estimate job costs, create an accurate budget, and issue a formal bid. Learners observe the tendering process and examine related documents. Students also learn how to conduct surveys and oversee planning processes that precede the building phase.
Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree
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What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Construction Management Degree?
As the population grows and energy efficiency increases in importance, the need for skilled and educated construction managers is likely to rise. Consequently, the BLS projects 8% employment growth for construction managers between 2019 and 2029.
Despite strong competition for positions in this field, a master's in construction management can provide graduates with access to some of the best careers in the industry.
- Construction Manager
Construction managers oversee building projects, including planning and budgeting for jobs, ensuring the design and build meet all codes and regulations, and supervising and auditing for quality control. According to the BLS, 38% of construction managers are self-employed, 17% are specialty trade contractors, and 16% work in nonresidential building construction.
- Civil Engineering
Civil engineers design and plan infrastructure builds, including public and private projects of various sizes. Many civil engineers work in construction, creating build plans that satisfy time and money budgets, as well as safety rules and regulations. According to the BLS, 49% of these engineers work in engineering services, 12% work for state governments, and 10% work for local governments.
- Cost Estimator
Cost estimators create time and cost budgets for projects. They identify what materials, personnel, and accommodations a project needs and find ways to save money and improve performance. According to the BLS, 36% of cost estimators work in the specialty trade contractor industry, 17% work in building construction, and 13% work in manufacturing.
- Engineering Manager
Engineering managers oversee the design, planning, and building of engineering projects for organizations. They manage staffing, budgeting, materials requests, and regulation compliance on most jobs. According to the BLS, 35% of these managers work in manufacturing, 26% work in engineering services, and 9% work for the government.
- Industrial Production Manager
Industrial production managers supervise industrial plants, planning and organizing production activities. They also set performance and quality goals and evaluate and monitor safety, quality, and performance progress. According to the BLS, 10% of these managers work in fabricated metal products manufacturing, 9% work in transportation equipment manufacturing, and 8% work in chemical manufacturing.
Construction Management Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Construction Management Programs
- Is a master's in construction management worth it?
Depending on your career goals, a master's in construction management can be very worthwhile. Between 2019 and 2029, the BLS projects 8% job growth for construction managers. These professionals make a median annual salary of $95,260.
- What can I do with a master's in construction management?
Graduates can begin careers as construction managers. They can also pursue various construction-related careers, such as cost estimator or civil engineer.
- Can you become a construction manager without a degree?
Talented construction professionals can become managers without a degree, permitted they have sufficient experience. In most cases, however, construction managers hold a bachelor's degree at minimum, according to the BLS. Supervisors of smaller jobs and within smaller organizations may qualify with an associate degree or industry certification.
- How much money can I make with a master's in construction management?
Salary potential varies considerably by location, position, and employer. However, according to the BLS, construction managers earn a median annual salary of $95,260, with the top 10% bringing in over $164,790 per year.
- What are the highest paying jobs with a master's in construction management?
Engineering management is likely the most lucrative job available to professionals with a master's in construction management. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for this field is $144,830. The top 10% of engineering managers make over $208,000 per year.