Construction Management Degree Programs

The management chain involved with construction is quite large and as a result, degrees spanning all levels are available. This allows you to pursue a degree that is on par with your desired position. Construction management also reflects many concepts and responsibilities found in other forms of management. Because of this, project management, contract management, and general management majors can pursue construction management careers too.

Degrees Used for Construction Management

A degree specifically in construction management offers the best skill-set when pursuing a position for this career choice. Programs will not only explore general management competencies like project management and planning, risk assessment, human resources, and communication but also industry-oriented elements like attention to safety, regulations, and laws. That said, various other majors like project management, general management, and contract management can be applied to jobs in this field.

Associate's Degrees in Construction Management & Related Fields

Bachelor's Degrees in Construction Management & Related Fields

Master's Degrees in Construction Management & Related Fields

Postgraduate Certificates in Construction Management & Related Fields

How Do These Degrees Differ?

Graduate degrees in construction management require more time than the undergraduate degrees. More advanced degrees take longer to achieve, usually on the order of two or more years longer than less advanced degrees.

The associate’s degree is typically earned in two years of study while the bachelor’s degree takes four. A master’s degree usually requires a year or two of study after completion of a bachelor’s degree. Certification programs aren’t the same as degrees, though one can lead to the other. A certificate in construction management just lets potential employers know that a trusted organization has vouched for your competence in the field.

Students pursuing a bachelor degree in construction usually earn a Bachelor of Science degree (BS), which can lead to management positions and career advancement. A BS in a construction management program teaches the basic set of skills needed to bring a construction project to completion. A BS program in construction management, construction management technology, or construction science customarily blends both technical and engineering instruction with a solid business background. Building construction bachelor’s degree programs have a core emphasis on communication and business relations, rather than engineering and architecture. Bachelor’s degree programs in construction engineering or construction engineering management concentrate on specific construction trades and project management.

While it is possible to concentrate in any of the above listed vocations during school, many construction managers get a very broad education at school and then learn the specifics of their chosen niche through practice and on-the-job training.

What is the Goal of a Master’s Degree in Construction Management?

A student earning a master’s degree in a practical subject like construction management usually has one primary goal: career advancement. Someone seeking a master’s degree usually needs to have previously earned a bachelor’s degree. The MS in construction, construction management, and construction science management programs build upon the educational foundation from a bachelor’s degree in the field. The MS in construction administration programs highlight project management with an emphasis on construction safety. Master’s degree programs in building construction offer advanced instruction specialized in technical areas such as planning and scheduling, materials, high rise construction and building techniques. Construction engineering management masters programs spotlight engineering and industrial applications of construction methods.

Course Content and Specialties in Construction Management Programs

Within these construction management degree distinctions, programs have different emphases and specializations. Subject matter that is likely to be included in undergraduate degrees in construction management includes:

  • Electrical installation – Knowing how to construct a building to accommodate the necessary electrical wiring and appliances is crucial for construction managers.
  • Residential building – Zoning laws are different for residential buildings than for commercial spaces and government buildings. Construction managers need to apply for the proper building permits for each project.
  • Demolition and reconstruction – Taking buildings down in such a way that building materials can be reused is growing in popularity as renewable and sustainable architecture takes off. A construction manager with a knack for green building will be ahead of the curve in this competitive job market.
  • Architectural drafting – Drawing up plans for a building is an art unto itself. Architects study for years to learn how to communicate the exact proportions, as well as the look and feel, of a building on paper. While a construction manager doesn’t need to make these drawings, they do need to know how to read them and build from them.

Construction managers have to be good at a lot of different skills to do their job well, because they are often responsible for every step of the project, from supplies procurement to scheduling, project management, and completion.

Computer Literacy for Construction Management Students

Computers have permeated the construction industry as they have with every other industry, and construction managers may need to have specialized training in certain computer programs and functions.

Drawing up building plans is one major task that is done with complex computer programs that likely require official training to master. While much of the actual planning and drafting of blueprints might be done by an architect, interior designer, or landscape designer, a construction manager can still benefit from learning how to use the following programs:

  • AutoCAD: Short for Automatic Computer Aided Design, this software is a widely used platform for developing 2D and 3D graphic models of both internal and external structures. Knowing something about AutoCAD will help construction managers be able to more easily communicate with the architects and designers they work with.
  • Google SketchUp: This is a free, rich modeling software that is good for making mockups of buildings or just visualizing the way a space should be laid out. There is a Pro edition of the software which costs money, but the free edition is a great learning tool for construction management students to take advantage of.
  • ProEst: An extremely popular genre of software for construction managers that has blossomed in the past few years is cost estimation software. ProEst and others like it use algorithms to predict the cost of a project, so that contractors can offer potential customers a better price than the competition. There are dozens of options for this type of software, and as they get more sophisticated, it will be harder and harder to beat them using old standard methods like spreadsheets of old pricing data.

While basic computer literacy is a prerequisite of any type of higher education and is necessary in any career field, the above programs will be especially useful to aspiring construction managers who want to stay ahead of the curve.

Practical Experience as a Component of Education

Classroom learning isn’t going to be enough to make you into a great construction manager. This is a hands-on career, and some hands-on experience will be necessary for any student to reach their real potential in this field. Some ways to get experience in construction management before entering school or even while you’re in college are:

  • Work at a Construction Site: If you’re physically able and willing to put in the hours, getting a job at a construction site shouldn’t be too difficult, and you can learn what it is really like to work in the industry.
  • Shadow a Construction Manager: Contact a construction company and see if you can visit one of their worksites and shadow the manager for a day or so to get a feel for what their job is like. If you tell them you want to work in the field someone will probably be glad to show you around and explain what the day-to-day life of a construction manager is like.
  • Internships and Volunteer Opportunities: Many college programs require students to do a semester-long internship for credit in order to graduate. Some companies will even pay interns an hourly wage, though many only provide college credit. Even if your college doesn’t require an internship or volunteering, it is a good way to make professional connections and get a line on your resume, and could make securing employment after graduation easier.

Even some work experience or volunteering might not prepare you for what it is really like to work as a construction manager full time. But if you’re interested in the career, and similar careers are also appealing to you, then heading to school for a bachelor’s or master’s degree is probably a good bet.

Composition of a Construction Management Program

Bachelor’s Degrees in construction management usually contain a block of core curriculum classes like English, mathematics, history, and other essential components of higher education, as well as a more upper level courses that deal specifically with construction management subject matter. Below is a graph that shows the percentage of general courses to the percentage of construction specific classes in the construction management degree program at Everglades University.

How to Use This Site

Created in 2010, ConstructionManagementDegree.com is a website serving educational purposes. Its mission to provide a comprehensive overview of construction management degrees. If you are considering a degree and career in construction management, there should be plenty of info on this site to help you get started down that road.

After compiling loads of research, we were able to organize and confine this data to a complete list of schools that offer a degree in construction management, along with a link to basic information about the program. Hopefully this site will allow future students to have an easy and broad list of schools when choosing the right campus.

Construction Management Degree Programs

These construction management degree programs are offered by accredited colleges. You can request information from about any program by clicking the college's logo.

Ashford University
Ashford University – Ashford University's highly-rated online BA in Operations Management and Analysis program is fully accredited and provides a broad based curriculum that prepares students for a variety of management careers. This degree can be completed on your own timeline and in an environment of your choosing. Ashford also offers a BA and MBA in Project Management.
DeVry University</span>
DeVry University – DeVry has two online courses that include skill development for time management, safety awareness, risk assessment and management, task prioritization, and communication and interaction. Students can pick from either a BBA in Project Management or a BBA in Operations Management.
Kaplan University
Kaplan University – Kaplan is a leading online educator with hundreds of accredited courses available in various fields of study. KU provides two Bachelors of Science in Project Management: one is a BSBA degree that is for students starting their education while the other is an MBA designed for student who have had prior education.
Everglades University
Everglades University – Everglades University offers a fully online Bachelors in Construction Management program which includes accredited courses in essential skills and tools such as construction contracts, construction law, building construction drawing and drafting, construction scheduling, and project management.

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