Best Online Master’s in Construction Management Degrees

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What do Dubai, Shanghai, Seoul, New York City, and Mecca all have in common?

Best OnlineMaster's in Construction Management Degrees Badge

Give up? They’re all home to five of the ten tallest buildings on the planet. (The Burj Khalifa, Shanghai Tower, Lotte World Tower, One World Trade Center, and Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower, just in case you were wondering.)

That’s an interesting fact, but take a minute to consider how on earth a team of workers was able to build a tower that is 163 floors and nearly half a mile tall. Now consider what it might be like to be the one overseeing the team of workers responsible for erecting something that enormous. No pressure, right?

Wrong! That’s the job of the construction manager, and man, is it complicated.

Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Construction Management Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Arizona State University Phoenix, AZ
2 Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LA
3 North Dakota State University Fargo, ND
4 Clemson University Clemson, SC
5 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
6 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
7 South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Rapid City, SD
8 Columbia University New York, NY
9 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chattanooga, TN
10 Brigham Young University Laie, HI

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What kind of Online Master’s in Construction Management Degree should you get?

Increasingly, the barrier to entry in construction management is growing higher and higher, and a graduate degree in the field has come to be expected. As projects grow both in size and complexity, construction managers not only manage timelines, strategies, and materials but also personnel, environmental regulations, sustainability concerns, budgets, municipal laws, and legal conflicts.

With some exceptions, most programs cover all these bases, particularly the business and legal dimensions of the job. However, some programs boast particular emphases, for instance, in sustainability or technology. Even better, many of them are now offered fully online. For more information on online education, see our ranking of the Best Online Colleges and Universities.

How much money do people make with an Online Master’s in Construction Management Degree?

If you are already in the construction management field, chances are the last thing you want to think about is going back to school! We hear you, but to the victor belong the spoils, as the saying goes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction management careers are expected to grow at a much faster-than-average rate of 11 percent over the next 10 years. The median salary for construction managers in 2016 was just under $90,000 per year, and leaders in the field can make well into the six figures

What can you do with an Online Master’s in Construction Management Degree?

In a nutshell, construction managers work to bring the ideas of architects and engineers to life. Sounds pretty simple, right? Guess again! From there, anything goes. Construction managers can oversee anything from a series of small residential projects to large-scale municipal infrastructure projects—and the high-pressure budgets of multiple stakeholders.

On a day-to-day basis, construction managers oversee budgets, estimate, and project timelines; execute contract terms and relay tasks to subcontractors; report on a project’s progress . . . or lack thereof; communicate with architects and engineers; and ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

What are the requirements for an Online Master’s in Construction Management Degree?

Because of the highly specialized and high-pressure nature of the job, nearly all graduate programs in construction management require an undergraduate degree in construction management as well. Some will allow students to enroll with a degree in a closely related field, such as engineering, and some will allow equivalent work experience to count toward application requirements.

For students coming to the field form other backgrounds, however, most programs require extensive prerequisites in estimation, materials, engineering, project management, and business management. Each individual school will have its own unique requirements, so if this applies to you, be sure to correspond with the schools directly about their approach.

What are the best Online Master’s in Construction Management Degrees?

We’ve compiled a list of the top 35 online master’s degrees in construction management geared toward you and your needs. Here’s what we did. First, we located the best programs in the country by taking an objective look at the best schools in the country as measured by reputation and return on investment. Then we looked at the bottom line—how much does it cost? We combined these factors to reach our College Choice Score, which determined where each school fits into the big scheme of things.

Our data for this ranking was drawn from a variety of public sources, such as U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, PayScale.com, and the U.S. Census. The end result, we think, is a list of schools that not only represent the best education you can get and a good return on investment but also one that will fit your budget.

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Arizona State University
    Location

    Phoenix, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Arizona State University offers an online Master of Science in Construction Management through its Del. E. Webb School of Construction. ASU’s program features areas of study in construction management and facility management. The construction management concentration is designed for those interested in upper level management positions in various sectors of the construction industry. The facility management concentration prepares students for the maintenance, operation, renovation or decommissioning of existing facilities.

    Features

    Graduates of ASU’s program work in a variety of fields, including but not limited to:

    • Construction Manager
    • Construction Laborer
    • First-Line Supervisor of Construction Trades
    • Building Inspector
    • Carpenters

    Notables

    ASU’s online Master of Science in Construction Management has garnered a number of accolades in recent years, including #4 online undergraduate degree programs in the nation;

    #5 university in the nation for producing the best qualified graduates; #8 Engineering Programs for Veterans; #11 university to earn an online degree from; #13 Online Engineering Graduate Programs; and #43 Graduate Program – 23rd among public institutions. ASU also boasts over forty-five engineering student organizations and student professional societies.

  2. Louisiana State University
    Location

    Baton Rouge, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Master of Science in Construction Management offered by Louisiana State University is a practice-oriented advanced graduate degree that offers a unique blend of leadership, construction, and business management courses. The program is accredited by ACCE and designed to develop leaders and managers for complex building projects who are experts in sustainability, building information modeling, project delivery, and decision making.

    Features

    The program consists of twelve courses, each of which is 7 weeks long. Coursework includes the following:

    • Lean Construction
    • Building Information Modeling for Construction Management
    • Soils in Construction
    • Natural Hazard Resistant Construction
    • Advanced Construction Scheduling
    • Advanced Construction Productivity
    • Construction Dispute Resolution
    • Concrete Materials in Construction
    • Advanced Sustainable Construction

    Notables

    LSU’s program was developed by global academic leaders in construction education in partnership with industry leaders. Graduates of the program will be qualified to oversee residential, commercial, industrial, municipal, and civil building projects in the United States and abroad. Nearly 100 percent of LSU engineering graduates have enjoyed continuous employment over the past 15 years.

  3. North Dakota State University
    Location

    Fargo, ND

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    North Dakota State University offers an online Master of Construction Management degree designed to prepare students to become leaders in residential, commercial, industrial, highway, and heavy construction. Students will learn up-to-date theory and techniques in construction programming, cost control, and project management. Graduates will be prepared for the Associate Constructor Exam or the Certified Professional Constructor Exam.

    Features

    The online Master of Construction Management degree consists of thirty (30) credits of course work in addition to the Associate Constructor Exam or the Certified Professional Constructor Exam. Coursework includes:

    • Scheduling and Project Control
    • Infrastructure Management
    • Construction Technology and Equipment
    • Construction Cost Estimating
    • Financial and Economic Concepts for Construction Managers

    Notables

    All students in the Master of Construction Management Program at NDSU must take the AC Exam before their graduation, the first step in attaining a “Certified Professional Constructor” (CPC) license, a three-stage process consisting of the AC exam, four to five years of relevant construction management work experience, and the CPC exam. Graduates of NDSU enjoy a strong placement record and retention in the field.

  4. Clemson University
    Location

    Clemson, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Clemson University’s online Master of Construction Science Management prepares students in all aspects of controlling construction projects. Clemson’s program is unique in including advanced study in the field of business techniques in their program in addition to emerging technologies for construction project delivery systems and the administration of construction firms.

    Features

    Clemson’s program stands out for a number of reasons, and students seek out the program in order to

    • Acquire better expertise in the industry
    • Prepare to teach at a technical college or university
    • Advance their careers
    • Change careers
    • Benefit from excellent job placemente

    Notables

    Clemson offers two options for students in this program: a non-thesis option and a thesis option. The thesis option requires a minimum of 36 semester hours of approved course work with a B average in the student’s prescribed curriculum in a addition to a thesis on an approved construction-related topic. Clemson’s program enjoys an excellent reputation in the field and is well connected in the industry.

  5. Drexel University
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Drexel University’s many online degree offerings include an online Master’s in Construction Management intended to prepare students with a multidisciplinary set of skills required for senior construction managers and supervisors. The program focuses on meeting the challenges of complex construction projects, challenging deadlines, and increasing regulation. Drexel’s program also emphasizes technical knowledge, business skills, and leadership savvy.

    Features

    Graduates of Drexel’s program enjoy placement in a number of careers and roles, including as

    • Project managers
    • Coordinators
    • Estimators
    • Schedulers
    • Safety specialists
    • Suppliers
    • Regulators

    Notables

    Drexel’s program offers three areas of concentration: Construction Project Management, Real Estate Development, and Sustainability and Green Construction. The program is known for its quality, particularly in its technical and business preparation, as well as its outstanding faculty, which boasts decades of construction management experience in both the public and private sectors, as well as union and open shop environments. The program can be completed entirely online.

  6. University of Southern California
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    USC offers an online Master of Construction Management program is a great program for young professionals who come to the field from other areas of interest. The purpose of the program is to prepare multidisciplinary professionals to understand and execute the broad array of technical and non-technical activities associated with construction management. The program leads to an interdisciplinary degree with courses taken in five different schools: Viterbi School of Engineering, School of Architecture, Marshall School of Business, Gould School of Law, and School of Policy, Planning and Development.

    Features

    USC offers three tracks for students in this program: Finance, Real Estate Development, and Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Technology. Coursework in the ACE track includes

    • Building Information Modeling and Integrated Practice
    • Sustainable Design and Construction
    • Building Information Modeling for Collaborative Construction

    Notables

    USC’s program focuses on both theory and practice and has a particular strength in the real estate industry and the unique demands placed on construction managers in real estate development. Graduates will be prepared to work as general contractors, real estate developers, sub-contractors, construction management firms, and architectural engineering firms.

  7. South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
    Location

    Rapid City, SD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is a household name in engineering education. It offers an online master’s program in Construction Management that caters to students who are interested in advancing their careers while continuing to work during the day. The program has been designed in close consultation with leaders in the construction industry who are familiar with actual needs on the ground in the profession.

    Features

    SDSMT’s curriculum offers a combination of technical skills and management preparation. Students have the option of including electives such as the following in their course of study:

    • Safety Management
    • Quality Management
    • Business Strategy
    • Ethics and Professionalism
    • Innovation and Commercialization
    • Engineering Economics
    • Ergonomics
    • Engineering Management and Labor Relations

    Notables

    SDSMT’s program is divided into three annual semesters, and students can enroll at any point in the year. They can also arrange their core classes and elective work according to their own interests and career goals. While the program can be completed entirely online, students in the region can also opt to take traditional classes, and online students can stream live courses or work with recorded materials.

  8. Columbia University
    Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Ivy League’s very own Columbia University offers an online master’s degree in Construction Administration designed to prepare construction professionals and those in related fields for with a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of the industry. Columbia’s faculty boasts extensive real-world experience and advanced theoretical knowledge. The program is available full and part time.

    Features

    Columbia’s program focuses on both commercial and residential construction management. Coursework in the program includes topics such as the following:

    • Cost estimating and project financing
    • Construction techniques
    • Human and material resources
    • Construction law
    • Conflict resolution
    • Environmental safety and conservation

    Notables

    Students will gain expertise in the entire construction process, from conception to execution, as well as safety and budgetary concerns. Students will also complete a capstone project, which is based on actual construction projects in the city of New York and involves both individual and team work. Successful completion requires providing a final management plan or project manual for the project.

  9. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
    Location

    Chattanooga, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Tennessee’s online Master of Science in Construction Management is offered as a concentration within its Engineering Management concentration. This degree is designed for individuals with engineering or science backgrounds who have moved or expect to move into managerial responsibilities. Students receive comprehensive preparation in all aspects of the construction management process.

    Features

    Topics addressed in Tennessee’s program include

    • Engineering Economics and Finance
    • Quality Control and Reliability
    • Project Management
    • Decision Making and Optimization
    • Leadership and Entrepreneurship

    Notables

    Tennessee also offers a concentration in Strategic Management for students who are interested in construction management. Its core classes are the same as Engineering Management, however students will take other construction electives in topics such as Strategic Bidding and Estimating, Construction Law, Sustainability and LEED, and Lean Construction.

  10. Brigham Young University
    Location

    Laie, HI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Utah’s Brigham Young University offers an online Master of Science in Technology with a specialization in Construction Management designed for either those who have recently graduated with an undergraduate degree in construction management or experienced construction managers who want to expand their knowledge of leadership and construction company management, teach at the college or university level, or focus on research relating to the construction industry.

    Features

    Required courses in Brigham Young’s program include

    • Construction Company Financial Management
    • Trends and Issues in Managing Construction
    • Construction Company Human Resources
    • Managing Risk in Construction
    • Construction Company Development
    • Technology Leadership

    Notables

    Full-time students can complete the degree in as little as three semesters. Part-time students have up to three years to complete their degree requirements. All students are required to complete six hours of thesis work. Students are also required to complete six hours of elective coursework, typically in the areas of Business Administration or Public Management, in order to gain training in non-construction areas that they will be required to master in real-world situations.

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