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A master’s in construction management degree allows students to continue their education and gain the credentials needed to take on more advanced leadership roles in their field. Possible job options with this degree include construction manager, architectural or engineering manager, civil engineer, and project management specialist. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for a construction manager is $101,480 per year, and architectural and engineering managers earn even more, averaging $159,920 per year.

A master’s in construction management degree program generally takes 1-2 years of full-time study to complete, with a range of 30-48 credits required to graduate. The average cost of graduate school tuition for the 2021-22 school year was $20,513, and the average total cost of a master’s degree is $59,684.

How to Choose a Master’s in Construction Management Degree Program

Choose your area of study

Master’s in construction management degree programs may offer specializations in areas such as cost estimation, sustainability, or real estate development. Consider what your career goals are and what projects you enjoy the most when deciding on an area of study. Cost estimation may be a better fit for those who enjoy crunching numbers, while sustainability fits well with those who want to make a positive impact on the environment.

You’ll also need to consider how school fits into the rest of your life. An in-person program may be more beneficial for those who need face-to-face interaction to learn, while online degree options help those who are already juggling families and full-time jobs.

Research schools and programs

There are dozens of schools across the country that offer a master’s in construction management degree, so evaluate each potential institution carefully to determine if it’s a good fit. If you’re attending in person, you’ll be limited somewhat by location, but online programs let you study from anywhere. When choosing a school, make sure it’s accredited either regionally or nationally to ensure you’re getting a legitimate degree that employers will accept.

Narrow down your choices to the top 3-5 by looking at their websites, talking to admissions counselors, and attending open house sessions. Following the college on social media can also give you a better idea of what is available and the overall culture.

Prepare for tests and applications

Graduate programs vary greatly in what is required to apply, so always check the specific admissions requirements for the school and program you’re looking at. Schedule an appointment with an admissions counselor to go over your credentials and see what you still need to gather.

At a minimum, you will need transcripts for your undergraduate work and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program. Other common requirements include GRE scores, a personal statement detailing why you’re interested in the program, and letters of recommendation.

Select your program

The next step is to choose the program that’s the best fit and start the application process. Determine whether you want to study full-time or part-time by thinking about how much time you have for school and your overall goals. If you’re trying to get a promotion into a management role in the next two years, a full-time schedule supports this. If you can only fit one class a semester into your schedule and budget, part-time is a better option. If you’re considering an online program, check whether classes are delivered asynchronously or synchronously to ensure it matches your availability.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

While federal grants and loans aren’t an option for graduate degrees, there are still programs that can make paying for a master’s in construction management more affordable. Some employers provide tuition reimbursement as a benefit, especially if the degree is in the same industry. Many schools also offer assistantships and merit- and need-based scholarships.

If you’re interested in these options, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Most schools use this to determine eligibility for financial aid at the institutional level.

Best 50 Accredited Master’s in Construction Management Degree Programs

Best Master's in Construction Management Degree Programs

Clemson University

Columbia University

Louisiana State University

University of Southern California

NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Central Connecticut State University

Arizona State University

Stevens Institute of Technology

Wentworth Institute of Technology

Virginia Tech

Florida International University

SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry

Everglades University

University of Oklahoma

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Thomas Jefferson University

North Dakota State University

Kennesaw State University

Kent State University

California State University, East Bay

Washington University in St. Louis

Discover More Options

How we rank schools

Most people stop when they receive their bachelor’s degree in construction management — but there are benefits to continuing your education at the master’s level. Construction professionals with advanced degrees have the skills to manage large and complex building projects, interacting with architects, engineers, estimators, and workers in a range of building professions, including electricians, plumbers, and masons.

We reviewed programs that offer online, on-campus, and hybrid programs. We looked at those that are grounded in applied business theory and practice, teaching leadership skills that allow you to take the lead on building projects both large and small.

The programs on this list have all been approved by a DOE-recognized regional accrediting organization, such as the New England Commission of Higher Education or Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. These organizations evaluate schools to ensure they provide students with a high-quality education. Some of these options have also received programmatic accreditation from respected industry groups such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology and the American Council on Construction Education.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

What Can You Expect From a Master’s in Construction Management Degree Program?

Students pursuing their master’s in construction management degree can expect to learn how to plan and organize construction projects and how to analyze factors such as the cost of materials and labor. They will also learn about safety and quality control and how to be an effective leader who can reduce risks and liabilities while adhering to schedule and design limitations. Students will learn about how ethics and sustainability factor into construction projects and how to use software programs and other resources to plan, manage, and execute projects.

A master’s in construction management degree program takes one to four years to complete, depending on the number of credits required and whether you are studying full-time or part-time. Most graduate programs for this field involve a capstone project that requires students to apply their knowledge and skills to a real-world project. Others may allow students to complete a thesis or final comprehensive exam to demonstrate mastery.

Potential courses you’ll take in a master’s in construction management degree program

  • Advanced Estimating. Students in this course will be introduced to advanced concepts regarding cost estimates for construction projects. Other covered concepts include bidding ethics and using computer software to automate estimating.
  • Construction Contracts and Law. This course explains the laws that govern construction contracts. Students will cover advanced topics in contract law and how to create contracts that adhere to the legal codes. Other topics may include how future changes to the industry may impact laws and how to deal with disputes.
  • International Construction Management. This course is geared toward students who plan to work for international businesses. It covers how international laws and procedures impact the construction industry and how to work within the global market. Students evaluate and analyze case studies to see how concepts are applied in the real world.
  • Advanced Proposal Writing. Students taking this course will learn how to apply research methodologies to the construction industry. This course usually concludes in an end-of-semester project where students research, prepare, and submit their own proposal.
  • Construction Scheduling. This course is focused on learning how to plan construction projects and ensure they stay on track. Students use industry software to create mock schedules.

Master’s in Construction Management Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to a master's in construction management degree program?

To apply for a master’s in construction management degree, you will need to have a relevant bachelor’s degree from an accredited program in a related field, such as civil engineering or construction. Most schools require that you have at least a 2.75 GPA for your undergraduate degree shown on an official transcript. You may also need to submit your GRE scores, provide a resume or goal statement, and show letters of recommendation from employers or previous instructors.

Before submitting your application, talk with a graduate admissions counselor at the institution you’re planning on attending. They can provide specific information on what you need to apply, what can increase your chances of being accepted, and any application deadlines.

How much does a master's in construction management degree cost?

According to the Education Data Initiative, the average cost of a graduate degree is $59,684. However, this varies by degree type, whether you’re paying in-state or out-of-state tuition, and whether it’s a public or private institution. The average tuition cost for a master’s degree in the 2021-22 academic year was $12,596 for a public institution and $28,017 for a private institution.

When considering the cost of a master’s in construction management degree program, remember that there are additional expenses outside the tuition rate. You will need to pay for books and supplies, and some courses may have extra fees. While online programs aren’t necessarily cheaper than in-person programs, they may save you money on transportation costs and facility fees. However, you may end up needing to upgrade your computer setup to handle advanced software requirements or invest in equipment like a webcam for remote classes.

How long does it take to earn a master's in construction management degree?

Most master’s in construction management degrees require 30 to 48 credits to graduate. Full-time students can complete this in 1-2 years, while students who attend only part-time will need 2-4 years, depending on how many credits they take per semester. Most full-time graduate students take 2-3 classes per semester.

Online programs can help students who have full-time jobs or family responsibilities complete their programs more quickly because they have more flexibility when it comes to when they do coursework. However, many in-person programs have classes in the afternoon and evening or on weekends to accommodate those who work.