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An online master’s in construction management can help students learn more about construction theories and practical applications and how to take a leadership role in the industry. These programs typically require between 30 and 36 credit hours, and full-time students can complete coursework in as little as one year via accelerated programs.

U.S. News & World Report reports that the cost of this online graduate program ranges from $21,000 and $38,000. Depending on the cost of their chosen graduate program, students may end up paying more or less than $26,000, the average cost of undergraduate tuition. Upon earning this graduate degree, students may qualify for a civil engineer job and expect an average salary of $88,000.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Construction Management Program

Choose your area of study

Most online master’s in construction management programs do not offer students separate areas of study or concentrations because construction management is already a very hyper-focused degree. That said, it’s still possible for students to customize their graduate education by choosing specific electives and, within certain programs, completing special research projects. Specializing may be especially helpful to students who already know the career they want to pursue upon graduation.

Research schools and programs

An increasing number of schools are offering a master’s in construction management, so prospective students need to find ways to narrow down the list of programs. One early consideration is cost — choosing a more affordable school can reduce or eliminate students’ debt after graduation.

It’s also important to focus on accredited programs, as degrees from non-accredited schools are a waste of time and money for multiple reasons, including the fact that students attending non-accredited schools cannot get federal aid or qualify for certain scholarships. Additionally, employers are unlikely to hire anyone based on a degree unless that degree is accredited.

Depending on how much additional academic support a remote student may need, it’s also helpful to research which schools have tutoring services, mentoring services, and anything else they need to succeed.

Prepare for tests and applications

While some master’s in construction management programs don’t require students to submit GRE scores with their applications, others will. For such schools, pay attention to the minimum score — in some cases, students must have a score of 300 or higher, with a minimum of 140 on the verbal section. Students who have never taken the GRE should know that it takes up to three months to study and up to 15 days to receive test scores, so paying close attention to application deadlines is good.

Additionally, students should verify whether they must submit any application essays or letters of recommendation along with their transcripts and test scores (if test scores are required).

Select your program

While students can (and should) apply to multiple master’s in construction management programs, they need to use a final set of criteria to determine which ones they will apply to and which they won’t.

Cost remains a primary consideration, especially because some programs are much more expensive than others. If a student anticipates needing extra financial aid to pay for grad school, they may focus on online programs that offer grants, scholarships, or other aid opportunities for graduate students. Finally, choosing schools with a solid job placement rate for grads and professors who are well-known within the construction management industry is helpful.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year to help pay for their online master’s in construction management. Filling out that form will help students qualify for federal loans and may also help them be eligible for select grants and scholarships. To stay current on all the financial aid opportunities that may be available, students should contact the Financial Aid office for the different schools they are considering and ask what aid is available and how to apply for it.

Best 50 Accredited Online Master’s in Construction Management Programs

Best Online Master's in Construction Management Degree Programs
01

University of Southern California
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Clemson University
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University of Washington
01

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Stevens Institute of Technology
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Purdue Polytechnic Institute
01

Florida International University
01

Arizona State University
01

East Carolina University
01

Louisiana State University
01

Western Carolina University
01

University of Alabama at Birmingham
01

Iowa State University
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Drexel University
01

North Dakota State University
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UF College of Design, Construction and Planning
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University of Wisconsin at Stout
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University of Houston
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Norwich University
01

Everglades University
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University of New Mexico
01

Southern New Hampshire University
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University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
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Eastern Kentucky University
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Thomas Jefferson University
01

Lawrence Technological University
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The University of Texas at El Paso
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The University of Texas at Arlington
01

New England Institute of Technology
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South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
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Wentworth Institute of Technology

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How We Rank Schools

For this list, we focused on master’s-level programs in construction management. The most common degrees awarded in this field are a Master of Science (MS), a Master of Engineering (MEng), and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in construction management.

Our other main criteria were that programs be entirely or primarily online to ensure access for the most significant number of students, regardless of location or availability.

All of the programs on our list are offered by regionally accredited institutions, which is a confirmation of quality in postsecondary education. Additionally, many programs are accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE), which promotes quality in construction education programs.

We evaluated each program based on faculty, flexibility, reputation, outcomes, and cost. Then we gave each program an Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out our ranking methodology.

What Can You Expect from an Online Master’s in Construction Management Program?

An online master’s in construction management helps build upon a student’s prior construction education and vocational experience. The coursework spans extensive construction-related skills, including creating accurate estimates and adequately budgeting for their completion. Students will also learn more about construction materials management, leadership, and human resource management.

In many cases, these online programs are designed to help students prepare for certifications they may need to complete for their future careers, including certifications such as Associate Constructor, Certified Construction Manager, and Certified Professional Constructor credentials.

Most of these online graduate degrees can be completed within two years by full-time students, and accelerated programs can be completed in one year. Fortunately, most courses also offer extreme flexibility for students who can only attend part-time but wish to complete their graduate education.

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

  • Managing Through Communication. This course directly provides students with the skills to manage large groups of people by focusing on the communication tools and skills necessary. Students will master active listening and constructive feedback skills, which can help with everything from basic team-building to overseeing the most complex projects.
  • Human Behavior in Organizations. This course furthers students’ understanding of communicating with others by providing an in-depth overview of human behavior in an organizational setting. Students will learn more about how power dynamics affect communication and how to create incentives that help boost future employees’ retention and performance.
  • Construction Budgeting, Estimating & Bidding. This course helps prepare students to oversee the managerial aspects of significant construction projects, including estimating and budgeting for diverse projects and successfully bidding against others in a competitive market setting. The project-based approach of this class provides students with direct practice of overseeing construction projects after graduation.
  • Construction Law and Contracts. This course provides students with a solid grounding in the legal concerns and contracts associated with every construction project, including labor laws, ethical considerations, and dispute-resolution strategies. The case study approach of this course helps provide practical, real-world examples of project successes and failures, which is invaluable for future construction managers.

What Can You Do With an Online Master’s in Construction Management?

Career outlook

The career outlook for individuals with a master’s degree in construction management is promising, driven by the ongoing demand for skilled professionals who can effectively plan, oversee, and execute construction projects. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the construction management field offers a positive career outlook. BLS data indicates that an additional 22,900 individuals will need to enter the profession by 2032 to meet the increased need. Construction managers make a median salary of $101,480 annually, with the highest ten percent earning more than $168,390. As construction technology advances and sustainability becomes a focus, construction managers with expertise in these areas are particularly in demand.

Career paths

Construction management professionals are employed across various sectors, including residential and commercial construction, civil engineering, environmental construction, and more. Their expertise is sought after by construction firms, real estate developers, government agencies, and consulting companies. Graduates with an online master’s degree in construction management have a diverse array of career paths to explore, each offering opportunities for leadership, project management, and specialization. Here are some common career paths for individuals with a master’s in construction management:

  • Residential construction manager — manages construction teams, schedules, and budgets for residential construction projects
  • Infrastructure project manager — oversees the construction of infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, and airports
  • Real estate development manager — oversees project development from site acquisition and design to construction and marketing
  • Construction consultant — provides guidance and insights on construction projects for clients
  • Estimator — analyzes project requirements, materials, labor costs, and other factors to provide accurate cost estimates for construction projects

Construction Project Manager

Earning Potential: $71,750-$161,510 annually

Education Required: Master’s degree in construction management or related field

A construction project manager is responsible for overseeing all aspects of a construction project, from its initial planning stages to completion. They handle project budgets, schedules, and resources while ensuring that work meets quality standards and safety regulations. Construction project managers coordinate with architects, engineers, contractors, and subcontractors, facilitating effective communication among project stakeholders. They identify potential risks, develop mitigation strategies, and maintain project documentation. These professionals play a pivotal role in delivering projects on time and within budget, making critical decisions to address challenges that may arise during construction.

Commercial Construction Manager

Earning Potential: $66,930-$160,990+ annually

Education Required: Master’s degree in construction management or related field

A commercial construction manager specializes in overseeing large-scale commercial building projects, such as office complexes, shopping centers, and industrial facilities. They are responsible for managing all aspects of construction, including budgeting and scheduling. Commercial construction managers collaborate with architects, engineers, contractors, and subcontractors to ensure that projects adhere to design specifications, safety regulations, and quality standards. They handle project logistics as well as the procurement of materials and equipment while monitoring progress on the project as a whole. Additionally, they are responsible for resolving any issues that may arise during construction.

Green Building and Sustainability Specialist

Earning Potential: $56,230-$130,660+ annually

Education Required: Master’s degree in construction management with a focus on sustainability

A green building and sustainability specialist implements environmentally responsible and sustainable practices in construction projects. They ensure that construction projects adhere to sustainability standards and minimize their environmental impact. This includes integrating energy-efficient technologies, renewable energy sources, and eco-friendly materials into building designs. Green building specialists often seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for projects. They assess the sustainability of construction methods, recommend green building strategies, and monitor compliance with environmental regulations. By promoting sustainable construction practices, these specialists contribute to reducing resource consumption and creating more environmentally friendly built environments.

Online Master’s in Construction Management Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online master’s in construction management degree program?

To apply to an online master’s in construction management program, students need only navigate to the university website of the schools they are interested in. There, they can complete an online application, and the application will specify everything that students need to submit. Requirements typically include undergraduate transcripts and a cover letter, but they may also have GRE test scores and letters of recommendation.

It may be helpful for applicants to contact the admissions counselors for the school(s) in question to get answers to questions about the application and/or the construction management program.

How much does an online master’s in construction management degree cost?

According to U.S. News & World Report, the cost of an online master’s in construction management degree ranges from $21,000 and $38,000.

How much a student pays depends on many factors, including whether they attend a public or a private school. Additionally, the number of credit hours will affect the overall cost, as will the time the student completes their studies. In many cases, online students discover the online program is cheaper than its on-campus counterpart because it has fewer fees and does not require students to relocate to a brand-new town.

How long does it take to earn an online master’s in construction management degree?

The typical online master’s in construction management degree can be completed in two years if the student attends full-time. And most programs are flexible enough to accommodate part-time students, although it may take three years or longer to complete their coursework.

If students wish to finish coursework significantly earlier, they can apply to accelerated programs designed to be completed in only one year. Ultimately, students have plenty of options and flexibility in pursuing this online degree, and it’s always recommended they choose a program whose deadlines and timeline match their needs.

Is an online master’s in construction management worth it?

If your career aspirations include advancing to higher-level positions in the construction industry, such as project manager, construction manager, or sustainability specialist, a master’s in construction management can provide you with the specialized knowledge and skills necessary to excel in these roles.

Graduates with a master’s degree in construction management often command higher salaries and have better earning potential than those with only a bachelor’s degree. The increased earning potential can offset the cost of the degree over time. According to Salary.com, a construction superintendent, for example, can earn between $72,547-$102,366 annually.

Online programs offer flexibility, allowing you to earn your degree while working full-time or managing other commitments. This flexibility can make pursuing a master’s degree more accessible and convenient. You may also see cost savings, as there are no fees for residential living and transportation costs will be low or non-existent.