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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 handle a leadership role in the industry. These programs typically require between 30 to 36 credit hours, and full-time students can complete all their coursework in as little as one year via accelerated programs.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the cost of this online graduate program usually ranges from $20,000 to $75,000. Upon earning this graduate degree, students will be qualified for construction manager roles and several other high-paying occupations.

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

Choose your area of study

Master’s in construction management degrees are typically available as a Master of Science (MS), Master of Engineering (MEng), or Master of Business Administration (MBA). MS and MEng programs are a good fit for students who are fascinated by the technical details of construction projects, while MBA programs make sense for those who are more interested in the financial aspects of such projects.

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.

If you already know exactly what type of career you want to pursue upon graduation, look for the program that best matches those goals.

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.

You should only consider institutions that have 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. Those who attend a school that isn’t regionally accredited may be unable to access financial aid or transfer credits to another institution if needed.

Ideally, your master’s in construction management program will also be accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE). This programmatic accrediting organization has particularly high standards for education in this industry.

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.

To learn more about any schools that you’re interested in, you can visit their website, contact an admissions counselor, follow the school on social media, or attend an in-person or virtual open house.

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 personal statements or letters of recommendation along with their transcripts and test scores (if test scores are required). Before submitting an application, always contact an admissions counselor to ensure you have the most accurate information regarding requirements and deadlines.

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. Also, choosing schools with a solid job placement rate for grads and professors who are well-known within the construction management industry is helpful.

Before making your final decision, review your needs and goals again. Do you plan to attend school full-time or part-time? Are you only interested in 100% online programs, or are you fine with a hybrid program that has a few in-person requirements? Some programs offer asynchronous courses, which can be completed at your own pace, while others only offer synchronous courses, which involve remotely attending lectures and completing assignments at the same time as other students — which of these two online learning formats do you prefer? Your school should accommodate your scheduling needs and learning preferences.

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 this 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 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. Those who already work in the field should see if their employer offers tuition assistance benefits as well.

Best 50 Accredited Online Master’s in Construction Management Programs

Best Online Master's in Construction Management Degree Programs

University of Southern California

Clemson University

University of Washington

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Stevens Institute of Technology

Purdue Polytechnic Institute

Florida International University

Arizona State University

East Carolina University

Louisiana State University

Western Carolina University

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Iowa State University

Drexel University

North Dakota State University

UF College of Design, Construction and Planning

University of Wisconsin at Stout

University of Houston

Norwich University

Everglades University

University of New Mexico

Southern New Hampshire University

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Eastern Kentucky University

Thomas Jefferson University

Lawrence Technological University

The University of Texas at El Paso

The University of Texas at Arlington

New England Institute of Technology

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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 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 programs also offer 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 focuses on tools and techniques for managing large groups of people. 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.
  • 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.

Indeed, 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:

  • Construction manager — Prepare budgets, hire construction workers, and oversee the progress of construction projects.
    • Median annual salary: $101,480
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 5%
    • New job openings projected: 38,700 annually
  • Civil engineer — Design and supervise the construction of infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges, and tunnels.
    • Median annual salary: $89,940
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 5%
    • New job openings projected: 21,200 annually
  • Architectural or engineering manager — Oversee projects in the fields of architecture and engineering, which may include research and development projects.
    • Median annual salary: $159,920
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 4%
    • New job openings projected: 13,600 annually

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 include GRE test scores and letters of recommendation.

Applicants should contact an admissions counselor if they have any questions about the application process or 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 $20,000 to $75,000.

How much a student pays depends on many factors, including whether they attend a public or private school. Additionally, the number of credit hours will affect the overall cost, as will the amount of time the student takes to complete their studies.

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. Most programs are flexible enough to accommodate part-time students, although it may take them three years or longer to complete their coursework. If students wish to earn their degree faster, 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. Also, 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.

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 much more accessible and convenient.