Best Online Construction Management Degrees 2021

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Online construction management programs prepare graduates to assume leadership roles in the construction industry. Construction managers oversee the planning, budgeting, and construction phases of building projects on behalf of owners. Leveraging technical, managerial, and interpersonal skills, they strive to ensure safety, efficiency, quality, and legal and regulatory compliance.

These professionals need extensive knowledge of construction processes, materials, and technology. Strong communication skills help them serve as a key point of contact among owners, inspectors, and design and construction professionals. They must also cultivate essential business skills in areas like budgeting, scheduling, personnel management, and contract negotiation.

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Construction managers collaborate with diverse teams, including owners, legal advisors, general contractors, subcontractors, and construction workers. Unlike general contractors, who typically join a project after design work is finalized, construction managers may provide input during the development phase. They often work closely with the building designers, architects, and engineers who conceptualize, design, and blueprint projects.

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Top 5 Best Online Construction Management Degrees

? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
Rank School Avg Net Price ? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
1 University of Washington-Seattle Campus $9765
2 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College $17437
3 Clemson University $19508
4 University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus $21158
5 Northern Michigan University $14243
6 The University of Texas at El Paso $7720
7 Boise State University $12558
8 Eastern Kentucky University $14273
9 North Dakota State University-Main Campus $15472
10 University of Kansas $18415

  • What is construction management?

    Construction management draws on business principles and industry expertise to oversee the budget, schedule, and execution of building projects. Construction managers also liaise between project participants.

  • How long does it take to earn a degree in construction management?

    Depending on the level, an online degree in construction management typically requires 2-4 years of full-time study. Some schools offer five-year combined bachelor’s and master’s programs.

  • Can I study construction management online?

    Distance learning programs deliver some of the most affordable construction management degrees. Online options include associate, bachelor’s, and doctoral programs.

  • What is the difference between construction management and civil engineering?

    While civil engineers and construction managers might work on similar large-scale infrastructure projects, civil engineers focus on design, planning, and analysis. Construction managers oversee the physical construction process.

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Best Online Construction Management Degrees 2021

  1. University of Washington-Seattle Campus

    Seattle, WA



    UW’s unique master of science in construction management program provides the technical principles and management techniques required to lead major infrastructure construction projects. Taught by experienced faculty and industry professionals, the curriculum consists of classes informed by the latest research and best practices.

    The 42-credit degree from this public institution offers topics including energy infrastructure and the environment, cost analysis and management, computer-aided construction, and construction operations and productivity. Students can take courses in any sequence. The part-time option takes 2-3 years to complete, while the full-time track wraps in just one year. Student resources include the career and internship center and Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center.

    Admission requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA in construction management, construction science, construction engineering, or civil engineering from regionally accredited institutions. Applicants must send transcripts from all institutions, a resume, a statement of purpose, and two recommendation letters.

    Based in Seattle, UW is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

  2. Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

    Baton Rouge, LA



    Based in Baton Rouge, LSU’s online master of science in construction management provides the technical and interpersonal skills necessary to become successful construction leaders. Students also build a robust professional network during their education.

    The 36-credit program blends coursework in leadership with construction topics, including sustainability, building information modeling, and decision making. Students may also use previous military or industry experience to potentially earn credit toward the degree.

    Applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The program also requires field experience or education in construction management, construction estimating, scheduling, and project management. Students without those prerequisites take additional leveling coursework before graduation.

    LSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Program accreditation is through the American Council for Construction Education.

  3. Clemson University

    Clemson, SC



    Clemson's online master of construction science management provides students with high-level skills and understanding in construction projects and control. Students pursue the degree for career advancement, greater expertise, and to forge strong construction industry relationships.

    The 36-credit curriculum includes advanced planning and scheduling, project management, and construction management research. Coursework also focuses on green building and personnel management. Students may select from a thesis or non-thesis option.

    Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree with a 3.0 minimum GPA. Admission requires official transcripts, a detailed resume of construction industry experience, GRE scores, and three recommendation letters. Clemson gives preference to those with at least one year of construction experience.

    A public institution based in South Carolina, Clemson is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Programmatic accreditation comes through the American Council for Construction Education.

  4. University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus

    Norman, OK



    OU’s master of construction business program targets students with professional experience related to construction industry planning and designing. The 32-credit degree develops executive business skills within the construction context and provides valuable real-world opportunities.

    Course content focuses on financial management, business accounting, and construction planning and development. It also offers advanced construction concepts and leadership skills. The online program requires two in-person residencies, three days each. Student resources include online library services and the OU writing center.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a regionally accredited institution. Other admission materials include official transcripts, a personal statement, and a current resume. The GRE might be required, depending on prior education and work experience.

    With its main campus in Norman, OU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  5. Northern Michigan University

    Marquette, MI



    A public university based in Marquette, NMU offers an online bachelor of science in construction management through its Global Campus. The professional degree prepares graduates for interfacing with owners, contractors, and designers. Students also learn to prepare project plans and budget estimates, schedule and coordinate work, and track progress. For current professionals, the program also offers an online degree-completion option.

    The 120-credit curriculum includes classes in documentation, codes and inspection, and project control. Students also learn principles of accounting and introduction to marketing.

    Undergraduate admission requires a minimum 2.25 GPA. Degree-completion candidates must have seven years of construction experience, complete a prior learning assessment, and submit three letters of recommendation. NMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  6. The University of Texas at El Paso

    El Paso, TX



    UTEP’s 30-credit master of science in construction management caters to students with bachelor’s degrees in engineering, architecture, and business. Taught by a bilingual faculty with industry experience, the program prepares students for career growth and certification through the American Institute of Constructors.

    Courses include construction cost analysis, scheduling, ethics, and advanced mechanical-electrical construction. Learners get practical experience by interning at a UTEP-approved construction company or government agency involved with construction management and engineering. Participants can also select geotechnical construction courses as electives.

    UTEP offers the same in-state and out-of-state tuition rates. In addition to holding a bachelor's degree in civil engineering or a related field, applicants must submit official transcripts and a resume or other documentation showing relevant experience.

    UTEP is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  7. Boise State University

    Boise, ID



    A public university in Idaho, Boise State offers an online master of business administration with an emphasis in construction management. The 49-credit program equips students with the skills to take leadership roles in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. Participants gain business expertise while developing strategies to manage construction projects and teams successfully. Program tuition covers all course materials.

    Core business courses include people and organizations, global economics, accounting, and legal issues in business. Students can opt to focus their plans through emphasis courses in leadership, project management, or company management.

    Admission requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a regionally accredited institution, two years of significant, full-time management experience, and GMAT (500 minimum) or GRE (minimum 147/148) scores. Test scores may be waived.

    Boise State is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The College of Business and Economics is accredited by Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  8. Eastern Kentucky University

    Richmond, KY



    Offered through EKU in Richmond, the online master of science in technology, construction management concentration provides a business-based curriculum for current industry professionals. Students learn essential skills to advance their degrees while bringing on-the-job experience into the classroom.

    The 30-credit program consists of construction management core courses, supporting classes, and a synthesis experience. The latter involves research in technology or an industrial technology project. Construction core studies include project management, creative problem-solving, construction portfolio management, and LEED principles. The supporting courses include Six Sigma quality and industrial operations research.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree and submit a resume and transcripts from all undergraduate institutions. GRE or GMAT scores are required for GPAs below 3.0.

    EKU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  9. North Dakota State University-Main Campus

    Fargo, ND



    The NDSU master of construction management prepares students for the Associate Constructor (AC) Exam. The 30-credit curriculum offers a specific set of associated skills within construction estimating, scheduling, project management, finance, and equipment. NDSU also offers its in-state tuition rates for online students.

    Studies focus on scheduling and project control, cost estimation, and decision-making, and risk analysis. An individual study/tutorial component helps with AC Exam preparation.

    Qualified applicants hold a bachelor’s degree in construction, engineering, architecture, or other related disciplines, with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Work experience may substitute for a different undergraduate degree. Admission also requires a two-page resume, official transcripts, a statement of purpose, and three recommendation letters.

    A public institution based in Fargo, NDSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  10. University of Kansas

    Lawrence, KS



    KU offers a master of construction management through its online operations in Overland Park. The program teaches working industry professionals up-to-date practical techniques they can immediately use on the job. Classes take place live online and as recordings.

    Taught through the university’s Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering/School of Engineering, the 30-credit degree comprises 18 credits of core courses and 12 elective hours. Core courses include estimating and bidding, engineering risk, and decision analysis.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in architecture, business, or other relevant fields with a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Two years of construction-related employment are preferred for those with non-architecture degrees. Other admission requirements include official college/university transcripts and a statement of purpose.

    The public KU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Career and Salary Outlook for Construction Management

The construction industry offers stable and well-compensated opportunities for individuals with online degrees in construction management. According to Census Bureau data, construction spending continues to steadily rise since 2011, boosting demand for workers and managers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects construction management job opportunities to grow 8% between 2019-2029.

Construction managers ensure that projects proceed on schedule and within budget. They also hire personnel and execute quality control protocols to verify that materials and construction meet clients’ standards.

As construction technology advances in complexity, employers increasingly favor college-educated management candidates. An online degree in construction management, combined with industry experience, provides ideal preparation for launching a career in the field.

Graduates of online construction management programs typically begin their careers as assistants. Graduate degrees can help some professionals accelerate their career progression and pursue specializations. Some individuals with a construction management degree also work as cost estimators. These professionals specialize in calculating and analyzing estimated project costs.

Career Lowest 10% Median Annual Salary Highest 10%
Construction Manager Less than $56,140 $95,260 More than $164,790

Source: BLS

Accreditation for Construction Management Degrees

Students pursuing an online degree in construction management should verify the accreditation status of each institution and program before applying. Schools may earn regional or national accreditation through an independent review process.

Regional accrediting agencies maintain more rigorous standards and typically assess academically oriented, nonprofit institutions. Many schools accept transfer credits only from similarly accredited institutions. Additionally, only students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid.

Programs within a school may also hold accreditation. Many of the best construction management online programs hold accreditation from the American Council for Construction Education.

Courses in a Construction Management Program

Integrating business instruction with construction-related coursework, online construction management programs examine the construction field’s processes, standards, stakeholders, and subfields.

Work experience requirements and capstone projects allow bachelor’s and master’s candidates to explore areas of interest, demonstrate technical skills, and apply theoretical principles to practical situations. Master’s-level and upper-division undergraduate courses may explore specialized areas such as disaster restoration, sustainable building, and heavy construction.

Courses vary by program, but the following list outlines several courses commonly found in online construction management programs.

This course covers the use of written and graphic construction documents, such as drawings, specifications, and contract materials, in project planning. Students learn to analyze and interpret standard vocabulary, symbols, abbreviations, and conventions. The course may also explore material take off, the process by which construction managers ascertain required materials based on design documents.

A firm understanding of construction laws and regulations prepares aspiring construction managers to oversee compliance issues on the job. Frequently featured in both bachelor’s and master’s curricula, this course examines the U.S. legal system and its impact on the construction industry. Learners investigate subjects such as labor, bidding, contracts, and dispute resolution.

This course teaches students to devise, implement, and update project schedules as part of an integrated planning and control system. The curriculum may introduce various project scheduling methods, including automated and manual techniques, or emphasize a particular framework, such as critical path method scheduling. Students learn to allocate labor, materials, and equipment resources.

Students in this course prepare to use cost estimating methods, procedures, and software to identify and value materials, labor, and equipment. They learn to organize estimates, quantify direct and indirect costs, and prepare bids. The course may explore ethical issues and address cost estimating techniques for specific factors, such as mechanical and electrical systems.

A popular topic in graduate and undergraduate programs, sustainable construction prioritizes resource-efficient and environmentally responsible building processes and materials. The course exposes learners to the essential concepts and practices of this emerging construction specialization. Students analyze current industry practices and explore the environmental and financial impact of sustainable building.

Scholarships for Construction Management

Learners pursuing an online degree in construction management at any level may qualify for scholarships. Colleges, universities, businesses, and nonprofits may offer scholarships based on factors such as course of study, financial need, and academic achievement. The following list outlines several scholarship opportunities for construction management students.

NAWIC Founders’ Scholarship Foundation

Who Can Apply: The National Association of Women in Construction awards multiple annual scholarships to students pursuing a construction degree. Open to applicants of any gender, these scholarships require a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Amount: $500 – $2,000

Associated General Contractors of America Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: AGC scholarships support graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in accredited construction management or construction engineering programs. Undergraduate applicants must be at least rising sophomores. Application materials include transcripts and evaluations from faculty and employers.
Amount: $2,500 – $3,750

APA Jim Boyce Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Accessibility Professionals Association grants the scholarship to students pursuing a degree closely related to accessibility design, such as construction management. Applicants must possess a minimum 2.5 GPA and demonstrate an interest in accessibility through a design portfolio and career goals.
Amount: $2,000

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