Construction Management Master's graduates can feel positive about the future. U.S. News & World Report reports that in 2016, construction managers earned a median salary of $89,300 a year, with the the majority of construction managers earning between $53,740 and $158,330 annually.
Graduates can often find themselves work as building surveyors, site engineers, estimators, sustainability consultants, and contract managers at a large construction firm or organization. And with the increase in construction projects nationwide, businesses will be continued to look for leaders in this booming industry.
Master's of Science in Construction Management
This area of study does have it's particular pitfalls, however. For example, some programs on our list are like the more traditional graduate program, making it tougher for less traditional prospective students to apply. But most schools listed below take a more flexible and blended approach to applicant backgrounds and learning formats.
Evening classes, online formats, and weekly assignments cater to multitasking students with day jobs. And certain programs on this list are specifically designed for those prospective students looking to move up the ladder into upper management or even start their own construction management firms. Some schools below promise to prepare students to sit for the professional contractor exams provided by organizations like the American Institute of Constructors.
All of these programs have a blend of business, engineering, and construction education to give their graduates a more holistic edge in the construction industry. Here's the list for the Best Online Master's of Science in Construction Management programs.
Top Management Degrees uses seven data points to rank college programs. Here they are in order of importance:
- A Reputation Aggregate Score from other rankings
- Graduate Average Salary
- Alumni Reviews
- Percentage of Admitted Students Who Graduate
- Admitted Students' Test Scores
- Acceptance Rate
#35 Kent State University – Kent, Ohio
Kent State program encourages a blend of traditional and in-the-field learning. In addition to the typical core coursework and elective options, Kent encourages its learners to take up to four credit hours in workshops and four credit hours in an individual investigation. And upon matriculation, graduates will be prepared to manage complex construction-related projects and even organizations.
TMD Ranking Score: 69.54
#34 University of Texas at El Paso – El Paso, Texas
The University of Texas at El Paso's Master of Science in Construction Management is a 30-credit hour degree that is completely online. This flexible format aims to help students complete their degree will progressing in the construction management field. This blended approach often allows graduates to practice theory almost immediately. And upon graduation, learners will be able to sit for the professional certification exam administered by the American Institute of Constructors.
TMD Ranking Score: 71.03
#33 Milwaukee School of Engineering – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
MSOE's Master of Science in Civil Engineering program gives learners the advanced knowledge and skills necessary for three areas of professional practice, including construction management. The CM concentration covers construction operations, lean construction, and construction data management. In addition, this program teaches graduates about business administration, project acquisition, business development, and marketing and strategic management principles so they better access to upper management and leadership positions in their career.
TMD Ranking Score: 71.08
#32 Lawrence Technological University – Southfield, Michigan
LTU's Master of Construction Engineering Management program blends business and law to create a modern curriculum to reflect the dissolution of traditional disciplinary boundaries in order to explore new and emerging technologies in construction management. This holistic set of academics embraces a central theme of all of Lawrence Tech's areas of study which says a blend of theory and practice can help prepare graduates leadership.
TMD Ranking Score: 71.11
#31 Kennesaw State University – Kennesaw, Georgia
Kennesaw State's MS in Construction Management degree is 20 credit hours and can be made up of a combination of core courses, electives, and a master's thesis or project. Due to the online and evening class format, most KSU students are also able to work while they complete their degree. Even better, most in the field KSU graduates have great placement odds after graduation – this is partially due to the relationship the school has with its KSU Construction Advisory board, which often recruits directly from freshly matriculated cohorts.
TMD Ranking Score: 71.92
#30 Southern New Hampshire University – Manchester, New Hampshire
Southern New Hampshire University's MS in Management has a specific online construction concentration available to online learners. This degree program focuses on planning and management of each step of the construction process. Learners will also learn how to evaluate quality and equipment management as well as apply construction law, evaluate contracts, and mitigate risk management in decision-making for all sorts of construction projects.
TMD Ranking Score: 72.46
#29 Wentworth Institute of Technology – Boston, Massachusetts
Wentworth's Master's of Science in Construction Management is a part-time, 30-credit hour degree that can be done online or on campus in as little as two years. Coursework helps students through the pre-design stages through closeout of construction management. Better yet, the program is accredited by the American Council for Construction Education, so learners know they'll be able to take their degree anywhere across the country.
TMD Ranking Score: 73.86
#28 Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This Master's of Science in Construction Management is a STEM-designated program and is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to plan and manage each phase of the construction process. This includes complex commercial, infrastructure, and residential building projects. Upon graduation, learners should be equipped to take on leadership and upper management roles in the construction field.
TMD Ranking Score: 74.04
#27 Central Connecticut State University – New Britain, Connecticut
The Master's of Science in Construction Management at the Central Connecticut State University focuses developing graduates that understand and control daily business operations for construction companies. Learners will gain deeper understandings financial operations, construction law, risk management and the different methods of project delivery. The program is a total of 33 credit hours: 15 credit hours of core courses, 15-18 credit hours of electives, and an optional 3 credit hours of capstone activity.
TMD Ranking Score: 75.22
#26 Norwich University – Northfield, Vermont
Norwich University's Masters in Civil Engineering has a top-notch construction management concentration that's available for online learning. Students study both current engineering principles and leadership best practices to develop the expertise necessary to lead a team of engineers and tackle every aspect of an construction project management. This program's three main focuses are information technology, contracts and insurance, and projects and financing engineering to give graduates the edge in their job search.
TMD Ranking Score: 75.61
#25 Brigham Young University – Provo, Utah
Brigham Young's Construction Management MS is specifically focused on building upon undergraduate construction study and/or construction field work to help learners rise in the ranks toward leadership. Courses specifically focus on risk management, staffing and management decisions, technological leadership, and other essential skills for supervisory roles in the field. The program has a core 18 credit hours and a master's thesis and additional electives for a truly customizable degree.
TMD Ranking Score: 77.00
#24 Florida International University Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure and Sustainability – Miami, Florida
The main purpose of the Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure and Sustainability is to prepare its learners for middle and upper management careers in the burgeoning construction management industry. Learners with an undergraduate degree in construction management typically finish the program within a year, while students with more varied backgrounds can take two to three years to complete additional prerequisite coursework. The program generally consists of 36 credit hours with an optional research-based thesis for those looking to pursue even higher education in the area of study.
TMD Ranking Score: 77.01
#23 NewSchool of Architecture and Design – San Diego, California
The NewSchool's online construction management has a unique focus on sustainable design, practice-oriented learning, and professional ethics. Learners take a more holistic approach, studying legal, economic, and social aspects that influence the construction industry and how to apply their newfound knowledge in an eco-conscious way. NewSchool students learn both construction foundations as well as the professional skills necessary to be an effective leader in today's construction industry.
TMD Ranking Score: 78.63
#22 University of Houston – Houston, Texas
Students working on their MS in Construction Management at the University of Houston have two many focuses: the fundamentals of construction, like estimates, contracting and project planning, as well as more in-depth topics like risk analysis, emerging technologies, and sustainable practices. The rigorous program is centered in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathes) topics. In addition to the typical online course load, there is an optional, 12-month practical training program for students with F-1 designations.
TMD Ranking Score: 79.05
#21 University of Oklahoma Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture – Norman, Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma's MS in Construction management is designed to build on an undergraduate study of construction science, focusing on emerging trends, project management and delivery methods, and leadership development to help students move forward in their careers. The school is very active in the local construction industry community, too. Each year, it hosts a variety of events, including career fairs, student contests, site visits, and volunteer and alumni networking opportunities giving learners many ways to connect with construction professionals.
TMD Ranking Score: 79.49
#20 University of Wisconsin Stout – Menomonie, Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin Stout's MS in Construction Management helps learners get a well-rounded education that covers the ins and outs of residential, commercial, industrial, municipal, and civil construction management projects. Available fully online, coursework prepares students for upper management and leadership roles in construction management, with focuses on industry specific critical thinking skills, principles of leadership, and professional ethics. This program is catered for professionals who have construction field experience but want to develop professional skills to expand on their career options.
TMD Ranking Score: 80.12
#19 East Carolina University – Greenville, North Carolina
East Carolina University' Master's in Construction Management program has both in person and online class options, giving students the option to choose the format the fit's their schedule. Students that completed a bachelor's degree in construction management or engineering only need to take 30 credit hours to complete their master's. Learners with other academic or professional backgrounds may need to take some additional prerequisites to complete the program.
TMD Ranking Score: 83.49
#18 Stevens Institute of Technology – Hoboken, New Jersey
This prestigious private institution has a particular focus on "mega" projects, and helps put students on track to find a leadership position at a major construction corporation. Steven's also has a respected internship program, finding placements for students working on projects at the Shanghai Tower, The World Trade Center, Hudson Yards, and the Olympics. Courses are almost exclusively offered in the evenings and can be found online for greater flexibility. And learners focus on management skills, experiential opportunities, and technical skills in the built environment.
TMD Ranking Score: 83.82
#17 California State University, East Bay – Hayward, California
This degree was created with working professionals in mind and focuses on preparing students for upper management on the construction site or in the firm. Students who graduate from Cal State East Bay's MS in Construction Management program should be able to understand and implement project risk management, use effective communication and leadership skills, and plan a time- and cost-sensitive construction project successfully.
TMD Ranking Score: 85.04
#16 Purdue University Polytechnic Institute – West Lafayette, Indiana
Purdue describes the program similar to an MBA for those interested in going into construction management leadership. And the degree is particularly suited for undergrads who studied construction management or civil engineering previously. Classes are held in a live online format during evening hours, allowing for some flexibility for busy professionals working in the field. All told, the MS can be earned in 24 months or so. There's also a four-course âExecutive Construction Management Graduate Certificate' available for those not quite ready to dive into a full master's program.
TMD Ranking Score: 85.42
#15 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University – Blacksburg, Virginia
The Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering has a special construction engineering concentration at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Graduate students meet with their advisor to craft curriculum and course requirements structured to help realize personal professional goals in the construction industry. In addition, the MSCE program can be done with a thesis presentation or without a thesis, although this non-thesis option includes more extensive coursework.
TMD Ranking Score: 86.06
#14 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga – Chattanooga, Tennessee
This MS in Construction Management is provided by the University of Chattanooga's Engineering Management department, with each particular program being customized with an advisor based on the student's academic and professional experiences. The core coursework includes topics on entrepreneurship, the economy, and a capstone project and electives dive into LEED certifications, construction law, and quality management. While the majority of coursework must be completed within the Engineering Management department, courses from other departments are permitted with advisor approval.
TMD Ranking Score: 86.67
#13 University of Florida M.E. Rinker, SR. School of Construction Management – Gainesville, Florida
Two types of degrees are offered by the University of Florida's M.E. Rinker, SR. School of Construction Management: a Master's of Science with a thesis and a Master's of Science without a thesis. The program also offers a major in sustainable construction learners are looking to specialize further. Students that come to the program with prior coursework in Civil Engineering, Architecture, Building Construction, and Construction Management programs may also be able to waive some of the earlier program prerequisites and dive into the more detailed, higher level topics sooner.
TMD Ranking Score: 87.02
#12 New York University School of Professional Studies Schack Institute of Real Estate – New York, New York
NYU's School of Professional Studies offers an MS in Construction Management via it's Schack Institute of Real Estate out of its Midtown Center in New York City. The program is made up of 36 credit hours, a capstone project and three credit hours of electives. Learners typically complete the program in one year of full-time study or in up to five years as a part-time student. To keep things fresh, the curriculum is regularly updated with the latest best practices according to industry leaders, an internal advisory board, faculty and trusted colleagues in the local construction industry.
TMD Ranking Score: 87.68
#11 Western Carolina University Kimmel School of Construction Management – Cullowhee, North Carolina
Students at Western Carolina University's Kimmel School of Construction management are professionals looking to expand their expertise on large-scale real estate development, land management, and commercial and industrial construction. The core 18 credit hours cover the basics of financing, leadership, and construction legalities. The remaining 12 credit hours are chosen from a list of electives including topics like Project Selection and Initiation or Construction Forensics.
TMD Ranking Score: 87.68
#10 University of Illinois Civil and Environmental Engineering – Urbana, Illinois
The University of Illinois's MS in Construction Management is one of the more customizable degrees on our list. Students must take 36 credit hours to complete CEE's Online Construction Management MS Degree. Course selection is rather flexible and students are encouraged to customize their program with an advisor. The Construction department provides topics like CEO Construction Equipment and Management or Probabilistic Load and Design, and students can supplement course work from the Transportation and College of Engineering with the help of an advisor.
TMD Ranking Score: 88.72
#9 University of Washington – Seattle, Washington
Unlike most other top programs on this list, The University of Washington's MS in Construction Management has a bit of a niche. This degree program focuses entirely on the heavy construction industry, meaning major infrastructure and construction projects. The bulk of the faculty has field experience so there's an extra level of depth and specificity to core topics like highway construction, marine construction, and utility system construction. Students have the option to do a full time or part time course load, and generally, complete the program between one to three years.
TMD Ranking Score: 88.78
#8 South Dakota School of Mines & Technology – Rapid City, South Dakota
Students earning their MS in Construction Engineering and Management here are prepared with managerial, technical, and organizational skill sets in construction management. Core topics include construction contracts, advice on collaborating with firms, and engineering and construction ethics, while electives allow students to dive deeper on ergonomics and other niche areas. By the time they matriculate, graduates can pursue careers as construction owners, constructors, or design professionals on construction projects.
TMD Ranking Score: 89.40
#7 Drexel University – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
While Drexel University's program is completely online and does not have a residency requirement, it does offers a high level of interactivity for its students with varied and engaging online challenges. The school also boasts of a faculty with professional construction experiences in public, private, union, and open work environments, giving learners valuable and varied perspectives. The degree has concentrations in construction project management, real estate development, and sustainability and green construction. And unlike most programs, Drexel organizes it's MS in Construction Management into four ten-week quarters, allowing students to take more courses in a shorter time period.
TMD Ranking Score: 92.23
#6 North Dakota State University Distance and Continuing Education – Fargo, North Dakota
North Dakota State University's school of Distance and Continuing Education offers coursework that covers residential, commercial, industrial, highway, and heavy construction, offering graduates more niche topics that some of the other top-ranking schools on this list. Students also become experts in cost control, construction programming, and additional project management skill sets to help them gain an extra edge in the upper management positions in the field. There is an additional graduation requirement that all students sit for the Associate Constructor Exam given by the American Institute of Constructors & Constructors Certification Commission, but the curriculum is designed to help prepare students to pass.
TMD Ranking Score: 94.45
#5 Clemson University – Clemson, South Carolina
Clemson University's Master's in Construction Science Management helps professionals develop advanced techniques to manage construction projects with new and emerging technologies. The MCSM degree has an optional thesis that is an additional nine credit hours of study and an oral final presentation. If learners choose the non-thesis track, they will take 36 credit hours on topics like financial planning and analysis, construction control systems, personnel management and negotiations, and business strategy and marketing The degree is offered in an online format, although the school recommends that applicants have a year of field experience before applying.
TMD Ranking Score: 97.25
#4 Louisiana State University – Baton Rouge, Louisiana
This online Master of Science in Construction Management offered by Louisiana State University provides students with a firm background in construction leadership. Coursework focuses on advanced leadership and decision-making skills, in addition to sustainability, building information modeling, and project modeling. The 36 credit hours can be completed in as little as two years, and the online format makes this school a convenient choice. The school also offers a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Construction Management to prepare professionals for the American Institute of Constructors Level I Exam.
TMD Ranking Score: 98.93
#3 Arizona State University Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering – Tempe, Arizona
Arizona State University's Master in Construction Management is offered exclusively online via the Del E. Webb School of Construction. The program has a big focus on new and advanced construction technology as well as applied research skills. This approach gives students an extra edge when pursuing upper-level management careers in maintenance, operation, renovation, or decommissioning of existing facilities. In addition to an innovative curriculum, the school boasts a well-respected faculty, including members of national academies of engineering and construction, as well as a decorated Nobel Laureate.
TMD Ranking Score: 99.53
#2 University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering – Los Angeles, California
The Master of Construction Management program at USC aims to takes a multidisciplinary approach to the technical and non-technical parts of construction management. Students will take courses under the Viterbi School of Engineering, the School of Architecture, the Marshall School of Business, the Gould School of Law, and the School of Policy, and Planning and Development. While this degree prepares students for a variety of roles in the field, there is a large focus on constructors. Other graduates have gone on to pursue real estate development, sub-contracting, and architectural engineering among other specialties. Students are able to attend classes on the LA campus or online.
TMD Ranking Score: 99.54
#1 Columbia University School of Professional Studies – New York, New York
Columbia University's Master's in Construction Administration is offered by the School of Professional Studies, and most students do have a few years of field experience before beginning this program. This comprehensive degree covers both residential and commercial construction and helps students develop the skills to complete projects according to common safety and budgetary best practices. Students can enroll on a part-time or full-time basis to complete the 36 credits, which generally takes from two to five years. Additionally, most classes are held in the evenings which is convenient for students who wish to continue to work in the field as they earn their degree. Toward the end of the program, learners create a management plan for a real New York City construction project as part of a Capstone project.
TMD Ranking Score: 100