Education

Best Construction Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Construction programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Construction degrees are interdisciplinary programs that combine the study of engineering, architecture, and construction management. Construction degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in the construction industry, including construction manager, project manager, and civil engineer.

Construction degrees offer a broad overview of the construction process, covering topics such as construction methods, materials, and safety. Students in construction degree programs learn about the different aspects of designing and building structures, and how to manage construction projects.

How to Choose the Right Construction Program

When it comes to choosing the right construction degree program, there are many things to consider. Cost, location, and time to degree are just a few of the factors that can help narrow down your options.

The cost of a construction degree varies depending on the institution. When considering costs, students need to research tuition, fees, and associated expenses such as housing, commuting, and parking. Public schools offer a lower tuition rate for in-state residents. Location can also affect the ability to gain internship opportunities and network for jobs after graduation. Finally, the time to degree may make an expensive program less costly if students can transfer in college credits.

In addition to these factors, prospective construction students also need to consider the specializations available at each program. Students interested in construction management, for example, may only wish to consider programs that offer a track in construction management. Students can also research the graduation requirements to learn how many general construction classes they must take versus the specialized courses in their track.

Best Bachelor’s in Construction Programs

The best programs for Construction ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC

The Bachelor of Science in Building Sciences from Appalachian State University provides students with skills in both the management and technological aspects of the construction industry. The program is interdisciplinary, giving students exposure to the various tools needed to become a leader in the construction industry. After graduation, students typically go right into jobs in the construction industry.

Rank 2
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN

The Bachelor of Science in Construction Management Technology from Purdue University is a degree that prepares students for leadership roles in the global construction industry. The curriculum provides students with skills in project management, budgeting, scheduling, and construction technology. Students also gain hands-on experience through internships and on-site visits to construction projects. The program culminates in a capstone project.

Rank 3
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN

The Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from the University of Minnesota is a 120-credit program that prepares students for a leadership role in construction. The program is flexible, allowing students to choose from five different tracks (subplans): Commercial Construction, Environmental Health and Safety, Facility Management, Highway Heavy and Civil Works, or Residential Construction. The program includes a mix of classroom learning and hands-on experience, through internships and other opportunities.

Rank 4
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, VA

The Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering and Management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University provides students with the technical, managerial, and professional knowledge and skills needed to enter the construction industry or pursue graduate studies. The focus of the degree is on construction management, with engineering and business management as additional areas of study. The program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (ABET).

Rank 5
Florida International University
Miami, FL

The Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Florida International University is a nationally accredited program that provides students with the knowledge and skills needed for careers as project managers, project schedulers, cost estimators, quality controllers, or construction firm managers.

Rank 6
Illinois State University
Normal, IL

The Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Illinois State University is a program that is accredited by the American Council For Construction Education (ACCE). The program focuses on developing students into leaders for the building construction industry. The curriculum is interdisciplinary, providing students with a background in construction management, administration, technology, architectural and engineering principles, business, applied science, and mathematics.

Rank 7
Ball State University
Muncie, IN

The Bachelor of Science in Construction Management degree from Ball State University is a four-year program that focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully lead a construction project from concept to completion. Students in the program take courses in construction methods and materials, construction documents, site preparation, and construction safety. The program also includes two internships, which provide students with valuable field experience.

Rank 8
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC

The Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from East Carolina University is a four-year program that is accredited by the American Council for Construction Education and provides students with a solid foundation in the principles of construction management. The program curriculum includes coursework in topics such as construction materials and methods, construction contracts and specifications, construction estimating, and construction project management.

Rank 9
University of Colorado Denver
Denver, CO

The Bachelor of Science in Construction Management at University of Colorado Denver provides students with a foundation in construction engineering and management, as well as courses from the Business School and College of Architecture and Planning. All students will complete a construction capstone design course. In addition, the program requires the student to complete at least 12 weeks of a full-time internship with an architect, engineer, contractor industry or government agency.

Rank 10
University of New Orleans
New Orleans, LA

The Bachelor of Science in Urban Construction Management degree from University of New Orleans provides students with a holistic approach to urban construction management. The program includes courses in engineering, management, history and urban studies. The students graduating with this unique degree will specialize in urban residential and commercial planning, design, and sustainable construction management techniques.

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Construction Program

Students in a bachelor’s degree program in construction learn about the management and technical aspects of the construction process. The curriculum emphasizes both theory and practical applications, and students often have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through internships and cooperative education programs.

Most construction management programs are accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE). To be accredited, a program must meet certain standards, including a minimum number of credit hours, specific coursework, and a capstone project.

A bachelor’s degree in construction typically takes four years to complete and requires about 120 credit hours. Most programs include general education courses, such as English and math, as well as core construction courses, such as construction materials and methods, construction management, and construction safety. Students also usually have the opportunity to choose from a variety of electives, such as project management, sustainable construction, and construction law.

Some programs also offer concentrations, which allow students to focus their studies in a particular area of interest. Common concentrations include project management, sustainable construction, and construction law.

Common Construction Courses

A construction degree program will typically offer a mix of classroom instruction and hands-on training. The courses below are some of the most common ones found in construction degree programs.

Construction Materials and Methods

This course covers the properties, selection, and use of construction materials. Topics include an overview of the construction industry, an introduction to the manufacture of construction materials, an evaluation of the physical and mechanical properties of construction materials, and an examination of the impact of construction materials on the environment. Upon completion, students should be able to identify the various types of construction materials, select appropriate materials for specific construction applications, and apply knowledge of the properties of construction materials to the solution of construction problems.

Surveying

This course introduces the principles and practices of surveying. Emphasis is placed on measurement of horizontal and vertical angles, distance, area, volume, and earthwork. Topics include leveling, topography, route surveying, boundary law, and construction staking. Upon completion, students should be able to perform basic surveying operations and calculations.

Soil Mechanics

This course covers the physical and engineering properties of soils and their relationship to foundation design and construction. Topics include the classification of soils, grain-size analysis, Atterberg limits, compaction, effective stress, permeability, seepage, consolidation, and shear strength. Upon completion, students should be able to identify and describe the physical properties of soils, perform grain-size analysis, and determine the Atterberg limits, compaction, effective stress, permeability, seepage, consolidation, and shear strength of soils.

Fundamentals of Construction Estimating

This course covers the principles and methods of construction estimating including an introduction to various types of estimates, their development and use in the construction process. Students will learn to read and interpret construction drawings and specifications, and to develop quantity take-offs. Other topics include an introduction to various types of contracts, risk management, and insurance. Upon completion, students should be able to develop an accurate quantity take-off and cost estimate for a construction project.

Structural Analysis

This course covers the analysis and design of statically determinate and indeterminate structures subjected to various loads. Emphasis is placed on the application of principles of statics, force method, and energy methods. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze and design various types of structures.

Career Options for Construction Graduates

Graduates of construction programs work in a variety of industries, including construction, engineering, and project management. They may also work in fields such as architecture, environmental science, and construction law.

Construction Manager

Construction managers plan, direct, coordinate, and budget construction projects. They are responsible for ensuring that construction projects are completed on time, within budget, and according to specifications. Construction managers typically work on multiple projects at the same time and often have to travel to job sites. They typically work for construction companies, engineering firms, and governments. Some construction managers are self-employed.

Site Superintendent

A site superintendent is responsible for managing all aspects of construction projects, from start to finish. Superintendents typically work for construction firms, although they may also work independently. The job entails coordinating with all parties involved in a construction project, including the owner, architect, engineers, and subcontractors. Superintendents also create construction schedules, set budgets, and resolve any issues that arise during construction.

Estimator

Estimators are responsible for creating cost estimates for construction projects. This can involve anything from residential homes to commercial buildings to public works projects. To do this job, estimators need to have a deep understanding of construction methods, materials, and equipment, as well as the local market conditions. They also need to be able to read and interpret blueprints and other technical drawings. Once they have all the necessary information, estimators use specialized software to generate a cost estimate for the project.

Home Inspector

Home inspectors evaluate the condition of houses and other structures. They look for damage or potential problems and report their findings to the people who have hired them. Home inspectors typically work for home buyers or sellers, real estate agents, or lenders, but they may also work for landlords, property managers, or insurance companies. Inspectors typically have a background in construction or a related field, and they must be able to identify and assess a variety of potential problems, including electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, roofing, and foundation issues.

Construction Foreman

Construction foremen are responsible for supervising and coordinating the work of construction workers on a particular project. They typically have a team of workers that they oversee and coordinate, making sure that the project stays on schedule and within budget. Foremen also typically report back to the project manager or general contractor about the progress of the project and any issues that arise.

Insights From a Construction Graduate

Brayden Shelton is a Construction Project Manager at Turner Construction. He has a bachelor’s degree in construction from the University of Colorado. Brayden has over 10 years of experience in construction project management.

ClimbtheLadder: What would you recommend that students do in addition to their degree program, in order to stand out to employers?

Brayden Shelton: I would recommend that students get involved in as many extracurricular activities as possible. Employers are looking for well-rounded individuals who are involved in their community. They want to see that you are able to balance work and other commitments.

In addition, I would recommend that students get involved in professional organizations. This is a great way to network with other professionals in your field and stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends.

ClimbtheLadder: What type of person is successful and thrives in a Construction career?

Brayden Shelton: I would say that successful and thriving construction professionals are those who are able to think on their feet, are proactive, and have a can-do attitude. The construction industry is constantly changing, so those who are able to adapt and be flexible will do well. Additionally, construction is a team sport, so those who are able to work well with others and build relationships will be successful.

ClimbtheLadder: What was the most challenging course you took? What advice would you give to students who are about to start this course?

Brayden Shelton: The most challenging course I took was Construction Project Management. The course was difficult because it required a lot of coordination between different team members. My advice to students who are about to start this course is to be prepared to work with a team.

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