Education

Best Construction Science Degree Programs of 2022

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

Construction science is the study of the design, construction, and maintenance of structures, including buildings, bridges, and roads. Construction science degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in the construction industry, including construction manager, project engineer, and construction inspector.

Construction science degrees offer a broad overview of the construction industry, covering topics such as construction management, construction technology, and construction engineering. Students in construction science degree programs learn about the different aspects of designing and constructing structures, and how to manage construction projects. They also learn about the legal and regulatory environment in which construction projects are undertaken.

How to Choose the Right Construction Science Program

When it comes to choosing a construction science program, there are many things to consider. The first step is to research your options and find the programs that fit your interests and career goals. Once you have a list of potential programs, you can start to narrow down your choices by considering factors such as cost, location, and time to degree.

The cost of a construction science 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 science 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 science classes they must take versus the specialized courses in their track.

Best Bachelor’s in Construction Science Programs

The best programs for Construction Science 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
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA

The Bachelor of Science in Building Construction from Georgia Institute of Technology is a STEM-designated program that provides students with a practical and hands-on approach to the construction industry. The curriculum is designed to give students a complete view of the building life cycle, from design and planning to construction and renovation. Students in the program will learn how to use technology-driven methods of construction management and leadership skills.

Rank 3
Ohio State University
Columbus, OH

The Ohio State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Construction Systems Management degree. This degree is designed for students interested in pursuing management careers in the construction industry, with an emphasis on building construction. The program introduces students to concepts in other sectors of the construction industry as well. Technical classes in reading and interpreting construction drawings, estimating and project scheduling, construction management, sitework planning, and other aspects of building science and construction are included in the curriculum. In addition, students in the program are required to complete an internship to gain practical, hands-on experience.

Rank 4
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 5
Texas A & M University
College Station, TX

The Bachelor of Science in Construction Science from Texas A & M University is a four-year program that integrates principles from architecture, technology, engineering, business, and project management, giving students the skills they need to effectively manage the construction process. Students take specialized courses in topics such as building systems, materials and methods of construction, scheduling, cost estimating, structures, construction management, law, and business/labor relations. The program also requires students to complete an internship for full-time practical work experience.

Rank 6
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA

The Building and Construction Technology (BCT) program at University of Massachusetts is designed to educate leaders in the field of sustainable design and construction. The program offers a well-rounded education that prepares students for jobs in construction and building systems. The program also provides students with an understanding of sustainability in the built environment.

Rank 7
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 8
University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

The Bachelor of Science in Construction Science from University of Oklahoma is interdisciplinary, teaching students skills in areas such as architecture, business, and engineering. The curriculum includes courses in project management, construction safety, and sustainable construction practices. Students in the program have the opportunity to study abroad and participate in service learning projects. Upon graduation, students are prepared for careers as general contractors, developers, or project managers.

Rank 9
Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, PA

The Bachelor of Science in Building & Construction Studies from Thomas Jefferson University is designed for those looking to enter into administrative and project management positions in the construction industry. The program combines coursework in building materials and methods, construction graphics, and business practices to prepare students for a variety of roles in construction-related enterprises.

Rank 10
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, MS

The Bachelor of Science in Building Construction Science from Mississippi State University is a studio-based program and it is accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE). Students in the department solve problems as construction professionals in a simulated office environment called a “studio.” In studio, students are challenged to integrate classroom knowledge and skills to solve problems on construction projects. Coursework includes collaborative team projects, hands-on building projects, construction site visits and tours, and integrated cross-disciplinary work with design students in architecture and interior design. Practicing construction professionals are frequent visitors to the studios and participate in student project reviews each semester.

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Construction Science Program

Students in a construction science program learn about the management and technical aspects of construction projects. The degree often leads to careers in project management, construction engineering, or construction management.

Most programs require between 120 and 130 credits and take four years to complete. In addition to general education classes, students take courses in topics such as construction materials, methods, and equipment; construction contracts and law; and construction cost estimating. Many programs also include an internship, which gives students the opportunity to gain real-world experience.

Construction science programs typically culminate in a capstone project. This project gives students the chance to apply what they have learned in the program to a real-world construction project.

Prospective students should have strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. They should also be able to work well in teams and have good communication skills.

Common Construction Science Courses

A construction science degree program will typically offer a curriculum that is focused on the technical aspects of the construction industry. The courses below are some examples of what you might take as a construction science major.

Materials of Construction

This course covers the physical, mechanical, and thermal properties of construction materials. Topics include wood, masonry, concrete, metals, glass, plastics, and insulation materials. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between the properties of materials and their use in construction. Upon completion, students should be able to identify, select, and use appropriate construction materials based on their physical, mechanical, and thermal properties.

Construction Labor & Equipment

This course covers the methods and equipment used in the construction industry. Topics include an overview of the construction industry, an introduction to construction materials and methods, an introduction to construction safety, an overview of construction equipment, and an introduction to construction labor. Upon completion, students should be able to identify the major types of construction equipment, understand the role of construction labor in the construction process, and understand the importance of safety in the construction industry.

Behavior of Structures

This course covers the behavior of structures subjected to loads. Emphasis is placed on the determination of stresses and strains in structural members, analysis of statically determinate and indeterminate structures, and the design of beams, columns, and trusses. Upon completion, students should be able to determine the external and internal forces acting on a structure and the resultant stresses and strains, and to analyze and design beams, columns, and trusses.

Civil & Environmental Systems

This course covers the basic principles and applications of civil and environmental systems. Topics include water resources, air pollution, solid and hazardous waste management, noise pollution, and land use planning. Emphasis is placed on the interaction of these systems with the built environment. Upon completion, students should be able to apply principles of civil and environmental engineering to the planning, design, and operation of infrastructure systems.

Construction Estimating & Cost Analysis

This course covers the methods and procedures used in developing construction estimates. Topics include quantity takeoffs, pricing methods, subcontractor and vendor quotes, overhead and profit, and risk analysis. Upon completion, students should be able to develop an estimate for a small commercial or residential construction project.

Career Options for Construction Science Graduates

Graduates of construction science 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, also known as general contractors, are responsible for overseeing and coordinating construction projects from start to finish. They work with a team of workers, including electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and masons, to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. Construction managers typically have a background in construction, engineering, or architecture, and they must be able to read and understand blueprints.

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers are responsible for designing, building, supervising, and operating infrastructure projects and systems, including roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, and water and sewage systems. They may also work on environmental projects, such as environmental remediation projects, stormwater management systems, and flood control projects. Civil engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, and many also have a master’s degree.

Estimator

Estimators are responsible for putting together cost estimates for construction projects. This can involve everything from residential remodels to commercial buildings and bridges. To do this job, estimators need to understand the construction process, the materials that will be used, the time frame for the project, and the labor involved. They also need to be able to read and understand blueprints.

Construction Superintendent

Construction superintendents are responsible for managing construction projects from start to finish, ensuring that they are completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards. Superintendents typically work on multiple construction projects at the same time and must be able to juggle the various demands of each one. To be successful, superintendents must have strong project management skills and be able to communicate effectively with a wide range of people, including construction workers, architects, engineers, and clients.

Building Inspector

Building inspectors are responsible for making sure that all new construction, as well as any remodeling or repair work, meets local, state, and national building codes. Inspectors typically work for either the government or a private engineering firm and visit job sites to make sure that work is being done according to the approved plans. Inspectors typically have a background in engineering or architecture and must be licensed in the state where they work.

Insights From a Construction Science Graduate

Evelyn Odom is a Senior Project Manager at AECOM. She has a bachelor’s degree in construction science from Texas A&M University. Evelyn has over 20 years of experience in project management, construction, and engineering.

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

Evelyn Odom: I would recommend that students get involved in extracurricular activities, such as internships, co-ops, and student organizations. These activities provide students with opportunities to gain experience in the field, build their network, and develop leadership skills.

ClimbtheLadder: What are the most rewarding aspects of your career? What are the most challenging aspects of your career?

Evelyn Odom: The most rewarding aspect of my career is being able to see a project through from start to finish. It’s very gratifying to see something that you’ve worked on for months or even years come to fruition and be used by the public.

The most challenging aspect of my career is managing the expectations of all the different stakeholders involved in a project. There are always going to be disagreements about scope, budget, schedule, etc. It’s my job to find a way to satisfy everyone’s needs while still delivering a quality product.

ClimbtheLadder: What misconception(s) do people have about a Construction Science degree, and what would you tell them?

Evelyn Odom: I think the biggest misconception is that a construction science degree is only for people who want to be construction managers. While that is one option, there are actually a lot of different career paths that you can take with a construction science degree.

You can be a project manager, estimator, scheduler, safety manager, quality control manager, construction superintendent, or even a project engineer. And that’s just to name a few. So, if you’re interested in construction, but you’re not sure what you want to do, a construction science degree is a great option because it gives you a lot of different options to choose from.

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