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Construction Management

Department Overview

120 Architecture

Construction management is a diverse discipline focused on the delivery of projects that compose the world's built environment. Included are the determination of project requirements, management of design, procurement of materials, and management of the construction of the project within cost, time, and design parameters. In terms of dollar value output, the construction industry is the largest single production activity in the U. S. economy -- accounting for almost 10 percent of the gross national product. The construction industry is heterogeneous and enormously complex. The major classifications of construction differ markedly from one another: residential, commercial, industrial, and infrastructure, as well as specialties such as electrical, mechanical, framing, excavation, and roofing. Construction management is the study of how projects are conceived, designed, and built; the types of materials and methods used; techniques for estimating the cost of construction; design and contract law; construction accounting; oral and written communications; safety requirements; project planning and project management.

Undergraduate Program

120 Architecture, Box 351610
(206) 543-6377

The Department of Construction Management offers the following program of study:

  • The Bachelor of Science in Construction Management degree

Students take the first two years of study as an undeclared major in the College of Arts and Sciences or a community college, completing program prerequisite requirements. Upon admission to the major, students take the prescribed curriculum shown below.

Bachelor of Science

Suggested First- and Second-Year Courses: M E 123; PHYS 114, PHYS 115, PHYS 117, and PHYS 118; 5 credits of economics; ENGL 131, ENGL 281; ESS 101; MATH 112 or MATH 124; ACCTG 215 and ACCTG 225, CM 250, COM 220, MGMT 200, QMETH 201; chemistry or environmental-science courses.

Department Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered for autumn admission only. Admission is competitive. There are three admission groups: Freshmen Direct, Early Admission (EA), and Upper-Division Admission (UA). Consult department website for more information.

  • Freshman Direct Admission (FA)
  • The department enrolls a small number of students each year directly out of high school, prior to their completion of any university-level prerequisites. Freshman applicants to the University listing construction management as their intended major are automatically considered. Admission is offered to students with exceptionally competitive academic records, including but not limited to high school GPA and SAT or ACT scores. Freshman Direct students work with the construction management adviser to plan their first two years of coursework before beginning the standard curriculum. Such students are eligible to join the construction management student organizations, apply for scholarships, and participate in student competitions.

    Students admitted under the Freshman Direct Admission program must complete all prerequisite course requirements listed under Upper-Division Admission as well as all major requirements to earn their degrees.

  • Early Admission (EA)
  • Students may also apply to the department in spring of their freshman year to enter as part of the Early Admission (EA) group in their sophomore year. This admission path is open to students who began their studies at UW as freshmen, have been enrolled no more than three quarters, and have completed at least 27 credits at UW (25 of the 27 UW credits must be numerically graded). Courses completed prior to applying must include: MATH 112 (or MATH 124 or Q SCI 291), PHYS 114 and PHYS 117 (or PHYS 121), and ECON 200. Other courses from the list of upper division prerequisites may be taken to complete the minimum 27 credits.

    Application deadline for Early Admission is April 1. Admission decisions are based on an applicant's academic performance and potential, extent and quality of relevant experience, apparent attitude, and personal motivation. Completion of prerequisite requirements does not guarantee admission and all prerequisite requirements must be completed by the April 1 deadline.

    Students admitted under the Early Admission program must complete all prerequisite course requirements listed under Upper-Division Admission as well as all major requirements in order to earn their degrees.

  • Upper Division Admission (UA)
    1. Prerequisite courses: Minimum 88 credits in the following categories (courses must be completed by the beginning of autumn quarter for admission that quarter):
      1. Construction: M E 123 or CEE 291
      2. Business and Management: ACCTG 215 and ACCTG 225; MGMT 200
      3. Individuals & Societies (I & S): 5 credits of economics; 7 additional I & S credits from UW Areas of Knowledge list if M E 123 is taken, 9 additional I&S credits if CEE 291 is taken (CM 250 recommended)
      4. Natural World (NW): PHYS 114 and PHYS 117 (or PHYS 121), and PHYS 115 and PHYS 118 (or PHYS 122); MATH 112 (or MATH 124 or Q SCI 291); ESS 101; QMETH 201 (or STAT 220 or STAT 311); 10 additional NW credits from UW Areas of Knowledge list (chemistry or environmental studies recommended)
      5. Language Skills: 5 credits from English composition list; 5 credits from "W" courses or English composition list (ENGL 131 and ENGL 281 recommended)
      6. Visual, Literary & Performing Arts (VLPA): COM 220; 5 additional VLPA credits (from UW Areas of Knowledge list)
      7. Diversity (DIV): 3 credits that meet the UW's diversity requirement.
    2. Admission to the major is competitive. Admission decisions are based on an applicant's academic performance and potential, extent and quality of relevant experience, apparent attitude, and personal motivation. Completion of prerequisite requirements does not guarantee admission. Completion of prerequisite requirements is not required in order to apply, but is required prior to being admitted in autumn quarter.
    3. Departmental application deadline: April 1, for the following autumn quarter. Selection for acceptance into the program is made by early May, and all applicants are notified shortly thereafter. Because each application is valid only once, a student whose application for admission is denied must reapply if consideration is desired in any subsequent year.

Major Requirements

92 credits as follows:

  1. Foundation Courses (77 credits): ARCH 320, ARCH 321; MGMT 300; CM 310, CM 311, CM 312, CM 313, CM 321, CM 322, CM 323, CM 331, CM 332, CM 333, CM 334, CM 335, CM 410, CM 411, CM 412, CM 420, CM 421, CM 422, CM 423, CM 432, CM 433, and CM 434
  2. Construction Electives (6 credits): Two of the following: CM 414, CM 415, CM 416, CM 425, CM 428, or CM 430
  3. Capstone Experience (5 credits): Minimum 2.0 in CM 431
  4. Additional Writing Requirement (4 credits):CM 301 (or B CMU 301)
  5. Additional Major Requirement: Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in upper-division college courses completed in the College of Built Environments

Dual-Degree Program

For requirements of the dual-degree program in architectural design and construction management, see the Architecture section.

Continuation Policy

All students must make satisfactory academic progress in the major. Failure to do so results in probation, which can lead to dismissal from the major. For the complete continuation policy, contact the departmental adviser or refer to the department website.

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: The study of construction management involves an interdisciplinary curriculum that contains a mix of technical, managerial, and business courses to provide graduates the essential skills needed to be successful in the construction industry. Oral and written communication skills are strengthened through written requirements and oral presentations. Construction management skill sets include the ability to read and interpret construction contract documents; the ability to determine appropriate methods for project construction and the proper sequence for each associated construction task; the ability to estimate project costs and time requirements; the ability to evaluate project site safety hazards and take action to minimize the potential for accidents occurring; an understanding of the legal framework associated with contract construction; and the ability to manage the myriad activities associated with constructing a project. Graduates pursue careers with construction companies, design firms, public agencies, homebuilders, consulting firms, real estate developers, and construction material suppliers.
  • Instructional and Research Facilities: The Built Environments library (located on the third floor of Gould Hall) houses construction management books and periodicals. Additional materials are located in the Engineering Library and the Foster Library (Business School). College resources include a 30-work-station computer laboratory in the basement of Gould Hall.
  • Honors Options Available: For Interdisciplinary Honors, see University Honors Program.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: An internship is required for completion of the degree program. Every student is encouraged to seek summer employment in the construction industry, to provide a taste of real-world experience and an opportunity to work for a construction firm. While the department seeks to identify opportunities for internship positions, the responsibility for securing a position rests with each student.
  • Department Scholarships: A limited number of scholarships are available to eligible students.
  • Student Organizations/Associations:
    • Sigma Lambda Chi is a national student honor society for recognition of outstanding students majoring in construction management. Membership is offered only to those students in the top twentieth percentile of their class. Each year the student chapter conducts community service activities.
    • Associated Students in Construction (ASIC) is an umbrella organization for several student chapters of national organizations: Associated General Contractors of America, National Association of Home Builders, Mechanical Contractors Association of America, and the National Electrical Contractors Association. Activities include professional guest lectures, field trips, attendance at professional meetings and seminars, and community service.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
120 Architecture Hall, Box 351610
(206) 616-1917

Master of Science in Construction Management

Admission Requirements

  1. Baccalaureate degree (BS or BA) in civil engineering, construction management, building technology, architecture, or similar field from an accredited college or university in the United States, or its equivalent from a foreign institution. Students with undergraduate degrees in an area other than construction management or building technology must demonstrate an understanding of estimating, project planning and control, and project management either by transcript, validation examination, or successful completion of the following courses: CM 410; CM 411; CM 421.
  2. Minimum 3.00 GPA, based on last 60 graded semester hours or last 90 graded quarter hours of undergraduate and graduate study
  3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
  4. Statement of goals and objectives
  5. Letters of recommendation
  6. International applicants whose first language is not English must submit a valid Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Michigan Language Test (MLT) score. A minimum score of 580 (TOEFL) or 237 (TOEFLC) or 90 (MLT) is required for admission.

Degree Requirements

45 credits, as follows:

  1. Core Courses (9 credits): CM 500, CM 535, CM 575
  2. Construction Management Elective Courses (15-21 credits): 15 to 21 credits of the following: CM 505, CM 510, CM 515, CM 520, CM 525, CM 530, CM 540, CM 545, CM 550, CM 555, CM 565, CM 570, CM 580, CM 582, CM 584, CM 586, CM 588, CM 590, CM 598, B E 551, B E 552, B E 553. Students choosing the thesis option complete 15 credits of CM electives; students choosing the non-thesis optin complete 21 credits of CM electives.
  3. General Elective Courses (12 credits): Other graduate-level courses approved by adviser.
  4. Thesis or Research Paper (3 or 9 credits): Research paper - CM 600 (3); thesis - CM 700 (9)

Graduate Program in Construction Engineering

Students who complete this online program earn either a Master of Science in Construction Management or a Master of Science in Civil Engineering.

Admission Requirements

  1. For construction management, a BS degree in construction management or civil engineering, or other degree with appropriate courses
  2. 3.00 GPA, based on last 60 graded semester or 90 graded quarter credits of undergraduate and graduate study
  3. GRE scores
  4. Statement of goals and objectives
  5. Letters of recommendation
  6. International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency

Degree Requirements

45 credits, as follows:

  1. Heavy Construction Project Management (12 credits): CM 520, CM 580, CM 582, CM 588
  2. Infrastructure Construction (12 credits): CM 584, CM 586, CEE 595, CM 596
  3. Other Required Courses (17 credits): CM 500, CM 525, CM 590, CEE 552, CEE 592, CEE 594
  4. Graduate Research Report (4 credits)