Construction Science Program launches new online master’s program
Leaders in the $1.6 trillion U.S. construction industry can’t always take a couple years off to further their education with a graduate degree. But now, Texas A&M’s Department of Construction Science, already the largest in the nation, will meet students where they are with a fully online graduate degree program that will allow them to advance their education while in the field.
The first two courses, offered in a hybrid online/ in-person form, launched in the 2023 spring semester with 43 graduate students enrolled in construction company operations and advanced project management. The first fully online class will start this fall.
“We’ve answered industry’s call and look forward to launching our comprehensively planned and world-class online master’s of science of construction management,” said Patrick Suermann, dean of the School of Architecture.
Efforts to develop a fully online master’s of science of construction management degree began in 2019 when Interim Dean Suermann teamed up with Jocelyn Widmer, Assistant Provost for Academic Innovation.
“The program was a natural fit to move online,” said Widmer. “It had three key ingredients for success: a labor market needing the skills and competencies already delivered in the face-to-face program, a supportive faculty in place in the Department of Construction Science, and a champion in Suermann, who was the department head at the time.”
While COVID-19 delayed the launch of the program, the pandemic accelerated digital transformation for the constructional industry, making it a natural fit that construction managers could earn a degree online while keeping pace with their roles in the field.
“The Texas A&M Construction Science program has long been one of the best programs in the country, and since around 2015, has also been the largest,” said Patrick Suermann, dean of the School of Architecture. “For most leaders who want to pursue a rigorous and impactful master’s degree in the field of construction, they are most likely out in the field or on a deployment working on ongoing construction projects.”
Widmer went on to say that the new online Master’s in Construction Science “creates the the opportunity to recruit and retain a new population of learners who are active and essential to the workforce in Texas (and beyond). When we look at the labor market demand for the construction industry in Texas, it is one of those key industries where Texas stands to outpace the nation in the next decade. There is no better program positioned to contribute graduates to the workforce than the Construction Management program at Texas A&M University.”
Innovative online learning
The online master’s of science of construction management is being developed in partnership with the Department of Construction Science faculty and the Office for Academic Innovation. Courses are being built within Texas A&M University’s state-of-the-art digital learning environment and are designed to leverage engagement among faculty, peers, and content in an interactive and dynamic approach to teaching and learning.
“What we are hearing from the faculty through the course development process is that the approaches to creating a course online are innovating their thinking in how they will deliver instruction in their face-to-face courses. This early uptake and buy-in of a new instructional mode of delivery for many is exactly what leads to sustained engagement by the faculty over time” said Widmer.
“The future students enrolled in the online master’s of science of construction management are ultimately who stand to benefit. Students will have access to a world-class program that capitalizes on A&M’s legacy as one of the construction thought leaders as a land, sea and space grant school in a new modality that meets the industry where it is, and heading.”
Construction Science at A&M
Construction Science at Texas A&M hosts the largest undergraduate program in the country, with over 1,000 students enrolled and is further strengthened with strong industry ties and partnerships.
The undergraduate degree is accredited by the American Council for Construction Education and prepares students to enter and lead in the construction industry by combining aspects of business, project planning and construction management.
Students who graduate from the undergraduate construction science program have a 99% employment placement rate and enter jobs with an average $67,000 starting salary. Graduates from the current in-person master’s program enter the field with an average $75,600 starting salary.
Learn more about the new online program here.
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