10 Most Affordable Master’s in Construction Management for 2021

online masters in construction management

For working adults who want to get their construction management master’s degree, cost has to be a factor. After all, most construction management master’s students are paying their own way. There are a few ways in which you can save money on getting a master’s in construction management. You can attend school online, take an accelerated program, or find a school that provides a master’s degree at a reasonable cost. The cheapest online master’s degree in construction management programs can help you save money on your degree, but you need to make sure the program provides value no matter how much or little you spend.

A cheap online construction management degree program can sound appealing on the surface, but if it’s not well-regarded by the construction industry, you face a harder time getting a job. When looking at inexpensive degree programs, make sure the program has accreditation from a a recognized institution in order to get the best possible education. 

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Construction Management Degrees 

A low-cost construction management master’s degree isn’t worth much if it’s not reputable, so Great Business Schools editors selected only accredited, legitimate institutions for the most affordable ranking. Programs are featured in order of their tuition cost, according to current IPEDS stats. 

1. California State University, Fresno

Topping the list of the most affordable construction management degrees is the MS in Construction Management from California State University, Fresno (Fresno State). This program provides the entrepreneurial skills, financial knowledge, and technical competencies students need to become leaders in the construction industry. The program is suitable for both working professionals and recent college graduates. Students are prepared for upper management positions in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries.

The Lyles College of Engineering at Fresno State offers high-quality educational programs in construction management and engineering. These programs support the growth and infrastructure of the Central California region. The school helps each student reach his or her full potential and strives to serve populations that have not historically been granted a university education. The Lyles College offers programs in construction management, architectural studies, and mechanical, geomatics, computer, electrical and civil engineering.

Highlight This program requires 30 semester units of credit and ends in a culminating experience.
Degree MS in Construction Management 

2. University of Nevada, Las Vegas

The MS in Construction Management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is another of the most affordable construction management degrees in the US. The program offers graduate-level education for students who aspire to mid- and upper-management construction management positions. It is also a good choice for students who want to pursue a doctorate after graduation. Students should have an academic background in business, architecture, science, engineering, construction management, or a related field. Graduates are qualified to manage teams of construction professionals.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas has been around since 1957. The school started as a small branch college and has grown into a flourishing urban research institution. The university has transformed into an indispensable resource for the community. Its mission is to promote individual achievement and community well-being through clinical services, creative activities, scholarship, research, and education.

Highlight There is a thesis track as well as a project track.
Degree MS in Construction Management 

3. University of Texas at Arlington

Next on the list of the most affordable construction management degrees is the Master of Construction Management from The University of Texas at Arlington. This is an interdisciplinary program that teaches students how to manage complex construction projects. Students take courses in management, business, and architecture. The program is designed for students with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Students with other academic backgrounds may need to take leveling courses before entering the program. The program covers business models, organizational structures, and technologies in construction management.

The College of Engineering at UTA has been training engineers for the North Texas work force and beyond for over 60 years. The school has two astronauts among its alumni, along with dozens of executives and successful entrepreneurs. The school’s mission is to train engineers who will impact their communities in a positive way.

Highlight Classes are available on campus in the evenings, and many are also available online.
Degree Master of Construction Management

4. Brigham Young University

The MS in Technology with a specialization in construction management from Brigham Young University is another of the most affordable construction management degrees. This program is designed for construction management graduates or those with experience in construction management who would like to level-up their leadership and management skills. The program consists of 30 credit hours, six of which are for the thesis. Required courses include construction company financial management, trends and issues in managing construction, and construction company human resources.

The Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering is comprised of six departments: chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, electrical and computer engineering, manufacturing engineering, mechanical engineering, and the School of Technology. The School is named after Ira A. Fulton, who has contributed millions of dollars to help the school and its students.

Highlight Full-time students can complete the program in as little as three semesters.
Degree MS in Technology: Construction Management 

5. Central Connecticut State University

Another of the most affordable construction management degrees is the MS in Construction Management from Central Connecticut State University. The program gives students educational experience that transform them into capable managers who can run construction companies effectively. It focuses on the skills needed to control daily business operations. Students learn about project delivery, risk management, construction law, and company financial operations and can apply their knowledge within the field of construction management.

The School of Engineering, Science, and Technology at Central Connecticut State University strives to give students a unique and innovative educational experience in order to develop qualified technologists, scientists, and engineers. The school is committed to academic excellence and interdisciplinary education. It strives to expand and combine the talents of its faculty and students among all disciplines in order to prepare students for a multidisciplinary world.

Highlight The program requires 33 credit hours and can terminate in a special project or a comprehensive final exam.
Degree MS in Construction Management 

6. North Dakota State University

The MS in Construction Management from North Dakota State University is another of the most affordable construction management degrees. This program is held on campus and is focused on research. The school expects its students to make significant contributions toward the submission of research grant proposals and the development of scholarly publications. The program consists of 30 credit hours of coursework and ends with the Associate Constructor exam. There is also a Master of Construction Management (MCM) program that is offered online.

The Construction Management and Engineering Department at NDSU has been offering construction programs since 1978. The program offers high-quality educational programs that help students prepare for careers in construction management. The school values integrity, freedom, academic responsibility, individual rights, diversity, inclusion, communication, transparency, and a commitment to an outstanding education.

Highlight Students who choose the online MCM program pay in-state tuition regardless of residence.
Degree MS in Construction Management 

7. University of Houston

The MS in Construction Management from the University of Houston is next on the list of the most affordable construction management degrees. This program provides the skills and knowledge students need to pursue leadership positions in construction management. The curriculum covers advanced topics and fundamental knowledge, including project management, contracting, scheduling, estimating, Six Sigma, quality management, green construction, sustainability, computer applications in construction, decision making, and risk analysis.

The College of Technology at the University of Houston is made up of several colleges that are each responsible for a different academic area. The school has been around for over 70 years and is proud of the innovation it has inspired. It has equipped industry leaders with technical and engineering knowledge and computing, teamwork, and critical thinking skills. The school offers master’s and bachelor’s degrees in human resource development, digital media, biotechnology, and more.

Highlight This is a STEM program that includes optional practical training for international students.
Degree MS in Construction Management 

8. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Another of the most affordable construction management degrees is the MS in Construction and Facilities Management from UNC Charlotte. This program prepares students to supervise, coordinate, and manage the construction process from beginning to end. Students learn how to complete projects on time without going over budget. The program covers specialty, industrial, environmental, electrical, civil, highway, mechanical, residential, and commercial construction. Students study codes and regulations, construction processes, site safety, labor relations, materials management, and more.

The William States Lee College of Engineering is a community of industry partners, faculty, and students that builds, researches, designs, and studies together. Students learn to apply, build, create, design, and visualize by participating in hands-on projects. The school has around 4,000 students and offers 18 different degree programs.

Highlight This is a 30-credit program that includes a capstone experience. There is a thesis option for the capstone.
Degree MS in Construction and Facilities Management 

9. East Carolina University

The MS in Construction Management from East Carolina University is another of the most affordable construction management degrees. This program helps students advance their careers and take advantage of better opportunities in the construction management field. The curriculum was designed with input from academic resources and construction industry professionals. The topics of study were chosen to be those that students would find most useful on the job. Graduates can look forward to upward mobility in their careers as construction management professionals.

The Department of Construction Management is for students who are fascinated by construction sites and want to know what it takes to manage a construction project. Students learn how to work as part of a team and to work with engineers and architects to build facilities for end users and owners. The program provides students with a high-quality education and gives them the industrial experience they need to succeed.

Highlight This program is available online and can be completed from any location worldwide.
Degree MS in Construction Management

10. University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin offers a graduate program in Construction Engineering and Project Management that incorporates both business management and technical engineering skills to provide students with a comprehensive education. Graduates have the ability to improve and change the capital projects industry for the better. Students are able to work directly with industry professionals working on hands-on research in areas such as increasing productivity through Advanced Work Packaging, examining social issues, and creating technology for automated, intelligent job sites.

The School of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin started with a handful of students over 100 years ago. Now it is one of the largest civil engineering departments in the US, with more than 1,200 students and 10,000 alumni.

Highlight The Construction Engineering and Project Management program has a strong relationship with the university’s research centers.
Degree Construction Engineering and Project Management

How Do I Save Money on a Master’s in Construction Management?

Ask yourself the question of “how much time do I have to devote to continuing education?” If you can forego full-time employment, you might find an accelerated master’s in construction management is one option to save money on a degree. An accelerated program sometimes packs more credit hours into a semester and requires attendance throughout all three semesters in a year. You’ll graduate in less time and spend less money on the degree because you’re spending less time in school overall. You still earn the required amount of credit hours, but you may spend a little more than a year’s time in school as opposed to two or three years.

Another option is attending a construction management master’s program online. Online programs for construction management master’s tend to be less expensive because you’re not required to attend a physical campus. You save money immediately because you’re not spending time and money commuting to a school. All you need is a reliable computer and internet connection to attend. Online school also offers you the opportunity to learn at a pace that’s suited to your needs as classes are offered at all hours of the day and night. 

Will a Certification in Construction Management Help My Career?

Getting a construction management certification can help your career in multiple ways. If you’re new to the construction industry and want to get a classroom education in management, a CMAA certification will aid you in your career. Someone who has years of experience and wants to move their career into management can also benefit from getting CMAA certification. Last, but not least, if you have found yourself in a management position due to seniority and experience, getting construction management certification can help you formalize your experience and make yourself more appealing to employers. 

A typical construction management certification program provides education in topics that include legal issues, equipment management, planning and scheduling, and site administration. You need an average of 12 credit hours to earn your construction management certification, but you also have the option to take classes that meet your needs to get your CMAA certification. That is, if you want to focus on specific areas of construction management, you can take classes that are appropriate and relevant to your goals and still earn a construction management certification.

If you want to earn your certificate in construction management while working full-time, you have option to earn your construction certifications online. In the event your employer encourages employees to return to school for further education, talk to them about taking a program for construction management certification online. You may be able to advance your career within the organization while you’re getting your certification in construction management. 

How Much Can I Make with a Master’s in Construction Management?

The average construction management degree salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was $95,260 in 2019. The BLS projects the job outlook for the role to grow by 8% between 2019 and 2029. However, it’s worth noting that the prediction was made prior to the COVID-19 pandemic which has slowed down the construction and labor industries. That’s not to say that you can’t get into the role of a construction manager so much as it’s a good time to go back to school to earn a master’s in construction management. A construction management degree salary will only grow over time and the more education you can bring to your role, the better. You’ll also find that a construction management degree salary is commensurate with the amount of education and experience you’ve gained. 

Carrie Morris

Warren Dahl