College Offers New Construction Management Masters Degree

As of this semester, Manhattan College’s school of engineering is offering a new construction management Master of Science degree program as part of its graduate offerings.

Screen shot 2017-01-22 at 4.00.19 PM.pngPreviously, the college offered a conain the civil engineering master’s program. However, the new standalone program will now provide more flexibility for what types of students can enroll for the graduate degree because it does not require an undergraduate degree in civil engineering for admission.

“Now the new construction management program is open to students with engineering degrees—civil, mechanical, chemical, any engineering degree—and also students who have degrees in business or any science with a job related to construction and construction management,” Moujalli Hourani, associate professor and director of the civil engineering graduate program, said.

Screen shot 2017-01-22 at 4.00.41 PM.pngWith the new master’s program, the department will also expand the number of courses in the various topics of construction management and include new classes related to the business aspects of the field.

As with the previous construction management concentration program, undergraduate civil engineering students will also be able to take some of these new courses as electives for their undergraduate degree.

“The good thing about our program is the faculty who are teaching the classes,” Hourani said. “They are experts in the field and have many years of expertise in construction management and in construction in general.”

Similarly, the department is currently in the process of selecting a board of advisors for the program, to be composed of contemporary members of industry, many with Manhattan College affiliations.

Screen shot 2017-01-22 at 3.59.18 PM.pngThe construction management concentration has been a part of the civil engineering graduate degree for the last eight years, created primarily to meet the career needs of students enrolled in the program.

“Almost 10 years ago when we looked at our graduates, almost 85 to 90 percent of our graduates, they work in construction and in construction management,” Hourani said.

“Offering a master’s degree in civil engineering or structural or geotechnical, it wasn’t the right move for those students. They need something which can benefit their positions and they can then excel in that field.”

Construction management professionals typically do not work on the design side of the industry, but instead plan, facilitate and coordinate the day-to-day operations for a variety of construction projects on behalf of contractors, owner’s representatives and government agencies.

Employment of construction managers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the United Sates Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Shivani Patel, civil engineering junior and president of the college’s student chapter of the Construction Management Association of America agrees that the employment opportunities within the industry are increasing.

“I think it is great that we are expanding the programs at Manhattan College,” she said. “It gives students a new aspect within the civil engineering program. I feel that construction management is a very growing field.”

According to Hourani, the department is in the process of looking at accreditation of the program by the Construction Management Association of America as well as potentially ABET, the accreditation organization for applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology college and university programs.

The New York State Department of Education approved the new construction management master’s program this past fall, allowing it to begin this semester.