Construction Management

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Master of Science in Construction Management

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Construction Management develops upper-level management personnel for the construction industry, while helping students to pass the Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) examination administered by the American Institute of Constructors (AIC).

Admission Requirements

All applicants to the M.S. program in Construction Management must satisfy the requirements of the UALR Graduate School in addition to any requirements specific to the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology. To be considered for regular admission, an application must contain the following items:

  • A bachelor’s degree in construction management or construction engineering, civil engineering, architecture, business, or similar areas is required. Students with educational backgrounds different from construction management may need to take prerequisite courses. Applicants must have an overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (4.0 scale).
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test should be taken within five years of application. The applicant must have a minimum verbal reasoning GRE score in the range of 146-150 , a minimum quantitative reasoning GRE score in the range of 150-154, and a minimum score of 3.5 on the analytical writing test. The GRE requirement will be waived if
    • the applicant’s undergraduate cumulative GPA from an accredited institution of higher education is 3.5 or higher (4.0 scale), or
    • 10 years of documented construction experience, or
    • the applicant holds an appropriate professional license or certification as approved by the program coordinator.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in written English (via the TOEFL exam) – for applicants whose native language is not English. Applicants’ scores must exceed 525 (paper-based test) or 197 (computer-based test) or 71 (internet-based test). Applicants with scores below but close to 525 (197 if computer-based test or 71 internet-based test) may be admitted provisionally upon the recommendation of the Graduate Coordinator to the Dean of Graduate School, and allowed to fulfill the TOEFL requirement as specified in the Graduate School admissions policies.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in spoken English (via the Test of Spoken English (TSE) or the American English Oral Communication Proficiency Test (AEOCPT) exams) – for applicants whose native language is not English and who are seeking financial support via a teaching assistantship. The student must get a score of 80% or higher on the AEOCPT or the TSE.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Official college transcripts including grades and curriculum for undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate studies.
  • Written statement by the applicant regarding the reasons (e.g. interests, relevant experience, and goals) why he or she should be considered for this M.S. program.
  • A resume detailing any professional work experience, published papers, or presentations.

An application with a minimum of 10 years of construction-related may request a waiver of any of the above requirements. Additionally, those with the required experience that do not meet the minimum GPA requirements may be considered for special conditional admission. The student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher during their first 9 graded hours.
The department graduate faculty will evaluate the compatibility between the applicant’s background, research interests, and communication skills vis-a-vis the M.S. program when making admission decisions, and may decline to admit an otherwise qualified application based on a lack of fit with the program.
Students may apply to the M.S. program at any time. Applicants to the M.S. program are ordinarily expected to start in the fall semester of each year. Foreign national graduate students who are candidates for admission must process their visa applications so that they can arrive in the United States and attend orientation at the International Student Services (ISS). Those students who are not able to obtain approval for entry into the United States in order to meet this timeline may request an admission deferral to attend the following semester or academic year.

Early Entry Program

The Early Entry program is designed to provide an undergraduate student working towards a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management a means to complete the requirements for their undergraduate degree along with a Master of Science degree in Construction Management in a period of five years.
A student enrolled in the B.S. program in Construction Management can apply to the Graduate School using the Early Entry Program Form for admission into the M.S. program in Construction Management. Once accepted into the program, the student may enroll in several graduate courses during their senior year, an anticipated 3 in the fall and 3 in the spring. These graduate-level courses (no more than 12) will count as courses in the fulfillment of their B.S. degree and will be credited as “advanced placement” towards their M.S. degree.
After receiving their bachelor’s degree, the student will return as a graduate student for an additional year of graduate-level course work in order to complete their Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Construction Management.

Program Requirements

Program Options

The Master of Science degree in Construction Management offers two options:

  1. Thesis Option: 30 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree, including six credit hours of thesis work.
  2. Non-Thesis Option: 30 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree, including a three credit hour project.

For both thesis and non-thesis options, the work must include at least 18 credit hours of 7000-level or above work. A maximum of 12 credit hours (with grades of B or greater) can be 5000-level courses, and a maximum of nine credit hours (with grades of B or greater) of graduate courses can be taken from programs outside the construction management program or from another university.

Program Requirements

This program has one required core course:
CNMG 7303 Research Methods in Construction
Students with backgrounds outside of construction management or construction engineering are required to take the following background courses or demonstrate proficiency (i.e. work experience, examination, or interview) in these areas prior to admission into the program:
Drawings and Specifications
Construction Materials
Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) Systems
Estimating I
As an alternative, students that have passed the qualifying exam for the Associate Constructor Certificate offered by the American Institute of Constructors can be granted regular admission into the program.
Students will develop their own programs of study in cooperation with appropriate faculty and in consideration of the courses and facilities available. The student’s plan of study must be developed in conjunction with the student’s advisor with approval by the program coordinator.
All master’s course work must be completed with a minimum overall graduate GPA of 3.0. If a student receives one “C” or lower grade, the student will be warned that this academic performance is unacceptable and the department graduate faculty will review the student’s performance and recommend corrective action.

Transfer of Credit

Course credit may be granted to the student for completing equivalent graduate coursework from other institutions based upon the applicability of the courses to thesis work and the student’s educational goals. Such credit must be exclusive of thesis or other exit project credits, be no more than nine credit hours, be no more than five years old at the time of transfer, and must have a letter grade of B or greater. Students interested in requesting credit transfer should discuss the request with their advisor and the program coordinator. The dean of the Graduate School must also approve the request before the transfer of credit can be granted.

M.S. Advisor

Each student will choose a faculty member to be his or her mentor through the program. New students will be assigned an advisor by the program coordinator prior to the start of classes. Students may change their advisors until they have completed the first semester. After that, changes in a student’s advisor will be granted only in special circumstances.

Thesis Committee

A student choosing the thesis option will be guided by the student’s thesis committee, comprising the student’s M.S. advisor (serving as committee chair) and two members of the department graduate faculty. Successful completion of the thesis will require an oral defense in which the student will defend his or her findings and conclusions. Policies and procedures for passing, failing, and repeating the thesis defense will be in compliance with the UALR Graduate School policies.

Graduate Certificate in Estimating Management

The graduate certificate in Estimating Management is a 15 credit hour program focusing on estimating management. This program provides preparation for students in the formation and analysis of construction costs and prepares students to successfully pass the Associate Estimating Professional (AEP) exam. Students should be informed that this program is not eligible for federal financial aid.

Required Courses

CNMG 5311 Estimating II
CNMG 7311 Advanced Estimating
CNMG 7313 Estimating Practicum
CNMG 7325 Estimating Management
CNMG 7334 Bidding Law

Courses in Construction Management and
Civil and Construction Engineering (CNMG)

CNMG 5310 Construction Financial Management
Concepts and principles of construction financial management: construction financial systems and transactions, financial statements, depreciation analysis, labor burden, overhead determination, bid profit margins, and profit center analysis. Two hours lecture. Two hours lab. Three credit hours. Spring only.
CNMG 5311 Estimating II
Advanced applications and concepts of construction project estimating. Topics include computer-aided estimating, correcting estimating errors, labor and equipment productivity, risk adjustment to price, pricing by asset utilization, mark-up, and ethics. Students compete in mock bids on different types of construction projects. Two hours lecture, two hours lab. Three credit hours. Spring only.
CNMG 5313 Construction Management Fundamentals
This course provides an overview of construction management fundamentals such as delivery systems, estimating, scheduling, and administration. It also covers construction practices such as safety, construction materials and methods, quality, and productivity. Topics include site work, concrete, masonry, steel, rough and finish carpentry, thermal and moisture protection, doors and windows, finishes, electrical and mechanical systems. Two hours lecture, two hours lab. Three credit hours. Offered on demand.
CNMG 5315 Construction Business Operations
This course will identify and explore the tasks required for the successful operation of a construction company. Beginning with start-up, this course will study and participate in the operation of a medium-sized construction company through a fiscal year. Coursework will include daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual tasks. This course will cover portions of the Arkansas Contractor’s Licensing requirements. Two hours lecture, two hours lab. Three credit hours. Fall only.
CNMG 5318 Advanced Building Information Modeling
Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Building information modeling (BIM) functions will be used for complex commercial construction; topographic information of sites, project datums, quantities and properties of building components, building sustainability analysis, documenting projects, and detailing MEP or structural designs; rendering of exterior and interior views. Three credit hours, three contact hours. Students with credit for CNMG 4318 cannot repeat CNMG 5318 for credit.
CNMG 5323 Construction Administration
Prerequisite: consent of instructor. An introduction to construction project control and administration through computer applications. Topics include project team development, standard agreements, contract documents utilization, record keeping, submittals, subcontract management, purchasing, expediting, change orders, claims, progress payments, closeout, and internet-based project control. Two hours lecture, two hours lab. Three credit hours. Fall and spring.
CNMG 5327 Temporary Structures
Prerequisite: consent of instructor. The study of engineering standards, designs, practices, and procedures for erecting temporary structures used to facilitate construction. Topics include earth-retaining structures, slurry walls, dewatering, underpinning, scaffolding, formwork, falsework and shoring, bracing and guying for stability. Three credit hours, four contact hours. Students with credit for CNMG 4327 cannot repeat this course for credit.
CNMG 5329 Construction Planning and Scheduling
Prerequisite: CNMG 4211 or equivalent. An in-depth study of the process of creating and monitoring a construction project schedule. Creation of project schedules on a variety of scheduling software, with primary focus on Primavera. Three hours lecture. Three credit hours. Dual-listed in the UALR Undergraduate Catalog as CNMG 4329. Students cannot receive graduate credit for CNMG 5329 if they have previously taken CNMG 4329.
CNMG 5334 Construction Contracts and Law
A study of construction contracts in relation to project delivery systems and the basic principles of construction law. Case studies are used to analyze selected areas that affect the construction process. Topics include standard agreements and conditions, negligence, risk, indemnities, modifications, mechanics lien, claims, dispute resolution, conflicts of interest, ethical consideration, and labor law. Two hours lecture, two hours lab. Three credit hours. Fall and spring.
CNMG 5342 Construction Safety
A study of the principles of construction safety management and OSHA 29 CFR PART 1926. The OSHA Construction Industry Training Course 500 topics covered in depth. Students develop a company safety plan and hazardous communications program, perform safety analysis, conduct safety meetings, and write accident investigation reports. Students complete the topic requirements for the OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour Construction Safety and Health training card. Two hours lecture and two hours lab. Three credit hours. Dual-listed in the UALR Undergraduate Catalog as CNMG 4342. Students cannot receive graduate credit for CNMG 5342 if they have previously taken CNMG 4342.
CNMG 5351 Foundation Design
The study of introductory soil mechanics including foundation design for shallow and deep foundations. Topics include ultimate bearing capacity, allowable bearing capacity, consolidation settlement, pile foundation for bearing and friction design, lateral earth pressures, soil improvement, and ground modification. Three credit hours. Three contact hours. (2 lecture + 2 lab)
CNMG 5361 Green Construction
Overview of design and construction delivery systems for high performance green buildings; relevant criteria and established guidelines; green standards; high performance green buildings and sustainability; vocabulary associated with sustainability and green buildings; physical limitations of materials. Two hours lecture, two hours lab. Three credit hours. Spring only.
CNMG 5389 Professional Engineering Licensure
Prerequisite concurrent: registration for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, or consent of instructor. Legal, regulatory, and ethical issues related to the practice of engineering; preparation for engineering licensure examinations. Two hours lecture. Three hours lab. Three credit hours. Cross listed as SYEN 5389. Dual-listed in the UALR Undergraduate Catalog as CNMG 4389. Students cannot receive graduate credit for CNMG 5389 if they have previously taken CNMG 4389.
CNMG 5399 Special Topics
Designed to meet special needs of students or industry to cover the application of construction management specific problems. Three credit hours.
CNMG 7100, 7200, 7300 Independent Study
Topic and method of procedure must have approval of the supervising faculty member. Typically four to six hours per week of work on the project for each hour of credit earned. The exact hourly commitment per week and credit hour value depends on the nature of the project and must be agreed on in advance by the student and instructor, and must be submitted in writing to the student’s graduate advisor. With approval, may be repeated for up to nine credit hours. One to three credit hours.
CNMG 7189 Internship
Prerequisite: 9 credit hours in the program. An internship is a cooperative program between the Department of Construction Management and approved Experience Providers (employers). Professional internships correlate actual work experience in the building construction industry with the architecture and construction coursework. Internships approved by the department provide students with knowledge of career opportunities and actual work experience in preparation for employment after graduation. The length of time for your internship experience is intended to be approximately 150 working hours. One credit hour. Repeatable for up to 3 credits.
CNMG 7301 American Construction Industry
This course introduces students to the American construction industry, materials, and methods used within residential, commercial, heavy civil, and industrial construction. The different roles of the various participants are examined along with industry history and traditions. Two hours lecture, three hours lab.
CNMG 7303 Research Methods in Construction
This course familiarizes the student with the research proposal development process and the statistical, computational, visualization, and presentation tools available to the researcher. The course will parallel the organization of a research proposal.
CNMG 7310 Building Codes I
Prerequisite: graduate standing. This course introduces students to the concepts and structure of the International Building Code (IBC) in order to provide a basis for the correct utilization of the code. Students will learn specifics about the IBC, as well as how the code provides safeguards for people with regard to building safety and fire prevention, how to search the code, and how to properly refer to it during design and construction. Three lecture hours. Three credit hours.
CNMG 7311 Advanced Estimating
Prerequisite: CNMG 4311/5311 or consent of instructor. Advanced estimating procedures and development, utilizing computerized quantification and database costing and estimating. Pre-construction estimating, proposal development, and UniFormat Online Specification development shall be incorporated into project preliminary documents. Three hours lecture. Three credit hours.
CNMG 7313 Estimating Practicum
Prerequisite: CNMG 7311. A study of commercial estimating practices. Students will develop project specific proposals for various projects. Proposals shall include cost estimate, schedule, inclusions, exclusions, and clarifications, outline specifications, cash flow analysis, in addition to preliminary plans. Students shall participate in 3 mock bid day proceedings. Three lecture hours. Three credit hours.
CNMG 7318 BIM and 4D Simulation
Prerequisite: CNMG 4218 or equivalent. Advanced techniques of using Building Information Modeling (BIM) together with scheduling control to do 4D simulation. Potential applications of computer and information systems in construction industry. Three hours lecture. Three credit hours.
CNMG 7325 Estimating Management
Prerequisite: Instructor approval required. Project scope identification, management, and control. Scope breakdown and subcontract management in the identification of quality control issues related to the estimate and scope procurement process. Three hours lecture. Three credit hours.
CNMG 7334 Bidding Law
Prerequisite: graduate standing. An in-depth study of the legal environment of bidding law in the domestic commercial construction market. Topics include basic principles, bid guarantees, mistakes in bids, protesting bids, rights and remedies, and bid rigging. Three hours lecture. Three credit hours.
CNMG 7345 Applied Construction Management
Prerequisites: CNMG 4211 and CNMG 5329 or equivalent, or consent of the instructor. This course discusses design, development, estimating, scheduling, contracting, and administering small construction projects, including extensive site and feasibility analyses. Three hours lecture. Three credit hours.
CNMG 7376 International Construction Business Management
Construction contracting, with emphasis on international economics, marketing, contracts, design, and specifications. Issues of local construction techniques, construction marketing, international construction, sustainability, global economics, and influence on construction of local culture, traditions, architecture, history, and political climate. Three hours lecture. Three credit hours.
CNMG 7385 Construction Management Graduate Project
Prerequisites: graduate standing, completion of at least 18 graduate credit hours in the M.S. in construction management program, or consent of the advisor. Students, under faculty supervision, will work on practical problems related to Construction Management, and will submit a project report documenting the results. Three credit hours.
CNMG 7399 Special Topics
Prerequisites: consent of instructor. Selected advanced topics in construction. Three hours lecture. Three credit hours.
CNMG 8100, 8200, 8300, 8400, 8500, 8600 Construction Management Master’s Thesis
Prerequisites: graduate standing, completion of at least 18 graduate credit hours in the M.S. in Construction Management program, or consent of the thesis advisor. Scholarly investigation of a selected problem in an area related to construction management culminating in a written thesis and an oral defense. A maximum of six hours may be applied toward the M.S. degree. Variable credit of one to six hours.