May 26, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [OFFICIAL CATALOG]

Construction Management, M.S.

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This program is no longer accepting new majors.


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

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.

This program has one required core course:

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.

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