Master of Science in Building Construction Science and Management
Deepen your knowledge and advance quickly in a rapidly evolving field.
The Master of Science in Building Construction Science and Management program at Virginia Tech's Myers-Lawson School of Construction (MLSoC) offers the opportunity for advanced study and research in specialized areas related to building design, construction, and operations over a broad range of scales, providing the basis for diverse career paths and/or entry into a Ph.D. level program. As a student, you'll be involved in multidisciplinary teams representing all facets of the industry to experience the challenges of leadership on realistic projects. Work with expert faculty, be mentored by professionals from leading construction firms, and develop a network of peers that will last a lifetime.
Female students enrolled
Credit hours, focused on construction management and building performance over the whole building lifecycle
Available electives for students
While an undergraduate degree in construction or related fields is not required, applicants must demonstrate relevant background and professional experience. View requirements and learn more about admission on our website.
For more information on the application process for Virginia Tech's graduate school please visit:
Learn more about a dual degree option under the Admission Status section of the Admission Information for our graduate program.
About our Program
Coursework includes core courses and electives in construction, design, and business-related disciplines. Students may complete their degree requirements either through independent investigation on a subject of their own interest through a faculty-supervised Thesis or Project & Report (Research Track), or through a final exit examination administered by a graduate faculty committee (Industry Track). An accelerated undergraduate/graduate program option is also available for exceptional undergraduate students at Virginia Tech. The degree is designed to be completed in three semesters.
The Industry Track offers opportunities for students who are interested in a career in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry after graduation. This track allows students to explore key topics and issues that face the AEC industry, working closely with faculty and industry leaders. Students in this track may customize their course of study though their choice of elective courses both inside and outside MLSoC, as well as through independent study working directly with faculty. Internships, executive shadowing experiences, and extracurricular opportunities round out the industry track experience, resulting in students who are well-prepared to develop cutting edge solutions to industry challenges and carry their companies forward into the future.
Exit from Industry Track
Students choosing the Industry Track will exit the program through an oral exam administered by the Industry Track Advisory Committee (ITAC). These students have as their objective a career in the construction industry following graduation. Students in this track are required to:
- take CNST 5214: Construction Company Management during spring of their first year, and
- select at least one elective course of 3 credit hours from the Pamplin College of Business to complete the track.
Students may also receive approval to take courses from other colleges to complete the elective requirement, as long as they can demonstrate to the ITAC the course meets the objectives of the Industry Track. Students should obtain written approval of all substitutions from the ITAC in the form of a memo attached to their approved Plan of Study before taking any courses outside the Pamplin College of Business to meet this elective requirement.
The Research Track offers students the opportunity to explore an industry problem at a more detailed level or further thier study at the doctoral level as part of their future career goals. This track offers both, the basic coursework to equip graduates for a construction career, as well as a chance to focus on a specific problem of interest in higher detail through a faculty-supervised one-semester project or two-semester thesis. Students in this track may customize their course of study using electives both inside and outside MLSoC and will form an individual faculty advisory committee choosing three faculty with complementary expertise to supervise their research in the problem area of their interest. Students in this track have the opportunity to interact with industry through internships as well as working directly with companies to complete their research investigations. Graduates of this track will be equipped to pursue fast-track careers in industry or academia through further study.
Exit from Research Track
Students choosing the Research Track will exit the program through a final written report and thesis that is orally defended in their final examination. Some students in this track intend to continue their graduate studies in the future by pursuing a Ph.D., while others may be interested in pursuing a specific problem or area of inquiry not covered by available courses, followed by a career in industry.
All students in the Research Track must:
- Take CNST 5084: Methods in Construction Research (only available in spring semester) or an equivalent course to prepare them for the rigors of designing and implementing a research study.
- Students in the Accelerated UG/GR program who intend to pursue the Research Track should consider enrolling in CNST 5084 during spring semester of their senior year so that they can begin their research in time to complete all requirements.
- Students are not advised to take CNST 5084 in their final semester and must find an earlier course on research methods and design to substitute. The justification for substitution must be supported by a memo from the student’s academic advisor attached to the approved Plan of Study.
- Enroll in either BC 5904: Project and Report or BC 5994: Research and Thesis while undertaking their research investigation. Only three hours of BC 5904 for Project & Report students, and only six hours of BC 5994 for Thesis students, may be counted toward the 32 required credit hours.
- Register for CNST 5424: Construction Research Presentation in their final semester. This one-hour seminar course is offered both spring and fall semesters. The objective of the course is to provide guidance for designing and delivering the graphical and oral presentation of research findings.
While students may elect to register for additional research hours to achieve minimum enrollment requirements (e.g., at least 12 hours to maintain assistantship funding) or to dedicate additional time to complete their study, these extra hours will not be counted toward the minimum 32 hours. In total, Thesis-option students will devote ten hours of their degree to this track, and Project & Report students will devote six hours.
- Project & Report students typically complete and defend their research study in one semester, and may use the summer between their first and second years of study as additional unregistered research time.
- Thesis students typically require two semesters to complete their research, and will register for three hours each semester to meet the six hour requirement. Due to the significantly larger scope of thesis research, students are not encouraged to register for six hours of thesis research in a single semester. Few students are able to successfully complete all requirements for a thesis in one semester no matter how much time is devoted.
Core Benefits of Our Degree Program
Realize your full potential and take it to the next level. Whether industry or academia is your ultimate goal, your graduate degree will provide the credentials and up-to-date knowledge of the cutting edge of construction practice.
World-Class Faculty and Cutting-Edge Research
Our distinguished faculty are renowned experts in the construction field who are dedicated to making a lasting impact on the construction industry by developing innovative solutions to complex problems and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Students have the opportunity to work alongside these accomplished professionals, gaining valuable insights and hands-on experience in state-of-the-art research projects in areas such as augmented reality, virtual reality, advanced construction technologies like 3D printing, and robotics.
Culture of Construction Innovation & Excellence
Learn what makes the industry tick and become an agent of change within your organization. Our theory-based coursework is grounded in practical projects that expose you to key industry challenges. By involving students from construction-related disciplines across campus, we mirror the multidisciplinary culture of the construction industry. Opportunities abound for internships, shadowing, and study abroad.
Customized to You
We're committed to helping you design a plan of study to fulfill your individual interests and goals by giving you a solid foundation on which to build your construction knowledge. Study with faculty experts in multiple areas.
When you complete your degree, you'll be ready to launch your own career as an academic or industry expert and carry on our tradition of excellence.