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The Master of Construction Management (MCM) from the Sever Institute at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis can help you advance with the knowledge, leadership and skills needed to understand, shape and oversee the critical aspects of leading a construction project or organization.
From your first course and throughout the program, you will learn theories combined with real-world applications, strengthening your management acumen, collaborative problem solving, interpersonal communication and leadership competencies.
The 30-unit (10-course) MCM degree program is a part-time program intended for entry-level working professionals from all disciplines within the built environment, along with students transitioning from undergraduate studies and other industries. Master of Architecture students in the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts can earn an MCM degree simultaneously with their Master of Architecture (March) degree through a unique joint degree program.
A 15-unit (five-course) graduate certificate in Construction Management can also be earned independently by students pursuing other graduate degrees and stakeholders in the built environment, including accountants, attorneys, real estate developers, banks/financiers, insurance/bonding professionals and others. A graduate certificate is an excellent option for individuals wishing to advance their careers, with a shorter time commitment than a degree.
MCM courses are presented in a part-time, evening and online format and are designed with input from employers, thought leaders and practitioners, and taught by leading professionals from within the architecture and construction industries.
Our curriculum incorporates the foundational themes of cost, time, risk and quality management, strengthened with multi-disciplinary topics – management, leadership, communications and law. Lecture and experiential education provide students with the skills for practical application, utilizing best practices that address current topics, issues and developments in the built environment.
Qualified veterans: WashU McKelvey School of Engineering and the VA will cover 100 percent of your graduate tuition.
Although certificate programs do not qualify for federal loan programs, loans are still available for the master's degrees. For more information, contact Johanna Sengheiser (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Required Courses
T64 CNST 573 Fundamentals in Construction Management
In this course, students will be exposed to the overall construction process from initial concept through startup of the completed facility. The focus is to provide familiarization of the construction and contracting process and potential involvements by construction managers in the planning, design, construction, and post construction phases. Additional topics are introduced to provide a foundation which will prepare students for future construction management coursework. Case studies and industry examples are used throughout the course to authenticate the lectures and assignments. Prerequisites: Graduate Standing
T64 CNST 523A Construction Cost Estimating
Construction cost estimating explores the application of cost estimating principles and estimating within a project management framework in conjunction with scope definition, quality control, planning and scheduling, risk management and loss prevention techniques, local conditions, information and communication, and working relations with stakeholders. Using a single building project, the course introduces the application of basic quantity surveying and estimating principles using a methodical approach with suggested check lists and techniques for arriving at a reliable cost estimate including direct, indirect, and contingency costs and profits. Student's estimating efforts culminate with a competitive bid day scenario. Prerequisites: T64-573 or permission of instructor
T64 CNST 574C Construction Project Planning and Scheduling
Project planning and scheduling process utilizing current techniques including critical path analysis for effective and logical scheduling of construction projects. Identification of project activities and their relationships; schedule development, analysis, and updating; relationship of project costs and resources to the schedule; legal implications; effective communication of schedule information; development of procedures to monitor actual field progress; computer application in project scheduling. Prerequisites: T64-573 or permission of instructor
T64 CNST 572 Legal Aspects of Construction
A survey of the legal problems of the construction manager. including but not limited to, liability in the areas of contracts, agency, torts, insurance, bad judgment and oversight. Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
T54 PRJM 584 Communication Excellence for Influential Leadership
Exceptional communicators become extraordinary leaders. This course will guide students to learn to exceptionally communicate their message by applying refined nuances that inspire and transform those with whom they converse. Through a proven communicative process, students will acquire skills necessary to differentiate them as leaders. Students will learn how to communicate across a variety of settings using strategies that result in clear, vivid, and engaging exchanges. Students will practice: storytelling; creating and using clear visuals; engaging listeners; demonstrating passion when speaking; responding to questions with clarity and brevity, and, using their distinctive voice as a leadership asset. Each student will learn how to assess his or her own communication capabilities, adjust to different listeners, and how to evaluate speaker effectiveness and provide valuable feedback to others. Video recordings will be used to demonstrate incremental communicative changes throughout the course, and to show how these strategies bring about outstanding leadership. Prerequisite: graduate standing.
Capstone - Required for MCM Students
T64 CNST 579 Advanced Construction Management
A comprehensive study of the operations encountered in the management of a construction firm. Topics include: estimating, scheduling, forms of contracts, risk analysis and management, extra work orders, claims and disputes, construction safety, and contract close-out. Prerequisites: T64-573, T64-574, T64-523A, and permission of Program Director.
Required for M.Arch Students
T64 CNST 581A MCM - M.Arch Capstone Project Phase 1
This capstone course allows MCM/M.Arch joint degree program students to apply constructability principles to their M.Arch degree project (A46 616 ARCH), and successfully demonstrate how they have applied those principles. Constructability principles include: analysis of the construction methods and procedures, project cost, time, value, quality, and safety. Phase 1 is to be taken simultaneously with A46 616 ARCH Degree Project. Phase 1 students will develop a constructability review, analysis, and plan for their individual project. Prerequisites: Admission to MCM/M.Arch Joint Program, CNST 573, 523A, 574C
Required for M.Arch Students
T64 CNST 581B MCM - M.Arch Capstone Project Phase 2
This capstone course allows MCM/M.Arch joint degree program students to apply constructability principles to their M.Arch degree project (A46 616 ARCH), and successfully demonstrate how they have applied those principles. Constructability principles include: analysis of the construction methods and procedures, project cost, time, value, quality, and safety. Phase 2 is to be taken after completing A46 616 ARCH Degree Project. Phase 2 students will execute the constructability plan developed in Phase 1 and prepare and present the deliverables. Prerequisites: CNST 581A
- Technology Emphasis (Choose 4)
T64 CNST 580B Digital Construction Technology
This course focuses on BIM's philosophy of integration between designers, construction professional, and owners, in order to overcome both technological and implementation changes using Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) and Integrated Project Delivery (IDP). VDC is a methodology that relies on a multidisciplinary collaboration of the digital simulation of design & construction. IPD, on the other hand, integrates people, systems, business structures and practices into a process to optimize efficiency and productivity. In this course, students will learn about BIM's application by exploring 3D, 4D aspects of BIM including geometry, spatial relationships, quantity take off, estimation and scheduling. Along with that, students also will learn about Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) system that are integral component of a successful BIM projects.
A46 ARCH 436B BIM in Practice
BIM (Building Information Modeling) is a developing method of creating, sharing and managing project data through a visualized 3D or 4D model. While it continues to deliver on an initial promise to increase design consistency and efficiency while minimizing errors, the focus of attention is shifting to the use of BIM to facilitate integrated methods of project delivery. The course will explore the use of the BIM platform and the development of data exchange methods in architectural design through a case study and subsequent design project. Students will be provided instruction in Revit covering the creation, management, and extraction of data from a model, but will also look at the technology more broadly, discussing the changes advanced by the deployment of BIM processes in practice.
T81 INFO 506 Fundamentals of Information Technology
This course is designed to provide a comprehensive survey of the Information Technology field. The enterprise relies heavily on information technology to generate value, efficiency, and effectiveness. As such, organizational leaders must ensure that the enterprise transforms to keep pace in the competitive environment. Globalization, mergers and acquisitions, and proliferation of new business and operating models require management to continuously reconsider technology infrastructures, organizational structures, process re-engineering, outsourcing, innovation, technology effectiveness, and the creation and management of data and knowledge. Given these challenges and opportunities, the IT professional has never been more crucial to organizational success. In this context, students will become familiar with core IT concepts, processes, and technology and gain an increased understanding of the crucial role of IT in the modern enterprise.
T55 ETEM 510 Understanding Emerging & Disruptive Technologies
We live in an era of rapid technology innovation and disruption. Blockbuster was the darling of Wall Street in 2004 and filed for bankruptcy in 2010. Blockbuster CEO in 2008: "Neither Redbox nor Netflix are even on the radar screen in terms of competition." Blockbuster is not alone in their blindness. Microsoft laughed off the first i-phone, and laughed off Google. IBM laughed off the first personal computer. These should be a horrible warning to all business leaders. Numerous technologies are threatening disruption today: block chain, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), 3D Printing, 5G wireless networks, gene editing. Understanding what they are and how they might disrupt will make or break countless companies in the coming years. Prerequisite: graduate standing.
T81 INFO 575 Enterprise Data Management
Organizations have begun generating, collecting and accumulating more data at a faster pace than ever before. The advent of "Big Data" has proven to be both opportunity and challenge for contemporary organizations who are awash-even drowning-in data but starved for knowledge. Unfortunately, organizations have not developed comprehensive enterprise data strategy and management (EDM) practices that treat data as a strategic imperative. EDM is a comprehensive approach to defining, governing, securing, and maintaining the quality of all data involved in the business processes of an organization. EDM enables data-driven applications and decision-making by establishing policies and ownership of key data types and sources. The ultimate goal is to create a strategic context for the technology underpinnings of data life cycle management and ensure good stewardship of an organization's data. This course will cover the critical components of building an enterprise data strategy including, but not limited to, data strategy, data governance, data security, data architecture, data quality, data ownership, and metadata management.
A46-462H Information Modeling for Sustainable Design
This course will focus on the principles of sustainable design as examined through Building Performance Analysis (BPA) and applied Building Information Modeling (BIM) methodology. The foundation for this course will be an introduction to BIM and BPA and the significance of both for the future of sustainable architectural design practice supported by analytical modeling. This emphasis on the suitability of building modeling for analytical purposes and on the interpretation of such data will provide the basic knowledge necessary for the second phase of this course, in which students will use a previous or current studio project for an in-depth study of their building's performance in the context of its chosen site. Exploring the interaction between the simulated environment (climate, isolation) and the virtual building with its physical characteristics (materials, assemblies, passive design strategies, heat transfer, daylighting, embedded energy), we will attempt to confirm and test the principles of sustainable design at the schematic level of project development. The model analyzed by each team will provide sufficient comparative information for a design approach whose desired goal is carbon neutrality in the lifecycle of the building. Students will be encouraged to investigate the suitability of analytical modeling software, in the context of critical design methodology. Prerequisites for this course are a basic understanding of BIM methodology and insight into sustainable design practices.
T83 CYBER 559 Introduction to Cybersecurity
This course is intended as a comprehensive introduction to the cybersecurity field. It covers a broad range of cyber security terms, definitions, historical perspectives, concepts, processes, technologies, and trends with a focus on managing risk and the employment of cybersecurity as an organizational enabler.
- Project Management Emphasis (Choose 4)
T64 CNST 550D Heavy Civil Construction Management
This course provides a broad perspective of the means, methods, and procedures associated with managing civil engineering and heavy construction projects. Topics include strategic bidding and estimating, heavy equipment, marine construction heavy civil operations and bridge building. Integration of scheduling, estimating, and construction contracts with a project based approach. Prerequisites: Graduate Standing, and CNST 573 or permission of instructor. 3 units.
T54 PRJM 524 Hands-On with Traditional Project Management
A practical orientation for learning traditional project management techniques that produce predictable results (on time, within budget, in accordance with stated specifications), and applying them to a project in trouble. Traditional project management is a universal and widely used practice which includes a set of developed techniques used for planning, estimating, and controlling activities. This course also introduces the standard project lifecycle: initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing. Prerequisite: graduate standing.
T54 PRJM 525 Intro to Agile Project Management
Agile, SCRUM, Kanban, ScrumBan, SAFe - these are some of the key concepts covered in this course. Agile as a mindset, a skillset, and a toolset are all critical in our fast-paced world. This course uses texts, case studies, and varying practical assignments. Students will come away with a solid understanding of the core agile concepts, frameworks and practices that are shown to deliver great business value and are taking the industry by storm. Prerequisite: graduate standing.
T54 PRJM 526 The Art & Science of Risk Management
This course focuses on why many project managers miss requirements for schedule, budget or even both. The course concentrates on key Risk Management techniques practiced by leading Project and Program Managers and taught through fact filled lecture, case work and project execution as applied to information systems, engineering, financial, product/process and design projects/programs in today's fast moving environment. Students will take away key value propositions including Risk Identification, Risk Quantification, Risk Monitoring, Risk Control and Risk Mitigation. This course will enable the student to address common Scope, Schedule, Quality and Cost risk events that occur on complex projects. Project Risk Management examines the types of risk, with a focus on understanding the process of risk identification, assessment, prevention, mitigation, and recovery; governance, auditing, and control of the confidentiality; integrity; and availability of data. Using common operational, strategic, tactical, and technological scenarios, the coursework provides a comprehensive approach to the challenges faced by managers where global data is readily available, risk is pervasive, regulations are ever-increasing, and the threat of disruption from potential crises is real. Prerequisite: graduate standing.
A46 ARCH 447A Structures I
Statics and Strength of Materials through Beam and Column Theory. Loads are defined and states of stress are identified and analyzed. The context of structural behavior is identified and optimal structural behavior and material efficiency structural design is reviewed. Form-active, bulk-active and vector active structural options are explored relative to the transference of load along the length of structural members. The course applies structural theory to the analysis and design of structural members - beams, trusses, arches and columns.
A46 ARCH 448A Structures II
Continuation of Arch 447A with consideration of the effects of forces on structural members of various materials. Introduction to the design of structural members in steel, reinforced concrete and wood. Prerequisite: Arch 447A
- Leadership Emphasis (Choose 4)
T54 PRJM 581 Leading in a Technology-Rich World
Leadership has fundamentally changed from top-down, autocratic and task-focused to collaborative and people-focused in just a few generations. Great senior leaders now get their people to do the greatest things. They must constantly learn, think innovatively, move and adapt very quickly, and collaborate over short and long distances. Students will learn new leadership skills, explore their individual leadership styles, and discuss the senior leadership challenges in an evolving tech-rich world.
T54 PRJM 583 Human Performance in the Organization
Gain insights and practice in the art and science of leadership. This course addresses the leadership and management capabilities required to move into positions of greater responsibility, with a focus on technology-based organizations. Topics include leadership, goals, motivation and performance, management of change, conflict and effectiveness, organizational development and work design. Because when a leader gets better, everyone gets better. Prerequisite: graduate standing.
T54 PRJM 586 Cross Cultural Negotiation
Cross-cultural Negotiation introduces and gives students practice with principle-based tools and techniques to reach agreements across varied cultures. Best practices from the most famous negotiators of ancient history ("the Phoenicians") are studied and used as a methodology, including the role of a third party in resolving conflict. The cross-cultural elements are based on the multicultural experiences, research studies and real-life experiences of the instructor. The course is highly interactive (about 70% of the course work). Participants learn through role plays and simulation, as well as readings and case study analysis.
- Required for MCM/M.Arch – JDP Students
T64 CNST 581A MCM - M.Arch Capstone Project Phase 1This capstone course allows MCM/M.Arch joint degree program students to apply constructability principles to their M.Arch degree project (A46 616 ARCH), and successfully demonstrate how they have applied those principles. Constructability principles include: analysis of the construction methods and procedures, project cost, time, value, quality, and safety. Phase 1 is to be taken simultaneously with A46 616 ARCH Degree Project. Phase 1 students will develop a constructability review, analysis, and plan for their individual project. Prerequisites: Admission to MCM/M.Arch Joint Program, CNST 573, 523A, 574C
T64 CNST 581B MCM - M.Arch Capstone Project Phase 2This capstone course allows MCM/M.Arch joint degree program students to apply constructability principles to their M.Arch degree project (A46 616 ARCH), and successfully demonstrate how they have applied those principles. Constructability principles include: analysis of the construction methods and procedures, project cost, time, value, quality, and safety. Phase 2 is to be taken after completing A46 616 ARCH Degree Project. Phase 2 students will execute the constructability plan developed in Phase 1 and prepare and present the deliverables. Prerequisites: CNST 581A
- Independent Study
T64 CNST 500 Independent Study
Var. Units (Max 3.0)
Independent study is a special project designed to allow students to further their education in advanced areas not available in the courses offered by the Graduate Studies in Construction Management Program or the Henry Edwin Sever Institute. It allows a student to develop in-depth knowledge that builds on the education provided in the core or elective courses offered in the Program. Only matriculated students with 3.0 GPA or higher may register for independent study. Students usually are not eligible to propose an independent study unless they have completed at least 15 units of T-64 coursework.
Students interested in independent study should first consult a faculty member to discuss the project and make sure he/she is willing to participate should an independent study be approved. Proposals must provide details of the project, reasons for why the project is necessary, the name of the instructor, and a plan of study. The student is responsible for selecting a topic, identifying a faculty member to sponsor the independent study project, and developing the proposal.
All registrations for T64-500 – Independent Study must have prior approval of a faculty sponsor and the Program Director.