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Masters Degree in Building Science: Program Summary

Master's degree programs in building science teach energy efficient building design, alternative building materials and construction management skills and are often available in the technology or architecture departments of colleges and universities.

Essential Information

Completion of an in-depth research and design project is usually a requirement for graduation from such programs. The project will likely concern a current issue being explored by faculty members from various departments, such as architecture, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering, and normally fulfills the master's thesis requirement for graduation. After graduating and beginning their careers, qualified candidates may seek professional certifications and participate in continuing education activities.

Prerequisites for master's degree programs in building science include a bachelor's degree in the physical sciences, engineering or architecture, in addition to knowledge of physics, mathematics and other technical subjects.


Master's Degree in Building Science

Graduate-level degree programs in building science are generally intended to confer upon students advanced coursework, research opportunities, and professional development in selected technical areas, such as energy efficient commercial building design for healthy indoor air quality. Some of the classes common to these programs can include:

  • Commercial building design principles and procedures
  • Thermal systems in building engineering
  • Construction planning and scheduling
  • Sustainable building construction and design
  • Leadership, organization and communication in an industrial environment
  • Building diagnostics and control

Popular Career Options

Many of the jobs available for graduates of master's degree programs in building science are found within construction management and cost estimating fields of manufacturing and construction industries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reports that job opportunities tend to be best for professionals who hold a bachelor's degree or higher in building science and technology, construction management, or civil engineering, along with experience working in the construction industry.

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Building science professionals' wages can fluctuate depending on the magnitude and design of each particular project, geographic location, and current economic conditions. The median yearly salary of construction managers in 2015, according to the BLS, was $87,400. Employment opportunities should grow about as fast as the average for all occupations, with a 5% increase expected between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education

Students holding a master's degree in building science or building technology who want to pursue further higher education in the field can pursue a doctoral (Ph.D.) degree program. Continuing education opportunities for building science graduates also exist through professional certification and development programs, such as those offered by the American Institute of Constructors (www.aicnet.org) and Construction Management Association of America (www.professionalconstructor.org).

Those who hold a master's degree in building science have the best opportunities for employment, according to the BLS, which states that employment options are best for those with bachelor's degrees or higher. Graduates are prepared for job opportunities in construction management and cost estimating within the construction industry, or they can continue their education even further by pursuing a doctorate in building science or technology.


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