Construction management graduate certificate programs are designed for construction professionals, engineers, or architects who want to move into a management role in the industry. In this article, you can learn about some course topics and subjects you could study in a graduate certificate program in construction management and learn about the entrance requirements for programs like this.
Common Coursework for Construction Management Graduate Certificate Programs
Graduate certificate programs in construction management can be completed in as little as a year, with 12-18 credit hours across a range of courses, depending on the specific program you choose. Although different programs may have different required and elective course options, there are a number of core elements that make up this program.
Estimating Costs and Bidding
One type of course you could take is one that centers on the methods of preparing cost estimates and how to make successful project bids. Generally, you may learn about the different aspects of cost estimates and what to include in them, such as the price of materials, cost of labor, overhead, time/cost analysis, insurance, and indirect and direct cost. You could also learn about competitive bidding strategies that include taking into consideration competitor bids and making lump-sum bids.
Law and Ethics in Construction
A class that explores the legal concepts and issues that affect construction management is usually included in a construction management graduate certificate program. Courses of this type could cover the different aspects of construction contracts, such as roles and responsibilities of the parties, as well as other legal issues, such as labor laws, lien laws, contractor rights, and regulatory requirements. Some courses also examine ethical issues in a legal context, including contract disputes, bidding mistakes, construction delays, and unmet expectations.
Risk Management and Safety in Construction
You might also take a course that teaches you how to identify, manage, and plan responses to different kinds of risks related to construction projects. This course also aims to give you the necessary skills to understand where risks come from in terms of business and technical risks. In addition, you might also study the safety side of construction management in relation to risk and how to create safe environments for workers and customers.
Introduction to Construction Project Management
A general course that introduces you to the foundational concepts of construction management could also be required. These classes focus on a wide range of different topics, including the preconstruction process, construction drawings and specifications, scheduling, and project procurement. You might also learn about budgeting, estimating, and time management.
Scheduling and Planning in Construction
Another course that you could take is one that looks at how to plan and schedule construction projects in terms of resource allocation, personnel scheduling, work breakdown structures, and project time. Courses of this type could also teach you about the tools and methods of scheduling and planning, including Critical Path Method (CPM) construction scheduling techniques, PERT, and other computer applications.
Construction Methods and Materials
There are also courses that teach you about the methods and materials used in construction, including steel, wood, earthwork, concrete, and other shell and interior materials. You might also learn about the technology used in the construction and building industry. Last, some classes of this type teach you about the various elements of construction drawings.
Entrance Information for Construction Management Graduate Certificate Programs
Generally, to apply to a construction management graduate certificate program, you need to hold a bachelor's degree and must submit your transcripts from previous studies. Many programs have no requirement for the kind of undergraduate degree you must hold; however, a limited number of programs may require a degree in construction management, engineering, or business. You also need to submit an application, a statement of purpose or essay, and a professional resume. Letters of recommendation could also be required by some programs but not all.
Construction management graduate certificate programs usually require the completion of anywhere from 12-18 credits, across 4-6 courses. Your coursework may include classes on construction law, scheduling, risk management, and cost estimating among other topics.