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UW Launches Construction Management Degree Program

November 15, 2018
students gather at construction site
UW students now can major in construction management and find employment in a rapidly growing field. (Photo courtesy Tony Denzer)

The University of Wyoming’s College of Engineering and Applied Science will offer a new degree program to meet the demands of industry in the state and region, following action by the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees.

The board voted today (Thursday) to approve the new bachelor’s degree in construction management, which will be coordinated by Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering Professor of Practice Matt Newman.

“This degree program will produce students with the critical skills needed to become our next generation of leaders in the construction industry,” Newman says. “These project management skills, however, are not isolated to construction. We will be working in parallel with many of our existing programs, better preparing Wyoming students to excel in their respective fields.”

The newly established program will help meet the needs of Wyoming and the region by producing qualified construction managers, currently in high demand thanks to a booming construction industry. Construction managers work in concert with architects and engineers by taking on critical project management roles required to successfully complete increasingly complex construction projects. Graduates of the program will be knowledgeable in management of both the vertical construction of buildings and structures, as well as horizontal construction, which includes the fields of highway construction, civil infrastructure and mining.

Employment data for construction management positions indicate a regional growth rate of 169 percent from 2013-18 and a national growth rate of 11 percent from 2016-26, which equates to about 45,000 new jobs. The national average salary for a construction manager is $91,370.

UW will offer a bachelor’s degree track in construction management for students who successfully complete 120 credit hours. While the College of Engineering and Applied Science will administer the program, it’s not an engineering degree, and it includes business and communication courses as part of the curriculum. The core competencies will be project management, including scheduling and budgeting, along with computing, which involves building information modeling, virtual design and construction.

Thanks in part to UW’s close connections with industry, the program has been developed over the last three years. Newman expects 150-200 students to be enrolled in the program at full rollout, which will necessitate the development of 14 new courses, five additional faculty positions and one administrative assistant position.

In 2018, freshmen can declare as construction management majors, and the search for one new faculty member will begin. In fall 2019, sophomore-level classes will be offered. In 2020-21, students will progress to juniors. In May 2022, the first graduating class for the major will be celebrated.

Find out more about Construction Management at the program home page.

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