Master in Construction Management


I've noticed that many people are interested in applying for a Master of Architecture program, but I'm curious to hear your thoughts on a Master in Construction Management. In my opinion, this program can be incredibly beneficial for architects and aspiring architects who want to gain a deeper understanding of the construction process beyond just design. There are many elements to construction that go beyond design, and this program can provide a comprehensive and in-depth education on topics like project management, cost estimation, and construction technology.

Personally, I'm thinking to attend a school that offers this program, and I believe that it's a great way to gain practical knowledge that can be applied to real-world construction projects. I think it can also help architects communicate more effectively with contractors and other construction professionals and ensure that their designs are executed according to their specifications.

But I would like to hear anyone's thoughts if you went this route. 


Mar 3, 23 3:52 pm

"There are many elements to construction that go beyond design..."

There is almost nothing in construction that has to do with 'design.' That's precisely why these two domains of expertise are separate.  If you really want to "gain a deeper understanding of the construction process beyond just design..." and be an architect, I'd recommend working for a GC or sub. I spent summers and winter breaks as an undergrad working for a GC and the experience was invaluable.

Notwithstanding the good-natured teasing of an aspiring architect in their midst by the contractors (helpful in it's own right), having a site superintendent walk me through the site at the end of the day to point out smart & stupid design details was invaluable. Not some much because of the specific detailing, but it ingrained a sensitivity that every line we draw as an architect has a direct consequence and someone has to physically acknowledge it. That has proven to be the best way for me to communicate with contractors.

My $0.02.

Mar 6, 23 10:45 am  · 
1  · 

While it is true that design and construction management are separate domains of expertise, there are many scenarios where the two intersect and rely heavily on effective communication and collaboration. In many cases, construction projects involve highly customized designs that must be executed to exact specifications, and construction managers play a crucial role in ensuring that these designs are carried out accurately and efficiently. Effective communication and collaboration between the design and construction teams are essential to ensure that the project is completed successfully.

Mar 6, 23 2:49 pm  · 
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Unless you've got an accredited undergraduate degree in architecture, a Masters in CM wont help an aspiring architect get licensed. Which is I think a big reason why people get an MArch. Would it be helpful to have an additional CM degree accompanying an MArch, sure, but I do not think it would be worth the $$ unless there is something specific you are looking to get out of it. 

I've got a two friends specifically who did a dual degree in undergrad for arch and CM, one is at a CM firm and doesn't really want to practice arch anymore. The other is at an arch firm and doesn't want anything to do with CM. It all depends on what you want to get out of it. 

Mar 6, 23 11:16 am  · 

el_jeffe wrote:

"There is almost nothing in construction that has to do with 'design.' That's precisely why these two domains of expertise are separate. "

I've been an architect for around 20 years and your statement simply isn't true.  

Mar 6, 23 12:08 pm  · 
3  · 
Wood Guy

That line jumped out at me too. Design is problem-solving and there is plenty of that on a jobsite.

Mar 6, 23 12:54 pm  · 

Also knowing how a building is actually put together will drastically improve your design ability.

Mar 6, 23 1:05 pm  · 
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I like to go on site and design pipe routing...

Mar 6, 23 4:55 pm  · 
Wood Guy

I sometimes design basic pipe routing for my projects. Somebody has to do it and small SFR projects rarely get professional MEP designers.

Mar 6, 23 4:58 pm  · 
2  · 

@Wood Guy so true

Mar 6, 23 5:35 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

Some of my projects require me to design pipe routing. Come to think of it, most of them do. The P.Eng only cares about dia dims and gravity. Fire separation? Meh, sure it can go there. What is this, glass? Cool, let me run that straight in front. Who needs door jamb clearances anyways? My pipes are only black dots on plan, it’ll fit. And it goes on. It’s not big glamorous swishy magazine design but it’s still design and it’s part of the job. Otherwise, where’s the challenge?

Mar 6, 23 5:41 pm  · 
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You could save a lot money by buying and reading the CM textbooks and/or taking estimating and construction tech courses at a community college.  I've never run across a person with a masters in CM.  The CM people in my community have undergrad CM degrees from the local party school or are architecture grads that hired on at construction companies and trained on the job.

Mar 6, 23 5:39 pm  · 

I'm really intrigued to learn more about how construction managers deal with projects that are constantly changing. I'm curious to know what specific strategies they use to manage these changes and ensure that the project stays on track.

Mar 6, 23 7:26 pm  · 

You pretty clearly want to be a CM and that's great. All of my most successful and enjoyable design jobs are with CMs. Over time it's possible to earn really meaningful professional relationships with designers. Besides that, as a CM you'll make more money than an equivalently experienced architect, and will never really have to work a weekend, ever (unless it's your company....)

Mar 6, 23 9:27 pm  · 
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