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Curriculum and Coursework

Construction management students on a tour

The Core Curriculum

The Construction Management curriculum is aligned and monitored constantly to provide graduates with the best education and experiential learning for a career in professional construction management.

The program consists of a foundation of 31 credits of required core coursework. On this students build their degree, based on their desired career path, in one of four tracks: Commercial Construction, Facility Management, Highway/Heavy-Civil Works, or Residential Construction.

Students can study for three credentials: the full major, a minor, or a certificate. Students can also be admitted with premajor status, depending on the level of coursework completed. Premajor status allows the student to leverage financial aid and program academic advising support while they complete their major prerequisites.

Premajor Admission Criteria

  • A minimum of 30 transferable semester credits
  • A 2.0 or better cumulative grade point average, 2.5 for transfer students

Major Status Admission Criteria

  • A minimum of 45 transferable semester credits 
  • A 2.5 or better cumulative grade point average 
  • Completion of prerequisite courses with a grade of C- or better (or in progress):
    • Math of Design or Short Calculus
    • Physics I with lab
    • CMGT 3011 − Construction Plan Reading

Preparatory Coursework

  • ACCT 2050 - Introduction to Financial Reporting 
  • CMGT 3001 - Introduction to Construction 
  • ABUS 4023W - Technical Writing 
  • COMM 1101 - Public Speaking 
  • ECON 1101 - Microeconomics 
  • ABUS 4022W - Introduction to Management

Required Major Coursework

  • ABUS 4013W - Legal, Ethical, and Risk Issues for Managers
  • ABUS 4101 - Accounting and Finance for Managers
  • ABUS 4701 - Introduction to Marketing
  • CMGT 4011 - Construction Documents and Contracts
  • CMGT 4021 - Construction Planning and Scheduling
  • CMGT 4022 - Construction Estimating
  • CMGT 4031 - Construction Safety and Loss Control
  • CMGT 4041W - Specifications & Technical Writing for Construction Professionals
  • CMGT 4196-Construction Management Internship
  • CMGT 4471-Sustainability for Construction Managers
  • CMGT 4861-Construction Management Capstone

The Five Tracks

Commercial Construction

This track is focused on commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings. It is the most generalized construction management track for the student hoping to enter the broader construction field as a contractor, subcontractor, or staff member on the owner side. This track comprises 19 credits, including Building Energy Systems, Building Envelope Design, and Materials and Structures I and II. The Commercial track courses can all be completed with evening coursework.

Commercial Construction Coursework

Preparatory

  • CMGT 2019 - AutoCAD for Construction Managers

Required

  • CEGE 3202 - Surveying and Mapping
  • CMGT 4201 - Construction Accounting
  • CMGT 4542 - Building Energy Systems
  • CMGT 4544 - Materials and Structures I
  • CMGT 4545 - Materials and Structures II
  • CMGT 4562 - Building Envelope Design and Construction
  • + 8 Credits Technical Electives

Facility Management (Cohort Enrollment Every Fall − Even Years)

This track covers the complete building life cycle, from design inception and construction to maintenance, recommissioning, and demolition, with the objective of serving on the owner’s side to develop, construct, and maintain buildings for the long term. Comprises 19 credits in Facility Programming and Design, Management and Human Resources, Real Estate Development and Finance, Facility Operations and Maintenance, Facility Cost Accounting and Finance, and Facility Quality Assessment and Commissioning, as well as 6 credits of technical electives. This track is accredited by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Foundation. The Facility Management track can be completed with evening coursework.

Facility Management Coursework

Preparatory

  • CMGT 3024W - Facility Programming and Design
  • ABUS 4104 - Management & Human Resource Practices

Required

  • ABUS 4217 - Real Estate Development and Finance 
  • CMGT 4211 - Facility Cost Accounting and Finance
  • CMGT 4213 - Facility Operations and Maintenance Intensive
  • CMGT 4215 - Facility Quality Assessment and Commissioning
  • CMGT 4542 - Building Energy Systems
  • CMGT 4562 - Building Envelope Design and Construction
  • + 8 Credits Technical Electives

Highway/Heavy-Civil Works 

This track benefits students interested in careers in the transportation and highway/heavy-civil works project area by tailoring the elective offerings toward civil engineering construction. It comprises 16 credits, including Transportation Engineering, Surveying, Highway Design, Construction Accounting, and Materials and Structures. Note that some classes are offered only during the daytime.

Highway Heavy and Civil Works Coursework 

Preparatory

  • CMGT 2019 - AutoCAD for Construction Managers

Required 

  • CEGE 3201 - Transportation Engineering
  • CEGE 3202 - Surveying and Mapping
  • CEGE 4201 - Highway Design
  • CMGT 4201 - Construction Accounting
  • CMGT 4545 - Materials and Structures II
  • + 11 Credits Technical Electives

Residential Construction

This track enables students to specialize in residential single or multifamily projects and expand their building science basis specifically to housing applications, while maintaining a strong management orientation. It comprises 22 credits, including Systems Approach to Residential Construction, Advanced Residential Building Science, and Building Testing and Diagnostics. Note that some classes are offered only during the daytime.

Residential Construction Coursework

Preparatory

  • CMGT 2019 - AutoCAD for Construction Managers
  • CMGT 4544 - Materials and Structures I

Required

  • CMGT 4201 - Construction Accounting
  • CMGT 4545 - Materials and Structures II
  • BBE 4413 - Systems Approach to Residential Construction
  • BBE 4414 - Advanced Residential Building Science with Lab
  • BBE 4416 - Building Testing and Diagnostics
  • + 5 Credits Technical Electives

Environmental Health and Safety (Cohort Enrollment Every Fall − Odd Years)

Led by faculty member and University of Minnesota building official Scott Holm, we received Regents approval for this 18-credit track designed for professionals who are currently in or pursuing leadership roles in the safety professions. This track focuses on the management and prevention of accidents, illnesses, fires, explosions, and other events which harm people, property, and the environment. This program will also assist the student in preparation to apply for and take the examination leading to the Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST) Certification.

Environmental Health and Safety Coursework

Preparatory

  • CMGT 4031 - Construction Safety and Loss Control
  • CMGT 4542 - Building Energy Systems

Required (working titles follow)

  • CMGT 4301 - Introduction of Environmental Health and Safety 
  • CMGT 4302 - Environmental Health
  • CMGT 4303 - Industrial Hygiene
  • CMGT 4304 - Fire and Life Safety 
  • CMGT 4305 - Health Safety Planning
  • + 5 Credits Technical Electives

We have convened a panel of subject matter experts to help us frame the program outcomes and content:

  • Mr. Scott Holm, Faculty, Building Inspector, University of Minnesota, as Chair of the committee
  • Mr. Scott McKown, Minnesota State Building Codes office (DOLI)
  • Ms. Vickie Schleuning, Management Consultant
  • Mr. Rodger Schaefbauer, Retired, Wayzata Public Schools
  • Mr. Bob Williams, Safety Officer, Adolfson & Peterson Construction
  • Ms. Jennifer Hume-Jorgenson, Safety Officer, Mortenson Construction
  • Mr. Bryan Thayer, Safety Officer, APi Group

Program Accreditation

The Construction Management program received accreditation from the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) in February 2014. In 2018 it was decided to move from ACCE accreditation to ABET accreditation, which better aligns with existing accreditation at the University of Minnesota.

ABET Accreditation

The Construction Management program became fully accredited with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in 2020. The transition from ACCE accreditation was straightforward because ABET uses a similar outcomes-based accreditation model. The site visit took place in November 2019 and found no deficiencies, weaknesses, or concerns. ABET accreditation lasts a maximum of six years.

Facility Management Track Accreditation

The program has been accredited by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) since April 2012; reaccreditation took place in 2018. In 2019, ABET assumed responsibility for IFMA accreditation. The program received ABET accreditation for its Facility Management track in April 2020.

Enrollment in the Facility Management track is as follows:

Program

AY 2015−16

AY 2016−17

AY 2017−18

AY 2018−19

AY 2019-20

FM Major

6

6

1

3

1

FM Minor

3

2

2

0

0

FM Certificate

6

7

4

3

3

Source: UM reports: Major/Minor Roster

The Facility Management track has not had the level of enrollment anticipated. Therefore, from fall 2020, it was decided to offer the courses in this track every other year. In order to complete the track, students will take courses in a cohort model. This will help maintain a viable enrollment in the courses. Along with a concentrated marketing effort, enrollment spiked for fall 2020, the first cohort enrollment period, to 21 students, the most ever enrolled.

Certifications in the Program

Several courses in the Construction Management program include additional external certifications or examinations integrated in their learning outcomes.

CMGT 4031: Construction Safety & Loss Control − OSHA 30-Hour Certificate

Since fall 2004 the Construction Safety & Loss Control class has included OSHA certification as part of the course learning objectives. The 30-hour certification has been offered since fall 2009.

  • In spring 2020, 23 students completed the OSHA 30-hour certification requirements.

CMGT 4081: Managing Erosion and Sediment Control on Construction Sites − Construction Site Management Stormwater Certification

Integrated in this course since its launch in 2012, students taking CMGT 4081 take the Construction Site Management Stormwater Certification as part of their course assessments. This credential is offered through the University of Minnesota Erosion and Stormwater Management Program in partnership with MPCA and MnDOT. 

  • 14 students took the exam in spring 2020 and all passed.

CMGT 4861: Construction Management Capstone − Construction Manager in Training (CMIT)

Since 2013, students taking the capstone class, CMGT 4861, have been offered extra credit to take the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) Construction Manager in Training (CMIT) certification exam. 

  • None took up the CMIT exam option by the end of the semester (though they remain eligible).

Topics Classes

From time to time the program offers topics classes designed to address a timely issue in the construction industry, to gauge interest in a new course, or to coincide with a regional event. No topics class was offered in 2019−20, but several previous topics classes have been developed into regular classes.

  • CMGT 4000 - The Construction Industry through Time and Tomorrow (fall, even years, online)
  • CMGT 4001 - Innovative Contracting (fall, odd years)
  • CMGT 4002 - Lean Construction (spring, odd years)
  • CMGT 4003 - Managing in the BIM Environment (developed due to demand by students and industry as a replacement for the AutoDCAD requirement, to be offered fall and spring)

Three-Year Course Reviews

Every three years, courses within the program are reviewed to determine development needs and to maintain curriculum quality. Additional course reviews may occur if a course has been converted to a hybrid or fully online delivery model. A full description of program quality assessment is given in appendix 1: Quality Improvement Plan. 

During academic year 2019−20 the following courses were reviewed.

  • CMGT 3024W − Facility Programming and Design
  • CMGT 4215 − Facility Quality Assessment and Commissioning
  • CMGT 4422 − Advanced Construction Cost Estimating

Course and Curriculum Changes 2019-20

During academic year 2019−20, the following changes were made to Construction Management courses and curriculum.

  • CMGT 4003 - Managing in the BIM Environment was expanded from one to two credits
  • CMGT 4022 - Construction Estimating: Former student Ben Bowman redeveloped the estimating class for online delivery
  • CMGT 3024W - Facility Programming and Design: Class redeveloped for online delivery
  • CMGT 4562 - Building Enclosure Design and Construction: Class redeveloped for online delivery

Liberal Education Requirements (LE)

The College of Continuing and Professional Studies’ Bachelor of Applied Science majors follow the University of Minnesota’s Liberal Education (LE) requirements. 

The LE requirements are split into two sections: the Diversified Core, the “why” and “how” of different academic disciplines, and the Designated Themes, topics central to an understanding of contemporary life. Each section is subdivided into several areas, and the University maintains a list of courses approved to fulfill one of the LE areas. Students are required to satisfy all seven core requirements and four of the five designated themes.

University of Minnesota Liberal Education Requirements

Diversified Core & Required Credits

  • Arts/Humanities: 3 credits
  • Biological Science: 4 credits; must include lab or field experience
  • Historical Perspective: 3 credits
  • Literature: 3 credits
  • Mathematical Thinking: 3 credits
  • Physical Science: 4 credits; must include lab or field experience
  • Social Sciences: 3 credits

Designated Themes & Required Credits

  • Civic Life and Ethics: 3 credits
  • Diversity and Social Justice in the United States: 3 credits
  • The Environment: 3 credits
  • Global Perspectives: 3 credits
  • Technology & Society: 3 credits

The Writing Intensive Requirement

Writing intensive courses help students understand what it means to write in various disciplines and how writing can be made stronger and clearer so that they can communicate their views effectively. 

In addition to the first-year writing requirement, students must complete four writing intensive courses. Two of the writing intensive courses must be taken at the upper division level, one of which must be taken in the student’s major. Courses approved for Writing Intensive status have completed a rigorous review process by the Campus Writing Board.

Five courses in the CMGT program now have Writing Intensive designation: CMGT 3001W Introduction to Construction (WI spring 2017), CMGT 3024W Facility Programming and Design (WI fall 2017), CMGT 4041W Specifications and Technical Writing for Construction Professionals (WI spring 2012), and ABUS 4013W Legal, Ethical, and Risk Issues for Managers (WI spring 2016), and ABUS 4022W Introduction to Management (fall 2018). Construction Management students can “double dip” from the following writing intensive classes or approved substitutions.

Lower Division

  • PHYS 1101W - Introductory College Physics I
  • One other lower-division writing intensive class

Upper Division

  • ABUS 4013W - Legal, Ethical, and Risk Issues for Managers
  • ABUS 4023W - Communicating for Results
  • CMGT 3001W - Introduction to Construction
  • CMGT 3024W - Facility Programming and Design
  • CMGT 4041W - Specifications and Technical Writing for Construction Professionals

Writing Enriched Curriculum

In addition to the Writing Intensive requirement, the Construction Management program is also part of the pioneering University of Minnesota Writing Enriched Curriculum (WEC) initiative. This University-wide project, launched in 2007 with generous support from the Bush Foundation, provides a process for meaningfully infusing discipline-specific writing and writing instruction into all undergraduate curricula. 

The WEC project, supported by the Office of Undergraduate Education, enrolls five additional undergraduate units each year and will continue to do so until all undergraduate majors are engaged. The program's 2018 Writing Plan is also available at the same website. 

The College of Continuing and Professional Studies’ writing consultant, Dr. Steve Wandler, assisted with writing improvement in courses across the college, with particular emphasis on assisting faculty in creating appropriate writing assignments and instruction, and guiding the course conversion to Writing Intensive designation. Steve left the college in spring 2020 and his role has been filled by Michael Matejcek.

Since the original acceptance of the Construction Management program into the sixth cohort in June 2011, the program has actively continued to develop the Writing Enriched Curriculum initiative. Accomplishments over the past year include:

  • Publication of our construction-specific online writing style guide Writing for Construction Managers: A Guide to Content and Style launched softly in January 2015 and is now linked to every CMGT course website and, where applicable, to specific assignment guidelines. This website is reviewed annually for updates and shared with faculty from around the country as a reference.
  • The third and final grant of the Writing Plan was approved by the Campus Writing Board and the Provost in July 2015. This phase will develop very targeted learning modules around a “Teaching with Writing” theme targeted to new faculty and existing faculty as a training tool. While we continue to focus our efforts on writing across our curriculum, we have not undertaken any grants available. The work is ongoing to best integrate writing rubrics into all of our courses.
  • As a direct result of this program and our joint publication of a peer-reviewed article, the Taylor Francis Publishing group has contracted with Ms. Heidi Wagner, our former post-graduate Research Assistant under the initial WEC grant, now teaching at South Dakota School of Mines, and Peter Hilger to write a textbook on writing within the industry, scheduled for publication fall 2021.

Student Rating of Teaching Summary

In accordance with the University policy on the Evaluation of Teaching, at the end of each course, students are given the opportunity to give feedback on the course and the instructor via the Student Rating of Teaching (SRT) survey. The Construction Management program tracks the results of our SRTs each semester and uses the results during annual faculty reviews to make curricular and teaching decisions. Further, the information obtained from the SRT evaluations is useful for instructors in explaining how different groups respond to their teaching methods. 

A new version of the SRT survey was introduced in 2015, featuring four new questions and a division between those questions that relate to instruction and those that relate to course content. Results from the course-related questions are shared with the University student body.

CMGT faculty consistently score highly in the SRT evaluations, and especially question 4 “the instructor treated me with respect” and question 1 “the instructor was well prepared for class.” There are areas for continuous improvement, however, especially in the area of feedback, a constant theme at faculty meetings and course reviews.

SRT Survey Results for Construction Management Courses (AY 201720)

Summary

AY 2017−18

AY 2018−19

AY 2019−20

Total Possible Responses

752

781

823

Actual Responses

468 (62%)

409 (52%)

253 (31%)*

Average Rating (Out of 6)

5.2

5.3

5.5

Evaluation Questions
(Mean of Responses out of 6)

     

Instructor Questions

     

1: The instructor was well prepared for class.

5.6

5.5

5.6

2: The instructor presented the subject matter clearly. **

5.2

5.3

5.4

3: The instructor provided feedback intended to improve my performance.

5.2

5.3

5.5

4: The instructor treated me with respect. **

5.7

5.6

5.8

5: I would recommend this instructor to other students.

5.3

5.3

5.6

Course Questions

     

1: I have a deeper understanding of the subject matter as a result of this course. **

5.2

5.3

5.4

2: My interest in the subject matter was stimulated by this course.

5.0

5.1

5.4

3: Instructional technology employed in this course was effective.

5.1

5.1

5.5

4: The grading standards for this course were clear.

5.1

5.2

5.5

5: I would recommend this course to other students.

5.0

5.1

5.5

* Spring 2020 low response rates due in part to the shift to online instruction, which generally receives fewer SRT responses.

** In spring 2020 a reduced pandemic SRT was used including these questions.