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New construction management degree answers industry, student needs

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

News Topics: engineering

Beginning in fall 2014, The University of Texas at Arlington will offer a new Master of Construction Management degree with an option to take courses online to help meet industry demand, especially in the thriving North Texas region.

UT Arlington is scheduled to start a new Master of Construction Management degree in the fall.

UT Arlington is scheduled to start a new Master of Construction Management degree in the fall.

The new interdisciplinary degree program will require 30 credit hours, including elective courses in architecture, accounting, business and management. The program is designed primarily for applicants with an undergraduate degree in civil engineering, science and mathematics, architecture, engineering technology, construction management and business. Other undergraduate disciplines may enroll by taking appropriate courses.

“The UT Arlington College of Engineering is expanding rapidly, and our faculty and students are rising to meet the needs of our region’s dynamic economy,” said Khosrow Behbehani, dean of the UT Arlington College of Engineering. “We are looking forward to this new interdisciplinary approach to planning for and helping shape the built environment.”

The Master of Construction Management will focus on management of construction projects in three main categories: heavy, which includes highways, pipelines and infrastructure; residential and commercial construction; and general construction. Final approval for the program by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is expected by August 2014 and must be received before students may apply and be  admitted.

The program will offer courses either in an on-campus, all-evening classroom environment or through a distance-learning platform, an option ideal for working professionals who want to pursue an advanced degree on a flexible class schedule.

Ali Abolmaali, chair of the Civil Engineering Department, and civil engineering professor Mohammad Najafi said industry leaders who serve on the UT Arlington College of Engineering Advisory Board recommended the new program to help fill demand for construction projects managers. Additionally, a Master of Construction Management advisory board has provided potential qualified industry instructors.

Abolmaali predicts that this degree plan could add at least 400 new students within the next five years.

In addition to traditional residential and commercial construction, students could learn about managing large capital projects.

“There are so many different construction jobs available in North Texas,” Najafi said. “There are highway projects, new malls and schools, pipelines and trenchless technology, and industrial construction. It basically cuts across all construction management sectors.”

Abolmaali said this new program would be the only one of its kind in North Texas.

“And when you think about this area, construction projects come to mind,” Abolmaali said. “The I-635 plan alone represents a multi-billion project.”

There are currently approximately $15 billion to $20 billion worth of transportation projects under way in North Texas, according to the Texas Department of Transportation and North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Abolmaali said study of projects like the multi-billion Integrated Pipeline that the Tarrant Regional Water District is starting also would be part of the curriculum for the new degree.

About UT Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution and the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as the seventh fastest-growing public research university in 2013. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more. Follow #UTAdna on Twitter.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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