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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Building Science

Majors Overview November 27, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in building science and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Building Science

Universities and colleges offer master’s degree programs in building science through their departments of architecture or technology. The primary focus of these programs is on the development of knowledge, skills and abilities pertaining to construction management. The emphasis of master’s degree programs in building science is on creating energy-efficient building designs as well as considering the use of alternative building materials.

Enrollees are expected to complete an in-depth research and design project. The project usually involves a current issue that is the focus of exploration by faculty members from diverse departments, including civil engineering, architecture, and mechanical engineering. The project enables students to meet the master’s thesis requirement before they graduate out of the program. Program graduates who have begun their careers can pursue continuing education and professional certifications.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to have relevant experience and hold an undergraduate degree in a field pertinent to the physical sciences, engineering, or architecture. Prospective students must augment a genuine interest in construction and buildings with a strong grasp of physics and mathematics, among other technical subject areas.


Program coursework is devised to include research opportunities, advanced coursework, and professional development in selected technical areas, including energy efficient commercial building design for healthy indoor air quality. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Sustainable building design and construction
•Construction scheduling and planning
•Thermal systems in building engineering
•Commercial building design procedures and principles
•Building control and diagnostics
•Communication, leadership, and organization in an industrial environment

Career Choices

Graduates may seek careers in the cost estimation and construction management fields of construction and manufacturing industries (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The best job prospects are expected to be enjoyed by holders of at least a bachelor’s degree in construction management, building science and technology, or civil engineering, augmented by work experience in the construction industry.

Job and Wage Outlook

Building science professionals’ wages can vary by a project’s design and magnitude apart from current economic conditions and the project’s geographic location. In 2012, construction managers brought in an average annual wage of $82,790; over the 2012 – 2022 decade, these professionals are expected to see a 16% job growth (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates who seek continuing education can enroll in a doctorate program or pursue professional certification and development programs; the Construction Management Association of America and the American Institute of Constructors offer such programs.

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