Texas A&M now offers students an opportunity to earn a Ph.D. in Construction Science, the first degree program of its kind in the state.

“Our Ph.D. program will prepare graduates to be fully equipped with cutting-edge knowledge, technologies, skills and innovative processes so they can immediately contribute to innovation in the industry,” said David Jeong, professor of construction science, a key leader in the program’s development. “We believe the industry will soon recognize the quality and value of our new program and that its graduates will become change agents and innovation leaders in the construction industry and academia.”

The new degree program further cements Texas A&M’s position as an educational leader for a dynamic industry.

“In addition to being a massive, fast-growing field, construction has rapidly changed in recent decades,” said Patrick Suermann, head of the Texas A&M Department of Construction Science. “It has become a knowledge-driven industry that embraces digital technologies, and requires problem-solvers with advanced degrees to incorporate innovative changes as well as promote research and development programs.”

The program will offer three concentration areas: construction management and safety, “smart” construction and sustainable construction, a recognition of three directions that have emerged in the industry.

The highly competitive program will admit 6-8 new Ph.D. students per year who will need 60-90 credit hours beyond a related master’s degree or 90 hours beyond a bachelor’s degree to earn their degree.

Students will engage in high-impact, transformative research that aims to discover new frontiers in construction management, science, and technology and support and accelerate innovations that the industry has been looking for. Using creativity and rigorous quantitative and qualitative methodologies, their work will benefit the construction industry and ultimately human civilization.

“We have long been known to be the the best construction management higher education program in the nation, but the lack of a Ph.D. program has significantly limited the department and its faculty in efforts to contribute new knowledge and innovative solutions for the industry,” said Suermann. “With the our new program, our department will continue to increase its prominence, changing and advancing the construction industry and construction science academia.”

The new doctoral degree is the 11th graduate program offering in the college, which offers master’s degrees in all four departments and two other Ph.D. programs. .

“The College of Architecture's new doctoral degree in construction science proves our continuing commitment to providing richly relevant educational programs that address critical industry needs in Texas and throughout the world,” said Jorge Vanegas, dean of the College of Architecture. “By design, our graduates will leave our walls as sought-after leaders who are able to compete in the global construction industry and contribute to strengthening the state and national economy.”

Department leadership began four years ago to plan and develop the Ph.D. program proposal, which involved proving it addresses critical needs in the industry and be competitive with other institutions. A consulting firm was hired to analyze national data for demand, and multiple layers of approval processes were worked through ending with a sanction by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

For additional information on the Ph.D. in Construction Science, visit http://cosc.arch.tamu.edu/graduate/index.html