About the Undergraduate Program

The entire environment of homes, buildings, roads, freeways, bridges, and much more result from the delivery of construction projects. It is the responsibility of the construction engineer and construction manager to deliver these projects in a manner that maximizes value – a quality product at a fair price, safely constructed in a timely fashion. This final step in the development of our infrastructure – construction – is one of the most visible products in all of engineering.

Our construction engineering management (CEM) undergraduate program prepares students with the tools they need to become construction engineers and managers in all areas of the construction industry.

Our award-winning faculty members have expertise and conduct research in four signature research areas: Human Factors in Construction, Advanced Methods and Materials, Virtual Design and Construction, and Management Science. Research topics studied within these signature areas include: construction safety, lean construction, virtual/augmented reality, building information modelling (BIM), simulation, project strategic management, e-business construction solutions, estimating and cost control, planning and scheduling, construction labor productivity, asphalt materials, alternative methods for project delivery, and construction computer applications.

The program began during the 1966-67 school year within the College of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering. Members of the Education Committee of the Oregon-Columbia Chapter of the Associated General Contractors were instrumental in establishing construction education at Oregon State by providing partial funding, organizing site visits, furnishing guest lecturers, and offering quality advice. The School of Civil and Construction Engineering continues to offer our unique Construction Engineering Management program, which blends principles of basic science, engineering, and technology with a strong component of business coursework to prepare graduates for a productive career in the construction industry. More information is provided in the CEM Undergraduate Advising Guide and Curriculum Materials.

The program emphasizes practical applications as well as basic principles. Students are given many hands-on experiences in the laboratory and are involved in numerous field trips to supplement classroom activities. CEM graduates find employment in all phases of construction: commercial and industrial building, heavy/highway, structures, utilities, and civil projects. They are employed by general constructors, subcontractors, suppliers, developers, homebuilders, consultants, and governmental agencies. They work as project engineers, project managers, field and office engineers, estimators, as well as in other positions. 

Oregon State CEM students as a group rank second nationally in the total number of AGC National Scholarships received since the inception of the scholarship program in 1970. A variety of additional scholarships are available to CEM students.

Accreditation for B.S. Construction Engineering Management (CEM) Program

The American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) provides specialized accreditation for construction management programs. The CEM program was first accredited by ACCE in 1980. To learn more please see our CEM Program Accreditation Page

CEM Student Achievement 2020-21

The Class of 2021 had an average of 1.7 internships per student.

The Class of 2021 had an 86% placement rate at the time of graduation and were employed in the following sectors:

  • 63.6% commercial building
  • 13.6% heavy civil / marine
  • 4.5% residential
  • 4.5% government
  • 6.8% graduate school
  • 6.8% other / unknown

Students participated in the following competitions:

  • Associated Schools of Construction, ASC (8 teams)
  • Mechanical Contractors Association of America, MCAA (1 team)

Student activities, mostly through the Associated General Contractors (AGC) Student Chapter, included the following, some of which were virtual:

  • Speaker Meetings on campus or via video call (more than 50)
  • Field trips
  • Service projects
  • AGC National Convention and AGC-Columbia Chapter Convention
  • AGC Golf Tournament
  • Contractors Night
  • Networking Events

Advancing to Graduate Study

Students completing the B.S. in CEM program are in an excellent position to continue on for graduate studies at Oregon State. Master of Science (MS), Master of Engineering (MEng), and an Accelerated Master’s Degree programs provide advanced skills and knowledge that help distinguish students throughout their careers. Graduate level degrees are especially beneficial as the field of construction continues to advance and become more complex and technically challenging.

Course topics that are not covered in detail in the undergraduate CEM program, but which are part of the graduate program, include:

  • Design for Safety
  • Advanced Virtual Design and Construction
  • Risk Management
  • Simulation and Visualization of Construction Operations
  • Lean Construction
  • Construction Site Systems Engineering
  • Advanced Concrete Construction

Advancing to graduate school can take place immediately following completion of an undergraduate degree in CEM. The MEng degree allows students to complete a graduate degree with as little as one year of study that includes only coursework. An MS degree includes both coursework and a research project, and typically takes at least 1.5 years to complete. A PhD degree is research intensive and typically requires 3-6 years to complete following a Master’s Degree.

Graduate level courses in Construction are designed to complement the undergraduate courses and advance the level of learning in specific topic areas. Undergraduate students may take graduate level courses, with permission of the course instructor, during their undergraduate program. Some graduate level courses taken as an undergraduate may also be reserved for the graduate program.

For more information: