Clemson University to Expand Construction Science and Management Graduate Programs

The Clemson University Board of Trustees has approved a set of plans that will significantly expand the Nieri Family Department of Construction Science and Management’s graduate programs.

First, the Board voted in favor of launching a Ph.D. in Construction Science and Management, pending approval from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. Second, they approved a plan to dissolve the current Department of City Planning and Real Estate Development (CPRED) and move its two degree programs, the Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) and the Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) over to the Nieri Family Department of Construction Science and Management.

“I am very grateful to the Board of Trustees for supporting these proposals that will help secure a strong future,” said Nicholas Vazsonyi, Dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. “The Master of City and Regional Planning is a nationally accredited program that is essential to the array of disciplines we offer in the Build and Design sector of the College. Together, these programs cover the entire spectrum of building activities from conception to development and construction. Partnering our program in Real Estate Development with Construction Science and Management also paves the way for tremendous synergies going forward.”

The Nieri Family Department of Construction Science and Management is home to B.S. and M.S. degrees in Construction Science and Management. The addition of the Ph.D. program expands the department’s offerings to serve students from their undergraduate education through to a terminal degree.

“This new Ph.D. program will expand on the opportunities for us to continue to bring experienced professionals to the graduate research and teaching missions of the department,” said Mike Jackson, chair of the Nieri Family Department of Construction Science and Management. “The doctoral program will also enable us to grow our undergraduate degree program by leveraging our traditional faculty and staff with experienced professionals pursuing advanced graduate studies in construction management. It is also the fulfillment of a five-year goal to better align the department with the research mission of the University.”

The Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) program is located at Clemson’s downtown Greenville campus in the Greenville ONE facility. Its 56-credit hour curriculum offers training in construction, finance, law and urban planning, while also offering students hands-on learning activities, including internships, field studies and independent research.

“Our program has always been interdisciplinary but housing it in the same academic department as graduate programs in both city planning and construction management has the potential to make it even more so,” said Professor Dustin Read, director of the MRED program. “I’m extremely excited about this possibility because our students need interdisciplinary training to complete real estate development projects that are not only profitable, but also environmentally and socially responsible.”

Clemson’s Master of City and Regional Planning program is fully accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) and has a 50-year history of developing professional planners. The 48-hour program has a strong track record of securing scholarships and paid internships; over the last three years, 100 percent of its students who requested funding received full funding for two years.

“This merger presents a new configuration of synergistic opportunities at the three-way intersection of construction-development-planning,” said Professor John Gaber, chair of CPRED. “This new trifocal approach to development allows for persistent urban problems like lack of affordable housing and environmentally unsustainable urbanization to be re-examined in a more holistic context. We have an opportunity for breakthrough thinking on how we can make urban areas more livable for future generations.”

“Our department looks forward to joining with the faculty, staff and students of City Planning and Real Estate Development (CPRED),” Jackson said. “The addition of these two graduate degree programs will contribute to the continued growth and diversity of our undergraduate degree program, while also enhancing the MRED and MCRP graduate programs.”

Photographs and material from Clemson University College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities used by permission.

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