FAQ - Undergraduate Handbook

I. What is the Building Construction major?

The Building Construction curricula focus on the interwoven characteristics of construction management and construction technologies in its effort to instill each student with practical and academic knowledge.

In general, constructors are involved in various operations of the construction process and serve as managers of these operations. While they are not designers, they must understand the creative process and expedite that process. With this in mind, the major provides a broad study base of the total construction process. The required courses stress leadership, practice, engineering, and business.

 

II. What type of student succeeds in this major? Do you recommend any specific high school courses or is a general college preparatory background sufficient?

The most successful students in the building construction major are those with strong work ethic, excellent time management skills, and an aptitude in math and sciences. Students are best prepared by taking the highest levels of math in high school or community college.

 

III. What about student computers?

Along with the entire university, the BC department requires each student to acquire a computer. A student must have a laptop computer and preferably a tablet (see requirements). The BC department requires the purchase of a BC bundle which is a software package available for purchase at orientation or upon arrival on campus. 

 

IV. What types of jobs do graduates get and what is the average salary?

Building Construction graduates often obtain entry level positions with general contractors, specialty contractors, engineering firms, design-build firms, and other construction related businesses. The positions include, but are not limited to the following: Construction Manager, Project Manager, Scheduler, Estimator, Project Executive, Expeditor, Project Superintendent, Field Engineer, Office Engineer, and Field Operations Manager. Typically students start out as an assistant to these roles and eventually work into the role with experience. As of 2017 self-reported salaries of BC undergraduates is on average in the range of $57-67K.

 

V. Who should I talk to if I have questions about my schedule and class selection?

Students are assigned an advisor when he/she enters the program. Students are asked to make an appointment with his/her advisor and to be prepared with specific questions and all needed documentation to be reviewed by the advisor. If you are not yet enrolled as a building construction student, please contact the department administrator for assistance.

 

VI. What specializations are available in the Building Construction major?

Alumni work in all areas of construction including housing, commercial, engineered, and industrial construction. Further, our graduates are employed by general contractors, subcontractors, developers, owners, and often, have their own business. Students within the program choose a track of study after their third semester of study. The BC track selections include Structural Design, Sustainable Building Performance, Virtual Design Construction or a Restricted Elective track in which students can double major with Real Estate.

 

VII. How do i get a job in the industry?

The department helps organize two construction career fairs each year, one in the fall and one in the spring. These fairs bring over 100 of the best contractors and developers from Virginia and the United States. Students can obtain summer internships, co-ops, or career entry positions from interviews during the career fair. 

 

VIII. Where is the Dean's Office?

The College of Architecture and Urban Studies Dean's Office is located in 202 Cowgill Hall.

 

IX. How do I know if a class will transfer from high school, a community college, and/or another school?

Students are encouraged to visit http://www.registrar.vt.edu/ and reference the Transfer Equivalency Database to look up classes taken elsewhere. Once a student does this, we ask that he/she meet with his/her advisor for review. The university has final approval.

 

X. What if I want to take a class at a community college, how will I know it will transfer?

Students should always consult the Transfer Equivalency Database to see if a class will transfer before enrolling in the class: http://www.tranguide.registrar.vt.edu/. If a class is not listed in the database then a student should not take the course. To make sure the course will transfer students should fill out the Take Courses Elsewhere Form and have their advisor check the database to make sure it is the right class. If a class is approved by the department head, then the student must receive a C or higher in the course in order to transfer the credit back to Virginia Tech. The student is responsible for providing the registrar's office with an official transcript from the school in which the credit was received.

 

XI. How do I get financial assistance?

Outstanding students in the Building Construction Program may qualify for scholarships and fellowships. Scholarships are given based on merit and/or financial need. The department awards approximately $90,000 of scholarship money to its students. Scholarship applications are made available throughout the year and are listed on the Scholarship Page. Other funds are available through the Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid at Virginia Tech.