FAQ for Building Construction majors, August 31, 2012

 

Why is this happening?

In response to a recent external accreditation review of the School of Building Construction and from the initiative of alumni involved in the construction industry, Provost Rafael Bras formed an ad hoc committee to consider ways of strengthening undergraduate construction education at Georgia Tech. After much discussion, the committee has proposed a four-year transition plan to re-focus and strengthen the construction curriculum within the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree. A joint advisory board will lead this transition and seek approval from the Institute and the University System of Georgia Board of Regents where applicable.

 

What degree will I get?

Current students, either currently enrolled in the Common First Year or majoring in Building Construction, can earn a Bachelor of Science in Building Construction.

The Building Construction undergraduate major will not be available to students applying to Georgia Tech for Spring 2013 admission or later. Prospective students interested in construction should consider pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering or a Bachelor of Science in Architecture.

 

What does this mean for freshman in the College of Architecture’s Common First Year?

Current students will not be affected by the change; they will be able to complete the Bachelor of Science in Building Construction as planned.

 

Important considerations for freshman in the College of Architecture’s Common First Year include:

  • Common First Year students interested in pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Building Construction must declare this major in the spring of 2013. Fall of 2013 will be the last opportunity to begin the building construction required courses; after this time, sophomore-level courses will not be available.
  • Students may also choose to pursue the new specialization in the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering or double major.
  • As the last group to earn the BSBC, students should stay with the recommended program of study as scheduled and not get off track, as various required courses will not be offered after a certain time period.

 

What does this mean for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors majoring in Building Construction?

Current students will not be affected by the change; they will be able to complete the Bachelor of Science in Building Construction as planned. As always, the School of Building Construction is dedicated to preparing you for a career in the construction industry or for advanced degrees. All students should stay with the recommended program of study and not get off track, as various required courses will not be offered after a certain time period.  Consult the academic advisor in building construction for more information. 

Will the internship program continue?

The undergraduate internship remains a requirement of the BSBC degree. Contact the internship coordinator, Brenda Morris, at brenda [dot] morris [at] coa [dot] gatech [dot] edu for more information.  

Should I change my major to Civil Engineering?

This decision is up to you. As always, the School of Building Construction is dedicated to preparing you for a career in the construction industry or for advanced degrees. Any student may choose to change majors; however, the School of Building Construction is fully supportive of every current student who wishes to complete the Bachelor of Science in Building Construction degree program in a timely manner. As with any major, all degree requirements for that major must be met before graduation. Consult the academic advisors in building construction and civil engineering for more information.

 

 Can I major in both Building Construction and Civil Engineering? This is acceptable, and we encourage every student to explore double major opportunities. However, you must finish the required courses for the Bachelor of Science in Building Construction by December 2016. Because some required courses will not be offered after a certain time period, We encourage students to consult with the academic advisor in building construction for more information.

 

What will happen with faculty who primarily taught in the undergraduate program?

As the needs of the School changes, so will the teaching loads of the faculty. Once all the undergraduate courses have been offered, faculty will focus on graduate courses in building construction, as well as teaching selected undergraduate courses in civil engineering and/or building construction, if needed.

We are creating a four-year transition plan for undergraduate course offerings and will share this plan fully with all faculty in the School of Building Construction.

 

Will I still have access to the School of Building Construction services such as the connections to industry, Student Construction Association, and career fair?

Yes. Each of these services will be fully available to every building construction major. The Student Construction Association will continue to be open to students majoring in building construction, architecture, engineering, and other related majors.

 

Will the study abroad program in building construction continue?

We will continue to offer the building construction study abroad programs, which as always are contingent upon a minimum number of students being enrolled. The summer 2013 program is planned for the United Kingdom. 

 

Will I still be able to get records and transcripts from Georgia Tech?

Yes.

Will my degree be devalued?

No. The Bachelor of Science in Building Construction is accredited by American Council for Construction Education (ACCE), and we anticipate retaining accreditation through 2016. ACCE is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as the accrediting agency for Baccalaureate and Associate Degree programs in in construction, construction science, construction management, and construction technology.

Further, your Georgia Tech degree carries a high value regardless of the degree program. A top-10 public research university, Georgia Tech is one of the most highly recognized, highly admired technological research institutions in the world.

Although it is an infrequent occurrence, Georgia Tech has made similar changes to other programs in order to meet changing expectations and needs of industry. For example, the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management, which was established in 1934, changed to the Bachelor of Science in Management and, more recently, to Bachelor of Science in Business.

 

May I go to graduate school in the School of Building Construction?

Yes! You can earn a Master of Science or PhD in Building Construction.

 

I am applying to Georgia Tech as a freshman and was thinking about building construction as my major. What other majors should I consider?

We encourage you to consider a major in civil engineering if you are interested in the creation of highways, bridges, sewer and water systems, power plants, and the like. Other specializations within the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering include structural engineering, mechanics and materials; geosystems engineering; transportation systems engineering; environmental fluid mechanics and water resources; and environmental engineering.

Students interested in the planning, design, and performance of buildings and spaces should consider a Bachelor of Science in Architecture.

Students may also be interested in the Bachelor of Science in Business, which can prepare students for careers in real estate development or integrated construction management.

Any and all of these degrees by themselves or coupled with a Master of Science in Building Construction will provide you with a good foundation to enter the construction industry.