Teaching Infrastructure Holistically

The MPM program offers five distinct specializations to allow students to pursue their own needs and interests.

When Northwestern Engineering's Master of Project Management (MPM) program launched, it did so with a lofty goal. Unlike many similar programs that focus exclusively on construction management, MPM set out to do more.

MPM was developed to appeal to both engineers and architects and to cover all areas relating to infrastructure.

To accomplish this, the program features five specializations, each of which is available to students depending on their interest level and experience. The five specializations are:

  • A/E/C Business Management
  • Construction Management
  • Real Estate Development
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation Management

The program is also flexible enough to accommodate students who have an interest that falls outside one of these primary categories, such as geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, or environmental engineering.

"Having these five specializations helps us appeal to a broader spectrum of students," said program director Raymond Krizek. "Many students aren't exactly sure what they want, so this breadth affords students more flexibility in determining what they want."

A/E/C Business Management helps students prepare for management roles in architectural, engineering, and/or construction organizations that specialize in the planning, design, construction, and operation of major civil and environmental engineering projects.

The Construction Management specialization focuses on studying the delivery systems that apply effective engineering and management methodologies to direct the planning, scheduling, and construction of projects— from inception to completion — for the purpose of controlling time, cost, and quality.

Real Estate Development emphasizes the collaborative nature of project teams in the origin and creation of successful commercial developments. This specialization helps students synthesize the role of core business disciplines concerned with land use, site acquisition, financial feasibility, project funding, and asset management.

The Sustainability specialization prepares students to play a significant role in shaping the future of the built environment. The courses taught in this specialization provide a framework for developing creative sustainable solutions as a key element in any project management assignment.

Transportation Management provides a broad, practical overview of the methods and tools used to evaluate, implement, and manage road, rail, and air transportation facilities and operations, including the financial implications of these decisions.

"I think our specializations are appealing," Krizek said, "and one of the highlights of the program."