Integrated Design and Construction

The McWhorter School of Building Science

Integrated Design and Construction

The design and construction industries in the United States are experiencing significant changes in the relationship between their respective professionals and the delivery systems they employ to help clients realize successful projects. Through a variety of models, these formerly fragmented professions are now crafting new ways of working together—and exploiting new collaboration technologies—to create more efficient, economical and sustainable projects in the built environment.

Historically, architecture and construction management students have been trained in separated academic environments that did not capitalize on opportunities to work collaboratively. The Master of Integrated Design & Construction Program at Auburn University is designed to prepare graduates for success in this new paradigm of integrated project delivery, and to prepare students who will be the professionals leading the future evolution of the design and construction industries. 


The Master of Integrated Design & Construction Program at Auburn University seeks graduate students from the design, engineering and construction disciplines who will embrace teamwork, collaboration, and empathy between the differing roles and responsibilities of their counterparts. The program will foster an integrated delivery of projects in the built environment, leveraging the most current strategies in project development, risk analysis and digital tools. 


The Master of Integrated Design & Construction Program at Auburn University has a successful history of cross-disciplinary education and has graduated students from across the world. The program features a uniquely refined focus and is jointly housed in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture and the McWhorter School of Building Science. Through current models of professional practice, it delivers the development and study of high performance projects in the built environment via a dynamically collaborative and integrated framework. 


The program approaches delivery from a broad perspective that encompasses a variety of current and successful models founded upon the integration of the disciplines. Among other tools, the program capitalizes on a new generation of digital resources such as BIM, parametric modeling, web-based shared work environments, and other innovations to facilitate collaboration. It proposes to make disciplinary boundaries more fluid and to feature partnerships and shared expertise.


The program spans three semesters (Fall-Spring-Summer), after which candidates who successfully complete all requirements are awarded the Master of Integrated Design & Construction degree.


Visit the ID&C website.

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Admission to the program is administered by the Auburn University Graduate School as well as the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, and the McWhorter School of Building Science. Interested students should first review the requirements for all who plan to undertake graduate studies at Auburn University. Further, there are additional submission and evaluation requirements specifically for the Integrated Design & Construction Program. ALL application items should be received no later than March 1 for consideration of admission for the following Fall semester. 


All applicants should send the following directly to the Graduate School at Auburn University: 

  • A completed application, available through the Auburn University Graduate School website
  • Official TOEFL scores, if English is not the first language 
  • Official transcripts from all higher education institutions attended
  • Application fee as required by the Graduate School 


Applicants should also send the following information directly to the Master of Integrated Design & Construction Program: 

  • A statement of purpose
  • Current email, phone and postal address information 
  • 3 Letters of recommendation, sent directly from the respective reference 
  • A current resume 
  • A description of computer skills 
  • For applicants with undergraduate degrees and/or backgrounds in architecture: a representative portfolio of academic and/or professional design work 


These items should be mailed to:

Master of Integrated Design & Construction Program
118 M. Miller Gorrie Center
Auburn University, Auburn AL 36849
Attn: Ramona Thaxton

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The College of Architecture, Design & Construction (CADC) recognizes that graduate education is a significant commitment, often requiring students to take hiatus from or postpone a professional career. Graduate assistantships and tuition waivers will be available to qualified and competitively selected students. For information on graduate assistantships, waivers, tuition and fees, please visit the Graduate School website.


The CADC also houses many other related departments and degree programs such as Industrial Design, Graphic Design, Landscape Architecture, Interior Architecture and Community Planning, many of which can become opportunities for students via cross-disciplinary projects, electives and degree minors. The college is one of only eighteen in the United States that houses design and construction programs offering baccalaureate and graduate degrees from within the same academic unit.


Industries representative of the CADC in the local and surrounding urban areas provide significant support and participation in our academic programs. Opportunities throughout the curricula may include projects featuring professional interaction, real-time context, community outreach, etc.

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In terms of my career, how would a Integrated Design & Construction Masters degree benefit me?

It is a value-added degree.  Integrated Design & Construction and the integration of project delivery are quickly becoming the standard of business for many firms. The immediate benefits of having the degree may include a higher entry-level position and faster understanding of a firm’s delivery methods. Already, 45 percent of current delivery methods for built projects use some form of collaborative process and this number is predicted to increase to as much as 75 percent by 2015. 


Does the program start only in the Fall?

Yes, in August on the date established by the University as the first day of classes. 


How competitive is the admissions process?

Applicants will be considered by a variety of admissions criteria; please see the Admissions page on the website for a complete list. While test scores are important, candidates’ experience, portfolio (for architecture students), statement of purpose, letter of recommendation, and undergraduate records will be significant in determining those to be admitted.


Are there any exceptions to the undergraduate degree requirements for admission?

The program is intended for students who possess certain fundamental skill sets that are related to the design, engineering, and construction disciplines. These include, but are not limited to: plan reading ability, knowledge of materials an methods, ability to analyze structural components and systems, knowledge of primary design and construction contracts, and certain abilities in design and construction related software. Candidates who do not have one of the specified degrees, but whose experience is conducive for success in the program, are welcome to apply and will be considered based on their capacity to perform in the program. 


Do I have to take the GRE?

As of the 2011-2012 academic year, the GRE is not a requirement for admission to the Master of Integrated Design & Construction Program.


Is there a GPA requirement?

There is not a specific GPA requirement for the program, however undergraduate grades will be considered in admissions evaluation.  The graduate school requires transcripts sent directly from the institution.  


How many students are accepted into the program each year?

While there is not a specific number that will be admitted, a relatively equal mix of students from each discipline is desirable. The maximum number of total students is likely to be between twelve and eighteen. 


Are there any pre-requisite classes that I would need to have taken before admission?

There are no pre-requisites, however all application materials as enumerated on the website must be submitted before the admissions deadline to be considered. 


How many examples of design work should be included in the portfolio?

For applicants with a design background, a portfolio of work (student and/or professional samples) should be submitted as part of the application package. There is no minimum number of representative works, however the package should thoroughly represent the applicant’s abilities so that applications can be appropriately reviewed. 


Will portfolio submissions be returned?

Submitted portfolio samples will not be returned; students are encouraged to send appropriately reproduced versions for review. 


What is the cost of tuition?

Please click the following link to Auburn’s current tuition rates for “in-state” and “out of state” tuition and fees. There will be competitively awarded assistantships, which include waivers of tuition and certain fees and also salary related to an assignment with faculty. 


Do the Assistantship positions cover out-of-state tuition as well?

Yes, the GTA/GRA positions do cover out-of-state tuition as well as in-state tuition up to fifteen course hours per semester. Note that the application process for an assistantship is separate from the admissions process. 


What scholarships are available besides the GTA/GRA?

There are several scholarships available through Auburn University each year.  Contact the Graduate School at 334-844-4700 and the Office of Student Financial Services at 334-844-4700 for scholarship information, or click here


Since the curriculum is thirty-six hours for all three semesters, is this a part-time program?

The program is a full time program.  For graduate programs, eight credit hours or more per semester is full-time. The Integrated Design & Construction Program will be structured with thirteen credit hours in the Fall and Spring semesters, and ten credit hours in the Summer (final) semester. 


Is it possible to defer the acceptance until the following year?

No, applicants who do not accept an invitation to enter the program would be required to re-apply.   


What if I have an undergraduate degree in Architecture that is not accredited; will this degree allow me to sit for the NCARB exam?

This degree is “post-graduate,” and will not meet requirements for you to sit for an Architecture licensing exam. The program can, however, count towards your IDP requirements for an architectural license. 


If I am unable to complete the program, can I come back and continue where I left off?

Because of the complexity of the curriculum and the level in which each semester builds off the previous, any student who drops out of the program without completing all three semesters consecutively would be required to re-apply to the program if they wish to continue.  If re-admitted, the Directors and supporting faculty would determine whether to grant the student advanced standing based on the individual and the course content completed to date. 

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Christian Dagg

Christian Dagg

Associate Professor, Integrated Design & Construction Chair