Current and incoming students (for Fall 2010), read the announcement on the new majors in NRC. For the new BCT page, click here.

The Field :: Career Opportunities :: The Major
Curriculum :: The Minor

Contact an Advisor

The Field

richm03_as_sm.jpgBuilding construction is responsible for roughly 7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product in the United States each year. In many ways, the state of the national economy hinges on the strength of building construction and home improvement industries. Success of these critical industries relies on the leadership provided by a highly sophisticated and skilled work force. Graduates of the Building and Construction Technology program help provide the required leadership and vision through their understanding of this technically competitive field. The study of science, technology, business, and design serve as the base for expertise developed in this program of study. Building and Construction Technology professionals are multifaceted. Graduates are involved in virtually every area of building technology, wood science, corporate management, and product distribution, with responsibilities ranging from research and development to the distribution and installation of finished goods. They ensure that the materials selected and used are best suited to the needs of each project in terms of safety, efficiency, and cost effectiveness. It is the experience of integrating scientific and technical understanding with general business acumen that makes graduates of the Building and Construction Technology program uniquely desirable to hiring corporations.

News from this program: Student surveys rank us second on campus in student satisfaction!

Building and Construction Technology is not limited to wood products; however, the program does provide specific expertise in forest products research. The research program focuses on the structural and physical performance of engineered wood products, wood-based composites, and wood-frame building systems. Researchers also investigate issues relating to forest products marketing, economic development, and the efficient use of resources. 

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Building and Construction Technology (BCT, formerly BMATWT) have risen to the highest professional levels in the building materials industry. Specific occupations cover a broad range of professional careers. They work as retail and wholesale managers, sales associates, researchers, construction managers, marketing professionals, technical representatives, and purchasing agents for the most successful corporations in the nation. Salaries compare favorably with other scientific and business professions. Opportunities for advancement are excellent. The employment demand for women and men in this rapidly expanding field far exceeds the number of graduates. 

The Major

img_2573_sm.jpgIn addition to University General Education requirements, the curriculum in the Building and Construction Technology major builds upon a foundation of introductory mathematics, chemistry, physics, and computer literacy. Department courses cover a background in natural resources plus fundamental courses in building materials technology, wood science, building materials management, and wood-based product technology. The remainder of each student's program includes electives in areas such as engineering or business according to the individual's career objectives and chosen curriculum option. Students may prepare for continuation to advanced study at the Master's or doctoral level, but most graduates accept employment immediately. The functioning student organization is the University of Massachusetts Student Chapter of the Forest Products Society. Close ties with industry are provided through an 18-member Industry Advisory Committee. 

Building and Construction Technology program mission, goals, and objectives:

When students graduate from UMass Amherst with a bachelor’s degree in Building and Construction Technology they will be able to:

  • Specify materials, methods, and building/structural systems common to residential and commercial construction projects.
  • Evaluate and specify building energy systems and materials with respect to their ecological impact and their contribution to sustainable design.
  • Understand physical, mechanical and environmental attributes of wood
  • Analyze, estimate and communicate building project requirements using a thorough knowledge of blueprint specifications, contractual documents, CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and BIM (Building Information Modeling).
  • Apply a breadth of management skills and an understanding of key business
    aspects of design, construction and materials supply industries.
  • Contribute responsibly to a sustainable built environment.


In addition to University General Education requirements, the Building and Construction Technology major requires completion of the following:

You can view the most recent list on the BMATWT website:

The Minor

To successfully complete a minor in Building and Construction Technology, a student must earn a minimum of 15 credits, selecting a minimum of 5 courses in the 3 academic areas listed below. Two courses are required from Materials and Methods, and one each from Professional and Management Systems and Information Technology, with one additional course from any of the three areas. All courses listed above are 3-credit courses. To be admitted into the Building and Construction Technology Minor a student must be in good academic standing with the University.

Materials and Methods – 6 Credit minimum:

  • BMATWT 211 Energy Efficient Housing – Fall
  • BMATWT 304 Properties of Wood – Spring
  • BMATWT 313 Principles of Light Frame Structures Technology – Fall
  • BMATWT 390N Construction Materials and Methods – Spring
  • BMATWT 530 Mechanics of Building Materials for Construction – Fall
  • BMATWT 540 Design of Wood Structures – Spring

Professional and Management Systems – 3 Credit minimum:

  • BMATWT 314 Architectural Blueprint Reading and Estimating – Spring
  • BMATWT 352 Building Materials and Forest Products Marketing – Fall
  • BMATWT 353 Business of Building – Spring

Information Technology – 3 credit minimum:

  • BMATWT 220 Intro to CAD in Construction and Architecture – Fall
  • BMATWT 497C Advanced Topics in CAD – Spring

No requirements for the minor may be taken Pass/Fail. All courses applied toward the minor must be taken on a graded basis and all courses used to satisfy the requirements of the minor must be completed with a grade of C or better.

Contact an Advisor

David T. Damery
BCT Program Director

Office: 118 Holdsworth
Phone: (413) 545-1770

You can contact this advisor also using the NRC contact form

For more information about the Building and Construction Technology program, go to: http://bct.eco.umass.edu