The Rinker School of Construction Management had its beginning in 1935 as a degree program in architecture. In 1948 the Masters degree program in construction was created as the first in the USA. Rapid enrollment growth took place after the Second World War and by 1957 the number of construction management students and faculty was large enough to justify departmental status. In 1976, the Department formally achieved school status within the College of Architecture. Coincidentally, 1976 was also the year that the School of Construction Management was accredited by the American Council for Construction Education. In 1977, with over 1800 alumni, the School was recognized by the Associated General Contractors of America as an “outstanding program”. In 1988, a doctoral program was initiated within the College of Architecture with a concentration in Building Construction. In 1989, the School was renamed the M. E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction in recognition of “Doc” Rinker’s generous contributions to the School. In 2014, the School was renamed the M. E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management.In 1997 a combined degree program was started which allows BCN seniors to complete course requirements for both their BS and MSBC/MBC degrees (double count 12 graduate credits towards both their undergraduate and graduate degrees) at the same time. In 1999 distance education programs were introduced leading to a Masters of International Construction Management and a BS in Fire and Emergency Services. In July 2000, the name of the College of Architecture was changed to the College of Design, Construction and Planning. At the same time, the Department of Architecture became the School of Architecture. In addition to the Rinker School, there are four units in the College of Design, Construction, and Planning: Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, and Urban and Regional Planning.
The Rinker Foundation and numerous benefactors donated $6 million for the School’s new building, Rinker Hall, which was completed in March 2003. Rinker Hall is a state-of-the-art 50,000 sq. ft. facility and the 26th building in the U.S. to have been awarded LEED gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. In 2005, Charles R. Perry (BCN 1960) committed $2 million to the Rinker School to fund the Charles R. Perry Program for Crafts Awareness and to build the Perry Construction Yard to house the program. The program educates students in the work of subcontractors, master craft and trades people. The Charles R. Perry Construction Yard was completed in 2007 and has a green roof, the first of its kind at the University, adding to the sustainability effort campus wide.
The construction management curriculum has evolved from a variation of architecture to a full-fledged academic discipline with a strong emphasis on construction management. The three main segments of the curriculum — science, techniques, and management — have a strong relationship to similar divisions employed through the world of construction Management.
The Rinker School currently has 20 full-time faculty, approximately 150 upper-division undergraduates (juniors and seniors), 100 Masters students, and 30 PhD students.