Becoming a civil engineer requires you to first select a school that offers an in-depth education. However, for aspiring civil engineers, finding the best schools for civil engineering may be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve carefully curated this guide to take you through the best civil engineering schools, including top colleges and universities.
Our list considers important factors, such as accreditation, learning formats, and their rankings. In addition, this guide will answer some of the most common questions that aspiring civil engineering students have.
Best Civil Engineering College and University Rankings: Top 10 Civil Engineering Schools at a Glance
|School||State||Formats Available||US News Ranking|
|Arizona State University||AZ||In-person, online, hybrid||#117|
|Oregon State University||OR||In-person||#162|
|Purdue University||IN||In-person, online, hybrid||#49|
|University of Houston||TX||In-person, online, hybrid||#179|
Civil Engineering School Rankings: Best Civil Engineering Colleges and Universities
Some of the best civil engineering colleges and institutions include Arizona State University, Drexel University, and Northwestern University. In the next section, we’ll go through each of these institutions and the programs they offer.
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The Best Schools for Civil Engineering: Types of College Degrees and University Programs Offered
The best schools for civil engineering offer a variety of college degrees and university programs, including certificates, associate, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and PhDs. In addition, some may offer accelerated or combined academic programs, such as BS and MS and MS and PhD programs to enable exceptional students to complete two degrees at the same time.
Comparing Popular Degree Options
Best Civil Engineering Schools: Other Civil Engineering University Rankings
In the next section, we will look at the best civil engineering schools based on various classifications including community colleges, undergraduate, and graduate schools. We’ll also look at civil engineering university rankings and accelerated or dual programs offered.
Best Online Civil Engineering Schools
- University of Illinois. University of Illinois offers an online Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering. The institution was ranked as the best graduate engineering school by US News & World Report.
- North Carolina State University. North Carolina State University has an online Master of Civil Engineering program designed for distant students who wish to pursue a graduate program.
- University of Michigan. University of Michigan’s civil engineering programs are ranked among the top 10 programs by US News & World Report. The online version of the program gives you access to its world-class education from anywhere with a dedicated faculty of professionals.
Best Community Colleges for Civil Engineering
- Sandhills Community College is a public institution established in 1963 and located in Pinehurst North Carolina. Its civil engineering technology program prepares students to use basic engineering principles and technical skills to manage projects.
- Southwestern Community College. This college located in Chula Vista offers a civil engineering technology program that prepares students to take the planning, supervision, and documentation of engineering projects.
- Wake Technical Community College. As the largest North Carolina community college, Wake Technical Community College offers a civil engineering technology program with a variety of coursework covering topics, such as materials, site surveying, drainage, site design, and much more.
Best Undergraduate Schools for Civil Engineering
- Oregon State University. Oregon State offers a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and in construction engineering and management. Both programs consist of 181 credits with classes taught by engineering faculty made up of accomplished professors and researchers in the field of engineering.
- Texas A&M University. Located in College Station, Texas A&M is the flagship college for the Texas Education System and currently has the largest student body in the country. Its civil engineering program is highly ranked as the tenth best by US News & World Reports.
- Duke University. Duke University offers a civil engineering program through the Pratt School of Engineering, which is one of the top engineering schools in the country. The institution is also made up of leading researchers and professors who contribute to the high quality of engineering instruction.
Best Graduate Schools for Civil Engineering
- University of California, Berkeley. UC Berkeley’s engineering program trains students to become worldwide leaders in developing sustainable engineering solutions to societal challenges. The institution is consistently ranked among the best institutions in the country.
- University of Houston. This program offers students interested in a graduate degree the option to complete a thesis or non-thesis program. University of Houston is one of the largest universities in the country with a world-leading faculty and rich campus life.
- Virginia Tech. The graduate engineering program offered by Virginia Tech trains students to be well-rounded, skillful, and outstanding engineers. A 30-credit master’s program or a 90-credit PhD program is offered to graduate students.
Best Civil Engineering Schools With Dual Degree Programs
- University of Delaware | Master of Business Administration + Master of Science in Civil Engineering. This dual program offers students advanced c skills to broaden their engineering knowledge while gaining an understanding of the business environment.
- Tufts University | Master of Science in Innovation and Management + Master of Science in Civil Engineering. Tufts University offers these two programs in an accelerated time frame to reduce the cost of advancing in education in both areas of study.
- Carnegie Mellon University | Engineering & Technology Innovation Management (ETIM) + Master of Science in Civil Engineering. Carnegie Mellon offers this dual degree program, allowing students to double count 12 units as they pursue both courses. The ETIM program covers subjects such as economics, technological innovation, and commercialization.
Best Schools With Accelerated Civil Engineering Programs
- Arizona State University | Civil, environmental and sustainable engineering, MS. This program emphasizes the need to approach engineering from a sustainability standpoint to ensure long-lasting improvement of human lives. The course takes five years to complete.
- Drexel University | BS/MS program in Civil Engineering: Drexel offers this accelerated course to give students the opportunity to combine practical experience with graduate-level credentials. The program takes 5 years to complete.
- Michigan Tech | Accelerated Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Michigan tech offers this accelerated course, which is designed for highly motivated students who want to pursue advanced studies or gain a competitive advantage.
Easy Colleges to Get Into
Is Graduate School for Civil Engineering Worth It?
Yes, attending graduate school for civil engineering is worth it because it sets you apart and opens up opportunities to earn lucrative salaries. The average salary of a civil engineer with a PhD is $98,000 while that of a bachelor’s degree graduate is $84,000, according to PayScale.
In addition, advanced knowledge in civil engineering also comes with the advantage of making meaningful contributions to the industry through research and innovations during the course of a graduate program.
What Jobs Can You Do With a Civil Engineering Degree?
The jobs you can do with a civil engineering degree include civil engineering, architecture, construction management, or environmental engineering. You can also take a specialization and work as a specialist in nuclear engineering or water resources. University programs that offer flexibility and allow you to explore a wide range of topics can prepare you adequately for such jobs.
How Much Can I Earn With a Degree in Civil Engineering?
Your earnings with a degree in civil engineering depend on many factors, including location, experience, and knowledge. In addition, your degree level also plays a huge role in how much you can earn. A professional with an Associate Degree in Civil Engineering earns $62,000 per year. Meanwhile, a bachelor’s degree holder will take home $84,000, annually. PhD holders will earn the most, at $98,000 on average.
Highest-Paying Civil Engineering Careers
|Profession||Minimum Education||Average Salary|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||Bachelor’s degree||$152,350|
|Construction Managers||Bachelor’s degree||$98,890|
|Environmental Engineers||Bachelor’s degree||$96,820|
|Civil Engineers||Bachelor’s degree||$88,050|
|Urban and Regional Planners||Master’s degree||$78,500|
|Cartographers and Photogrammetrists||Bachelor’s degree||$68,900|
|Land Surveyors||Bachelor’s degree||$61,600|
|Civil Engineering Drafters||Associate degree||$60,290|
|Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians||Associate degree||$58,320|
Best Jobs With a Civil Engineering Degree
The best jobs with a civil engineering degree are architectural and engineering managers, construction managers, and environmental managers. These jobs offer the most lucrative salaries in the industry. Characteristically, they involve some form of specialization which involves the acquisition of skills beyond general civil engineering.
How Can I Pay for Civil Engineering School?
You can pay for civil engineering school through various financing options, including fellowships, grants, student loans, and university prizes. In addition, if you have enough time and flexibility, you can work part-time and earn extra income, which can increase your ability to pay off your school fees.
- Merit-based scholarships. These are scholarships awarded to students based on various criteria including academic achievement, talents, affiliations, and hobbies. They are offered by governments, large corporations, local businesses, and institutions.
- Need-based scholarships. The main criteria used when selecting students to receive these scholarships are based on financial need.
- Student loans. These are loans offered to students by financial institutions or governments to pursue education in the country or abroad. Student loans must be paid back and will accumulate interest with time.
- Student prizes. Individual universities and colleges often have awards for exceptional students. As a passionate student, you can use the amount of money earned from these awards to pay your university fees.
- Work-Study Programs: This is a federally or state-funded program that helps students in financial need secure part-time jobs, alongside their studies. The income earned from the program can help with tuition fees and living expenses during studies.
How to Pay for Your Chosen School Education Path
Choosing the Best Civil Engineering School for You
To choose the best civil engineering school for you, you should consider accreditation, type of college, delivery method, cost of tuition, and academic quality. You want to choose a school with quality education, affordable tuition, and a delivery method that best suits your interests.
An accredited institution has demonstrated to the relevant professional bodies that it has the necessary systems in place to offer quality education in all civil engineering degree options. When choosing a school, verify whether the institution has been accredited by ABET, regional and state bodies, or other relevant agencies.
Type of College
The type of college you wish to attend also has an impact on the opportunities you can access once you graduate. For instance, choosing a public university over a reputable civil engineering college might lead you to missed opportunities, such as an active alumni network that can provide connections in the job market.
Depending on availability and location, you might have to consider a flexible program that allows you to balance your personal life, work, and study programs. Many institutions today offer fully online civil and structural engineering programs that allow you to access high-quality education, whether you’re a local or international student.
Cost of Tuition
The cost of tuition is a fundamental factor when it comes to choosing a degree program. Finding a school that has affordable tuition will limit the financial burden and guarantee a better return on investment in the future. It’s also a good idea to check what financial aid options are available to you.
The quality of academics of an institution is an integral factor to consider when choosing a civil engineering school. It helps determine the knowledge and skills you can acquire during your study. Many companies are known to use employer reputation scores when hiring. As a graduate of a reputable institution, you significantly improve your success rate in job hunting.
How to Get Into the Right School for Your Profession
Does It Matter What College I Go to for Civil Engineering?
Yes, it matters what college you go to for civil engineering. The college you attend largely affects the quality of skills you acquire. Civil engineering companies tend to hire graduates from accredited and reputable institutions, making it wise to attend an institution to increase your success rate in the job market.
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Civil Engineering University Ranking Methodology: How We Ranked the Best Schools for Civil Engineering
We ranked the best civil engineering schools by consulting the university rankings conducted by US News & World Report and Times Higher Education. To further refine our civil engineering university ranking methodology, we gave special consideration to things like reputation, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and breadth and depth of civil engineering degree program offerings.
Additional Reading About Civil Engineering
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Best Civil Engineering Schools FAQ
Yes, civil engineering is a good major. It leads to career roles with lucrative salaries. Fundamentally, civil engineering is ranked as the best engineering job, the 16th best STEM job, and the 43rd best job overall by US News. A civil engineering major is also an avenue to an adventurous learning experience that’s perfect for passionate students.
The biggest civil engineering companies in the world, based on assets, are Actividades de Construcción y Servicios (ACS) in Spain, VINCI in France, and Bechtel in the US. China is also home to some of the biggest construction companies, including China State Construction Engineering Corp and Shanghai Construction Group.
The best businesses for civil engineers include building material supply, brick manufacturing, and cement plant businesses. These three businesses are great for entrepreneurial engineers as they present an opportunity to serve a never diminishing market of clients through constructing buildings and infrastructure to serve humanity.
Yes, civil engineering is considered the easiest engineering discipline. Nevertheless, it is still challenging as it involves a wide range of mathematical, engineering, scientific, and technological principles. It requires years of study and experience to attain mastery.
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