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Best Civil Engineering Schools: The Top Colleges and Universities for Civil Engineering Programs

Elvis Gwaro - June 20, 2022


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
Columbia University NY In-person #2
Drexel University PA In-person #103
Liberty University VA In-person #299-#391
Northeastern University MA In-person #49
Northwestern University IL In-person #9
Oregon State University OR In-person #162
Purdue University IN In-person, online, hybrid #49
Syracuse University NY In-person #59
University of Houston TX In-person, online, hybrid #179

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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.

1

Arizona State University

Graduation Rate: 66%

Arizona State University (ASU) is a public research institution with close to 150,000 students enrolled. ASU is one of the largest public universities by enrollment and offers programs in business, marketing, biology, psychology, and computer science.

Arizona State University Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD, certificates
  • US News Ranking: #117
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #132

Best Arizona State University Civil Engineering Programs

  • Civil Engineering (BSE) . This program is designed to produce engineers that develop safe and sustainable engineering solutions. You require a minimum of 120 credit hours of which 45 hours are for upper-division courses. This four-year program requires in-person attendance.
  • Construction Engineering (BSE). This program focuses on the planning, design, and management of infrastructure projects including dams, highways, and airports. It’s a four-year college degree program that prepares engineers for license registration. A minimum of 120 credit hours are required for a student to graduate.
  • Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering (MS) . This postgraduate program trains students to focus on sustainability when coming up with solutions that improve life. You’ll need to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours and a thesis, written comprehensive exam, or applied project. The program takes two years to complete and lectures are to be attended in person.
  • Sustainable Engineering (MSE) . This program trains professionals and graduate-level students on sustainable engineering principles. The program takes two years to complete with a minimum requirement of 30 credit hours and a thesis, comprehensive exam, and capstone course. If you want flexibility, the program offers an online option.
  • Construction Management (PhD) . This program focuses on independent research to contribute to the construction management body of knowledge. A minimum of 84 credit hours, an oral comprehensive exam, a written comprehensive exam, a prospectus, and a dissertation are needed for graduation from this in-person program.

Arizona State University Civil Engineering Key Takeaway

Arizona State University is recognized as one of the most innovative institutions worldwide considering its participation in space exploration.

2

Columbia University

Graduation Rate: 97%

Columbia University is a private Ivy League institution established in 1754 as King’s College, the fifth oldest institution in the United States. Columbia University’s most popular programs fall under several disciplines including computer science, economics, political science, history, and social sciences. Columbia is also home to the Pulitzer Prize, which awards achievements in journalism.

Columbia University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 4%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: #2
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #11

Best Columbia University Civil Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering . This is an ABET-accredited program designed to prepare students to take up professional roles in construction projects in the public and private sectors. The program requires a minimum of 128 credits with at least 60 credits of coursework. The course is only available in person.
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanic . This online program takes students through several specialized designed-oriented training in preparation for work with engineering companies. Students are required to complete a minimum of 30 credits during the two or three semesters of studies before they can graduate.
  • Doctor of Engineering Science . This course is offered by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to students who have obtained a master’s degree. A minimum of 30 credits is required. Students must maintain a minimum of 3.25 GPA during their first two years. The course takes a maximum of seven years.
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering Mechanics . This undergraduate program provides analytical and experimental backgrounds in applied mechanics for students pursuing research. The program is offered in an in-person format and students must attain the minimum 128 credits necessary for a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and related programs.

Columbia University Civil Engineering Key Takeaway

Columbia University’s civil engineering program is ranked sixth in the country, making it one of the best institutions to study the discipline.

3

Drexel University

Graduation Rate: 78%

Drexel University is a private research institution founded in 1891 by financier Anthony Drexel. As of 2020, Drexel had enrolled over 24,000 in its 200 undergraduate and postgraduate programs. It offers programs in business, management, marketing, engineering, health, computer science, biology, and psychology, among other disciplines.

Drexel University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 83%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s
  • US News Ranking: #103
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #351- #400

Best Drexel University Civil Engineering Programs

  • Civil Engineering BS. This program is designed to train students on the fundamental principles of civil engineering. It offers several concentrations, including geotechnical, structural, and transportation engineering. Students need 40 general education credits, 65 foundation courses, 68 credits of major, and 18 credits of professional electives.
  • Civil Engineering BSCIV / Civil Engineering MSCE . This accelerated program trains students to develop technical expertise in their professional areas. Students are required to complete a minimum of 225.5 credit hours within the five years of in-person studies offered by the institution.
  • Civil Engineering BSCIV / Environmental Engineering MSENE . This program is designed for students who wish to complete a bachelor's degree and master's degree with a Specialization in Environmental Engineering on an accelerated schedule. The course requires the completion of 225.5 credit hours with five years of studies conducted in person.
  • Construction Management Certificate . This program is offered to civil engineering, architectural, and business students who wish to pursue a minor in construction management to expand their knowledge. The course has a minimum requirement of 24 credits for graduation.
  • Construction Management BS . This program teaches students how to work on construction projects as master coordinators, communicators, and organizers. Students must complete at least 187 credits to graduate in four years.

Drexel University Civil Engineering Key Takeaway

Drexel University offers a wide range of civil engineering programs that aspiring engineers can take advantage of at all levels.

4

Liberty University

Graduation Rate: 62%

Liberty University is a private evangelical university founded in 1971. It's one of the largest Christian universities in the world with an enrollment of about 95,000 students, 15,000 of which are residential and 80,000 of which are online. Liberty University offers numerous programs in business, psychology, religious study, criminal studies nursery, aerospace engineering, and accounting, among others.

Liberty University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 99%
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission
  • Degrees Offered: Associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral
  • US News Ranking: #299-#391
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: N/A

Best Liberty University Civil Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering . Liberty University’s undergraduate program in civil engineering helps students prepare to pursue a rewarding career in engineering. The program is offered on a residential basis and requires the completion of a minimum of 136 credit hours over four years.
  • Master of Science in Engineering (Thesis) . This program is designed for students who would like to advance in leadership and management through a master’s degree. The course is offered in person and requires a minimum of 36 credit hours to be completed within an average of two years for a student to graduate.
  • Master of Science in Engineering (Non-Thesis ). This program is offered for engineering students pursuing upper-management skills. Unlike most master's programs, you are not required to complete a thesis making the minimum credits requirement 30. The program takes two years to complete through in-person lecture attendance.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering . This program combines business principles and engineering and offers students the technical expertise necessary for them to contribute to the engineering field. It’s an in-person program with a minimum requirement of 63 credit hours for graduation within three years on average.
  • Associate of Science in STEM Mathematics . This is an associate degree offered for students who want to gain critical knowledge and analytical expertise in mathematics which is instrumental for engineers. To graduate, you must meet the minimum requirements over two years.

Liberty University Civil Engineering Key Takeaway

Liberty University’s School of Engineering and Computational Sciences is accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering (ABET).

5

Northeastern University

Graduation Rate: 91%

Northeastern University’s most common study programs are in business, computer science, mechanical engineering, economics, health, chemical engineering, and nursing. It’s known for its focus on pre-professional education and signature cooperative co-education programs which enable students to alternate semesters of studies and employment.

Northeastern University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 18%
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: #49
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #168

Best Northeastern University Civil Engineering Programs

  • BS, Civil Engineering . This program prepares students to conceptualize, design, and build sustainable infrastructure. It requires a minimum of 134 semester hours and a 2.0 GPA. Upon graduation from this four-year program, students can explore a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary tracks.
  • BS, Civil Engineering and Architectural Studies . This program combines two disciplines important in the creation and building of structures and spaces. Students are required to complete the program within four years and attain a minimum of 141 semester hours and a 2.0 GPA.
  • MS, Civil Engineering . This program is for students looking to secure careers in the industry, government, or academia. It gives you an opportunity to access advanced research projects and to work with leading faculty. You can pursue any of the concentrations offered but will need 32 total semester hours and a 3.0 GPA to graduate.
  • MS, Sustainable Building Systems . This in-person program trains students to provide a healthy, productive, and comfortable indoor environment with minimal environmental impact. To graduate, you need a minimum of 32 total semester hours and a 3.0 GPA.
  • PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering . This program is designed for students who plan to study in-depth in a wide range of fields across the civil and environmental engineering industries. Students must complete a minimum of 48 semester hours of coursework and attain at least a 3.0 GPA to graduate.

Northeastern University Civil Engineering Key Takeaway

Northeastern University offers various degree programs in civil engineering. Students and faculty are driven by sustainability and aim to decrease the carbon footprint by over 80 percent before the year 2050.

6

Northwestern University

Graduation Rate: 95%

Northwestern University is a private research institution founded in 1851, making it the oldest chartered university in Illinois. It offers programs in economics, journalism, psychology, neuroscience, political science, and government, among others.

Northwestern University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: #9
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #24

Best Northwestern University Civil Engineering Programs

  • Civil Engineering Major (BS) . This ABET-accredited program helps students develop diverse skills to make use of limited natural resources to build sustainable development projects. Students are required to complete a minimum of 48 units, including 32 McCormick core units and 16 civil engineering units.
  • Structural Engineering & Design (MS) . This master's degree is designed to prepare students to embrace creativity during structural design and come up with sustainable infrastructure systems. It consists of 12 courses, four of which are fundamental, three from the professional track, and five from approved electives. The program takes two years to complete.
  • Civil Engineering (BS/MS) . This program is offered for students who want to acquire a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science through a combined program. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 and above is required for admission to the four-year program.
  • Environmental Engineering (MS) : This program is for civil engineering students specializing in environmentally friendly and sustainable engineering solutions. It’s offered either on a full-time, part-time or independent study basis over a one-year period.
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering (PhD). This program is offered by the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science for students who want to contribute to scientific knowledge in various fields of engineering. It requires a minimum of nine units of coursework or 12 units for students without a master's degree.

Northwestern University Civil Engineering Key Takeaway

Northwestern university is one of the best institutions in the country, not only as a whole but also as a civil engineering institution.

7

Oregon State University

Graduation Rate: 68%

Oregon State University is a public land-grant research institution that currently enrolls around 32,000 students in over 200 programs. Some of the most popular disciplines in the institution include computer science, business, mechanical engineering, psychology, and biology. OSU is known for its specialty in marine sciences, foresters, and sustainable food systems.

Oregon State University Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 89%
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: #162
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #401- #500

Best Oregon State University Civil Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering . This undergraduate degree program offers students general instruction in the design, construction, and maintenance of public works. Students must acquire a minimum of 181 credits over the four-year program conducted on campus.
  • Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering and Management . This program prepares students to become construction engineers and managers in all sectors of the construction industry. During the four-year on-campus program, students need to attain 181 credits to graduate.
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering . This master's program is an avenue for students to advance their knowledge of engineering while specializing in various sectors, including construction, transportation, and geotechnical fields. Students need 45 credit hours over a period of two years to qualify for graduation.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering . This PhD is designed for students who wish to venture into scientific research to contribute to civil engineering knowledge. For a candidate to be considered for graduation, they must complete at least 108 credit hours over the course of the program.
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering . The Oregon State Graduate school introduced this accelerated program to offer students time flexibility and the opportunity to train for multiple degrees simultaneously. Determined and well-organized students can complete the program within one year and transfer up to 22 credits.

Oregon State University Civil Engineering Key Takeaway

The Oregon State engineering school is ranked number 73 among the best engineering institutes in the country , according to US News & World Reports. The college of Engineering at Oregon State is also made up of accomplished civil engineering professors and researchers.

8

Purdue University

Graduation Rate: 83%

Purdue University currently enrolls over 37,000 undergraduates and 12,500 postgraduates in over 200 majors and 70 graduate programs. Its most common programs fall under various disciplines, including computer science, engineering, psychology, finance, and mathematics.

Purdue University Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 69%
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: #49
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #105

Best Purdue University Civil Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering . This program offered by the Lyles School of Civil Engineering provides a foundation for students pursuing careers in civil engineering. A minimum of 132 semester credits are required for graduation and the four-year program’s method of delivery is through in-person attendance.
  • Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Civil Engineering . For students who would like to finish their bachelor's and master's degrees simultaneously, this combined program has non-thesis and thesis options to be completed in five years. The program allows students to take up to six credits of graduate coursework and six electives alongside bachelor’s degree credits.
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering .  This program is designed for students planning to advance their knowledge and qualifications to attain better career prospects. It comes in a thesis option which requires 30 credit hours over 18-24 months, and a non-thesis option which can be completed in 12-18 months.
  • Masters of Science in Civil Engineering . This is an online version of the on-campus Master of Science in Civil Engineering. It offers the same courses but is significantly more affordable. You need 30 credit hours to complete the two-year program with the option to specialize in any of the offered concentration fields.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering . This degree is offered by the Burke Graduate Program for students who would like to contribute to civil engineering knowledge through research. Students must attain at least 90 total credit hours, which include 48 in coursework and 42 in research. A master’s degree can contribute up to 30 credit hours.

Purdue University Civil Engineering Key Takeaway

Purdue’s civil engineering programs are of very high standards made up of accomplished academics who can offer unmatched engineering education options.

9

Syracuse University

Graduation Rate: 82%

Syracuse University is a private research institution established by the Methodist Episcopal church. Syracuse’s most popular university programs are in social sciences, journalism, business, marketing, computer science, and engineering. It has produced some of the most iconic people such as President Joe Biden, 13 Pulitzer Award winners, and 36 Olympic medalists.

Syracuse University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 69%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: #59
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #351- #400

Best Syracuse University Civil Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering . This program is designed to help civil engineering students focus on sustainable engineering analysis and design, in addition to effective oral and writing skills. Students are required to complete a minimum of 127 credits on-campus within the four-year period that the program is offered.
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering . This program gives students the opportunity to work closely with faculty advisors on a wide variety of research projects. Civil engineering bachelor's graduates are allowed to enroll in the program which comes with a thesis and non-thesis option, both with a minimum requirement of 30 credit hours.
  • Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Environmental Engineering . This accelerated bachelor’s and master’s degree program offers top-performing students the opportunity to work ahead and complete both degrees within one program. The program takes five years to complete with students taking six credits of 500-level or higher courses, which are countered towards both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering. This program is designed to help students develop skills to pursue research careers in academic institutions or government with a focus on geotechnical, environmental, structures, and construction engineering management. Students must complete 18 credit hours of coursework, and maintain a minimum of 3.3 GPA within three to five years.
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Master of Business Administration . This is a leadership program for Syracuse engineering students who wish to simultaneously earn an MBA degree from the Martin Whitman School of Management. It takes five years to complete, with MBA coursework beginning in the third year of study. You must attain the minimum credits for each individual program to graduate.

Syracuse University Civil Engineering Key Takeaway

Syracuse University Civil Engineering college is ranked 72 among the best engineering schools in the country by US News & World Report.

10

University of Houston

Graduation Rate: 62%

University of Houston is a public research university founded in 1927. It’s currently the third-largest university in Texas with an enrollment of between 38,000 and 46,000 undergraduates and 8,500 postgraduates. University of Houston is known as a world-leading institution in energy and health research, business environments, and law education.

University of Houston Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: #179
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #601- #800

Best University of Houston Civil Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering . Designed to offer students a wide and general understanding of engineering principles, this program prepares them for specializations in various fields and the adoption of a variety of professional positions. A minimum of 130 semester hours are required for a student to graduate from this four-year program.
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering . This program offers civil engineering bachelor's graduates an opportunity to advance their education and specialize in geotechnical engineering, hydro systems, water resources engineering, and structural engineering. The program has a thesis option with a minimum of 21 credit hours required and a non-thesis option with a minimum of 31 credit hours.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering . This program is offered to civil engineering students who wish to pursue a career in academia and conduct research on various engineering topics. A minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate study beyond the master’s degree and an additional 30 credit hours of research and dissertation are required.
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering Online : This program is designed to serve students seeking high-quality graduate education while in need of flexibility. The program consists of the same rigorous coursework as the in-person master’s program but the mode of instruction is fully online. Students need 21 or 31 credits and can choose between the thesis and non-thesis options to qualify for graduation.

University of Houston Civil Engineering Key Takeaway

University of Houston, which is recognized by the Engineering Accreditation Commission, is one of the best engineering universities in the country.

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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.

1

Civil Engineering Certificate

A civil engineering certificate program is designed to prepare students for jobs as technicians who help civil engineers to plan, design, and build infrastructure. Typically, students will learn the fundamental civil engineering principles. The program usually takes one year to complete.

2

Civil Engineering Associate Degree

An Associate Degree in Civil Engineering is taken at the undergraduate level, typically after a high-school education. It sets students on their paths to becoming civil engineers. Students learn to apply the fundamentals of civil design and engineering within the context of surveying materials, environmental systems highways, and construction.

The program typically takes two years to complete within a community college, university, or other institution. Students with limited time can take up to three years to attain the minimum credit requirements set by the civil engineering department of the respective institution.

3

Civil Engineering Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering is the most fundamental academic program for aspiring engineers. It’s often a four-year program that involves training in the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of infrastructure. Students undertake a wide range of topics around the environment and can specialize in areas such as transportation, ocean engineering, and hydraulics.

The program is offered on a four-year term basis in most institutions. Every year is broken into two or three semesters each allocated with equal credits. Students must attain the minimum credits by the end of the fourth year of study to qualify for graduation.

4

Civil Engineering Master’s Degree

A Master’s in Civil Engineering is an advanced degree offered to students who have completed a civil engineering degree program and wish to specialize further in a certain field. Some concentration areas include structural, construction, geotechnical, environmental, and transportation engineering focuses.

Typically, students will undergo the normal coursework examination and thesis required for any Master of Engineering program. A student must complete the minimum required credits determined by the institution and have an impeccable academic record to qualify for graduation.

5

Civil Engineering Graduate Certificate

A civil engineering postgraduate certificate is designed for graduate students who need a broader and deeper understanding of a particular area in civil engineering. It is taken by non-degree-seeking students who want to specialize in a particular craft. Typically, it takes one to two years depending on the course structure and the minimum credit requirements to determine completion.

6

Civil Engineering Doctorate

A PhD in Civil Engineering program consists of coursework examination and research towards a dissertation which takes a period of five to seven years. Students that pursue civil engineering doctorate programs often wish to conduct research on a specific challenge facing the industry or want to contribute knowledge to the discipline.

Civil engineering degree studies at doctoral levels typically involve intensive research training and practice. The program produces researchers, experts, and innovators who find solutions that revolutionize how planning, design, construction, and maintenance of public works are done.

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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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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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
Architects Bachelor’s degree $80,180
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.

Best

2

Civil Engineering Associate Degree

Jobs

The best civil engineering associate degree jobs include drafters, technologists, and technicians. These jobs only require an associate degree because they involve more practical skills which are attainable with fewer years of experience.

Top Civil Engineering Careers With an Associate Degree

  • Civil Engineering Drafters: $60,290
  • Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians: $58,320
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians: $47,370

Best

3

Civil Engineering Bachelor’s Degree

Jobs

The best civil engineering bachelor’s degree jobs include architectural engineering managers, construction managers, and environmental engineers. The educational foundation necessary for the practice of these high-level jobs requires a civil engineering bachelor’s degree, and in some instances, a specialization.

Top Civil Engineering Careers With a Bachelor’s Degree

Best

4

Civil Engineering Master’s Degree

Jobs

The best civil engineering master’s degree jobs include urban and regional planners, mining and geological engineers, and hydrologists. To acquire these jobs, a civil engineer with a bachelor's degree will need to specialize in the respective technical field and take the required courses to acquire the necessary knowledge and experience.

Top Civil Engineering Careers With a Master’s Degree

Best

6

Civil Engineering Doctorate

Jobs

The best civil engineering doctorate jobs include architectural and engineering managers, postsecondary teachers, and urban and regional planners. A doctorate will improve your chances of securing engineering manager and urban planner jobs. Additionally, a PhD is necessary for you to work as a professor in a tertiary institution if you’re interested in teaching.

Top Civil Engineering Careers With a PhD

5

Best Internships for Civil Engineering Students

The best internships for civil engineering students are offered by AECOM Technology Corporation, Bechtel Corporation, and Jacobs Engineering Group. Civil engineering companies with a global presence offer the best learning environment and most lucrative salaries for fresh university graduates.

Top Civil Engineering Internships

  • AECOM Technology Corporation AECOM Civil Engineer Intern: $53,068
  • Bechtel Corporation Bechtel Civil Engineering Intern: $58,816
  • Jacobs Engineering Group Jacobs Civil Engineering Intern: $58,295

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

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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.

Accreditation

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.

Program Delivery

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.

Academic Quality

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

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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

Is civil engineering a good major?

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.

What is the biggest civil engineering company in the world?

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.

Which business is best for a civil engineer?

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.

Is civil engineering the easiest engineering discipline?

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.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Elvis Gwaro

About the author: Elvis is a content writer specializing in tech and career advice. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. He also has certificates in content marketing, digital marketing, and SEO fundamentals from HubSpot Academy, Google Digital Garage, and SEMrush Academy, respectively.

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