Best Online Master’s in Civil Engineering Degrees

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Bridges, Airports, Highways, And Roads. Each of these is a vital piece of everyday life. Parts that wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of civil engineers!

What Does A Civil Engineer Do?

Civil engineers help to design, construct, and maintain public and private infrastructure projects. This can include everything from buildings and tunnels, to more complex structures like water supply and sewage storage systems. Each of these takes careful planning to put together, which is why engineers need strong educational programs that set them up for success in the field.

Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Civil Engineering Degrees


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How Much Money Can I Earn As A Civil Engineer?

Civil Engineering is a lucrative job field filled with job opportunities that are growing by the day. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts jobs in the sector to grow by more 10% in the next ten years, outpacing the broader economy. With over 300,000 civil engineers already employed, this translates to thousands of new job openings each year!

On average, civil engineers earn around $84,000 per year, or $40/hour, though this is even higher depending on location. Hourly workers in Louisiana and New Jersey earn more than $44/hour. The median annual income for civil engineers in California and Alaska is over $100,000!

Why Choose An Online Degree in Civil Engineering?

Like all complex fields, the type of education you get matters when it comes to Civil Engineering. It’s important to find schools with strong programs and respected faculty.

But traditional graduate programs can be limiting. Working professionals or students looking to start a family need flexibility when it comes to courses and schoolwork.

Online programs offer the same great education, but help students accommodate for their busy and complex lives outside the program. The easy online access allows you to take classes in a coffee shop or at home. And the skills you develop through these online classes will also translate to the technology-driven world that underlies every modern job, including that of civil engineer.

What Are the Best 30 Online Masters in Civil Engineering?

College Choice considers factors such as institutional reputation, student well-being, and return on investment to calculate rankings.

Institutional reputation weighs factors including graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratios and endowment size to measure how well each school lives up to its promise of providing a quality education.

Student well-being measures how satisfied former and current students felt with the programs and services offered at each school.

And lastly return on investment looks at the monetary benefits that the average student receives from each school, weighed against the cost of attending, specifically tuition and student loans. In the end, we found the 30 best schools for an Online Masters in Civil Engineering.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Columbia University in the City of New York
    Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Columbia University is a private research university located in Upper Manhattan, New York. Columbia has the oldest college in the state of New York and is one of only nine colleges founded prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The school has just under 4,000 academic staff members, who serve a population of around 8,000 undergraduate and almost 20,000 postgraduate students

    Program Features

    Columbia’s offers a fully-online Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering. The program involves in the completion of a 30-credit course of study, and requires the GRE for admission. The program offers emphases in:

    • Structural Analysis
    • Geotechnical Engineering
    • Construction Engineering
    • Environmental Engineering

    The program also offers courses of study in engineering mechanics, including vibration and continuum mechanics.

    Notables

    Applicants are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to apply for admission. Students may enter with up to 6 credit hours of prior graduate level work from an accredited institution.

  2. University of Southern California
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Southern California is a private research university located in Los Angeles, CA. USC is home to more than 24,000 postgraduate students. The school often ranks as one of the top three fundraising universities in the world, in terms of external contributions and alumni giving rates.

    Program Features

    USC offers two different civil engineering Masters programs through their USC online domain, both of these of Master of Science (M.S.) degrees:

    • Construction Engineering
    • Structural Engineering

    The construction engineering program prepares students for designing and executing construction-type projects, which the structural engineering program focuses more on the design aspect, especially as it pertains to load-baring structures such as bridges and dams.

    Notables

    Both of these programs are offered through the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, which produces one of the highest volumes of research activity in the country. Example courses in these programs include Structural Design for Dynamic loads for the Structural Engineering, as well as Project and Building Management for the Construction course.

  3. North Carolina State University at Raleigh
    Location

    Raleigh, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    North Carolina State University at Raleigh, often referred to simply as NC State, is a public research university located in Raleigh, NC. NC State is the largest university in the Carolinas, enrolling more than 30,000 students annually. The school forms one portion of the North Carolina Research Triangle, along with Duke University of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

    Program Features

    NC State offers a Master of Civil Engineering (MCE) degree, which requires 30-credit hours and offers concentrations of:

    • Construction Engineering
    • Environment, Water Resources and Coastal Engineering
    • Geotechnical/Geoenvironmental Resources
    • Structures and Mechanics
    • Transportation Materials
    • Transpiration Systems

    Students pursue their emphasis through the completion of elective courses. Emphasis courses make up around 24 of the 30 credits required for graduation, the remainder being other civil engineering/related courses.

    Notables

    The school waives the GRE requirement for students who graduate from a U.S. Institution with at least a 3.0 GPA. Students have up to six years to obtain their degree by completing the required courses. Students are not required to complete a thesis to graduate.

  4. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Florida is a public research university located in Gainesville, FL. The school has been operating on its Gainesville campus for more than 100 years, and is often rated one of the best public universities in the country. In Fall 2016 they had over 50,000 total students, including almost 17,000 postgraduates.

    Program Features

    Florida offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering degree through their UF Distance Learning program, also referred to as EDGE. Courses offered through this program include:

    • Public Works Management
    • Foundation Design
    • Construction Planning and Scheduling
    • Advanced Surface Hydrology
    • Engineering Innovation

    UF maintains that the program can be completed in as little as 24 months. Courses are offered through the Department of Coast and Civil Engineering.

    Notables

    The UF Edge programs offers direct streaming video options for course lectures, as well as DVDs which can be sent directly to students. The UF College of Engineering is rated as the top Engineering Department in the state, and the Department of Coastal and Civil Engineering is ranked in the top-10 in the US.

  5. University of Virginia-Main Campus
    Location

    Charlottesville, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Virginia, also known as UVA, is a public research university located in Charlottesville, VA. The school was founded by U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, and its governing board also included Presidents James Madison and James Monroe at the time of its founding. Today the school has a student body of around 22,000, with around 6,500 postgraduate students.

    Program Features

    The University of Virginia offers a Masters in Engineering (ME) degree with an emphasis in infrastructure systems through their Virginia Engineering Online domain. The extended graduate program is a five-year degree, which requires the completion of at least 10 graduate courses, possibly including:

    • Transportation Safety
    • Traffic Operations
    • Stochastic Systems
    • Engineering Mechanics I
    • Green Engineering and Sustainability

    Courses are offered through the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.

    Notables

    Students may enter with credit for up to 5 graduate-level courses from other engineering programs in the state of Virginia. Students may transfer credit for up to 4 courses taken from a program outside of Virginia. Students work with their academic advisor to plan and approve their personal course of study.

  6. Mississippi State University
    Location

    Mississippi State, MS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Mississippi State University for Agriculture and Applied Science is a public university located in Starkville, MS. The school is often referred to as Mississippi State, and serves a student body of around 22,000. MSU maintains a joint degree program in engineering with San Jose State University in California.

    Program Features

    MSU’s distance learning service offers a Master in Science (M.S.) degree in Civil Engineering, including emphases in the following areas:

    • Structures
    • Geotechnical
    • Water Resources
    • Transportation
    • Construction Materials
    • Environmental Engineering

    There are also online doctoral degree programs offered in similar areas of study. Courses are offered through the Bagley College of Engineering.

    Notables

    The engineering school began its online distance learning program in the mid 1980. All current courses are recorded in one of five rooms on the Starkville campus of Mississippi State, and are uploaded to the distance learning system OpenCast. All class recordings are available 24/7 to students, in either mp4 of flv format, to accommodate for a wide range of online video players.

  7. Case Western Reserve University
    Location

    Cleveland, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Case Western Reserve University is a private university located in Cleveland, OH. This university was created by a merger of Western Reserve University and the Case Institute of Technology in 1967. There are around 6,000 postgraduate students at the school, who make up a little over half of the overall student population.

    Program Features

    Case Western offers a Master in Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering through its online learning service. The program involves 9 courses of 27 units, and includes an emphasis in structural engineering. Sample courses include:

    • Advanced Engineering Analysis
    • Pre-stressed Concrete Design
    • Structural Reliability
    • Fine Element Analysis
    • Elasticity, Theory and Applications

    Students may also pursue an independent study course, worth 3 units, in consultation with their individual academic advisor.

    Notables

    Case Western’s Civil Engineering program was rated one of U.S. News & World Report’s best graduate schools of 2018. The program is chaired by Dr. Frank H. Neff, who emphasizes how graduates of the program, “have terrific job prospects and bright futures. Join us, and us we’ll address real world problems and prepare you to be a leader in civil engineering.”

  8. New Jersey Institute of Technology
    Location

    Newark, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    New Jersey Institute of Technology is a public research university located in Newark, NJ. Originally opened as the Newark Technical School in 1884, the school grew to become the Newark College of Engineering. The addition of the School of Architecture in 1973 turned the college into a full, polytechnic university. Around 3,000 postgraduates attend the university each year, making up around a quarter of the total student population.

    Program Features

    NJIT offers a Master of Science in Civil Engineering through their NJIT Online service. The 30-credit Masters program offers three sub-specialties:

    • Transportation Engineering
    • Construction Management
    • Structural Design and Construction

    There are also online graduate certificate programs in construction management and project management. The program can be completed in as few as 19 months.

    Notables

    Earning the degree can replace one of the four years of work experience required to obtain a Professional Engineer (P.E.) license. Courses are designed to have immediate applicability to any job that a graduate chooses to pursue. The project-based curriculum helps to emphasize this hands-on learning.

  9. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Location

    Champaign, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, also known as U of I, is a public research university located in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign, IL. U of I was a founding member of the Big Ten sports Conference, and is considered the flagship of the Illinois Public University system. The school has an endowment of more than $3.5 billion and a student body of nearly 50,000 students.

    Program Features

    The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering degree through its CEE online site. The online degree offers four specialty areas:

    • Construction Management
    • Infrastructure
    • Transportation Engineering
    • Structural Engineering

    Courses are also available in other specialized tracks to supplement the specialties of a student’s course of study. These include courses in construction materials and geotechnical engineering.

    Notables

    CEE also offers a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering. Both programs require completion of 36 credit hours, but do not require completion of a thesis. Students have five years to complete the program and may also choose to pursue cross-disciplinary study, in consultation with their advisor.

  10. Ohio University-Main Campus
    Location

    Athens, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Ohio University is a public research university located in Athens, OH. It is the oldest university in the state of Ohio, and now has a total enrollment of more than 35,000 students. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies Ohio as having a high level of research activity.

    Program Features

    The school offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering degree through its online learning service. The program offers four specialties:

    • Construction Engineering and Management
    • Environmental Engineering
    • Transportation Engineering
    • Structural Engineering

    Students pursue core courses including project management and engineering writing, before pursuing courses specific to their chosen concentration.

    Notables

    Course credits are divided roughly equally between concentration courses and core courses. Qualified applicants can have the GRE and GMAT requirements waived, with a qualifying GPA/academic record. Students may graduate in as few as five semesters.

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