The 19 Best Online Master's in Civil Engineering Programs

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If you dream of designing a town or envisioning ways to improve road layout, you might enjoy pursuing a civil engineering degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the number of employed civil engineers to grow 11% from 2016–2026, faster than the average for most other occupations. With a constantly growing population, and thus a heightened need for additional waterways and roads, now remains an ideal time to pursue a civil engineering bachelor’s online.

Online Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

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We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.

The Best Online Master's in Civil Engineering Programs

1
University of Florida
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4

North Carolina State University at Raleigh 

Raleigh, NC

About this school

NC State offers a master’s in civil engineering online that allows students to gain expertise in various civil engineering specializations. Potential areas of concentration include construction, structures, geotechnical engineering, water resources, and traffic control. With faculty advisement, students select engineering courses that match their individual learning goals. Available major classes include steel design, masonry structures, properties of concrete, legal aspects of contracting, water resources, coastal and ocean engineering, and traffic design. Faculty members may also work with students to develop customized project-based classes. Degree candidates can also earn up to 10 credits from classes outside the civil engineering major.

This online master of civil engineering degree requires 30 credits. Candidates may take up to six years of part-time study to complete the degree. Although candidates can complete this program entirely online, some elective courses may require on-campus work. NC State supports student success with advising and tutoring services. The university also helps graduates find jobs with career counseling services and designated career ambassadors.

Candidates with undergraduate degrees in fields related to civil engineering may apply with college transcripts proving a GPA of 3.0 or better. Prospective students with undergraduate degrees in subjects other than civil engineering may need to supply GRE scores. The university accepts transfer credit from other regionally accredited graduate institutions on a case by case basis. The school usually only considers transfer credits earned with grades of B or better.

5

Columbia University in the City of New York 

New York City, NY

About this school

Columbia’s master of civil engineering online program features concentrations in structural analysis, construction, geotechnical engineering, or environmental engineering. Coursework covers specific topics such as risk, elasticity of structures, vibrations, heat transfer, soil management, and earthquake engineering. Columbia’s master of science in civil engineering requires candidates to earn 30 total credits, including 18 credits from major core classes. Students also earn 12 credits in elective classes such as applied mathematics, environmental engineering, supply chain management, energy dynamics in green buildings, and transportation logistics.

Columbia supports all students with robust services including academic advisement, tutoring, and career education. The university’s library system, considered one of the best in the United States, provides graduate students with a wealth of research support resources including research assistance. Degree candidates must maintain a GPA of 2.5 or better, and may take up to five years of part-time study to complete this program.

Applicants must send transcripts proving a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Additionally, they must submit competitive GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement describing their research interests and career goals. The school accepts up to six credits from other graduate-level engineering programs. Transfer credits count towards elective requirements and may not substitute for core courses.

6

University of Washington-Seattle Campus 

Seattle , WA

About this school

The online master’s degree in civil engineering at UW prepares candidates to lead major infrastructure projects. The program encourages candidates to build their own courses of study in collaboration with expert faculty. This master of science in civil engineering degree requires candidates to earn 42 credits. Students select 14 civil engineering graduate courses covering a selection of topics including construction law, energy infrastructure, cost analysis, construction materials, statistical fundamentals, environmental regulations, utility systems, and accounting and finance.

Asynchronous classes allow students to study as their schedules permit. The program offers three to four courses per quarter, and students may take as many as they like at a time in any sequence. The degree normally takes three to four years to complete. UW provides all students with support services such as academic advising and career counseling. Online students also benefit from the university’s information technology resources.

Candidates must hold an engineering degree from a regionally accredited institution. Competitive applicants have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. This program requires candidates to supply two letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose describing their learning and career objectives. Candidates may opt to take up to 12 credits of classes in this degree before matriculating into the program.

7

Case Western Reserve University 

Cleveland, OH

About this school

Located in Cleveland, Ohio, Case Western is a top research university. U.S. News and World Report named the school one of the top 50 universities in the nation. Case Western’s master of science in civil engineering explores technical and ethical challenges in the civil engineering field. Students explore engineering fundamentals and cutting-edge technologies. This program focuses on structural engineering, giving students chances to practice advanced design, testing, and analysis.

The master of civil engineering online degree requires 27 credits. Students choose nine classes related to structural engineering. Major classes cover topics such as concrete, steel design, structural dynamics, dynamic loads, foundation design, and geotechnical engineering. Degree candidates complete the program with projects or by passing comprehensive exams.

Candidates may earn this degree in as few as 16 months of full-time study. Most online classes, delivered in asynchronous format, allow students to learn whenever they prefer. However, the school follows a cohort model and encourages candidates to engage in live online discussions with peers. Case Western helps students succeed with ample support services. The university maintains an educational services office for students who want extra instructional assistance. The university’s career center helps students find rewarding careers.

Prospective students with engineering undergraduate degrees must submit transcripts. Applicants should hold a GPA of 3.0 or better. The program allows students with previous graduate study to transfer up to six credits earned in equivalent programs at regionally accredited universities.

8

Colorado State University-Fort Collins 

Fort Collins, CO

About this school

The master’s degree in civil engineering online program at CSU Fort Collins specializes in water management. Candidates gain experience applying the latest findings in hydrology, water resources management, utilities management, and environmental statistics to emerging water engineering challenges. Major courses cover engineering hydrology, irrigation, systems analysis, wells and pumps, urban water management, and related hydrology topics.

Students in this master of science in civil engineering degree must complete 32 credits. The first 30 credits are online classes, 24 of which are major core classes. Candidates earn their final two credits through engineering reports. Students can choose faculty committees to oversee their efforts producing engineering reports. Asynchronous classes allow students to watch lectures and take notes wherever and whenever they want. CSU supports all students through personalized academic advising and career services. The university maintains dedicated technology support resources to help online students optimize distance learning experiences.

The online civil engineering degree at CSU accepts applicants with undergraduate degrees in all fields. However, candidates with a degree unrelated to engineering must have experience in calculus, physics, chemistry, and engineering mechanics. Applicants must send undergraduate transcripts with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Prospective students can take one class before applying for full admission.

9

University of Idaho 

Moscow, ID

About this school

Located in Moscow, Idaho, UI offers an online master’s in civil engineering that allows students to choose specific areas of focus while gaining exposure to diverse engineering topics. This flexible program encourages candidates to select classes that match their personal goals. Focus areas include environmental engineering, hydraulics and water resources, geological engineering, geotechnical issues, pavements and materials, and structures.

The online civil engineering program requires 33 credits. All students in this course of study must demonstrate the ability to write technical papers or reports. Distance learners receive personalized training in technical writing skills through faculty-assisted individual studies. All online courses are delivered asynchronously. The university facilitates student success with online library support and a dedicated virtual computer lab with specialized software packages used in the engineering field.

UI normally accepts candidates with an undergraduate degree in civil engineering or related fields. Ideal applicants have a GPA of 3.0 or better. Strong candidates with degrees in other subjects may gain admission if they have undergraduate experience in advanced mathematics, physics, and chemistry. The program may waive the GPA requirement for candidates with five or more years of related professional experience. All applicants must supply three letters of recommendation, resumes, and written statements of purpose.

10

Auburn University 

Auburn, AL

About this school

The master of civil engineering online degree at Auburn University offers a large and diverse set of civil engineering classes, including hydraulics, construction management, structures, traffic analysis, wastewater treatment, and earthquake engineering. With faculty approval, students may also select relevant classes from other departments. Students in this program complete individual civil engineering projects in which they learn how to conduct applied research and clearly communicate their findings.

Auburn’s online master of civil engineering degree requires candidates to earn 30 credits to graduate. Students work with advisory committees to choose classes that suit their interests. The university helps students in this program succeed with technical support and a large database of engineering software. All Auburn students can access career counseling resources to help them translate learned skills into rewarding careers.

Applicants with undergraduate degrees in civil engineering and related fields must submit college transcripts and GRE scores. Those with degrees not directly related to civil engineering may gain admission if they can prove experience in mathematics, computing, chemistry, and physics equivalent to Auburn undergraduate engineering degree requirements. Transfer students may apply up to six credits from graduate programs at other regionally accredited institutions.

11

Clarkson University 

Potsdam, NY

About this school

Clarkson’s environmental and civil engineering department focuses on sustainability, a quality increasingly in demand in civil and environmental engineering professional roles. Clarkson’s master of science in civil and environmental engineering features coursework in four focus areas: environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural issues, and water management. Students gain hands-on experience in engineering project management through the university’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment, which oversees environmental improvements on campus and in communities throughout New York State.

Students in this online master’s in civil engineering must earn 30 credits in order to graduate. Each student works with an assigned academic advisor to develop a personalized course of study. In their final year, students develop and defend thesis papers on civil and environmental engineering topics of their choosing. Distance learners can earn this degree in 18 to 24 months.

Prospective students must submit undergraduate transcripts. Some candidates may need to provide GRE scores. Applicants also send three letters of recommendation, resumes, and personal statements describing how this degree fits with their career goals. Transfer students may bring up to ten credits from classes earned with grades of B or better. Outstanding students may proceed directly to the university’s civil and environmental engineering doctoral program, thereby completing MS and Ph.D degrees concurrently.

12

Kansas State University 

Manhattan, KS

About this school

The online master of science in civil engineering at K-State prepares industry professionals to handle emerging civil engineering challenges. K-State designed the degree for students with thorough previous training in civil engineering fundamentals. Candidates select focus areas at the beginning of their courses of study. Potential focus areas include transportation, environment, structures, geotechnical issues, and water resources.

This degree requires 30 credits. Students take as many classes in their focus area as they can, and fulfill remaining credit requirements through other civil engineering classes they find relevant to their personal goals. The program assigns departmental advisors to students to help identify and pursue personal learning goals. Classes may follow synchronous or asynchronous formats based on instructor preference. The program culminates in an oral examination delivered by supervisory committees.

Each applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Candidates with a civil engineering bachelor’s degree not approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology must submit GRE scores. Candidates without a civil engineering degree may opt to make up courses in undergraduate classes at K-State. Applicants submit three letters of recommendation, at least two of which must be from faculty members familiar with their academic work. Candidates must also write an essay describing what they hope to achieve at K-State.

13

The University of Texas at Arlington 

Arlington, TX

About this school

The master of science in civil engineering at UT Arlington is a flexible program that allows students to design a program of study based on their interests and career goals. The seven most common focus areas include: construction, environment, geotechnical engineering, infrastructure, structures and applied mechanics, transportation, and water management. Candidates in this program may opt to pursue a unique dual degree track, where they simultaneously earn a master’s in civil engineering and a master’s in city and regional planning degrees.

Personal advisors help students to select courses of study that match their personal learning needs. Online courses are delivered asynchronously. In order to graduate, students must complete 30 credits, including a six-credit thesis. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better. Those who do not meet this GPA requirement must take written exams in courses they passed with less than a B.

Applicants should submit competitive GRE scores and undergraduate transcripts proving a GPA of 3.0 or better. Candidates who graduated from UT Arlington with a degree related to civil engineering and a GPA of 3.0 or better may waive GRE score requirements. Candidates unable to meet all admission requirements may receive permission to enter the program on probationary status. Probationary students must earn grades of B or higher in three classes to earn full admission to the program.

14

University of Louisville 

Louisville, KY

About this school

The online civil engineering master’s degree at UofL is designed specifically for candidates with undergraduate backgrounds in civil engineering. This program allows students to focus on advanced civil engineering topics and gain experience working with the specialized software packages used in professional roles. Major core courses cover topics such as timber design, traffic control, hydrology, masonry, and airport planning. Students complete 12 credits of electives that allow them to explore topics outside their main areas of focus.

The UofL master of science in civil engineering requires students to earn 30 credits. Distance learners can complete the degree in as few as three semesters of intensive full-time study. All students work with dedicated faculty advisors to design courses of study that match their learning objectives. Online classes usually follow synchronous formats with real-time interaction with professors. Many online classes allow accelerated study, helping students complete coursework as quickly as possible. Online students can access valuable library resources including academic databases, library collections, and expert research assistance.

This program only accepts candidates with undergraduate degrees in civil engineering. Applicants must submit college transcripts and GRE scores. Transfer students may bring up to six credits from equivalent programs at other regionally accredited institutions.

15

Mississippi State University 

Starkville, MS

About this school

MSU’s master of civil engineering online degree emphasizes the importance of research. The university operates specialized laboratories that allow candidates to gain research experience in structural, hydrological, and geotechnical engineering. Major courses cover topics in construction, water resources, structures, and transportation. Students may select a thesis or non-thesis option.

Thesis students complete 24 credits through coursework, then write and defend thesis papers on specialized civil engineering topics. Non-thesis candidates complete 33 credits entirely through classes. Students may take up to eight years to complete their studies, making this degree suitable for busy working professionals. All students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better to graduate.All classes are asynchronous.

Prospective students must submit undergraduate transcripts proving a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Candidates who do not hold an accredited engineering degree must also supply GRE scores. The university may accept students who do not meet full admission requirements on a probationary basis. However, probationary students must take undergraduate courses to make up academic deficiencies. The program allows transfer students to apply a maximum of nine credits from equivalent civil engineering graduate programs at other regionally accredited institutions.

16

Norwich University 

Northfield, VT

About this school

The online master’s degree in civil engineering at Norwich focuses on infrastructure and the built environment. Learners choose a concentration in structural, environmental, geotechnical, or construction engineering. All students take a foundational course in engineering mathematics and complete remaining credits in their concentration. At the end of the program, distance learners design and implement capstone projects. They then create portfolios, shared during the one-week residency on campus.

Norwich caps classes at 15 students, ensuring each student receives individual attention from instructors. Online courses are structured in an asynchronous format. Graduating students must attend a one-week on-campus session in order to present portfolios. The program consists of 36 credits and students can complete the degree in as few as 18 months. The school provides academic advising, career counseling, and resume services.

Applicants submit undergraduate transcripts, resumes, and letters of recommendation from professional or academic contacts. Candidates also supply letters of intent describing their individual learning goals and how the program can help them. This program allows transfer students to apply up to 12 credits from graduate-level civil engineering programs at other regionally accredited institutions.

17

The University of Texas at Tyler 

Tyler, TX

About this school

UT Tyler’s online master’s degree in civil engineering is a flexible program that allows students to decide how and what they prefer to learn. All students gain the skills and knowledge they need to assume leadership roles in academic, governmental, or corporate civil engineering settings. Students choose one of three tracks: research, practice, or technical and management development.

The research option requires candidates to earn 30 total credits. Students prepare and defend research-based thesis papers for the final six credits. This track is ideal for those who wish to go into civil engineering academic research careers. Candidates work closely with faculty research committees.

The professional practice track, which also requires 30 total credits, allows students to earn 27 credits through classwork. Students then complete capstone practicums to gain hands-on experience designing and documenting civil engineering projects. Students in this track must also pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam developed by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.

The third option, technical and management development, allows students to earn 36 credits through classes. Students in this path must take classes related to business management as well as civil engineering.

Applicants with an undergraduate degree in civil engineering must submit college transcripts and GRE scores. Candidates who do not hold a civil engineering degree may take undergraduate courses at UT Tyler to make up for academic deficiencies before gaining full admission to the program.

18

Ohio University-Main Campus 

Athens, OH

About this school

The online civil engineering master’s degree at Ohio University teaches students the skills they need to design, develop, and test civil engineering projects. Students learn to combine engineering fundamentals with emerging technologies to solve civil engineering challenges. Online students take foundational classes such as engineering statistics, engineering writing, project management, and construction planning and scheduling. Students then choose to focus on construction management, environmental engineering, structures, or transportation engineering.

The master of science in civil engineering degree at Ohio University requires students to earn 32 credits. Distance learners can earn this degree in as few as five semesters. Construction students complete coursework in estimating and equipment, pavement design, and contracts and law. Students in the environmental engineering track learn about hydrology, chemical transportation, and environmental analysis. The structural engineering track teaches skills related to designing buildings with timber, concrete, and steel. The transportation focus investigates issues related to pavement design and highway safety.

This program requires applicants to hold an accredited undergraduate civil engineering degree and a GPA of 3.0 or better. The program does not require candidates to provide GRE scores. Ohio University assesses each applicant individually. Prospective students who do not meet admission requirements may contact the university’s admissions staff to discuss alternative options for gaining entry to this civil engineering program.

19

Lawrence Technological University 

Southfield , MI

About this school

Located in Southfield, Michigan, LTU offers an online master’s in civil engineering program that focuses on structural engineering. The degree emphasizes business management as well as civil engineering skills. Students can choose a thesis or non-thesis track. Major courses cover structural engineering topics such as foundation design, construction, timber, masonry, concrete, steel, and bridge design. The program maintains relationships with engineering businesses in the area, allowing students to collaborate with working civil engineering professionals.

Courses are structured in an asynchronous format. Small class sizes ensure that each student receives individual attention from instructors. Distance learners can earn this degree in two years.The thesis option requires students to earn 24 credits through coursework, then research, write, and defend a thesis paper on a specific topic in the civil engineering field. The non-thesis option requires 33 credits of coursework.

Prospective students must submit college transcripts and three letters of recommendation from professional or academic references. Applicants with an accredited undergraduate degree in civil engineering or a closely related field must hold a GPA of 3.0 or better. Candidates with undergraduate degrees in other subjects may gain provisional admission as long as they complete undergraduate civil engineering courses at LTU.

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Choosing an Online Civil Engineering Degree Program

Students who pursue a civil engineering online bachelor’s degree can expect to learn how to design, build, and oversee infrastructure projects. Colleges and universities set their own degree requirements, including core classes and topics. Some programs require thesis projects and internships. Students take basic science classes, participate in engineering data analysis courses, and learn about topics such as fluid mechanics and types of civil engineering materials. These courses give you the foundational knowledge of how to effectively design a city’s important aspects. You should also gain experience on the job by seeking internship opportunities.

You can also advance your learning by choosing a concentration or subfield. During the first few weeks of your studies, try to pinpoint 1–2 favorite topics. Then, take elective classes that further your education about these topics. For example, decide whether you prefer learning about structural engineering (the construction of nonbuilding structures such as bridges or dams) or construction engineering (the building of residential or commercial buildings). You might also discover you love one aspect in of civil engineering, such as drafting or surveying. Specializing in one area makes you a favorable job candidate.

What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering Program?

Surveying Course
Although this class varies by program, students typically learn the basics of surveying, including best practices for horizontal, vertical, and angular measurements. This course also teaches students how to read building, highway, and bridge plans. Another common topic is the theory of errors, the idea that no matter how carefully surveyors measure, some degree of error always exists.
Geographical Information System (GIS) Course
In this class, students learn how to use, collect, and analyze spatial data. GIS courses also cover related technologies and how to apply them to civil engineering projects. This course shows learners how to visually represent spatial data in the form of maps or graphs.
Civil Engineering Materials Course
This course reviews the origin and properties of civil engineering materials including cement, wood, concrete, and aggregates. Other topics include which material works best for which structures, the mechanics of how well each material performs, and each material’s general nature.

Online Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering Careers

With a civil engineering online bachelor’s degree, you open the door to many career paths and fields. In fact, graduates often work in industries that do not relate directly to civil engineering, such as urban design or construction. Below you can learn more about different careers you can pursue with an online civil engineering degree and the pay potential for each.

Civil Engineer
These professionals collaborate with specialists on infrastructure projects and systems. Some civil engineers work in the private sector but most work in the public sector. They supervise the maintenance and construction of bridges, dams, airports, roads, and buildings. Creating and improving water and sewage systems remains another important job responsibility.
  • Median Annual Salary: $84,770
  • Projected Growth Rate: 11%
Construction Manager
These individuals oversee construction projects from the initial planning phase to the building phase. This job requires excellent interpersonal and budgeting skills in addition to basic civil engineering knowledge. This position sometimes calls for working in harsh outdoor conditions, but the pay makes it well worth the discomfort.
  • Median Annual Salary: $91,370
  • Projected Growth Rate: 11%
Urban/Regional Planner
As the world's population continues to grow, urban and regional planners remain hard at work developing plans for creating new communities and revitalizing cities and towns. These professionals work with public officials and developers to create plans for land use.
  • Median Annual Salary: $71,490
  • Projected Growth Rate: 13%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Paths for Online Civil Engineering Bachelor’s Programs

While a bachelor’s in civil engineering online degree can certainly help you start your career, a master’s degree can accelerate your professional journey to the top. Often, gaining enough knowledge through on–the–job experience for high–paying top–level positions takes years. In addition, many of these positions require a master’s degree. A master’s degree in civil engineering opens new doors and can help you better serve the community through more advanced planning and building. Look at some of the common programs you can pursue after earning a bachelor’s in civil engineering degree online.

Master’s of Civil Engineering
For those who want to dig deeper into a variety of civil engineering topics, a master’s in civil engineering serves as a great option. If you already possess an online civil engineering degree, consider pursuing a more specialized type of master’s degree.
Master’s of Surveying
A master’s of surveying covers everything from calculus to the legal aspects of surveying. Through this program, you gain a better grasp on how to use surveying instruments and applied physics.
Master’s of Urban Design
Through this program, students learn the elements of architectural landscape design. Professionals who earn this degree typically work in the public sector and help with establishing new neighborhoods or revitalizing older ones.

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