Civil engineering is considered the oldest engineering discipline, and is arguably one of the most important engineering disciplines, critical for society as a whole, for operations, for scaling for new growth and change.
The profession is always in demand, especially in a country the size of the United States, and thus getting a civil engineering degree can provide a great return on investment (ROI) post-graduation.
As advanced education in the discipline and related areas is important for managing more complex project requirements, the best civil engineering schools provide breadth of experience as well as choices, including concentrations, minors, certificates, or alternate engineering courses. This allows students to supplement civil engineering courses with other engineering knowledge, should they desire.
Being able to earn a civil engineering degree online provides even more flexibility, allowing those who hold down a job or have other life obligations to have some flexibility of academic schedule. This is true whether a potential student is seeking a bachelor’s or an advanced degree.
This ranking/ review list covers colleges offering any level of online civil engineering degree program, from bachelor’s to doctoral level, that meets the criteria we applied. The ranking is based on a combination of factors, including:
- # of options for online civil engineering program, including concentrations as well as degree study levels (e.g., bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate).
- The relative difference of in-state grad tuition (program total as most recently reported in NCES).
- The relative % or # of grads taking some or all distance/ online courses at the institution, for any subject.
- Whether online CivEng options are fully online or hybrid/ partial program
- Institutional factor: undergrad graduation rate >= 50%
- Total # of all engineering degree options offered, including concentrations and study levels.
- Allows for schedule flexibility (asynchronous or asynchronous online courses)
These factors measure options for students, institutional commitment to online education, and student interest in such, amongst other measures. The result is a unique ranking that may leave out some well-known engineering schools due to not satisfying two or more factors, but consistently clusters and sub-ranks similar offerings.
A degree in civil engineering can lead to wide array of careers, partly depending on both experience and level of college studies. This includes careers as or work in:
- Civil Engineer
- Contract Administration
- Environmental Regulation
- Environmental and Water Resources Engineering
- Geotechnical Engineering
- Infrastructure Engineering
- Project Control Specialist
- Project Management
- Site Development
- Structural Engineering/ Structural Mechanics and Materials
- Transportation Engineering
- Urban and Regional Planning
- Wastewater Engineering
and more. Many of these are high-demand jobs or job niches in the USA, in both public and private sectors.
With that, here is OCP’s list of the top civil engineering schools that offer online degrees in this and closely-related topics. Note that that all tuition rates are for in-state/ resident students unless explicitly stated.
Kansas State University (K-State) offers an online Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE). This is in particular designed for “working professionals” having a bachelor’s in CE. No campus presence is required until the end of the program, at which time students participate in an oral examination. For completion, 30 graduate credits are required.
K-State (est. 1863) is a public university based in Manhattan, Kansas, offering degrees (associate’s to doctorate), and undergrad and graduate certificate programs. The College of Engineering (CoE) offers some online undergrad courses in engineering though not full bachelor’s degrees. In total, the CoE offers nine master’s degrees in various engineering disciplines (Chemical, Civil, Electrical and Computer, Industrial, Mechanical, Nuclear, Software Engineering, Engineering Management), two grad certificates, and an undergrad minor. Some of these engineering programs, besides Civil Engineering, may have online education options. An Operations Research master’s degree (not strictly engineering, but geared towards the general discipline) is also available.
K-State notable people include: Milton Eisenhower (brother of former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, and one-time president of K-State); actress Kirstie Alley; comedian Eddie Griffin; actor Gordon Jump; Steve Pepoon (The Simpsons writer/ producer); former White House photographer Pete Souza; record producer Jerry Wexler; E-Trade founder William Porter; Earl Woods (father of pro golfer Tiger Woods, and former baseball player) and numerous other athletes; activist Erin Brockovich.
Tuition: $863.90/credit hour. Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at Kansas State University.
Old Dominion University (ODU) is one of only two colleges/ universities in the country that has an online bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering.The other is University of North Dakota (UND), which did not make this list due to not meeting some of the other ranking criteria. ODU’s bachelor is a BS Civil Engineering Technology (BSET), an upper-division online completion program (final two years) with three concentrations (Construction Management, Structural Design, Site Development). Students seeking an online minor in CE may be interested in the online Civil Engineering Technology – Construction option. ODU also offers an online Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) – Coastal Engineering Focus (with an online certificate for the focus area also available to non-degree students).
ODU (est. 1930) is a public university based in Norfolk, Virginia. It’s academic offering includes bachelor’s to doctorate degrees, and graduate certificates. Overall, the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology offers over three dozen engineering degree options at bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels, collectively (some programs available online). Bachelor’s engineering programs — which are accredited by ABET (either by the Engineering Accreditation Commission or the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission) — are have both Engineering and Engineering Technology options. Master’s disciplines (Aerospace, Biomedical, Civil, Electrical and Computer, Engineering Management, Environmental, Mechanical, Systems) may have both Master of Science and Master of Engineering tracks. Doctorate engineering programs may be available in PhD and DEng (Doctorate of Engineering) tracks. Some of the engineering programs are included in Victory Media’s designation of ODU as a Military Friendly Schools Gold.
ODU’s notable alumni includes TV hosts, astronauts, athletes, filmmakers, entertainers, business executives, historians, inventors, politicians and states-persons, military personnel, musicians/ music producers, poets, and more. Some alumni include: Michael Bloomfield (astronaut on Space Shuttle and ISS, Engineering Management master’s graduate); Maya Angelou (writer/ poet/ civil rights activist — spoke at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration); Ben Bailey (Cash Cab TV show host); directors Derrick Borte and Tom DiCillo; actor/ comedian Sherman Edwards; sportscaster/ anchor Jay Harris; MLB pitchers Daniel Hudson and Justin Verlander; actress Deborah Shelton (Dallas, Fantasy Island, A-Team, Cheers, Nip/Tuck); UFC martial artist Brandon Vera; NBA player Kent Bazemore.
BS tuition: $360/credit hour (in-state); MS: $551/credit hour (in-state). Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at Old Dominion University.
University of Florida (UF) offers an online/ distance Master’s in Civil Engineering (CE) through their EDGE program, which provides course content as streaming video (amongst other options), available through the Canvas e-learning system. Students take 10 courses and can complete the program within two years or longer, with no minimum courses required per semester. Credit total is at least 30 credit hours. There is a choice between a Master of Science (MS) and a Master of Engineering (ME) — see site for differences. (Online concentrations may be available.) A bachelor’s (BS) and a doctorate (PhD) in Civil Engineering is available, though only as traditional on-campus programs.
UF (est. 1853) is a public university based in Gainesville, Florida, and part of the State University System of Florida. It offers associate through doctorate degrees, and both undergrad and graduate certificate programs. The Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering — a top-10-ranked engineering college nationally and #1 in Florida (U.S. News & World Report – USNWR) — offers engineering programs in 13 disciplines: Aerospace Engineering; Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Biomedical Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering (COE); Computer Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Environmental Engineering Sciences; Industrial and Systems Engineering; Materials Science and Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Nuclear Engineering Sciences. A Bachelor of Science (BS) is available in all of these except COE, and Nuclear Eng has two BS options, for a total of 13 BS Eng programs. All 13 disciplines have MS and ME options, and a PhD option (total of 26 Master’s Eng, 13 PhD Eng). The college also ranked #16 in the 2018 edition of USNWR’s Online Public Engineering Graduate Education report, and is #5 and #6 nationally for the most engineering PhDs awarded to Hispanic and African American students, respectively. The university has additional rankings from the likes of Forbes (#4 Best Value Colleges 2017), Washington Monthly, and Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).
In addition to Nobel-, Fields- and Pulitzer-winning faculty, UF has many notable alumni. A few include: actress Faye Dunaway; nine astronauts including Kevin Ford; expert on sex and sexuality, Shere Hite; Alzheimer’s researcher Fred Gage; Web experience designer Jesse James Garrett; IBM PC development leader Philip Don Estridge; and dozens more accomplished alumni. In the field of politics and government, alumni make up eight ambassadors, nearly a dozen senators, nearly a dozen senators, over 3-dozen U.S. Representatives.
Grad tuition: $690 plus fees (in-state). Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at University of Florida.
Southern Methodist University (SMU) offers an online Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCivE), consisting of 10 courses and 30 credit hours. No on-campus presence nor thesis is required (but a thesis option is available), and students can select one of two areas of emphasis: Structural Engineering; Transportation Systems Management. A dual degree option with an MBA (44 extra credits) is available, though the latter is mostly on-campus. A Bachelor of Science (BS) and a PhD in CivE are available, though only through traditional on-campus delivery.
SMU (est. 1911) is a private nonprofit based in Dallas, Texas, and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Degree programs available range from bachelor’s to doctorate, with some post-bachelor’s and post-master’s certificate programs. The Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering offers undergrad and graduate degrees in five study areas: Computer Science and Engineering (CSE); Electrical Engineering (EE); Engineering Management, Information, and Systems (EMIS); Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE); Mechanical Engineering (ME); Multidisciplinary Studies (ENGR). Each study area may have more than one degree program at each level. For example, several grad study areas offer one or more MS tracks, and at least a PhD, and select DE (Doctor of Engineering) tracks. Ambitious students may be interested in some of the dual degree programs (MS + MBA). The university ranks high (state and national) in college reports published by the likes of Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Academic Ranking of World Universities and others, including for Graduate Programs.
SMU notable alumni include politicians/ states-persons, business execs/ entrepreneurs, lawyers and judges, scientists, entertainers, filmmakers, writers, athletes, military personnel and more. Examples include billionaire Texan Gerald J. Ford, billionaire Robert Rowling, record label founder Art Greenhaw, AFL and MLS sports leagues founder Lamar Hunt, Peoplesoft co-founder Kenneth Morris, Tyson Foods Chairman John Tyson (grandson of founder), Tinder dating app co-founder Whitney Wolfe.
Tuition: $1,350/credit hour plus applicable fees. Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at Southern Methodist University.
Columbia University in the City of New York (Columbia) offers an online Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE): Construction Engineering and Management (CEM), an MS in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics (CE/EM), with 13 areas of concentration or combinations. Two online grad certificate programs are offered – a general CE and a CE – CEM. Concentrations for the MS CE/EM: Acoustics; Computational Mechanics; Construction Engineering; Continuum Mechanics; Earthquake Engineering; Experimental Mechanics; Finite Element Methods; Fluid Mechanics; Hydrogeology; Reliability and Random Processes; Soil Mechanics; Structures; Vibrations and Dynamics. Both MS degrees are fully online and require 30 credits. The two certificate programs are 12 credits (same tuition and fees), fully online, and do not require a GRE score.
Columbia (est. 1754) is a private nonprofit based in New York, New York, and one of the oldest institutions in this ranking, and in the state, and counts itself amongst the prestigious Ivy League. If offers degrees (bachelor’s to doctorate) and certificate programs (post-bach, post-master’s). The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science offers engineering degrees through the following nine departments: Biomedical Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics; Earth and Environmental Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Industrial Engineering and Operations Research; Mechanical Engineering; Computer Engineering Program; Materials Science and Engineering. The majority of the engineering disciplines with master’s degrees have an online option, and the same is true for PhD programs. U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) ranked the school in the 2018 edition of their Best Online Programs list (both Grad Engineering and Veterans Grad Engineering). The school has appeared the Online Grad Engineering list in past years as well. Columbia itself has a long list of rankings earned, from publications/ organizations that include Forbes, Washington Monthly, Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and others.
Columbia has a very long list of notable alumni, including: several former U.S. Presidents (Barack Obama, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt), court justices (John Jay, Ruth Bader Ginsburg), secretaries of state (Madeleine Albright), entrepreneurs (Herman Hollerith – IBM co-founder), billionaires/ investors (Warren Buffet, Robert Kraft), artists (Georgia O’Keeffe), athletes (Lou Gehrig), congresspersons (Shirley Chisholm), composers (Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, both of the duo Rodgers and Hammerstein), writer/authors (Beat Generation founder Allen Ginsburg) and many more.
Tuition cost is $2,196/credit hour plus $395 in fees per course, plus other fees. Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at Columbia University in the City of New York.
Clarkson University offers online Master of Science (MS), Master of Engineering (ME) and PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE). Each has “online, hybrid, onsite” options. The MS requires a thesis and takes 18-24 months. The ME has an optional concentration in Construction Engineering Management, requires 30 credits (including project). The PhD requires a thesis and a total of 90 credits (breakdown: 39 for coursework, six for seminar, 45 for thesis and other work).
Clarkson (est. 1896) is a private nonprofit based in Potsdam, New York, offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree programs. The Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering has 10 undergrad engineering programs (including interdisciplinary University Studies major), plus some minors), plus grad programs in the following disciplines: Power Engineering (ME-EE); Mechanical Engineering (MS, ME, PhD); Environmental Science and Engineering (MS, PhD); Engineering Science (MS, PhD); Engineering and Management Systems (MS); Electrical Engineering (MS, ME); Civil and Environmental Engineering (MS, ME, PhD) and optional Construction Engineering Management (CEM) concentration; Chemical Engineering (MS, ME, PhD); Materials Science and Engineering (PhD); Electrical and Computer Engineering (PhD), plus a CEM certificate program. (Note: the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET accredits the college’s undergraduate engineering programs.) USA Today ranked the college in the top 10 American engineering colleges in 2015, while U.S. News & World Report also ranked its Civil and Environmental Engineering programs tops in country for 2016. The university has also received rankings from publishers/ organizations such as Washington Monthly, PayScale, Princeton Review, Bloomberg Businessweek and others.
Clarkson’s notable people include numerous athletes (particularly hockey players), mayors, musicians (Blue Oyster Cult members), actors (M. Emmet Welsh), software developers (Patrick Naughton — Java programming language co-creator), politicians and many others.
Tuition: $1,388/credit hour for most grad engineering programs, including CEE. Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at Clarkson University.
Colorado State University-Fort Collins (CSU) offers an online Master of Engineering (ME) with Civil Engineering Specialization and an online Master of Science (MS) in Civil Engineering with 10 areas of study, with “strong emphasis on water resource management.” The first requires 30 credits, while the latter requires 32 credits. Non-online CivEng programs offered include a Bachelor of Science (BSCE) and a PhD in CE. The PhD also has 10 areas of study and “is ranked 31 among such programs in the USA.” Areas of study for MS and PhD: Environmental engineering; Geoenvironmental engineering; Geotechnical engineering; Groundwater engineering; Hydraulic engineering/stream restoration/river mechanics; Hydrologic science and engineering; Irrigation and drainage; Structural engineering and structural mechanics; Water resources planning and management; Wind engineering and fluid mechanics.
CSU (est. 1870) is a public university based in Fort Collins, Colorado, and a member of the Colorado State University System. Students can choose from bachelor’s through doctorate degrees, and available post-bachelor’s certificates. The Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering offers 10 on-campus undergrad engineering majors, eight master’s engineering majors, and six Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) engineering majors — all excluding concentrations. The master’s majors are available primarily as Master’s of Engineering (ME), with a few also offering a Master of Science (MS) track. MS majors: Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Engineering Management, Mechanical, Systems. The college ranked #67 in the 2017 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools – Engineering. The PhD in Civil Engineering ranked #40 nationally. The college also ranks #21 nationally for “research expenditures per faculty member,” and its Environmental Science and Engineering programs were ranked #7 worldwide by ARWU (Academic Ranking of World Universities). CSU itself ranked #58 in USNWR’s 2018 edition of Best Colleges – Public, and earned additional ranking spots from Forbes, Washington Monthly, Princeton Review (Best 380 Colleges 2016), Fiske Guide to Colleges and other publications/ organizations.
Notable alumni or faculty of CSU include: civil engineers (Maurice Albertson, faculty, co-founded the Peace Corps); animal scientists (Temple Grandin, faculty, developed techniques to soothe livestock); actors (John Amos; Keith Carradine; Dominque Dunne; Leslie Jones; Jason Momoa – Aquaman, Game of Thrones); architects (Harlan Thomas); artists (Susan Lowdermilk); athletes (Bubba Baker, Kapri Bibbs, Brady Keys, Mark Knudson, Kim Lyons, Amy Van Dyken); astronauts (Martin Fettman, James Van Hoften); inventors (Ed Harwood); mathematicians (John Gill); neuroscientists (Mark Mattson); poets (Yusef Komunyakaa); authors; marines; politicians; and many more.
Grad tuition: $964/credit hour (in-state), plus fees. Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at Colorado State University-Fort Collins.
Iowa State University (ISU) offers two online master’s in Civil Engineering (CE). Both the Master of Science (MS) and the Master of Engineering (MEngr) are based on an Emphasis in Construction Engineering and Management (CEM) and require a minimum of 30 credits. Classes are available online through video streaming. Students preferring a coursework-only option should take the MEngr program. Students interested in coursework combined with a project should take the MS program. The master’s CEM programs, which focus on Management Techniques, Construction Operations, Construction Methods, are “recognized by The Associated General Contractors of America” (only five engineering schools have had this honor). On-campus Bachelor of Science (BS) and PhD in Civil Engineering degrees are also offered (not online). The BS program, while not online, can be combined with an MS degree through the Concurrent BS/MS Program.
ISU (est. 1858) is a public university based in Ames, Iowa, offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well various types of certificate programs. The College of Engineering offers degree programs through the following 10 departments: Aerospace Engineering; Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering; Chemical and Biological Engineering; Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering; Computer Engineering; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering; Materials Science and Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Software Engineering. Excluding concentrations, there are 12 undergrad engineering degrees, 16 master’s engineering programs (11 distance/ online), 12 PhD engineering degree programs, and nine graduate certificate programs (many online). Of these, 13 Master’s and seven PhD Engineering programs have a distance/ online study option. Several of the graduate, and some undergrad, engineering programs have ranked well in recent years in “Best Colleges” types of college review lists from the likes of U.S. News & World Report (and others). Some programs have even reached #1 or #2 nationally for specific programs, and top 50 or higher for the College. The Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering (CCEE) achieved a #16 spot nationally and #12 Publics, for USNWR’s 2017 list of top civil engineering programs with doctorates. Iowa State itself has earned rankings from publications such as Forbes, Washington Monthly and Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).
Iowa State notable alumni include: astronauts (Clayton Anderson), athletes (Mike Myers – MLB pitcher), inventors (George Washington Carver), politicians (Henry Wallace – former U.S. Vice President, Joni Ernst – Senator, Tom Harken – Senator)
and many others.
Tuition: $695/credit, plus delivery and technology fees. Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at Iowa State University.
University of Louisville (UofL) offers a 100% online Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE), which has two focus areas: Public Works Engineering, Facilities Engineering. This MSCE requires 30 credits, has thesis and non-thesis options, accepts up to six transfer credits, and can be completed in as little as 3 semesters. Additional CivEng programs (on-campus only) are a Master of Engineering (MEng) CE, a Bachelor of Science (BS) CE, and a PhD CE. The MEng can be combined with the BSCE in a 4+1 years dual degree option.
Kentucky State University System’s UofL (est. 1798) is a public university based in Louisville, Kentucky. Degree programs offered range from associate’s to doctorate level, supplemented by both undergrad and graduate certificate programs. The J.B. Speed School of Engineering offers undergrad (Bachelor of Science) and graduate (master’s, PhD) degree programs in all six disciplines of Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering. The bioengineering discipline also has a BS and Master of Engineering (MEng) options. Total tally of engineering degrees: seven BS, 14 master’s (mix of MEng and Master of Science for each), and six PhD programs. Many of the MEng degrees are taken with a BS Eng as part of a 4+1 dual degree program. All bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in engineering are accredited by ABET. The school has ranked in U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) college review lists for both Graduate Engineering Schools and specific graduate engineering programs, including Civil Engineering. KSU itself has earned rankings from Forbes, Washington Monthly and others.
UofL notable people include those in athletes, business, engineering, entertainment, politics. Some alumni include: detective novelist Sue Grafton; award-winning playwright Marsha Norman; photojournalist Larry Birkhead; chain restaurateur James Patterson (Long John Silvers, Chi-Chi’s); former Senator Chris Dodd (D); Senator Mitch McConnell (R); and numerous others.
Tuition: $737/credit hour (grad online); $250/credit hour for Active-duty service members. Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at University of Louisville.
University of South Carolina-Columbia (USC) offers two master’s and a doctorate in Civil Engineering in which most CivEng courses are available through APOGEE distance delivery (online streaming video). (Undergrad students have only the on-campus Bachelor of Science (BS) in CivEng available.) The Master of Science (MS) consists of 24 credit hours of course and six c.h. of Thesis Preparation. For the the Master of Engineering (ME) , the credit breakdown is similar, except that students complete a 6-credit Project instead of a Thesis. Study areas include but are not limited to Structural Engineering, Transportation Engineering, and Water Resources Engineering. The credit requirements for the PhD program depend on whether a student has an MS/ ME or not.
The main campus of the University of South Carolina System, USC (est. 1801), USC is a public university based in Columbia, South Carolina. It offers degrees for undergrad (bachelor’s) and graduate students (master’s, doctorate), as well as post-baccalaureate certificate programs. The College of Engineering and Computing consists of six departments and offers 12 engineering study areas. This amounts to seven Bachelor of Science, 19 master’s (Master of Engineering, Master of Science) and seven PhD programs in engineering. Study areas collectively consist of: Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Management, Entrepreneurial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Software Engineering. The college ranked #36 in a U.S. News & World Report list of top Online Graduate Engineering Education. The university has a lengthy list of topical and institutional rankings from Forbes, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Princeton Review, Washington Monthly, and Academic Ranking of World Universities.
Notable USC people include athletes (football, baseball, basketball), entertainers, business owners/ entrepreneurs, military personnel, politicians. Some alumni include: actor/ stuntman Dean Neistat; actress Amanda Baker (General Hospital); author/ novelist Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain); TV hosts Rita Cosby and Leeza Gibbons; columnist Wilson Casey; members of the band Hootie and the Blowfish; singer/ songwriter Amos Lee; NFL franchise owner Robert McNair (Houston Texans); and numerous others.
Tuition: $572.25/credit hour (in-state). Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at University of South Carolina-Columbia.
10. University of Tennessee-Knoxville
University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UTK) offers a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) with two Concentration options (Public Works, Transportation). Three additional CE concentrations ara available, albeit on-campus only.There are also Bachelor of Science (BSCE, six concentrations) and PhD CE options, though only available on-campus. Students interested in this traditional BSCE can combine it with the MS as part of a dual degree option.
UT (est. 1794) is a public university based in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the main campus of the University of Tennessee System. It offers degree programs (bachelor’s through doctorate) and post-bach certificates. The Tickle College of Engineering offers engineering and related programs across seven departments. The Bachelor of Science (BS) program covers 11 engineering majors; the Master of Science (MS) is available for 14 majors (plus a dual degree MS-MBA option); and the PhD in 14 majors. Collectively, there are engineering majors: Aerospace Engineering; Biomedical Engineering; Biosystems Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Computer Engineering; Data Science and Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Energy Science and Engineering; Engineering Science; Environmental Engineering; Industrial Engineering; Materials Science and Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Nuclear Engineering; Reliability and Maintainability Engineering. Rankings for the college include InformationWeek (Top 20 Big Data Analytics Master’s Degrees). Rankings for the university include Forbes, Washington Monthly, Princeton Review (Best Southeastern College), Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), and a long list of topical rankings, primarily from U.S. News & World Report.
As with many other institutions in this list, UT has alumni in many career areas, including: entertainment, law, military, politics, sports, writing and more. Some alumni include: former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Jr., and his father Albert Gore, Sr.; novelists Alex Haley, Cormac McCarthy, Richard Marius, Joseph Wood Krutch; actresses Dixie Carter, Melanie Hutsell and Constance Shulman; actor David Keith; singer/ songwriters Drew Holcomb and Ellie Holcomb; singers Pam Tillis (country) and Delores Ziegler (opera); personal finance TV host Dave Ramsey; NFL quarterback Peyton Manning; WCW/ WWF wrestler Kevin Nash. Country singer Dolly Parton received an Honorary Doctorate but did not attend. As well, winners of Nobel, Rhodes, Gates, Cambridge, Pulitzer and Schwarzman prize/ scholar awards are associated with UTK.
Tuition: $700/credit hour (in-state). Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
University of Washington-Seattle Campus (UW) offers a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) with two concentrations (Construction Engineering (CE), Energy Infrastructure (EI) – launching Fall 2018). The program is fully online and takes 2-3 years part-time (9-24 months full-time) for either concentration. UW claims that the CE concentration “is the only one of its kind in the country.” Additional MSCE concentrations are only available on-campus, though students can choose between thesis and non-thesis/research options for the degree in general. The MSCE requires 42 credits to complete, for either concentration. Other CivEng degrees include the Bachelor of Science (BS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), both of which are traditional on-campus only programs.
UW (est. 1861) is a public university based in Seattle, Washington, offering bachelor’s, master’s and several types of doctorate degree programs, and some post-master’s certificates. The College of Engineering (CoE) offers engineering and closely-related programs through several schools and departments, including the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering. Collectively, the CoE has: 12 ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science (BS) engineering degree programs (and some dual BS/MS options); 14 master’s (primarily Master of Science / MS; and 11 PhD engineering degrees. Collective study areas (17) are: Engineering (general); Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering; Aerospace Engineering; Applied Bioengineering; Bioengineering; Bioresource Science and Engineering (part of a Forest Resources degree); Chemical Engineering; Civil and Environmental Engineering; Computer Engineering; Computer Science and Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Environmental Engineering; Human Centered Design and Engineering; Industrial and Systems Engineering; Materials Science and Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Pharmaceutical Bioengineering. (Some of the PhD engineering programs fully fund students through stipends, tuition coverage, or other means.) U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) 2017 rankings have the CoE at #129 globally (for Engineering), #18 for Undergraduate Engineering Programs (with topical rankings from #11-#15), and #25 for Graduate Engineering Schools (with nearly a dozen topical rankings including Civil Engineering at #16). UW has additional rankings from several publications, including Washington Monthly, Academic Ranking of World Universities (#13 worldwide, #3 Publics).
UW’s notable people have earned numerous prizes (Nobel, Pulitzer) and scholarships (Fulbright, Marshall, Rhodes). The most famous alumni is arguably actor/ martial artist Bruce Lee (deceased), while others include: TV host Robert Osborne (TCM film); comedian Joel McHale; author and Pulitzer winner Marilynne Robinson; MySpace social media site cofounder Chris DeWolfe. The most notorious alumni is American serial killer Ted Bundy, who studied Psychology. Parts of the campus have appeared in nearly a dozen movies, ranking from 1965 to 2016, including the popular teen romantic comedy starring Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles.
Tuition: $622/credit hour for EI concentration (under approval) and $730/c.h. for CE concentration, plus fees for both. Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at University of Washington-Seattle Campus.
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) offers an online Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE), with three 15-credit specialty options to choose from: Construction Management; Transportation; Structural Design and Construction. The program requires completion of 30 credits, which can be earned in as little as 19 months. Alternately, you can choose one of the two 12-credit online grad certificate programs (Construction Management or Project Management), with completed credits eligible to be applied to the MSCE. NJIT also has a Bachelor of Science (BS) CE and a PhD CE, both of which are on-campus only.
NJIT (est. 1881) is a public university based in Newark, New Jersey. Degree programs offered range from bachelor’s to doctorate level, with some post-baccalaureate certificate programs also available. The Newark College of Engineering (NCE) offers engineering programs across six departments: Biomedical Engineering; Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering; Civil and Environmental Engineering; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Engineering Technology; Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. These departments collectively offer nine bachelor’s Eng degrees, 14 MS master’s degrees, and nine PhD doctorate degrees. The college appeared on U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 edition of Best Grad Schools – Engineering, with NJIT ranking #79 for America’s Best Colleges – Top Public Schools in 2014. NJIT appears on several Princeton Review rankings, including the 2018 edition of Colleges That Pay You Back (200 Schools That Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck), as well as on other ranking lists including: Payscale.com (Return on Investment – top 2% of publics in 2013); Forbes; Washington Monthly; and several others.
NJIT’s notable people are in many fields including: education, athletics, politics, business/ entrepreneurship, finance and investment, architecture, computing, military and more. Some alumni include: Turing Award winner Professor Judea Pearl; Keurig coffee-brewing systems co-founder Dick Sweeney; philanthropist/ banker/ restaurateur Arslan Nayeem; entrepreneur/ co-founder/ NJIT donor Ying Wu (NJIT’s Ying Wu College of Computing Sciences). The campus itself is notable in that it was one of several shooting locations for The Sopranos TV drama series.
Tuition: $1,311/ credit hour plus various fees (in-state). Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Norwich University (NU) offers an online Master of Civil Engineering degree with four concentrations: Construction Management, Environmental/Water Resources Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Structural Engineering. Graduation requirements include completing 36 credits, which is expected to take 18 months, on average. Classes are limited to 15 students, and delivered through the Moodle e-learning system. The program covers structural and environmental systems, as well as management issues inherent to projects. A residency week requires on-campus presence, in order to present their “portfolio of design and management projects.”
NU (est. 1819) is a private nonprofit based in Northfield, Vermont. Academic programs include bachelor’s and master’s degree options, and post-bachelor’s certificates. Norwich is the oldest senior military college of six (considered the “Birthplace of ROTC”, and designated a Military Friendly School 2018 by Victory Media. It claims the milestone of being the first private college to teach civil engineering in the United States. Civil Engineering is only offered at the Master’s level at NU, and this program was ranked #24 by US News & World Report in 2013 for online civil engineering master’s programs. This is in fact the only engineering program offered at NU.
NU has an immensely long list of notable alumni in positions of architecture, business, engineering, law, military, politics sports and more. This includes many key historical military personnel, in particular generals, major generals and brigadier generals. The latter includes Robert McDermott who was the USAF Academy’s first dean, after being appointed by then U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower. Alumni William Griffith Wilson (aka Bill W) co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous and was a Top 20 person in Time Magazine. More contemporary alumni include: hockey players Frank Simonetti (Boston Bruins); Olympic and Pan American air rifle champion Emily Caruso.
Tuition: $808/credit hour, plus applicable fees. (Students who work for one of Norwich’s business partners may be eligible for a tuition discount.) Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at Norwich University.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) offers an online Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) with four specialty options: Construction Management (CM); Infrastructure; Transportation Engineering; Structural Engineering. No thesis is required and coursework totals 36 credits. (Note: the on-campus version of the CM-track MSCEE can be combined with UIUC’s Master of Architecture program.) Alternately, a Certificate in Civil and Environmental Engineering is available, with four specialized areas of focus (12 credits each).
University of Illinois System’s highly regarded UIUC (est. 1867) is a public university based in Champaign, Illinois. In addition to bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree programs, UIUC offers post-master’s certificate programs. The College of Engineering (CoE) offers engineering degrees in the following 19 study areas: Aerospace Engineering; Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Bioengineering; Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Civil and Environmental Engineering; Computational Engineering; Computer Engineering; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Engineering Physics; Financial Engineering; Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering; Industrial Engineering; Materials Science and Engineering; Mechanical Engineering/Engineering Mechanics; Mechanical Sciences and Engineering; Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering; Railway Engineering; Systems Engineering and Design. Overall, there are 13 bachelor’s engineering degrees, 10 traditional thesis-based master’s and 10 PhD engineering degrees, and an assortment of non-thesis on-campus and/or online master’s. A selection of dual-degree options are available, to combine earning a BS and MS/ MEng programs in a shorter time period, and even an MS with a non-engineering master’s degree. Both the CoE and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) have achieved top rankings, with the CoE having over two dozen top-5 ranked degrees, and the CEE’s graduate CivEng programs ranked #2 in 2017 (#3 undergrad 2018) by US News & World Report (USNWR). Rankings for the institution include those from USNWR (America’s Best Colleges – #27 Public Universities 2018), Forbes (#7 Top 10 Best Value Schools 2016), Washington Monthly, Time magazine (#10 on 25 Best Public Colleges for Big Paychecks 2017), Academic Ranking of World Universities, etc.
Tuition: $1,110/credit hour plus administrative fees. Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Ohio University (OU) offers a 100% online Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE), with four focus choices: Construction Engineering and Management, Environmental Engineering, Structural Engineering, or Transportation Engineering. No GMAT/ GRE is required for otherwise qualified MSCE grad students, and the program can be completed in as few as five semesters. Credit requirements for graduation vary by concentration selected. While there are BS and PhD in Civil Engineering degree programs, these are not offered online.
Part of the University System of Ohio, OU (est. 1804) is a public university based in Athens, Ohio. It offers a range of certificate programs and associate’s through doctorate level degree programs. The Russ College of Engineering offers engineering degree programs at the bachelor’s (8 BS/ Bachelor of Science), master’s (6 MS/ Master of Science) and doctorate levels (4 PhD). The eight undergrad engineering topics are: Aviation; Chemical; Civil; Electrical; Energy; Engineering Technology and Management; Industrial and Systems and Mechanical. Master’s Engineering: MS Biomedical; MS Chemical; MS Civil; MS Electrical; MS Industrial and Systems; MS Mechanical. Doctorate Engineering; PhD Chemical; PhD Civil; PhD Electrical and Computer Science; PhD Mechanical and Systems Engineering. The college ranked in the 2017 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Programs for Grad Engineering. Princeton Review also ranked OU as a 2017 Best College.
OU notable alumni include Nobel Prize winners (Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan – 2009 prize in Chemistry), Pulitzer Prize winners, TV hosts (Matt Lauer, Today Show), politicians and statesmen, and more.
Tuition: $24,504. Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at Ohio University.
4. North Carolina State University at Raleigh
North Carolina State University at Raleigh (NCSU) offers an online Master of Civil Engineering (MCE) program with 5 concentrations: Construction Engineering and Management; Geotechnical; Structures and Mechanics; Transportation Systems; Water Resources. Eligible students require a bachelor’s degree in any engineering topic. No residency or thesis is required, and graduation requirements include 30 credit hours of coursework. Some students may not require a GRE score. Check with admissions for details.
NCSU (est. 1887) is a public university based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and a member of the University of North Carolina System. It has both undergrad (associate’s, bachelor’s) and graduate (master’s, doctorate) degree programs, and post-bach certificate programs. NCSU’s College of Engineering (CoE), which spent over $200M in research for budget year 2016-17, and departments in other colleges collectively offer engineering and closely-related graduate degree programs — in total 15 (excluding concentrations): MS Aerospace Engineering, MS Chemical Engineering, Master of Civil Engineering, MS Computer Engineering, MS Computer Networking, MS Electrical Engineering, MS Electric Power Systems Engineering, Master of Engineering, Master of Environmental Engineering, Master of Industrial Engineering, Master of Integrated Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Master of Materials Science and Engineering, MS Mechanical Engineering, Master of Nanoengineering, Master of Nuclear Engineering. All 15 master’s in engineering programs are available through distance/ online delivery. Additional engineering programs are an online BS Engineering program with three concentrations (general, Mechanical, Mechatronic). The CoE ranked in the top 10 nationally (#9) for Online Graduate Engineering programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. Diverse Issues in Higher Education ranked the CoE as #2 nationally for non-HBCU (Historically Black College/University) undergrad engineering schools in terms of the number of African American students earning Bachelor of Science degrees. NCSU itself earned rankings from the likes of Forbes, Washington Monthly and others.
NCSU is yet another university with an extensive list of notable alumni, from all types of careers including politics, sports, computer science, business, education, entertainment, military, etc. Arguably two of the most well-known alumni are Internet-based entertainers Rhett James McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln Neal, aka Rhett and Link, who have not one but two multi-million subscriber YouTube channels including the 13+M-subscriber channel Good Mythical Morning, with highly entertaining antics and viewer-driven challenges. Other notables include: actor Zach Galifianakis (of Vegas road-trip movie The Hangover, and the TV series Baskets); and former presidential candidate John Edwards.
Tuition: $446/credit hour (in-state). Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at North Carolina State University at Raleigh.
Missouri University of Science and Technology (MST) ranks third in this list, with five online master’s Civil Engineering (CE/ CivEng) options and a case-by-case option for an online doctorate in CivEng. The Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) study areas are: Environmental Engineering, Structural Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Water Resources Engineering, Construction Engineering. Grad CivEng courses are live-streamed over the Internet, as well as archived for later reference. Grad students will also use the learning management system and live collaboration software, to complete the online class/ education experience. Credit requirements for the MSCE is 30 credit hours, and there is no thesis. Students interested in a PhD or Doctor of Engineering are considered case by case. There are five distance grad CivEng certificate programs, none of them requiring a GRE, and completion of any with a B grade or higher can be used for applying to the MSCE also without a GRE score.
MST (est. 1870) is a public university based in Rolla, Missouri, and is part of the University of Missouri System. It offers bachelors’ to doctorate programs, as well as pre- and post-baccalaureate certificate programs. The university’s College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) offers master’s (MS or ME) degrees in engineering in thirteen topic areas overall, all of which have a distance option. Engineering topics: Aerospace, Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Engineering Management, Environmental, Explosives, Geotechnics, Manufacturing, Mechanical, Mining, Systems. CEC earned a #3 ranking by USA Today for Best Engineering College. MST itself was ranked #2 for Most Value Added Public University by Brookings Institution, and #5 for Best Return on Investment by Payscale.com.
MST has many notable alumni including entrepreneurs, educators, athletes, entertainers, politicians and government officials, military personnel, astronauts, researchers, scientists, and others. Examples include: Jack Dorsey (Twitter co-founder), John Johnson (Harvard astronomer/ exoplanet researcher), Roger Garrison (economist), Thomas Akers (astronaut), Sandra Magnus (astronaut).
Tuition: $1,200/credit hour (except Systems Engineering @ $1,200/c.h. and U.S. Military rate @ $734.94/c.h.). Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Villanova University ranks second in our list, offering both MS and PhD programs each with four areas of concentration (Geotechnical Engineering, Structural Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Water Resources and Environmental Engineering). The MS also has a fifth interdisciplinary option which allows the graduate student to combine two of the aforementioned concentrations, amounting to nine graduate level Civil Engineering (CE/ CivEng) options in total. Villanova states that the majority of courses are available online, so some students may need to attend on-campus classes. Part-time at one course per semester means a 3-year timeline for the MSCE. A BS/MS 4+1 dual degree in CivEng option is available, though the bachelor’s program is not online.
Villanova (est. 1842) is a private nonprofit institution based in Villanova, Pennsylvania, and offers degrees from associate’s to doctorate, as well as some certificate programs. The College of Engineering has a considerable breadth of engineering program options, covering a total of eight disciplines at master’s and doctorate levels (Biochemical Engineering, Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Mechanical, Sustainable, Water Resources and Environmental), five at the bachelor’s level, plus several graduate engineering certificates. Online options are available for all the non-CE graduate engineering programs as well. All of the undergrad engineering programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. CoE awards include a #35 national ranking position on U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 edition of Best Online Programs – Grad Engineering. Villanova also ranked in various lists from Bloomberg Businessweek, Financial Times, and Princeton Review.
Villanova notable alumni include: Jill Biden, former Second Lady (wife of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who served in the Obama Administration and may be a 2020 Democratic candidate); actor/ sports analyst/ former football player Howie Long; actress Maria Bello; musician/ songwriters Don McLean (American Pie), Jim Croce (Time in a Bottle) and Tim Hauser (Manhattan Transfer); Archbishop John Joseph O’Connor (New York Archdiocese); Olympian Sonia O’Sullivan; various military personnel and others.
Tuition: $1,475/ credit plus fees. Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at Villanova University.
Mississippi State University (MSU) ranks first in this list, with the most grad-level options, offering both online Master’s and Doctorate options for Civil / Environmental Engineering (CEE). Each of the MS and PhD programs has seven CE-related specializations (Construction Engineering and Management, Construction Materials Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Structural Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Water Resources Engineering) from which to choose, for a total of 14 online CEE options. This arrangement not only provides graduate students with a breadth of focus, but also the option of continuing to doctorate studies to supplement a master’s degree. Online and distance delivery of program content offers choices (including synchronous classes) based on geographic factors. (See site for details.) Credit requirements for the MSCE are 30 credit hours (c.h.) for the Thesis option and 33 c.h. for the non-Thesis option. The PhD credit requirement is a minimum 18 c.h. for courses and 20+ ch for research, but may vary if taking both MS and PhD CE.
MSU (est. 1878) is a public institution based in Mississippi State, Mississippi, and designated as a VHRA (Very High Research Activity) university by the Carnegie Foundation. The university offers degree programs from bachelor’s to doctorates, including master’s degrees in seven majors of engineering, and nearly as many PhD programs. This includes Aerospace, Civil, Computational, Electrical and Computer, Industrial and Systems, and Mechanical Engineering, with a general Master’s of Engineering. Some or all of these may have online options, and all of these are offered through the Bagley College of Engineering. The college earned a #24 ranking in U.S. News and World Report for online graduate engineering programs in 2017 (and #49 in 2018), and ranks #51 for engineering research budget spend (2017) by the NSF (National Science Foundation). MSU earned additional rankings from Forbes and Washington Monthly.
Notable people at MSU include: thriller novelist John Grisham; baseball players Rafael Palmeiro, Jonathan Papelborn, Will Clark; football player and 2016 NFL Rookie of the year Dak Prescott; basketball player Jarvis Varnado; several senators, governors and House of Representatives members, and more.
Cost: $456/c.h. excluding distance and other fees for course c.h. = $489 per credit hour. Click for more information about Civil Engineering programs at Mississippi State University.