Online Civil Engineering Diploma and Certificate Programs

Online programs in civil engineering are not common, though some options exist at the graduate level. Read on to learn about graduate certificate programs in civil engineering, which can provide training in areas like environmental engineering, wastewater management and other specialty areas.

Essential Information

Civil engineering programs are not commonly found online, however, students do have some options. Graduate-level certificate programs in specific areas of civil engineering areas can be found as fully online programs, such as those in water resources engineering, railroad engineering, pavement engineering and transportation engineering. These programs are generally for those who have already completed an engineering degree program and are looking to learn more about a specialty area. Individuals with an undergraduate degree who are looking to learn more about civil engineering could enroll in a fully online Master of Science degree program, though these programs typically take at least two years to complete.

Students seeking undergraduate certificate or diploma programs in civil engineering will have a difficult time finding a fully online program. Those interested in learning more about civil engineering drafting could consider the below options, though these programs do not prepare one to work as a civil engineer.

  • Computer-aided drafting and design certificate
  • Computer-aided drafting and design diploma

Online Civil Engineering Diplomas and Certificate Programs

There are few, if any, diploma programs in civil engineering. A diploma is generally awarded in less time than an associate degree. The diploma programs that do exist online have to do with engineering support subjects like computer-aided design; therefore, most fall into the category of civil engineering technology.

There are, however, numerous graduate certificate programs in specialized areas of civil engineering. Graduate certificate programs provide continuing education and specialization education that can enhance job prospects and improve careers.

Program Information and Requirements

Graduate certificate programs in civil engineering can vary in length, depending on the specialization. Online programs are typically designed for working professionals. Some may be part of larger master's degree programs.

Online students work at their own pace with timeline restrictions. Most programs follow a university calendar, and students are tested through assignments and exams. Applicants must hold bachelor's degrees in a related field and, in some instances, have previous experience in the field.

List of Common Graduate Certificate Programs in Civil Engineering

A wide variety of graduate certificates in civil engineering are available. A civil engineer might work in wastewater systems or in the design and construction of buildings, for instance. Specialized certificates are designed to impart knowledge of a singular aspect of the civil engineering field.

Noise Control

The amount of allowable noise produced by any system can be subject to governmental regulation. Students in this class study how to measure noise levels and how to control or reduce those levels.

Engineering and Water Resources

This certificate provides students with knowledge of water resource engineering. As part of the certificate program, students examine topics in hazardous waste, air quality and groundwater.

Resources for Biorenewable Technology

Students in this program learn about biofuels and the crop resources required to produce them. It includes information about fuel, chemistry, energy and materials.

Environmental Engineering

A civil engineer has to stay up-to-date on changing environmental factors. This certificate might include information about safe water supplies, waste disposal and air quality.

Construction Management

Many civil engineers are called to manage construction projects as they advance in their careers. This certificate provides them with knowledge in management techniques, cost estimating and resource planning.

Career Information for Graduates

Civil engineers can be licensed as professional engineers. This designation requires continuing education on a regular basis; graduate civil engineering certificates can meet these continuing education requirements. In addition, this kind of certificate can demonstrate a specialized level of engineering competency that can improve and an engineer's employment prospects or help a company earn a government contract.

Civil engineers earned an average annual salary of $81,180 in 2009 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( Employment opportunities may be tied to economic conditions and weather factors.

Continuing Education Information

Graduate certificates are one form of continuing education. Civil engineers who work in fields like environmental engineering must stay current on federal, state and local regulations. Continuing education courses can meet that need. As mentioned above, a civil engineer who has acquired the Professional Engineer status is required to have continuing education classes to maintain that status.

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