Top Civil Engineering Masters Programs: List of Schools

Aug 14, 2018

Check out which highly ranked schools offer graduate programs in civil engineering. See what makes these schools stand out, and get details about master's degree program options so that you can decide if one of these programs is right for you.

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  • 0:00 School Information
  • 0:37 University of Illinois
  • 1:22 Purdue University
  • 2:11 Pennsylvania State University
  • 2:44 Additional Schools

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School Information

Engineering students looking to expand their knowledge in civil engineering have many schools they can choose from. Specializations, research, and a thesis are often included in graduate-level programs. Master's degree programs in civil engineering allow students to further their engineering education through hands-on research and traditional classroom instruction.

Today we'll look at three of the top graduate schools in the country. All three offer civil engineering programs with several areas of concentration and are well-regarded by U.S. News & World Report.

University of Illinois

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign houses an engineering college that tied for 2nd on U.S. News & World Report's 2016 list of the best civil engineering graduate programs. U of I offers master's degrees in civil engineering, environmental engineering in civil engineering, or environmental science in civil engineering. Master's students have the option of whether or not to complete a thesis, and if a thesis is submitted, 32 credit hours are needed for graduation. Without a thesis, 36 credit hours are required. Degrees are also available in 10 specialized programs and may be formatted to fit a student's specific needs. Specialties include societal risk management, structural engineering, and geotechnical engineering.

Purdue University

Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, enrolls more than 300 students in its civil engineering master's and doctoral degree programs. Inside the School of Engineering, graduate students can choose from specialty programs that include architectural, environmental, geomatics, geotechnical, hydraulic and hydrologic, materials, structural and transportation engineering. Each of the nine programs of study has a specially designed curriculum specific to the content needed in that field. Every student also has access to unique laboratory facilities to ensure that graduate students are receiving hands-on experience along with their classroom education.

Purdue's graduate program landed among the top six in the country on U.S. News & World Report's 2016 civil engineering list.

Pennsylvania State University

At Pennsylvania State University, almost 125 students were enrolled in the graduate civil and environmental engineering program as of 2015. Penn State offers a Master of Engineering, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy. Specialization areas include environmental engineering, structural engineering and mechanics, transportation engineering, geotechnical and materials engineering, and water resources engineering.

Penn State tied for #14 among top public schools on U.S. News & World Report's 2016 list.

Additional Schools

The following schools also ranked high among civil engineering graduate schools:

School Name Location Distinction
University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA Has consistently ranked among the top 2 for the last 14 years on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best graduate civil engineering programs
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI Ranked #8 in the nation on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best graduate civil engineering programs for 2016
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN Offers students access to research facilities such as the Civil Engineering Building, the Multi-Axial Subassemblage Testing System, and the St. Anthony's Falls Laboratory (which focuses on water engineering)
University of Texas Austin, TX Tied for 2nd place along with the University of Illinois on U.S. News & World Report's 2016 list of schools with the best graduate civil engineering programs
University of Washington - Seattle Seattle, WA Offers a fully online graduate program in civil engineering for working professionals
University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI College of Engineering has had over 100 patent disclosures for the past 15 years
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA The graduate civil engineering program has more than 50 full-time faculty members and is one of the largest programs in the country.

The University of Illinois, Purdue University, and Penn State are three of the best civil engineering graduate programs in the nation. Other schools across the country offer excellent programs with a variety of concentrations.

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