Transportation Engineering Graduate Degree Program Information

Oct 10, 2019

Essential Information

Students enrolled in a transportation graduate degree program learn how to design effective highways, engineer traffic in cities, collect and analyze traffic data, and develop and implement transportation systems, such as bus and train routes. Most universities require that students complete a thesis project or research paper. Graduates can go on to careers as transportation engineers and planners in public and private markets.

Master's Degree in Transportation Engineering

A bachelor's degree is the most basic prerequisite for gaining admittance into a graduate program related to transportation engineering. Several undergraduate majors apply, including civil engineering, mechanical engineering, architecture, business administration, logistics and more. Students should typically have a high school grade point average of at least 3.0 and acceptable GRE scores before applying. Courses in a graduate degree program in transportation combine elements of engineering, regional planning and logistical operations, and programs typically last two years. Common coursework includes:

  • Highway design
  • Traffic engineering
  • Traffic operations and maintenance
  • Transportation data analysis
  • Transportation infrastructure and management
  • Land use

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Transportation engineers often fall into the category of civil engineers, who held 326,800 jobs in the United States in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projected that the growth rate for civil engineering employment will reach 6% from 2018 to 2028, which is as fast as the average compared to other job sectors. According to BLS data from May 2018, civil engineers earned a median salary of about $86,640 per year (

Master's programs in transportation engineering cover topics like traffic operations and maintenance and highway design. These programs, which last about two years, develop expertise and prepare students to become professional transportation engineers.

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