Why This Matters


    A master’s in civil engineering can prepare you for a variety of job opportunities, including structural engineer, transportation analyst, surveyor, water resources engineer, and more.


    The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 6 percent job growth in civil engineering, as fast as the average for all occupations, thanks to a focus on renewable energy and repairing infrastructure.


    The average annual salary for a civil engineer is $86,640. By comparison, civil engineer technicians, which is an associate’s-level entry job, earn an average of $52,580 per year.

Our Research

For this list, we focused on master’s degrees in civil engineering. The most common types of graduate degrees offered in civil engineering are a Master of Science (MS) and a Master of Engineering (MEng).

Another criteria for this list was that coursework is offered completely or primarily online, so that students have access to these programs regardless of their schedules or geographic locations.

As an additional measure of quality, we only included schools that are regionally accredited. This confirms that they meet high standards for postsecondary education. Many of these programs also have programmatic accreditation through ABET, an engineering and technology program accrediting body.

Once we narrowed our list of programs, we reviewed each of them on the basis of outcomes, reputation, faculty, flexibility, and cost. We then calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 73 hours to write this article
  • 181 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 402 education programs we compared

The Top 32 Online Master’s in Civil Engineering

Best Online Master's in Civil Engineering Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

Civil engineering is a bachelor’s-level entry field, meaning most entry-level jobs can be obtained with a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree may be required for licensure and advancement to senior-level positions.

All states in the U.S. regulate professional engineers through licensure requirements. In order to obtain licensure, civil engineers must graduate from an ABET-accredited program, complete four years of supervised experience with a licensed PE, and pass two exams. There are also continuing education requirements for maintaining licensure.

If you are looking to advance into management roles, another degree path that you may want to consider is a Master of Business Administration (MBA), which trains students in advanced business and leadership skills. Many companies seek MBAs for the management expertise they bring with them.

Regardless of the type of program you choose, be sure to check if there are any in-person requirements. Even if the program delivers all of the coursework online, it may require on-campus attendance for orientations, exams, or residencies. The program may also have in-person experiential learning requirements such as internships. You will want to confirm that you can accommodate in-person requirements or campus visits in your schedule and budget before enrolling.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Civil Engineering programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Most master’s in civil engineering programs seek applicants who have an educational or professional background in the field. Students must have foundational knowledge in civil engineering in order to handle the advanced study of a graduate level program. Be sure to review a program’s eligibility requirements before applying to confirm that you meet their qualifications for admission.
  • Does this program offer the specialization that I want? There are many options for specialization within civil engineering, including structural engineering, water resources engineering, environmental engineering, and more. If you know you want to pursue a focus in a particular area, be sure to select a program that will give you the opportunity to do so.

Other steps you can take right now include collecting application materials, planning out your application submissions, and researching funding options. Institutional financial aid includes scholarships and assistantships. You may also want to apply for student loans. If you are currently working, find out if your employer offers any tuition assistance benefits.