The 5 Best Master’s in Civil Engineering Online

Updated October 22, 2021 | BestCollegeReviews.org Staff

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Jobs in civil engineering are on the rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of civil engineers is expected to grow by 11% between 2016 and 2026. New hires will need to be qualified, though. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that employers are increasingly looking for applicants with graduate credentials. In this ranking, we identify the top online master's in civil engineering programs in the United States. For more general information regarding online learning visit our ranking of the top online colleges.

Rating and Ranking Methodology
Tuition Points:

  • Under $45,000—1 point
  • Under $40,000—2 points
  • Under $35,000—3 points
  • Under $30,000—4 points
  • Under $25,000—5 points
  • Under $20,000—6 points
  • Under $15,000—7 points
  • Under $10,000—8 points

US News and World Report Recognition as a Top Online School for Master’s Engineering Programs

  • Top 5—5 points
  • Top 10— 4 points
  • Top 25 —3 points
  • Top 50 —2 points
  • Top 75 —1 point

Customization Options
• Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, Accelerated, Degree Completion, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
• Content Customizations (e.g. Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option (5-point cap)

Wow Factor
• 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us

Ranking the Top Online Master's Programs in Civil Engineering 

To develop this ranking of the 5 top master's degrees in civil engineering online programs, our editors began with an initial pool of 41 schools. To narrow this pool, we considered both affordability and the school's position in US News & World Report's ranking of top graduate engineering programs. Tuition information was taken from College Navigator. After applying the rating and ranking methodology above, we listed the top 25 civil engineering master's degrees online. In cases where two or more schools received the same number of points, we awarded the more affordable program the higher ranking.

Featured Online Schools

#1 –Texas Tech University

Online Master of Science in Civil Engineering

Website

Points: 14

Our pick for the best of the best online MS programs in civil engineering, Texas Tech University’s online MSC emphasizes structural engineering and construction engineering, but it leaves room for students to explore other subfields as they progress through the program. Students are also given different options for their culminating experience. They may either take the traditional research and thesis route, or they may choose the nonthesis route that ends in either a report or a comprehensive exam. Regardless of which option they pick, online master’s in civil engineering students complete a total of 30 credit hours to earn their degree. Texas Tech’s offering is also one of the most affordable online MS in civil engineering programs.

In-State Tuition: $5,724

#2 –North Carolina State University

Online Master of Civil Engineering

Website

Points: 14

North Carolina State University’s online master’s in civil engineering degree program is intended for students with an undergraduate degree in engineering, preferably civil engineering. The program doesn’t require any visits to campus or the completion of a thesis. Course content for the online classes is identical to what traditional-format students receive, and lectures are recorded and available for students to access at any time. Onlinecivil engineeringmaster’s students are required to complete their degree in six years, but many students are able to finish in half that time.

In-State Tuition: $8,492

#3 –Missouri University of Science and Technology

Online Master of Civil Engineering

Website

Points: 13

Missouri University of Science and Technology offers an online MSC civil engineering program featuring five specialization areas: environmental engineering, structural engineering, construction engineering, geotechnical engineering, and water resources engineering. All specializations include 30 credit hours of coursework and do not require a thesis. Most coursework is asynchronous, but some instructors may require students to log on at certain times for activities such as live discussions. The program can be completed in just three or four years by taking a couple courses at a time, but students are given up to six years to earn their civil engineering master’s degrees online.

In-State Tuition: $9,854

#4 –Mississippi State University

Online Master of Science in Civil Engineering

Website

Points: 12

Mississippi State University offers its online master’s in civil engineering degree program completely online, so students are not required to make any visits to campus. Course delivery is primarily asynchronous, with students watching recorded lectures and completing assignments at their own pace within set deadlines. The curriculum covers a wide range of subfields, such as construction materials, environmental engineering, and water resources, so students are able to pick from several different specialization options. Both a thesis and a non-thesis option are available to online master’s in civil engineering students.

In-State Tuition: $8,208

#5 –Colorado State University

Online Master of Civil Engineering

Website

Points: 12

Colorado State University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers both its ME and its MS degrees online. Both of these civil engineering masters degrees online are focused on water resources engineering and include courses such as Irrigation Systems Design, Urban Stormwater Management, and Physical Hydrology. The ME program is a coursework-only program that requires no thesis, project paper, final exam, or visits to campus. The MS program requires an engineering report and oral examination, which students may be required to come to campus in order to complete.

In-State Tuition: $9,000

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