The 25 Best Master’s in Civil Engineering Programs Online for 2018

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 25 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.

#25 –Southern Methodist University

Online MS in Civil Engineering

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Points: 3
Southern Methodist University offers an MS in Civil Engineering online that includes concentrations in structural engineering and transportation systems management. Some courses are also available in other areas of study, such as geotechnical engineering and wastewater treatment, for example. Regardless of which specialization students select, they can choose between a non-thesis and a thesis option for their culminating experience. Most working students choose the non-thesis option, but a thesis option is available. Both online civil engineering MS degree programs require students to complete 30 credit hours before they can graduate.
In-State Tuition: $40,896

#24 –University of South Carolina

Online MS in Civil Engineering

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Points: 8
The online master’s in civil engineering degree program offered by the University of South Carolina covers a wide range of topics in the field. All major subfields are represented in the course offerings, including transportation, water resources, and structure. The program is intended primarily for working engineers whose full-time jobs prevent them from taking traditional classes. Lectures are recorded and provided to distance students to be accessed at whatever time best suits their schedules. This particular online master’s in civil engineering program is designed to be part-time only, so it may not be ideal for students intending to take on a heavier course load.
In-State Tuition: $12,854

#23 –University of Southern California

Online Master’s in Civil Engineering

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Points: 9
One of the more versatile online master’s programs in civil engineering, the offering from the University of Southern California includes concentrations in construction engineering and structural engineering. Both tracks can be completed entirely online, but students have the option to visit campus if they want to. The program matches its on-campus counterpart almost exactly, and it’s typical for online students to collaborate with on-campus students. Students can complete their civil engineering masters degrees online in only a year and a half, but it’s also common for students to finish it in just over three years.
In-State Tuition: $43,200

#22 –New Jersey Institute of Technology

Online MS in Civil Engineering

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Points: 9
Among the more customizable online masters programs in civil engineering, The New Jersey Institute of Technology’s option includes three specialization options: transportation, structural design and construction, and construction management. All tracks are career-oriented, and they emphasize leadership and management skills. All tracks are also designed to help students earn their Professional Engineer license. Course materials are delivered asynchronously, and students are able to interact with classmates through discussion boards and other communication tools that do not require live interaction. As an accelerated MS in civil engineering online, this degree can be completed in as few as 19 months.
In-State Tuition: $19,720

#21 –Lawrence Tech

MS in Civil Engineering Online

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Points: 9
Lawrence Tech’s online master’s in civil engineering option is an MS in Civil Engineering degree program with a focus in structural engineering. It includes courses such as Structural Masonry Design, Design of Timber Structures, and Sustainable Construction Practices. Both a 30-credit hour thesis option and a 33-credit hour coursework-only option are available. Both options are typically completed in just two years. Coursework and lectures are delivered asynchronously, so online civil engineering master’s students are able to access course materials when it is most convenient for them and work at their own pace as long as they meet weekly deadlines.
In-State Tuition: $19,638

#20 –Norwich University

Online Master’s in Civil Engineering

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Points: 9
Norwich University’s option is one of the best master’s programs in civil engineering online for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. However, all concentration tracks include fundamental courses to help students who do not quite meet the admission requirements get up to speed. Aside from the fundamental courses, the program is made up of six courses. Each course takes 11 weeks to complete, and students take only one course at a time. Most  students are able to earn their civil engineering MS degrees online in just 18 months.
In-State Tuition: $17,928

#19 –University of Alabama- Birmingham

Online MS in Civil Structural Engineering

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Points: 9
The online master’s in civil engineering degree offered by the University of Alabama – Birmingham is a fully online program designed to provide students with an education that is not only comprehensive and rigorous but also flexible. Courses offered include Construction Liability and Contracts, Advanced Structural Analysis, and Bridge Engineering. There are no separate tracks for different specializations, but students are able to customize the content of their degree with electives. Many  students are able to complete their civil engineering MS programs online in under two years by taking two courses at a time for five twelve-week long terms.
In-State Tuition: $7,866

#18 –Villanova University

MS in Civil Engineering Online

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Points: 10
The online master’s in civil engineering program offered by Villanova University is highly customizable. There are four different concentration options, including geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, and structural engineering. Students whose desired career paths do not fit neatly into any of these concentrations can opt to create an interdisciplinary program that combines two of the offered concentrations. Most students complete the program in three years while only taking one course at a time. However,  students who choose to take two or three courses at a time may earn their online civil engineering MS degrees in just two years.
In-State Tuition: $18,373

#17 –University of Louisville

Online MS in Civil Engineering

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Points: 10
The University of Louisville offers an online master’s in civil engineering program designed for working professionals who already have an educational background in civil engineering. It is a 30-credit hour program, and students are allowed to transfer a maximum of six credit hours from another regionally-accredited school. Both a thesis option and a non-thesis option are available. There are not separate tracks for different subfields, but students may customize their degree with electives. Full-time students can complete their MS programs civil engineering online in just three semesters.
In-State Tuition: $12,246

#16 –University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Online Master of Science in Civil Engineering

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Points: 10
The University of Tennessee – Knoxville offers two civil engineering master’s degrees online: one in public works and one in transportation. Both tracks are comprehensive and rigorou, but still designed to accommodate working professionals. The public works track allows for even further specialization by letting students choose between a technical focus and a more general focus. It takes a minimum of 30 credit hours to complete the program. Students may augment their online master’s in civil engineering degree with a minor, but this is not required.
In-State Tuition: $11,244

#15 –University of Colorado-Boulder

Online Professional MS in Civil Engineering: Water Engineering and Management

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Points: 10
The University of Colorado-Boulder’s online master’s in civil engineering degree is a professional MS with a focus on water engineering and management. It includes courses in technical skills as well as classes in professional skills such as leadership, communication, and finance. This program is primarily intended for individuals already working in the field. Most coursework is asynchronous, and synchronous activities are scheduled to accommodate students who have full-time jobs. UC Boulder’s online master’s in civil engineering students also have opportunities to connect and network with other professionals and industry leaders across the country.
In-State Tuition: $11,160

#14 –University of North Dakota

Online Master of Civil Engineering

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Points: 10
The online master’s in civil engineering option offered at the University of North Dakota includes three separate concentration tracks: soils structure engineering, water resources engineering, and environmental engineering. A general track is also available for students looking for a broader curriculum. Most students can complete their degree in just under two years of full-time study, but students earning their BS in civil engineering at UND can take advantage of the combined bachelor’s/master’s program to earn their civil engineering online masters degrees even more quickly.
In-State Tuition: $7,688

#13 –Kennesaw State University

MS in Civil Engineering Online

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Points: 10
The cheap online masters in civil engineering degree option offered by Kennesaw State University is a master of science program that balances structure and flexibility to accommodate students with full-time jobs. Students can choose between multiple concentration options, including water resources, environmental engineering, and geotechnical engineering. All concentration tracks include both thesis and coursework-only options. Most lectures and assignments are asynchronous, but occasional live discussions and group activities allow for interaction with classmates and instructors. Students interested in earning their Professional Engineer license can use their civil engineering master’s degrees online as one of the prerequisites for licensure.
In-State Tuition: $4,851

#12 –University of Virginia

Online Master of Engineering: Infrastructure Systems

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Points: 11
The University of Virginia offers an online master’s in civil engineering program that emphasizes both infrastructure and the environment. It includes courses in transportation safety, green engineering, and computational methods in civil engineering. This offering is typically a five-year degree, but students are able to shorten completion time by transferring five graduate courses from other schools participating in Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program or four courses from a non-Commonwealth institution. In total, online civil engineering master’s students take 10 courses, which they choose with the help of an advisor.
In-State Tuition: $15,552

#11 –University of Florida

Online Master of Civil Engineering

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Points: 11
University of Florida Top Online Bachelor's in Sports ManagementThe online master’s in civil engineering option offered by the University of Florida is a non-thesis program designed to accommodate working professionals. The vast majority of coursework is delivered asynchronously, and students are not required to make any visits to campus. The program includes courses in foundation design, temporary structures, traffic engineering, and water resources engineering. Most students complete their civil engineering master’s degrees online in only two years, but students are able to adjust their pace by taking as few or as many courses at a time as they want.
In-State Tuition: $10,770

#10 –Ohio University

Online MS in Civil Engineering

Website
Points: 11
Ohio University offers an online MSC civil engineering program that prioritizes flexibility. Coursework is delivered in an asynchronous format, and students can complete the program entirely online with no visits to campus. Even in this more independent format, students are given plenty of opportunities to interact with professors and peers through virtual office hours and discussion boards. Four different concentration options are available, including transportation engineering, structural engineering, and environmental engineering. No GRE scores are required for admission to this online master’s in civil engineering program.
In-State Tuition: $9,444

#9 –Old Dominion University

Online Master of Science in Civil Engineering: Coastal Engineering

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Points: 11
Old Dominion University Top Online Bachelor's in FinanceOld Dominion University’s online master’s in civil engineering offering is an MS program with an emphasis in coastal engineering. Topics of study include wave theory and soil erosion. Courses are delivered in a mix of synchronous and asynchronous formats. Synchronous courses meet regularly via web conferencing. Asynchronous courses may require a couple of live activities, but generally, allow students to access course materials at whatever time is most convenient for them. This mix of formatting  makes this one of the best online master’s programs in civil engineering for students who need more flexibility than a traditional-format course can provide, but still, want more interaction with classmates and professors.
In-State Tuition: $9,168

#8 –University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign

Online Master of Science in Civil Engineering

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Points: 12
The online master’s in civil engineering program offered by the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign is highly customizable. It includes concentrations in construction management, structural engineering, transportation engineering, and infrastructure. Students also have the option of developing a custom, cross-disciplinary program. While not enough courses are available online to complete a concentration in other areas, some courses are still available in subfields such as geotechnical engineering, environmental engineering, and water resources. Online MSC civil engineering students are encouraged to use these to complement their chosen specialization.
In-State Tuition: $15,186

#7 –Kansas State University

MS in Civil Engineering Online

Website
Points: 12
The online master’s in civil engineering degree program from Kansas State University is meant for working professionals whose schedules don’t allow them to take traditional classes. Students in this program never have to travel to campus for class lectures or assigned activities, but they will need to complete an on-campus oral examination at the end of the program. There are no required courses for this online MSC civil engineering program. Instead, students work with their advisors to choose courses that best serve their concentration. Areas of concentration include water resources, geotechnical, structural, environmental, and transportation engineering.
In-State Tuition: $9,960

#6 –Auburn University

Online Master of Science in Civil Engineering

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Points: 12
Auburn University offers civil engineering master’s degrees online in environmental engineering, structural engineering and geotechnical engineering Students who would prefer an MS degree in civil engineering over an MCE degree may be able to earn their degree in a blended format with department approval. Students are able to choose from a wide selection of course offerings, including Structural Dynamics, Water and Wastewater Operations, Construction Management, and Soil Properties. This program is primarily intended for students with undergraduate degrees in civil engineering, but students with different educational backgrounds may still be admitted to the program if they meet certain prerequisites.
In-State Tuition: $9,342

#5 –Colorado State University

Online Master of Civil Engineering

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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

#4 –Mississippi State University

Online Master of Science in Civil Engineering

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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

#3 –Missouri University of Science and Technology

Online Master of Civil Engineering

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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

#2 –North Carolina State University

Online Master of Civil Engineering

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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. Online civil engineering master’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

#1 –Texas Tech University

Online Master of Science in Civil Engineering

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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

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