5 Best Online Master’s in Civil Engineering in 2024

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Updated: April 16, 2024, Reading time: 7 minutes

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One of the most in-demand professions today is Civil Engineering. According to recent US Labor Statistics data, this field has an expected employment growth of 5 percent from 2022 to 2032.

A bachelor’s degree is, in most cases, the minimum requirement to become an entry-level civil engineer. However, to unlock better, more specialized career opportunities in Engineering, you should consider a master’s degree.

Civil engineering students discussing on-site

Some professionals hesitate to pursue a master’s degree due to busy schedules and geographical restrictions. Fortunately, many engineering schools have made online learning possible for working engineers.

We’ve listed the five best and most popular online master’s degrees in Civil Engineering. These programs follow the same rigor and curriculum as their on-campus counterparts. 

SchoolProgramTuitionAcceptance RateStandout Program feature/s
Johns Hopkins UniversityMaster’s in Civil Engineering$64,700 total cost25%-Can be completed fully or partially online. 
– Offers GeoTechnical, Ocean Coastal, and Structural concentrations.
Louisiana State UniversityMS in Civil Engineering$779 per credit hour 71%-Research-based learning
-Strong and large alumni network
University of North DakotaMaster’s in Civil Engineering$869.51 per credit hour83%Offers three options: non-thesis MS, thesis MS, and course-based MS.
University of Illinois – Urbana ChampaignMaster’s in Civil Engineering$1,137 per credit hour25%Offers a cross-disciplinary curriculum with ten specialty areas.
Colorado State UniversityMEng in Civil Engineering$993 per hour67%Best for students who want to focus on water resources engineering and management.
Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

5 Best Online Master’s in Civil Engineering

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Online Master’s in Civil Engineering

Tuition$64,700 total cost
Credit Hours36

The online Master’s in Civil Engineering degree program at Johns Hopkins University is a notable program recognized by various organizations, including the US News and World Report. Designed for working professionals, the program offers practice-oriented courses taught by industry experts, providing personalized attention. 

Students learn to apply mathematics, science, and engineering principles, identify complex problems, and use modern tools for engineering practice. In addition, students can also pursue a focus area: 

Each specialization has its own degree requirements, which you must comply with. However, your specialty will not be reflected on your diploma. You can also pair your Master’s degree with a graduate certificate.

Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge, LA

Online Master of Science in Civil Engineering

Tuition$779 per credit hour
Credit Hours36

Another engineering program applauded by the US News and World Report is the online MS in Civil Engineering at Louisiana State University. This online master’s program offers flexibility in curriculum planning, equipping students with tools for globalization and sustainability, covering urban infrastructure, construction technology, materials, management, and cost estimation.

LSU also boasts one of the largest and strongest alumni networks, providing students with valuable connections and opportunities for career advancement. Completed 100% online, it allows working professionals to take full control of their learning experience. 

Although the program does not offer specialization options, students can customize their learning by choosing their electives. As an MS degree, you can expect research-based learning.

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, ND

Online Master’s in Civil Engineering

Tuition$869.51 per credit hour
Credit Hours30-32

The University of North Dakota’s online Master’s in Civil Engineering program is flexible. Depending on your interests, you can pursue a thesis, a non-thesis Master of Science, or a course-based Master of Engineering. It’s also one of the fastest master’s degree programs, allowing students to graduate in as few as 12 months. 

This online Master’s program is best for students who want to work in the future of transportation. One of UND’s most funded research initiatives is Transportation Technology Research. Students can actively participate in and contribute to cutting-edge research in areas such as autonomous vehicles, intelligent transportation systems, and sustainable transportation solutions.

You can also pursue a specialization. Available specializations include:

University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign

Champaign, IL

Online Master’s in Civil Engineering

Tuition$1,137 per credit hour
Credit Hours36

The online Master’s in Civil Engineering program at the UIL – Urbana Champaign is one of the most sought-after engineering programs, offering a cross-disciplinary curriculum. In addition to building on students’ bachelor’s and entry-level professional knowledge, they can also pursue additional knowledge valuable in Civil Engineering positions. 

There are ten specialty areas students can choose from. This includes: 

Students have up to five years to complete degree requirements, allowing them to balance their studies with other commitments.

Colorado State University

Online Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering

Tuition$993 per credit hour
Credit Hours30

Colorado State University’s online MEng in Civil Engineering is among the most affordable course-based engineering degrees. Focusing on water resources engineering and management, the program is best for students who want to tackle future generations’ water concerns.

The program offers courses in Hydrology, Geographic Information Systems, Water Control and Measurement, and Environmental Monitoring. These courses will deepen your understanding of sustainability engineering practices. 

In addition to engineering courses, you’ll also explore various topics that equip you with the necessary knowledge of technologies used in engineering processes. However, there are better options than this program for students who want to prepare for a doctoral program.

civil engineer at work

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering?

One of the main advantages of earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering is having the chance to earn higher wages. A bachelor’s degree alone pays a median annual of $89,940. Master’s degree graduates are proven to earn higher wages than those with a bachelor’s degree. 

Another known benefit of a master’s degree in Civil Engineering is it gives you the opportunity to specialize in a subfield. This can lead to higher job stability and increased demand for your expertise in the Engineering field

There are several specializations you can pursue in a graduate program in Civil Engineering. The most common specializations seen are:

Structural EngineeringDesign and analysis of buildings, bridges, dams, and other structures.Ensure the structure’s safety, stability, and ability to withstand various loads and environmental conditions.
Construction Engineering and ManagementManagement and execution of construction projects, including project planning, scheduling, cost estimation, and resource management.Oversee the construction process from inception to completion, ensuring projects are delivered on time and within budget.
Geotechnical EngineeringStudy the behavior of soil and rock and its interaction with structures and the environment.Assess subsurface conditions to design foundations, earthworks, and underground structures while considering factors such as soil stability, slope stability, and groundwater conditions.
Environmental Engineering
Protecting and preserving the natural environment while addressing infrastructure and development needs. 
Work on projects related to water and wastewater treatment, air pollution control, solid waste management, and environmental remediation, among others.
Transportation EngineeringDesign and plan transportation systems to facilitate the efficient movement of people and goods.Work on projects such as roadways, highways, railways, airports, and public transit systems, aiming to improve safety, accessibility, and sustainability.
Water Resources EngineeringInvolves the management and development of water resources, including surface water, groundwater, and water supply systems.Design and analyze hydraulic structures, flood control systems, irrigation networks, and water treatment facilities to ensure the sustainable use and management of water resources.

Is a master’s in Civil Engineering hard?

Because you’ll explore advanced topics in Civil Engineering and specialize in a subfield, a master’s degree in the field can be very hard. Getting a master’s degree is frequently a drawn-out procedure that takes a lot of time and self-motivation to finish.

It can also be challenging to keep up with industry trends. Lifelong learning is required to stay current with the sector’s most recent developments. However, the benefits—such as increased pay and professional prospects—may make the effort worthwhile. 

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