Best 6 Civil Engineering Schools in the US for Masters in 2023

civil engineering
Masters Degree

Best 6 Civil Engineering Schools in the US for Masters in 2023

Many students choose to do a master’s in engineering, whether to specialise in the field they are passionate about and increase their subject knowledge or earn a higher salary after graduation. An area many students choose is to study a master’s in civil engineering. This article discusses what civil engineering is and what the top five civil engineering schools in the US to pursue your master’s degrees are. 

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What is civil engineering?

Civil engineering is maybe the oldest engineering subject, focusing on the building environment. This environment is literally what modern civilisation is built on, focusing on the built environment such as buildings and bridges, which are referred to in the field as structural engineering. Civil engineers also focus on designing roads, railroad systems, subway systems, and airports. 


Structures designed by civil engineers are everywhere you look. It would be impossible to live in the civilised world without them! Pursuing a master’s degree in civil engineering means you are able to help shape the future of the world we live in by becoming an expert in the field. 

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Read more: Your Master’s degree: Useful tips for choosing a program

Best 6 Civil Engineering Schools in the US for Masters

After learning how crucial civil engineering is to society, you might be excited to know the top 6 schools to pursue a master’s degree in civil engineering in the US. Choosing to study in the US for your civil engineering master’s degree is an excellent choice in general and even more so if you select one of the top five schools. Read on to discover more about them. 


University of California Berkeley

Location: Berkeley, California

The top school to pursue a master’s in civil engineering in the US is the University of California Berkeley. Pursuing a master’s in engineering takes two years at the school, but choosing the accelerated program and finishing your degree in one year is the option. All master’s students, besides specialising in the field of civil, also need to choose two minor subjects. These subjects don’t have to pertain to the engineering school, so you can pick any topic that tickles your fancy! 


However, the school has an impressive engineering school with 40 research centres and many institutes for students to participate in. There’s also the option to live on campus if you choose to do so. The campus is also close to San Francisco, so students can take the weekend off and chill at the beaches! 


If you want to attend this master’s program, you’ll pay tuition fees of around 11,000 dollars a year if you are in-state and full-time. If you are out of state, then you’ll pay about 27,000 USD dollars a year. 

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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Location: Urbana, Illinois


The second top-ranked school in this engineering field in America is the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The school has a state-of-the-art engineering school by the name of Grainger College of Engineering. The master’s programs there are excellent and challenge students to think out of the box and really specialise in the area of their choice, standing out from the crowd. 


The school has a student-faculty ratio of 5.2:1, which is exceptional and means you’ll get a highly personalised experience with your professors and really get to learn. The College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has 466 full-time faculty teaching there. These faculty members are at the top in their field and come from all edges of the globe to share their well-earned knowledge. 


Application fees to the master’s program cost 70 dollars for US citizens and 90 dollars for international students. The program itself costs students around 19,000 dollars a year in-state and 36,000 dollars per year for out-of-state students. 

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Georgia Institute of Technology

Location: Atlanta, Georgia


The school that comes in number three among the top civil engineering schools in the US is the Georgia Institute of Technology, located in Atlanta, Georgia. It is often called Georgia Tech. The university boasts an extensive and innovative campus, and graduate students can live directly on campus if they choose. The school has 570 excellent full-time professors on campus, resulting in an outstanding student-faculty ratio of 4.5:1. 


Having a fantastic reputation, more than 65 per cent of all those who graduate from Georgia Tech are engineering graduates. Many of these graduates go on to become notable alumni, including Major General Chuck Swannack, who was previously president and chief executive officer of U.S. Logisitics, Inc., and Nagesh Kukumoor, a civil engineering consultant who later became a Bollywood director. 


If you attend the civil engineering master’s program at the Georgia Institute of Technology, you can expect to pay full-time tuition of 14,000 USD a year if you are in-state and around 30,000 USD yearly if you are out-of-state. You can also choose to study this engineering master’s degree part-time. In this case, you’ll pay about 590 dollars per credit (in-state) and 1,200 dollars per credit studied if you are out of state. 

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Stanford University

Location: Stanford, California


Stanford University in California ranks at number four in the top engineering schools for a master’s in civil studies. The university has a student-faculty ratio of 6.5:1, which is pretty good, and means you’ll get a quality education. There are around 283 full-time faculty members on board at the university, each with prowess in their teaching area and a passion for helping students learn. 


The school offers a combined master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering with an option to specialise in different subject areas during the course of your degree. These specialisation options include Atmosphere and Energy, Environmental Engineering, Structural Engineering and Geomechanics and Sustainable Design and Construction.  


If you want to study the civil program at Stanford University, you’ll pay an application fee of 125 dollars, whether you are a US resident or not. Tuition fees are also the same for both US residents and international students, clocking in at around 58,000 dollars per year for the master’s program. 

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University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan


The University of Michigan Ann Arbour is the fifth-best school for Civil engineering master’s degrees in the US. The school offers a great master’s program in the civil field and focuses significantly on the project-based learning approach. The school has a student-faculty ratio of 4.4:1, with around 400 faculty members who are passionate about their subjects teaching students there. 


If you want to study this program, the school also offers the annual Engineering Graduate Symposium, held each November. This event can be helpful for potential students to attend and see what the school is like. In this Symposium, master’s students present their projects and find advisers for their future research and hear renowned speakers, who are typically experts in the field, talk. 


The school will cost you an application fee of 75 dollars if you are a US citizen and 90 dollars if you are an international student. Tuition for full-time students who are in state is around 30,000 dollars a year in state or 53,000 dollars a year for out of state students. 

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Schiller international university

Location: Florida


Finally, Schiller international university in Florida offers a great master’s degree in the engineering field of sustainability. The course focuses on topics like civil engineering in a sustainable fashion, global inequality, environmental policy, ecology, land, city and urban planning, among many other issues. Students also graduate with excellent sot skills such as communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills. Students graduate with their skills and current knowledge updated and develop a great mindset to work in an innovative world.

Why do a master’s in civil engineering?

After learning about the best schools in the US to do a master’s in the field, you might be curious why you should pursue a master’s in the civil specialisation of engineering. Read on to learn more about why you should do your master’s degree in this subject area. 

civil engineering

Gain deeper focus in the field 

Students who have already pursued undergraduate studies in engineering studies and have a general idea of the field can gain a specialised focus in the field. Master’s degrees offer an advanced and deeper look into the subject and the opportunity to focus more intensely on each topic. This gives students a boost within the area they choose to focus on when they are applying for jobs. 

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Improve soft skills 

Besides excelling in the field of civil studies, students will also gain soft skills like professional, communication and leadership skills. These skills will help them down the road with their careers. Civil engineers, who have obtained master’s degrees, get an advantage over other civil engineers like more of a chance to become a manager. They are able to use the skills they gained through their studies like communication, decision-making skills and skills when it comes to delegating tasks efficiently.  

Earn a Higher Salary 

Finally, a reason to do a master’s in civil engineering is earning a higher salary when compared with other civil engineers who don’t have one. Civil engineers, especially those with master’s, will earn competitive wages with employment opportunities on the rise. The degree can give you a competitive edge regarding management potential, career growth and potential earnings. 


In conclusion, civil engineering is an important field, and the demand for civil engineers is growing every day. Having a master’s degree in this field can give you a competitive advantage over your peers in many ways. There are several top schools in the US to study engineering master’s degree with a specialisation in civil at, from the University of California Berkley to the University of Michigan. 


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