Want to become the future of roadway systems and renewable energy? Earning an online Master’s in Civil Engineering is the first step.

You’re up in an airplane looking down at the world. Tiny cars are driving on tiny roads. Little houses are lined up in gridded neighborhoods. River systems are flowing into a dam. Believe it or not, all of this is the work of civil engineers.

Civil engineering are constantly refining the way we operate infrastructure and systems in the world. How can our airports be safer and more efficient? How can we create a water system that doesn’t disrupt natural habitats? Those are just a few questions that fuel the work of civil engineers. In the end, it’s lifesaving work!

What is a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering?

Civil engineers are the busy and creative minds behind infrastructure projects all over the globe. The field demands both big picture vision and detail-oriented precision. An advanced degree in civil engineering can be a challenging process. But the rewards are ten-fold.

Most master’s programs in civil engineering will lay the groundwork with a set of core classes. But programs also encourage students to specialize in an area of interest. You might consider structural engineering, environmental engineering, construction engineering, geotechnical engineering, or transportation engineering.

The curriculum for these programs will likely cover everything from traffic control theory to steel material design to the legal aspects of contracting. But once you’re in the real world, here are just a few of the roles you might find yourself occupying:

  • Project Engineer
  • Land Development Engineer
  • Surveyor
  • Construction Manager

How much can you earn with a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, civil engineers make on average around $85k per year. But that number can be much higher for those earning in the top 10 percent of the field — then it’s closer to $138k.

The highest earners in this field tend to be civil engineers who work for the federal government. New projects are always on the horizon. The government needs some of the best minds at work. It’s a given that the best minds make the best money!

Our country’s infrastructure is constantly evolving. With that, the demand for civil engineering jobs is on the rise. In fact, between now and 2026, we’re expected to see an 11 percent jump in the job market for civil engineering.  

What is required for a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering?

An advanced degree in civil engineering is no joke. During the admissions process, you’re going to have to prove that you’re up for the challenge. Here are a few factors you might want to consider going into the admissions process:

  • Undergraduate degree
  • GPA minimums
  • GRE scores

If you’ve made it this far, it’s safe to guess that you already have a bachelor’s degree. Some schools insist that your undergraduate degree is in civil engineering. Others are more lenient. Regardless of your degree, most programs expect that your transcripts reflect a GPA of 3.0 at minimum.

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) can be a daunting roadblock for some. But breathe easy! Some of these programs don’t even require GRE scores for admission. Focus your study on the Quantitative section — that’s what engineering programs look at the most. All in all, if you read the fine print, know your limitations, and emphasize your strengths, you’ll be just fine.

What are the best Master’s Degrees in Civil Engineering?

Our goal with this list is to lay down the foundations for the Best Online Master’s in Civil Engineering programs out there. Our data covered overall tuition and fees, program reputation, retention rates, and more.

Here at Online Schools Report, we do our best to present our findings as clear as possible. For each program module, you’ll find individual scores for our findings, some key pros and cons, as well as our OSR score.

Ready to build the future roadways of America? Your Online Master’s in Civil Engineering is just the beginning.

  1. North Carolina State University at Raleigh

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $23,700/$42,048
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential33
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention100
    Student Satisfaction82
    Reputation100
    Pros
    • Non-thesis degree
    • Over 50 unique online course options
    • Top 10 Online Engineering program by U.S. News & World Report
    Cons
    • Previous degree from EAC-ABET accredited school required
    • Funding not available to online Civil Engineering students
    • GRE / TOEFL scores required
    100%OSR Score

    North Carolina State University at Raleigh delivers the best online Master’s in Civil Engineering degree in the country. Students take 30 credits and select a specialty area in topics like construction engineering, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, and more.

  2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Tuition in State/Out of State: not reported/not reported
    Acceptance78
    Earnings Potential64
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention80
    Student Satisfaction73
    Reputation98
    Pros
    • Option to further specialize in 5 concentration areas
    • Up to 12 transfer credits accepted
    • Huge list of course options specific to tracks and concentrations
    Cons
    • Maximum of 5 years to complete program
    • GRE minimum averages of 155 (Verbal) and 165 (Quantitative)
    • Application fee of $70
    99%OSR Score

    At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, students will complete an M.S. in Civil Engineering totally online. This is a non-thesis degree that covers 36 total credits. Students may choose from four specialty tracks: Construction Management, Infrastructure, Transportation Engineering, or Structural Engineering.

  3. University of Florida-Online

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $17,656/$30,360
    Acceptance83
    Earnings Potential41
    Online Presence7
    Online Program Quality88
    Retention67
    Student Satisfaction57
    Reputation98
    Pros
    • Graduate certificate offered in Critical Infrastructure Protection
    • Nine concentrations offered within the degree
    • Grants and scholarships are available
    Cons
    • Cumulative final exam required (as well as exit interviews)
    • If students don’t take classes for two semesters, they must reapply
    • Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA
    99%OSR Score

    Offered through the University of Florida’s Civil and Coastal Engineering Department, this is a 30-credit-hour program that can be completed fully online. Students must take 15 core credits in civil engineering and 15 credits in other electives. The program takes a unique focus on water and coastal systems.

  4. Mississippi State University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $24,370/$38,410
    Acceptance76
    Earnings Potential51
    Online Presence19
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention71
    Student Satisfaction71
    Reputation99
    Pros
    • Three application admission dates (fall, spring, summer)
    • Seven technical options for further specialization
    • Synchronous and asynchronous classes offered
    Cons
    • Additional computer software required for online students
    • Thesis students must complete at least 6 hours of research
    • Non-thesis students must complete a final examination
    96%OSR Score

    Delivered both via thesis and non-thesis options, students at Mississippi State University can earn an MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering degree. The thesis track requires 30 credits and the non-thesis track requires 33 credits. Thesis students must complete at least six hours of research.

  5. Columbia University in the City of New York

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $80,973/$80,973
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential33
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention82
    Student Satisfaction74
    Reputation86
    Pros
    • Over 13 available options of specialization
    • Close to 20 engaging elective course options
    • All online courses taught by Columbia University faculty
    Cons
    • Additional online fee ($395) applied per course
    • Undergraduate degree in civil engineering required
    • Only 6 hours of transfer credits accepted
    96%OSR Score

    Columbia University in the City of New York delivers a highly customizable, and fully online, MS in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. Students piece together 30 credit hours through core courses (18 credits) and electives (12 credits). Most students also specialize in a field within the major.

  6. Colorado State University-Fort Collins

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $24,287/$41,795
    Acceptance84
    Earnings Potential60
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention80
    Student Satisfaction80
    Reputation92
    Pros
    • Unique curriculum focus on water resources engineering
    • GRE scores not required (unless your GPA is lower than 3.0)
    • Wide variety of student services offered to online students
    Cons
    • $25 technology fee applied each term
    • No scholarships available for this degree
    • Final on-campus oral exam required for MS students
    94%OSR Score

    You’ll choose between a Master of Engineering or a Master of Science in Civil Engineering at Colorado State University-Fort Collins. Both, however, are delivered online and both feature a focus in water resources. They require between 30 and 32 credit hours.

  7. Ohio University-Main Campus

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $28,256/$37,720
    Acceptance95
    Earnings Potential71
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention74
    Student Satisfaction73
    Reputation90
    Pros
    • Three possible start dates (fall, spring, summer)
    • GRE/GMAT not required for qualifying students
    • Possible to complete the program in 5 semesters
    Cons
    • No more than 2 transfer credits are accepted
    • $25 non-refundable application fee
    • Students must complete the program in less than 6 years
    92%OSR Score

    Ohio University-Main Campus gives you options to specialize within the online MS in Civil Engineering. You’ll choose between Construction Engineering and Management, Environmental Engineering, Structural Engineering, or Transportation Engineering. This is a non-thesis degree that spans 32 credits in total.

  8. Kansas State University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $22,663/$38,020
    Acceptance85
    Earnings Potential61
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention79
    Student Satisfaction74
    Reputation90
    Pros
    • No required courses; highly customizable curriculum
    • Online program ranked in the top 20 by U.S News & World Report
    • Scholarships specific to online students available
    Cons
    • On-campus oral examination required to graduate
    • Tuition for online students still based on resident status
    • $65 non-refundable application fee
    92%OSR Score

    Delivered via distance education through K-State Online, students can complete their MS in Civil Engineering from anywhere in the country. Students will choose one of five areas to focus their degree: transportation, environmental, structural, geotechnical, water resources. The curriculum covers 30 credit hours.

  9. Iowa State University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $20,606/$34,442
    Acceptance84
    Earnings Potential66
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention91
    Student Satisfaction74
    Reputation87
    Pros
    • Asynchronous classes through digital video streaming
    • Program recognized by The Associated General Contractors
    • Less admission requirements for students already in the field
    Cons
    • $190 delivery fee added per credit
    • Additional technology fee required ($126-$253)
    • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 required
    91%OSR Score

    Unique to Iowa State University, this online MS in Civil Engineering focuses specifically on Construction Engineering and Management. The 30-credit curriculum hones in on three areas: Management Techniques, Construction Operations, and Construction Methods. The degree culminates in a final project.

  10. New Jersey Institute of Technology

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $35,798/$50,818
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential33
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention94
    Student Satisfaction80
    Reputation84
    Pros
    • Two additional Graduate Certificates offered
    • Students can graduate in just 19 months
    • Fulfills early requirements for Professional Engineer license
    Cons
    • One of only 2 online master’s programs offered
    • GRE / TOEFL required for admission
    • $75 non-refundable application fee
    90%OSR Score

    The New Jersey Institute of Technology brings students a 30-credit-hour online MS in Civil Engineering. Upon admission, students will choose one of three focus areas: Construction Management, Transportation, or Structural Design & Construction. Each focus area encompasses 9-15 credit hours of the total.

  11. Villanova University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $68,231/$68,231
    Acceptance80
    Earnings Potential72
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention85
    Student Satisfaction81
    Reputation86
    Pros
    • Full-time students finish the degree in 2 years
    • 12 Graduate Certificates available online
    • Application fee waived for existing Villanova students
    Cons
    • GRE required with minimum score of 305
    • Individually paced (no cohort)
    • $50 general fee per semester
    90%OSR Score

    Villanova University strikes a perfect balance between broad and specific. This 30-hour MS in Civil Engineering starts you with the basics and then allows you to specialize in one of four areas: Geotechnical, Structural, Transportation, and Water Resources. This is a thesis-track degree.

  12. University of Virginia-Main Campus

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $32,213/$62,633
    Acceptance59
    Earnings Potential78
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention98
    Student Satisfaction77
    Reputation79
    Pros
    • GRE not required for admission
    • Students allowed to transfer 5 courses
    • Online and “traditional” degree follow exact same curriculum
    Cons
    • Online classes require students to attend in real-time
    • Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0
    • Application fee attached to admission
    89%OSR Score

    At the University of Virginia-Main Campus you’ll take just 10 courses total to complete your MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering. UVA is part of the Online Graduate Engineering Consortium, which allows students to take online classes from five other Virginia schools. This allows students to finish their degree faster.

  13. University of Southern California

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $72,209/$72,209
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential33
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention60
    Student Satisfaction87
    Reputation77
    Pros
    • Lower credit hour requirement (27 credits)
    • No thesis requirement
    • Same academic experience offered online as in the classroom
    Cons
    • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 required for graduation
    • Computing fee and exam proctoring fee required
    • Only 3 transfer graduate credits accepted
    88%OSR Score

    Delivered through the renowned USC Viterbi School of Engineering, online students will attend through DEN@Viterbi. This MS in Civil Engineering can be completed either part-time or full-time, taking between 1.5 and 3.5 years. It only requires a minimum of 27 credit hours.

  14. University of Louisville

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $27,026/$42,048
    Acceptance80
    Earnings Potential65
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention85
    Student Satisfaction75
    Reputation87
    Pros
    • 12 of 30 credits are dedicated to electives
    • Up to 6 transfer credits accepted
    • Generous tuition discounts for active duty members
    Cons
    • GRE is required; no waiver option available
    • No scholarships available to online students
    • BS in Civil Engineering is required
    88%OSR Score

    The University of Louisville covers a 30-credit-hour MS in Civil Engineering that can be completed in as little as three semesters. It is offered to admitted students 100 percent online. Students have the choice to complete an independent study at the end of their degree.  

  15. University of Washington-Seattle Campus

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $26,595/$51,159
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential33
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention66
    Student Satisfaction83
    Reputation93
    Pros
    • Expert faculty
    • Online students use leading LMS — Canvas
    • Four possible start dates
    Cons
    • Students follow a set curriculum in place
    • $85 non-refundable application fee
    • Not possible for students to attend full-time
    88%OSR Score

    The University of Washington-Seattle Campus fills a specific niche in the engineering education world. It offers a fully online MS in Civil Engineering with a focus in Construction Engineering. Students must attend on a part-time basis, and can finish in 2-3 years.

  16. Auburn University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $31,282/$49,954
    Acceptance80
    Earnings Potential49
    Online Presence5
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention85
    Student Satisfaction77
    Reputation77
    Pros
    • No residency is required
    • Highly customizable curriculum
    • Students may take classes outside the department
    Cons
    • GRE scores are required for admission
    • Degree only available to U.S. students
    • B.S. in Civil Engineering (or related field) required
    88%OSR Score

    Consisting of 30 total credit hours, the Master of Civil Engineering at Auburn University offers up two additional concentrations: Environmental Engineering and Structural Engineering. The degree culminates in a three-credit final engineering project.

  17. University of Houston

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $27,581/$39,941
    Acceptance78
    Earnings Potential67
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention93
    Student Satisfaction77
    Reputation77
    Pros
    • Four specific tracks offered within the degree
    • Houston is known as the “energy capital of the world”
    • Degree is a non-thesis track
    Cons
    • On-campus orientation required before start date
    • Students must come to campus for exams
    • GRE required with minimum benchmark scores
    87%OSR Score

    Whether you want to attend fully online or supplement your classes with online options, the University of Houston has options for you. The MS in Civil Engineering here requires 31 credits in total. Most students finish the degree within two years.

  18. Texas Tech University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $23,633/$33,425
    Acceptance65
    Earnings Potential52
    Online Presence15
    Online Program Quality50
    Retention55
    Student Satisfaction78
    Reputation74
    Pros
    • Flexible curriculum with multiple electives
    • Online students pay in-state tuition rates
    • Lots of student services offered through Worldwide eLearning
    Cons
    • $60 non-refundable application fee
    • No scholarships available specific to the program
    • Final exam for both thesis and non-thesis tracks
    85%OSR Score

    A new degree to Texas Tech University, students will be the first to pilot the online Master of Civil Engineering. This is a thesis or non-thesis degree that consists of 36 hours for both tracks. Students will specialize in either Structural Engineering or Construction Engineering and Management.

  19. Kennesaw State University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $25,773/$36,755
    Acceptance86
    Earnings Potential43
    Online Presence8
    Online Program Quality75
    Retention52
    Student Satisfaction72
    Reputation76
    Pros
    • Supported by the American Society of Civil Engineers
    • Widely recognized for being a Best Value program
    • GRE not required for regular admission
    Cons
    • Undergraduate degree required from ABET-accredited program
    • $355 student fee charged per semester
    • No scholarships specific to program available
    84%OSR Score

    At Kennesaw State University, students have the freedom to cater their MS in Civil Engineering degree to their needs. For example, students can choose the thesis or non-thesis track. They also can specialize in one of these three areas: Structural and Geotechnical, Transportation and Pavement, Environmental and Water Resources.

  20. Clarkson University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $62,400/$62,400
    Acceptance79
    Earnings Potential53
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention76
    Student Satisfaction81
    Reputation74
    Pros
    • No minimum GPA required for admission
    • Significant scholarships offered through the department
    • Students may transfer 10 graduate credits
    Cons
    • GRE required (but can be waived for some cases)
    • Thesis-track required; students must defend thesis onsite
    • 20 of the 30 credit hours have to be earned onsite
    84%OSR Score

    A leader in engineering education, Clarkson University offers a flexible MS in Civil & Environmental Engineering degree. Students can complete their coursework online, onsite, or as a hybrid option. In total, the thesis-track curriculum covers 30 credit hours.

  21. Norwich University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $56,234/$56,234
    Acceptance80
    Earnings Potential71
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention79
    Student Satisfaction73
    Reputation90
    Pros
    • No GRE or GMAT required for admission
    • Degree supported by the American Society of Civil Engineers
    • Maximum class size of 15 students
    Cons
    • One week residency is required onsite
    • $300 technology fee applied per term
    • Autodesk, Adobe Acrobat, Skype, and scanner required
    82%OSR Score

    Norwich University takes a community-driven approach to its online MS in Civil Engineering. Students move through this program as a cohort, taking one class at a time. Ultimately, they’ll complete six classes for 36 total credits.

  22. Old Dominion University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $25,594/$43,444
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential33
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention100
    Student Satisfaction74
    Reputation66
    Pros
    • GRE waived if student has a BS from ABET-accredited school
    • Two Graduate Certificate options offered
    • Degree open to both part-time and full-time students
    Cons
    • Different in-state and out-of-state tuition rates
    • 12 specific prerequisite courses required for admission
    • Closed curriculum; not a lot of course flexibility
    81%OSR Score

    The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at ODU delivers an online Environmental Engineering master’s degree. You can either complete the Master of Science thesis track or the Master of Engineering course/project track. Both require 30 credits in total.  

  23. Johns Hopkins University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $65,005/$65,005
    Acceptance77
    Earnings Potential48
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention79
    Student Satisfaction74
    Reputation60
    Pros
    • Flexible curriculum; 3 core courses and 7 electives
    • GRE encouraged, but not required
    • Online classes conducted via Blackboard and Adobe Connect
    Cons
    • Focus areas don’t appear on transcript or diploma
    • Degree must be completed within 5 years
    • $425 transfer credit fee per course
    78%OSR Score

    You’ll be a part-time student for the online Master of Civil Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. This program is delivered both online and onsite. Throughout the 10-course curriculum, students can choose to focus their studies on Structural Engineering.

  24. University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $25,635/$49,885
    Acceptance94
    Earnings Potential58
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention76
    Student Satisfaction75
    Reputation59
    Pros
    • Three start dates available
    • No GRE requirement
    • Capstone design project applicable to real-life problem
    Cons
    • Fixed curriculum; not a lot of course flexibility
    • Different in-state and out-of-state tuition rate
    • Only a part-time option available
    78%OSR Score

    The University of Wisconsin-Madison combines two disciplines with its online Master of Engineering in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Students progress through this 30-credit-hour program as a cohort. Most finish the program in three years.

  25. The University of Texas at Arlington

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $24,660/$39,860
    Acceptance77
    Earnings Potential52
    Online Presence10
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention73
    Student Satisfaction75
    Reputation59
    Pros
    • Students have lots of freedom in choosing courses
    • Option to enroll in Fast-Track Program to finish earlier
    • Departmental scholarships available
    Cons
    • GRE required for admission
    • All exams must be passed at 75% or higher
    • Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA
    76%OSR Score

    The University of Texas at Arlington offers a Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering degree that includes numerous online course options. While the entire 30-credit-hour degree isn’t fully devoted to the online platform, students can choose from over 50 online courses. The degree also features five specialty tracks in civil engineering.