Best Civil Engineering Schools in The United States

Best Civil Engineering Schools in The United States

There are several best civil engineering schools in the U.S. Civil engineering is a broad discipline that combines many different engineering areas. The branch of science deals with planning, constructing, and maintaining large-scale infrastructures such as bridges, roads, dams, tunnels, and buildings. Civil engineers are responsible for developing designs for these projects and overseeing their implementation. 

To become a civil engineer or design professional in this field, you’ll need to complete formal education programs accredited by ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).

Best Civil Engineering Universities In The USA

Civil engineering is a broad field that includes construction projects’ planning, design, and management. Civil engineers design roads, bridges, water treatment plants, airports, dams, and other structures. Some civil engineers specialize in building structures such as buildings and stadiums, while others specialize in designing and planning transportation systems such as railroads or roads.

Here are some of the best civil engineering schools for civil engineering degrees in the U.S.:

  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • Stanford University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Purdue University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • University of Michigan
  • Cornell University
  • University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign
  • California Institute of Technology
  • The University of Texas At Austin
  • Texas A&M University
  • Columbia University

1. University of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley, is one the oldest of the ten campuses of the University of California system and is a public research university. It is located in the city of Berkeley, California, known for its status as a hub for groundbreaking progressive activism and academics. The campus was founded in 1868 and has had many notable alums, including Nobel prize winners such as Glenn Seaborg (1952 Nobel Prize winner) and Donald Glaser (2003 Nobel Prize winner). The school is one of the best civil engineering schools in the U.S. 

  • Cost of Tuition: $11,442
  • Acceptance Rate: 7.6%
  • Enrollment: 2,760

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The main campus is approximately 475 acres along the eastern shore of the Charles River Basin in suburban Boston. M.I.T. has a strong focus on science and engineering. It requires all undergraduates to complete at least one introductory course of study in a science or engineering field before graduation. 

In addition to its undergraduate program, M.I.T. offers master’s programs in all five schools. Undergraduate applicants must have at least a 3.7 GPA or 28 A.C.T. scores; accepted applicants typically have an average G.P.A. between 3.95 and 4.00 with an S.A.T. score that ranges from 1590–1930 (math/reading) or 34–36 A.C.T. composite score (depending on their year).

The Institute has produced many notable alums, such as Drew Houston (Dropbox cofounder), Sheryl Sandberg, Eric Schmidt (Google executive chairman), Bill Gates (Microsoft founder), and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder). The school also ranks highly among graduate programs according to U.S. News & World Report: it ranked first among National Universities for graduate studies in computer science; fourth among National Universities for engineering.

  • Cost of Tuition: $55,510
  • Acceptance Rate: 7.8%
  • Enrollment: 3,281

3. Harvard University

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered to grant degrees (1642). Harvard offers some of the best engineering programs, including civil engineering. The school has produced several prominent alums, including over 50 Nobel laureates, hundreds of members of Congress, and heads of state worldwide. Harvard University offers more than 200 undergraduate degree programs across its 11 schools (Divisions) which include seven professional schools. 

  • Cost of Tuition: $58,224 for full-time students, and $29,112 
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Enrollment: 1123

4. Stanford University

Stanford University is a private research university located in Stanford, California. The school was founded in 1891 by Leland and Jane Stanford, building on an old ranch awarded to her father, mining magnate and congressman Josiah Stanford. As of fall 2018, the university had a total undergraduate enrollment of 16,448 students and 8,922 graduate students. Stanford has produced 163 Rhodes Scholars and 125 Marshall Scholars since 1901. 

Besides being known for its international reputation for academic excellence (Stanford was ranked first among world universities by Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings from 2013 to 2017), Stanford has consistently been rated one of America’s top five public universities since 2000 by U.S. News & World Report. 

  • Cost of Tuition:  $57,861
  • Acceptance Rate: 4.5%
  • Enrollment: 3241

5. Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology is a public research university in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It was chartered on July 20, 1885, as the Georgia School of Technology as part of Reconstruction plans to build an industrial economy in the post-Civil War Southern United States. The school assumed its present name in 1948 when it merged with Atlanta University (later known as Clark College) and moved to its current campus near downtown Atlanta. 

Georgia Tech is one of six original Public Ivies established in 1906, along with Cornell University (Ivy League), Harvard University (Ivy League), Princeton University (Princeton-Penn Consortium/Quadrivium), Dartmouth College (Triple Crown), and Yale University (Triple Crown). The school offers some of the best engineering courses in the U.S., including Civil engineering. 

  • Cost of Tuition: $14,064
  • Acceptance Rate: 37.16% 
  • Enrollment: 4,565

6. Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research university in West Lafayette, Indiana, and is the flagship campus of the Purdue University system. The main campus sits on 1,400 acres in rural Indiana. Purdue also has regional campuses throughout Indiana and select programs housed at other universities around the world, one example being the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics located at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

The Department of Civil Engineering at Purdue University was established in 1874, making it one of the first colleges to offer civil engineering degrees in North America. Today, it offers Bachelor’s degree programs with concentrations in Civil and environmental engineering or construction management; master’s degrees with concentrations available in environmental or transportation systems management; doctorate degrees with eight areas of specialization, including construction management; geotechnical engineering and geo-environmental engineering as well as seven dual degree options including soil mechanics/materials science & engineering or water resources systems development & management among others. 

  • Cost of Tuition: $10,842
  • Acceptance Rate: 37%
  • Enrollment: 3,602

7. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie as the Carnegie Technical School. Today, Carnegie Mellon is organized into five undergraduate and graduate schools focusing on science, technology, business, design, and the arts. Carnegie Mellon’s main campus is located on the northern bank of the Allegheny River across from downtown Pittsburgh. The university also has campuses across western Pennsylvania; it owns or leases buildings in New York City; Silicon Valley (California); Washington, D.C.; Qatar; Shanghai (China); and Bangalore (India). Carnegie offers many courses to students of the institution, including Civil engineering and several other engineering-related systems. The school is one of the best Civil engineering schools in the U.S. 

  • Cost of Tuition: $50,100
  • Acceptance Rate: 17.3%
  • Enrollment: 4,383

8. University of Michigan

The University of Michigan (U-M or UMich) is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. It was established in 1817 as the Catholepistemiad and is the state’s oldest and largest university in Michigan. Budget cuts led to funding reductions to land-grant institutions, including U-M. The school has continued to have an enrollment of around 41,581 students yearly. The University of Michigan is one of the best engineering schools in the U.S., where students can study Civil engineering at the highest levels. 

  • Cost of Tuition: $28,338
  • Acceptance Rate: 20%
  • Enrollment: 3,535

9. Cornell University

Cornell University is a private and statutory Ivy League research university in Ithaca, New York. It was founded on April 27, 1865; the New York State Senate authorized the university as the state’s land-grant institution. The university is considered one of three universities that claim to be the oldest private land-grant institutions in the United States (the other two being Rutgers University and Ohio State University). The university is organized into seven undergraduate colleges with joint graduate programs and two professional degree programs in medicine (M.D.) and veterinary medicine (D.V.M.). 

The university offers sound engineering education to its students, with the school ranking as one of the best Civil engineering schools in the U.S. The school has been active in online education since its establishment; it currently enrolls roughly 15% of its students through its Division of Continuing Education at Cornell Tech, who take advantage of several distance learning options such as correspondence courses and certificate programs.

  • Cost of Tuition: $29,500
  • Acceptance Rate: 18%
  • Enrollment: 2,189

10. University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, or UIUC for short, is a public research university with various disciplines. The school has over 40 undergraduate schools and colleges that offer more than 200 majors in liberal arts, engineering, and science. The University of Illinois Urbana Champaign is one of the best Civil engineering schools in the U.S. It has been recognized as one of America’s top universities by U.S. News & World Report every year since 2014, including being named No 1 in 2015.

University students interested in civil engineering can study environmental science or urban planning while getting their Bachelor’s degree; then, they can pursue master’s degrees in civil engineering (M.C.E.) or construction management (MCM). The school offers many opportunities for hands-on learning through co-ops, where you can gain experience with real-world projects like building roads or bridges. Many students take internships during the summer before graduation to see what it would be like to work on construction sites worldwide. 

Illinois also offers many extracurricular activities like an honors college program where selected students live together on campus; Greek life where people join fraternities or sororities; intramural sports teams; student clubs/organizations such as Model U.N. Club, which helps prepare future diplomats by giving them practice interacting with people from other countries as well as local service organizations such as Habitat for Humanity which builds homes for low-income families struggling financially due to economic hardships caused by natural disasters, etc.

  • Cost of Tuition: $18,998
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Enrollment: 3,769

11. California Institute of Technology

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a private research university in Pasadena, California. It is one of the most prestigious universities in the world, and it’s known for its strength in natural sciences and engineering; it is one of the best Civil engineering schools in the U.S. The school has a student body of 2,000 undergraduate students with an additional 500 graduate students. The school has many notable alums, including 20 Nobel Laureates and 13 National Medal of Science winners, and several astronauts, including Buzz Aldrin, Sally Ride, James Van Allen, and Harold Urey, who discovered deuterium radiation while working at Caltech.

  • Cost of Tuition: $56,364
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Enrollment: 514

12. University of Texas At Austin

The University of Texas at Austin is a public research university in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 1883 and is the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. The institution has the fifth-largest single-campus enrollment nationwide, with over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students and over 24,000 faculty and staff. The institution comprises nine colleges and schools and has a combined academic staff of 3,060, making it one of the largest universities in the United States by total student enrollment.

The university offers degrees in more than 145 fields across all its colleges and schools, including the school of engineering and civil engineering specifically; there are also doctoral programs offered via distance education through its honors college (Ransom College) as well as through its other graduate school (Graduate Research Center). UT Austin was ranked 39th among national universities by U.S. News & World Report for best undergraduate teaching at public institutions for 2019. 

  • Cost of Tuition: $10,554
  • Acceptance Rate: between 15%-25% of applicants each year
  • Enrollment: 2,208

13. Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University is a public research university in College Station, Texas. The main campus is located on 5,841 acres (23.6 km2) of land southeast of the city, immediately south of the town of Bryan, and north of the city of College Station. Texas A&M has over 50,000 students enrolled in 10 colleges and schools: Agricultural & Life Sciences; Architecture; Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; Engineering; Law; Education; Nursing and Health Professions (Schools with Undergraduate programs only); Technology + Innovation (College of Veterinary Medicine); Mays Business School (Schools with Undergraduate programs only). Texas A&M University is one of the best Civil engineering schools in the U.S. 

The National Academy of Sciences designated Texas A&M University as one of six original “Land-Grant” universities under the 1862 Morrill Act. The university was founded as “The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas” on October 15, 1871, by a bill signed into law by then Governor Edmund J. Davis at an open meeting at Mary Hall on the part of what was then called Sherman’s Ranch. This made it possible for the new institution to secure public funding but also allowed it to be self-governing. 

  • Cost of Tuition: $27,000
  • Acceptance Rate: 63%
  • Enrollment: 780

14. Columbia University

Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States.

Columbia is one of eight universities that belong to the Association of American Universities (A.A.U.). It has been ranked as one of the top universities for Civil engineering and other disciplines of engineering globally by numerous international publications. Columbia University offers for study to its students a wide variety of courses for them to choose from. The school is one of the best schools for Civil engineering in the U.S.

  • Cost of Tuition: $54,528
  • Acceptance Rate: 28%
  • Enrollment: 3,899

Based on the research and analysis, we have to say that the top civil engineering schools in the U.S. are Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Stanford University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and several others discussed in this post. These schools offer the best civil education and teaching to both local and international students

Scroll to Top