Best Civil Engineering Schools in the USA

To find the best civil engineering schools in the country, we have prepared an article discussing what you need to know about the top engineering schools that offer an undergraduate civil engineering program.
Nader Mowlaee

Civil engineering majors are often out of the spotlight but do not for even one second assume that you can’t build a strong career as a civil engineer. From planning roads to designing bridges; civil engineers literally know how to build the world around us.


Although of course to become a civil engineer, you'll need to study really hard and get at least a bachelors degree. If you are passionate about this field of engineering and are aiming to make a big contribution to our infrastructure, then you're going to want to get into a good civil engineering school.

You'll need to know some of the top schools that offer this degree and perhaps even some of the oldest engineering schools in the world set the stage by shaping the civil engineering field.

In this article, we’ll briefly look at several top engineering schools right here in the United States. 

Is a Career in Civil Engineering in Demand?

Don’t even begin wondering about this because getting a civil engineering degree is more than worth it. That's because according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, civil engineering is growing an eleven percent estimated growth rate between 2016 and 2026.

Those who graduate with a civil engineering degree will have many career opportunities ahead of them. This is in part due to a large portion of civil engineering expert moving into their career retirement years. So, pursuing a degree in this field is not only rewarding, but it offers the potential for lots of growth.

Best Civil Engineering Schools in the USA
Source: John/Wikimedia Commons

What Should You Look for in a Civil Engineering Program?

When considering civil engineering schools, it's essential to evaluate whether the school can provide you with multiple options for graduate studies. It would be great if the school can offer the graduate degree you need, for example, Structural Engineering or Materials Science; but it should also provide the services to support your long-term career development.


Consider choosing colleges that provide career coaching services and job search counseling. If you are an international student and plan on traveling to another country later in life, It's also worth considering a civil engineering school that is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in the United States (ABET).

These programs meet rigorous testing and must follow international best practices, regulations, and standards, that is accepted by employers around the world.

Where Can I Pursue a Civil Engineering Degree?

Since civil engineering is a primary engineering field, many engineering and colleges offer programs that cover multiple programs of civil engineering. Begin by considering your local engineering schools and evaluate their civil engineering program; discuss the graduate degrees they offer and what percentage of their graduates are able to find a job within 3 months of graduation.

However, if you want to all-in and want to become a professional engineer (P.E.), then it's important to choose the right school, and it’s worth moving to another state or country to study and graduate.

Here are three top-tier civil engineering programs where you can pursue your undergraduate degree:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Among the top civil engineering degrees in America is MIT. Often referred to as an elite school, MIT is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Getting into this university is extremely tough. Popular majors at this school include civil engineering, but only 7 doctoral graduates in 2015, based on a survey conducted by

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

An ideal school for learners who love the old city architecture and design. This university has a high graduation rate and offers a terrific environment for learning. This program produced 31 doctoral graduates in 2015 in the field of civil engineering.

Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus 

Hundreds of students graduate from this school’s civil engineering program every year, and in 2015 this school was responsible for creating 32 doctoral level civil engineers.

College Factual rates Georgia Institute of Technology as the top school in the U.S. for Civil Engineering is Georgia Institute of Technology – specifically the Main Campus which produces 5.1% above the average graduate in this field.

Which Schools Offer Graduate Degrees?

You can continue building your career in this exciting engineering field by pursuing a graduate degree. Some of the best civil engineering schools also offer graduate degrees, including UCB, Georgia Tech, University of Illinois, University of Texas, and Purdue University, only to me a few.

Check out this list of best civil engineering schools for graduate-level degrees, according to U.S. News & World Report:

The University of California—Berkeley 

A public institution founded in 1868, UCB is ranked 22nd in the 2019 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities. An interesting fact here is that UCB is the oldest and most selective of the nine research universities with graduate programs in the University of California system.

Purdue University 

Graduate students in Purdue's program can count on flexible rolling admissions and a small student-to-faculty ratio (5.4 students per faculty). Purdue university consists of 13 colleges and several graduate programs including civil engineering at the West Lafayette College of Engineering.

This school is responsible for creating notable alumni such as the first man who walked on the moon, Neil Armstrong.

The University of Michigan—Ann Arbor 

One of the country’s best public schools, the University of Michigan has excellent engineering programs, as well as strong athletics, 1,500 student organizations, and groups. The University of Michigan is ranked the nation’s 6th best university that a doctoral degree in civil engineering.

Final Thoughts

To become a civil engineer and build a strong foundation for your career, it's vital that you consider all your options in choosing the best school; especially one that can offer you a graduate degree.

This requires a step by step map for identifying the right engineering schools, and if you want to have a differentiating factor among job candidates, consider further educating yourself on the world's greatest structures.

In this article, we aimed to share some of the different factors that can impact your education path and longterm career as a civil engineer. We hope you can find some of the best civil engineering schools in the country.

If you have any particular questions regarding engineering schools that you want to target, reach out to me directly, and I'll help you as best as I can.

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