Study Civil Engineering in the USA

Study Civil Engineering in the USA


Study Civil Engineering in the USA To earn your degree or certificate as an international student, you have your choice of all the top schools, colleges and universities in the USA that specialize in the best Civil Engineering programs

Click on the map of the United States below, to find a school in the area you are interested in studying, or just scroll and browse.

Top civil engineering colleges in USA – One of the most sought after engineering specialisations in the USA, civil engineering attracts a large number of international students to the country every year. Being one of the traditional engineering branches, the engineering specialisation is part of majority of the top universities in the USA. Not just that, engineers from top civil engineering colleges in USA have also been part of major developments in the infrastructure sector of the country as well as across the globe. Do you know that engineers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were the hands and minds behind the construction of famous sites like Golden Gate Bridge and even the New York subway system?

Most of the top civil engineering colleges in the USA are engaged in infrastructural developments like renovation of dams, coral reef hydrodynamics and so on.

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Civil engineering is also one of the highest paying engineering specialisations in the USA. According to Payscale, the national salary of civil engineering graduates in USA falls between $46,196 – $93,182.

Here are some of the top Civil Engineering schools in USA:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):

Topping the list for every engineering ranking in the World, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) definitely makes it to the top civil engineering colleges in the USA. The Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) department started way back when the university first opened its door to students in 1865. On offer in the department are two state of the art laboratories- Pierce which focuses in infrastructure and Parsons which focuses on environment.


What to study:  MIT offers an undergraduate programme by the name 1-Eng which lets students pursue different fields like environmental microbiology, to structures, to transportation systems.

At the Postgraduate level, MIT students can opt of any of the three degrees-

  • Nine-month, practice-orientated Master’s program (M.Eng.)
  • Master of Science in Transportation (M.S.T.)
  • S.M. and Ph.D.  program

Standardised tests:  For undergraduate courses, aspirants are required to take the SAT reasoning test in addition to two SAT Subject Tests-one in math (level 1 or 2), and the other one in science (physics, chemistry, or biology e/m).

Graduate aspirants have to submit GRE scores of at least 159 -160 with a minimum of 4.5 in analytical writing.


International students are also required to show proof of English proficiency through IELTS and TOEFL with the general minimum accepted score being 7.0 and 100 respectively.


University of California, Berkeley (UCB):

Ranked at number 3 and 6 respectively by US News and QS respectively, the University of California, Berkeley’s department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) is home to more than 400 undergraduate and 360 graduate students.  Established in 1872, Civil Engineering is one of the oldest departments in the University of California, Berkeley. Currently, the department is a global leader in developing engineering solutions to societal-scale challenges making it one of the top civil engineering colleges in USA.


What to study: At the undergraduate level, UCB’s 4 years long civil engineering programme leads to ABET-accredited B.S. degree.  The curriculum covers engineering science, design and practice.


At the postgraduate level, the department offers the following programmes:

  • Energy, Civil Infrastructure and Climate
  • Engineering and Project Management
  • Environmental Engineering
  • GeoSystems (Geoengineering)
  • Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials
  • Systems
  • Transportation Engineering

Standardised tests: The department of civil and environmental engineering requires both SAT reasoning and subject tests scores at the UG level. Aspirants have to take 2 SAT Subject Tests in two different subject areas selected from history, literature, mathematics (Math Level 2 only), science or a language other than English. The average SAT score should be 580-710 for Reading; 620-740 for Math and 590-710 for Writing.

UCB requires only GRE score as admission requirement to its programmes. While there is no minimum requirement, the average scores of the students it admits are 150 in Verbal, 160 in Quantitative and a score of 4 in Analytical Writing.


Aspirants also need to submit scores of IELTS and TOEFL as proof of English proficiency.


Stanford University

Ranked among the top Civil Engineering colleges in USA, the Stanford Civil and Environmental Engineering is a research focused department with focus on three broad areas- Atmosphere & Energy, The Built Environment and The Water Environment.  Interestingly, the CEE’s research collaborations are globally renowned and spread across countries like India, France, Israel, Mozambique and Bangladesh. The department’s current research initiatives include engineering and renovation of dams, coral reef hydrodynamics, bio-based structural material, among others.

What to study: The Stanford CEE undergraduate level covers major and minor degrees in courses like mathematics, sciences and engineering sciences.

The graduate level has programmes such as:

  • Atmosphere/Energy
  • Environmental Engineering & Science
  • Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology
  • Structural Engineering and Geomechanics
  • Sustainable Design & Construction

Standardised tests: While Stanford accepts SAT and ACT score for entry into its undergraduate programmes, it does have any minimum requirement for the same.

Stanford’s civil engineering department accepts the GRE score for admission to its programmes. While there is no minimum requirement, the average acceptance scores are 750-800 in Maths and 400-500 in Verbal. Aspirants also need to submit scores of IELTS and TOEFL as proof of English proficiency.


University of Texas at Austin:

It is the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering’s research inclined study that has catapulted the University of Texas at Austin as one of the top civil engineering colleges in the USA. In fact, the civil engineering department, part of the Cockrell School of Engineering, is one of largest and most extensive civil engineering departments in the country with more than 1,000 students and 50 faculty members.


What to study:  At the undergraduate level, the University of Texas at Austin offers two programmes- Civil Engineering and Architectural Engineering.

At the postgraduate level, the following courses are available:

  • Construction Engineering and Project Management
  • Infrastructure Materials Engineering
  • Mechanics, Uncertainty and Simulation in Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Environmental and Water Resources Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Building Energy and Environments

Standardised testsFor admission to undergraduate departments, students have to fulfill the Calculus Readiness requirements which include the following:

  • SAT Math score of 600 or above
  • ACT Math score of 26 or above
  • AB or BC AP Calculus Test score of 3 or higher

For postgraduate courses, students are required to submit GRE scores along with IELTS and TOEFL scores for English proficiency.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A part of the college of engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) consistently ranks among the best civil engineering colleges in the USA. The department was founded in 1867 and its engineers are known for being part of famous landmarks of USA like the Golden Gate Bridge, Hoover Dam and the New York subway, among others. The department also boasts of a 13,000-strong alumni network across the globe.


What to study:  The undergraduate curriculum requires 128 hours of study and includes subjects like physics, math, chemistry, theoretical, applied mechanics, civil and environmental engineering.

The following programmes are offered at the postgraduate level:

  • Construction Management
  • Construction Materials
  • Energy-Water-Environment Sustainability (interdisciplinary)
  • Societal Risk Management
  • Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Systems (interdisciplinary)
  • Environmental Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering and Science

Standardised tests: Students have to submit their SAT scores for admission to the undergraduate programme. SAT subject test scores are not required.

For entry into the graduate programme, the minimum GRE requirement is as follows:

  • Verbal: 154
  • Quantitative: 164
  • Analytical Writing: 4.0

Besides, the department also requires international aspirants to show proof of English proficiency through IELTS or TOEFL score.

Top civil engineering colleges in USA:

University QS Tuition fees
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1 $46,400
University of California, Berkeley (UCB) 6 UG- $54,000


Stanford University 8 UG- $53,400

PG- $56,880

University of Texas at Austin 15 UG- $18,006(per sem)

PG- $12,399(per sem)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 16 UG- $35,164 (tuition)

PG- $31,626

Georgia Institute of Technology 24 UG- $31,500(tuition)
Purdue University 29 $30,964(tuition)
Texas A&M University 38 $43,144
University of Michigan 42 $41,096
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) 44 $58,606
University of California, San Diego (UCSD) 50 $58,630

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