2023 Best Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Civil Engineering
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Deciding which college to attend can be a daunting task. For many, it will be the most important decision that they make in their lives. To make an informed decision, you have to consider a lot of variables, such as cost of attendance, financial aid, student-teacher ratio, academics, student life, and more. These factors will either positively or negatively impact the quality of education that you receive.
Do you want to acquire a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering but don’t know what institution you should attend? Well, if you are as ambitious as I was in my late teens, then you want to attend a top school, instead of an average or mediocre one. Fortunately, we have already done the legwork for you. To help you find the right school for your interests and goals, we’ve compiled a list of 2022’s best bachelor’s in civil engineering programs.
What institution did we omit from this list? Leave your suggestions in the comment section below.
- MIT, Cambridge, MA
Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a top-rated, ABET-sanctioned bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. This degree program is our first pick for a reason. The program offers a wide range of core classes in civil engineering that prepare learners with a strong foundational knowledge of the sustainability of existing structures and future design. MIT involves learners in groundbreaking research and hands-on experiences. Classes at MIT are developed and taught by sector leaders.
Learners will work in cutting-edge research laboratories, such as the Parsons Laboratory and Pierce Laboratory, to conduct studies for classes such as: computer programming for scientific and engineering applications, multivariate data analysis, senior civil and environmental engineering design, fluid mechanics, multiscale characterization of materials, project evaluation and management, principles of energy and water sustainability, and water resource systems. Programs at MIT are designed to equip learners to serve the nation as professionals, scholars, academic leaders, and entrepreneurs. Learners work to address foundational issues that affect infrastructure, the environment, and systems.
- Stanford University, Stanford, CA
The bachelor of science (BS) in civil engineering at Stanford University couples superior research with core engineering education. Learners in this degree program may choose to specialize in either structures and construction or environmental and water studies. These concentrations train learners to work effectively as critical professionals either alone or in teams. In addition to core coursework concentrations, Stanford provides opportunities for learners to diversify by taking classes in interdisciplinary fields such as earth systems, Human biology, and urban studies.
- Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Princeton’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering allows learners to concentrate in five distinct sub-plans. The institution places such a strong emphasis on independent research that it requires seniors to finish a year-long thesis project. Sophomores and juniors are urged to partake in integrated research and development. In addition to core classes taken at the institution, learners also engage in cooperative research and education at institutes both on-campus and off.
- University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Learners at the University of California at Berkeley obtain hands-on education and leadership development, preparing them for work anywhere in the world. With 50 full-time professors, the Department of Civil Engineering at UC Berkeley prepares learners for leadership in the profession.
Studying in the San Francisco Bay Area offers learners world-class opportunities to engage in groundbreaking engineering projects and professional development. Also, the on-campus civil and environmental engineering laboratories are among the best in the country. All learners—not just graduate learners—obtain hands-on research education.
- Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA
Georgia Institute of Technology’s bachelor of science (BS) in civil engineering not only prepare learners for professional practice, but it also prepares learners to contribute to society in influential ways. Undergraduate learners may specialize in a chosen path or study a generalized civil engineering curriculum. Fields of study include construction management, environmental systems, geotechnical systems, structural systems, and transportation systems. Regardless of which path they choose, learners will take foundational classes such as computing, multivariable calculus, differential dynamics, and fluid mechanics.
Learners have access to eighteen plug-and-play computer workstations, teaching laboratories for geotechnical engineering and construction materials, and glass-paneled group project rooms.
- Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
At Harvard, the engineering science degree program exists within the liberal arts environment. The curriculum focuses on both science and mathematical analysis, along with a heavy core in general concepts so that learners can succeed in integrative areas of the field. Learners work to apply engineering concepts to real-world problems and to utilize state-of-the-art technologies. Faculty teach an array of research- and theory-based classes to learners, including: statistical inference for scientists and engineers, series expansions and complex analysis, ordinary and partial differential equations, systems programming and machine organization, mechanics and materials, and engineering physics and chemistry.
The institution has over $46.8 million dedicated solely to sponsored research, allowing all learners—not just graduate learners—in civil engineering to conduct real-life, project-based learning and research.
- Columbia University, New York, NY
Columbia offers an active, robust civil engineering degree. The department offers classes through the School of Mines. Learners in the degree program have access to a wide range of classes, several of which prepare learners for career options as well as for graduate-level studies. Key classes consist of hydrosystems engineering, engineering for developing communities, sustainable water treatment and reuse, urban ecology studio, independent studies in flight sciences, independent studies in environmental engineering, civil engineering reports, and the art of structural design.
Columbia University offers an array of interdisciplinary research and development opportunities for learners. The institution also hosts an active chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a pre-professional organization that helps learners find scholarships as well as part- and full-time jobs.
- Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Carnegie Mellon’s engineering programs are highly rated with the civil engineering bachelor’s degree program rated twelfth overall in the entire country. Learners are urged to engage in independent research, internships, and study abroad programs. Many learners also diversify their studies by double-majoring in fields such as biomedical engineering and engineering and public policy.
Carnegie Mellon not only offers concentrations in civil engineering, it also has programs in chemical, electrical and computer, mechanical, and materials science and engineering. Learners work closely with an academic advisor to develop meaningful experiences that accentuate the design, teamwork, and hands-on experience in laboratories. Learners take coursework that emphasizes environmental sustainability and an understanding of the evolution of technology.
- Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Cornell University’s civil engineering degree program emphasizes leadership and sound business decision-making. Many graduates of this degree program go on to take leadership positions in established companies or even to start their businesses. The institution enrolls some of the country’s top engineers, and it offers the chance to specialize in one or more areas.
In addition to its bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, Cornell has master’s degrees in both civil and environmental engineering. Coursework at the undergraduate level prepares learners for either goal, offering classes such as structural dynamics and earthquake engineering, statics and mechanics of solids, engineering computation, remote sensing for environmental resource inventory, coastal engineering, case studies in environmental fluid mechanics, retaining structures and slopes, and laboratory research in environmental engineering.
The institution also has a wide variety of community activities, such as the award-winning learner chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. This group sponsors community service projects and involvement in national competitions.
- Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
Dartmouth’s bachelor’s degree program in civil engineering at Dartmouth prepares learners for professional practice and career success. Civil engineering learners at Dartmouth have access to superior resources, including over 200 computer workstations. Freshmen are introduced to computing right away, and basic training on all systems is available to learners free of charge. Learners also have access to powerful computers with specialized software in the civil engineering laboratory. These computers consist of software normally used for modern computer-aided design.
With a learner to faculty ratio of just sixteen to one, learners at Dartmouth have close access to some of the best professors in the world. The campus has over eighty distinct undergraduate programs, allowing learners to engage in interdisciplinary study and gain in-depth theoretical comprehension of civil engineering. Key classes consist of civil engineering design graphics; engineering mechanics II: dynamics; differential equations; fluid mechanics lab; soil mechanics; and engineering economy.
Faculty members are heavily involved in research, which allows learners to work alongside them in some of the most cutting-edge projects in the world. Many learners apply for internships at institutions such as the Massachusetts Military Reservation, treatment plants, and consulting firms.
- Duke University, Durham, NC
Duke’s degree program in civil engineering is highly rated by a variety of reporting agencies. Duke is also rated sixth in the US for environmental science and engineering. Learners have access to multiple dual major options as well as a fast path 4+1 bachelor’s and master’s degree program, which enables learners to obtain degrees in just five short years of study.
In this program, the professors know each learner’s name and work directly with them to develop intensive, hands-on research. Learners may also choose to engage in independent study. Required classes include multivariable calculus, soil mechanics, reinforced concrete design, structural analysis, probability and statistics, systems optimization and economics, structural steel design, and integrated structural design.
- Rice University, Houston, TX
Rice University is a leading research institution dedicated to educating undergraduate engineers. The engineering department has two bachelor’s degrees, a non-thesis graduate degree, and a doctoral degree in civil engineering. Ninety-five credit hours are required to graduate. Required classes consist of matrix analysis, earth structure and deformation, ordinary differential equations and linear algebra, electricity and magnetism, sustainable design, introduction to air pollution control, and sustainable water purification for the developing world.
The Department Engineering at Rice has over $25,000 worth of scholarships each year. Scholarships are awarded to learners who plan to perform research or design, or those who have already made substantial creative contributions. The institution also sponsors a chapter of Engineers Without Borders as well as other engineering clubs, organizations, and competitions. The American Society of Civil Engineers Learner and Chi Epsilon help promote the status of the field of civil engineering and connect learners with site visits, sector experiences, internships, and social events.
- Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
The civil and environmental engineering degree program at Lehigh is one of the institution’s largest and oldest programs. Graduates go on to become successful in the sector and academia, contributing to decades of advanced research in engineering. Learners at Lehigh obtain rigorous training in the humanities, social sciences, mathematics, physical sciences, and scientific methods. Learners graduate with broad technical knowledge and application skills as well as the skills necessary to solve problems and think critically.
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Lehigh is small, hosting just over 50 graduate learners, and around 100 undergraduate learners. Sample coursework consists of applied engineering computer methods, engineering/architectural graphics and design, civil engineering statistics, strength of materials, civil engineering materials, water resources engineering, geotechnical engineering, and fundamentals of structural concrete design.
Lehigh has several integral resources for undergraduate engineering learners. For instance, the STEPS building is situated on campus and so are state-of-the-art, LEED-certified facilities. Learners may utilize these facilities and others to conduct National Science Foundation-sponsored research and integrated learning experiences.
- University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
The civil engineering bachelor’s degree program at the University of California–Los Angeles offers a superior technical and theoretical foundation for learners hoping to enter into professional practice in civil engineering. The institution also has graduate and doctoral degree programs in the areas of engineering materials. Learners may choose to conduct research into one or more of these concepts, blending interdisciplinary approaches and studies.
The bachelor’s degree in civil engineering is designed as a capstone major. Learners will work individually and with teams to finish original design projects. Required classes consist of the following: civil and environmental engineering; earth, planetary, and space sciences; mechanical and aerospace engineering; civil engineering materials; introductory thermodynamics; materials science and engineering; environmental health sciences; and structural/earthquake engineering.
- The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Civil engineering learners are taught and advised by 50 internationally recognized and supportive professors. Undergraduate learners take two years of foundational classes in science and engineering principles. During the second two years, learners will branch out, taking classes that allow them to delve into specific research areas. Required classes consist of structural analysis, transportation systems, introduction to computer methods, elementary mechanics of fluids, sequence, series and multivariable calculus, engineering professionalism, geotechnical engineering, and applied thermodynamics. The University of Texas has several strategic partnerships with other institutions and organizations, making Austin a working laboratory for many learners.