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2021 Best Colleges for Civil Engineering

Approximately 21,795 civil engineering degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a challenge finding the right fit. This year's Best Colleges for Civil Engineering ranking analyzed 183 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of schools for Civil Engineering students.

Choosing a Great Civil Engineering School

Best Colleges for Civil Engineering Your choice of civil engineering school matters. Important measures of a quality civil eng program can vary widely even among the top schools. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:

Quality Overall is Important

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To take this into account we consider a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a combination of various factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 25% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 14%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 198 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Graduates Earn More After College

Civil Engineering graduates from schools on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. While the average civil engineering bachelors degree from U.S. colleges results in an average starting salary of $57,979, graduates of colleges on this list average $63,280.

Starting Salary  ( 57780 to 66019 )
$0
$72,700

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Civil Engineering students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other civil engineering students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized civil engineering related accrediting body.

Our complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for Civil Engineering students.

Best Schools to Study Civil Engineering in the United States

Learn about the top ranked colleges and universities for civil engineering majors. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

Top 25 Best Civil Eng Colleges

Stevens Institute of Technology is a great option for students pursuing a Civil Engineering degree. Stevens is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Hoboken. This college ranks 172nd out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of New Jersey.

A favorite major for civil engineering undergraduates, there are about 90 learners studying this degree at Stevens. Stevens Institute of Technology civil engineering majors receive $9,420 more than the standard civil eng student.

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It's difficult to beat Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus if you wish to study civil engineering. Located in the city Atlanta, Georgia Tech is a public school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 82 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Georgia Tech is a great school overall.

There are roughly 248 civil engineering undergraduates enrolled in this program at Georgia Tech. Graduates of the civil eng program make about $61,900 for their early career.

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It's hard to beat Illinois Institute of Technology if you want to pursue civil engineering as a major. Located in the large city Chicago, Illinois Tech is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population. This college ranks 154th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

A favorite choice for civil engineering undergraduates, there are roughly 89 students studying this degree at Illinois Tech. After graduating, civil eng students typically make around $60,600 in the first five years of their career.

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It's hard to beat Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute if you want to study civil engineering. RPI is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of Troy. A Best Colleges rank of 58 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means RPI is a great college overall.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a fairly popular school to study civil eng in United States with more than 73 graduates last year. Civil Engineering graduates from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute receive an earnings boost of approximately $2,720 over the average earnings of civil engineering majors.

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Missouri University of Science and Technology is a moderately-sized public school located in the remote town of Rolla. This college ranks 257th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Missouri.

There are approximately 168 civil engineering undergrads studying this degree at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Students who graduate from the civil eng program make around $58,800 for their early career.

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Located in the midsize city College Station, Texas A&M is a public school with a very large student population. This college ranks 102nd out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Texas.

There are about 420 civil engineering undergraduates enrolled in this degree at Texas A&M. Students who graduate from the civil eng program make an average of $64,500 in their early career salary.

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#7

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

Located in the small city Blacksburg, Virginia Tech is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 88th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

There are roughly 346 civil engineering undergrads enrolled in this degree at Virginia Tech. Students who graduate from the civil eng program earn about $61,000 in the first couple years of their career.

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UC Berkeley is a fairly large public school located in the city of Berkeley. A Best Colleges rank of 69 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UC Berkeley is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UC Berkeley also offers 2 different higher degree levels in civil engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. University of California - Berkeley civil engineering students receive $2,720 more than the standard civil eng graduate.

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NJIT is a large public school located in the large city of Newark. This college ranks 302nd out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of New Jersey.

For those interested in something more advanced, NJIT also offers 2 different higher degree levels in civil engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the civil eng program earn about $58,400 in the first couple years of their career.

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Located in the small city Terre Haute, Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 66 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology is a great college overall.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology offers a Master's Degree in civil engineering. Graduates of the civil eng program make around $64,800 in their early career salary.

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SD Mines is a small public school located in the city of Rapid City. This college ranks 435th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of South Dakota.

For those interested in something more advanced, SD Mines also offers 2 different higher degree levels in civil engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, civil eng students generally make an average of $58,700 in the first five years of their career.

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USC is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Los Angeles. A Best Colleges rank of 40 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means USC is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, USC also offers 3 different higher degree levels in civil engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students from the civil engineering program at University of Southern California make $8,220 more than the average graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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#13

Clarkson University

Potsdam, NY

Located in the remote town Potsdam, Clarkson is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. This college ranks 146th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

With 74 students enrolled, Clarkson University is one of most popular colleges to study civil eng in United States. Grads of the civil eng program state that they receive average early career wages of $57,800.

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#14

Northeastern University

Boston, MA

Located in the large city Boston, Northeastern is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 81 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Northeastern is a great college overall.

There are approximately 168 civil engineering undergrads studying this degree at Northeastern. Students who graduate from the civil eng program earn about $64,200 in their early career salary.

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UT Austin is a very large public school located in the large city of Austin. This school ranks 91st out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Texas.

There are roughly 301 civil engineering undergrads studying this degree at UT Austin. Soon after graduating, civil eng students typically make an average of $61,500 in the first five years of their career.

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#16

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Located in the city Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 17 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Cornell is a great school overall.

Cornell University is one of the most popular college to study civil eng in United States with more than 86 graduates last year. Civil Engineering majors from Cornell University receive an earnings boost of around $3,820 over the typical earnings of civil engineering graduates.

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#17

Manhattan College

Riverdale, NY

Located in the large city Riverdale, Manhattan is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This school ranks 384th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, Manhattan also offers a Master's Degree in civil engineering. Manhattan College civil engineering majors receive $2,820 more than the average civil eng graduate.

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Located in the suburb Davis, UC Davis is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 83 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UC Davis is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UC Davis also offers 2 different higher degree levels in civil engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who complete this degree state that they receive average early career wages of $62,400.

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Located in the city Seattle, UW Seattle is a public school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 97th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Washington.

There are roughly 292 civil engineering undergraduates studying this degree at UW Seattle. Graduates of the civil eng program make about $61,900 for their early career.

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WPI is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Worcester. A Best Colleges rank of 51 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means WPI is a great school overall.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, WPI also offers a Master's Degree in civil engineering. Soon after graduating, civil eng students generally earn around $61,600 at the beginning of their careers.

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#21

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

Located in the large suburb Notre Dame, Notre Dame is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 14 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Notre Dame is a great college overall.

There are approximately 56 civil engineering undergraduates studying this program at Notre Dame. Civil Engineering majors from University of Notre Dame receive an earnings boost of about $5,920 over the typical earnings of civil engineering graduates.

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#22

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA

University of Virginia is a fairly large public school located in the small suburb of Charlottesville. A Best Colleges rank of 42 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means University of Virginia is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, University of Virginia also offers 2 different higher degree levels in civil engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates from the civil engineering program at University of Virginia - Main Campus make $3,220 more than the typical college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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#23

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

Located in the large city Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 33 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Carnegie Mellon is a great college overall.

There are about 126 civil engineering undergraduates studying this program at Carnegie Mellon. Soon after graduating, civil eng students generally earn about $60,200 at the beginning of their careers.

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Located in the remote town Houghton, Michigan Tech is a public school with a medium-sized student population. This school ranks 205th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

There are approximately 102 civil engineering undergraduates enrolled in this program at Michigan Tech. Students who graduate from the civil eng program earn around $60,800 in the first couple years of working.

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Located in the city Raleigh, NC State is a public school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 105th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of North Carolina.

There are about 238 civil engineering undergraduates studying this degree at NC State. Students who complete this program state that they receive average early career earnings of $57,800.

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Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Civil Engineering

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Colleges for Civil Engineering award.

Rank College Location
28 Columbia University in the City of New York New York, NY
29 California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA
30 University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
31 Iowa State University Ames, IA
32 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
33 Pennsylvania State University - University Park University Park, PA
34 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
35 Clemson University Clemson, SC
36 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI

Civil Engineering by Region

View the Best Colleges for Civil Engineering for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Civil Engineering is one of 38 different types of Engineering programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Mechanical Engineering 47,405
Electrical Engineering 31,384
Computer Engineering 15,891
Chemical Engineering 14,406
Biomedical Engineering 12,001

View All Civil Eng Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Master Sgt. Roger Parsons. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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