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2020 Best Colleges for Civil Engineering

Approximately 21,299 civil engineering degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a challenge finding the best fit for you. This year's Best Colleges for Civil Engineering ranking analyzed 207 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 25 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 host of different 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 16% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 11%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 158 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 $61,723.

Starting Salary  ( 55755 to 67744 )
$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 full 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 United States

Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities to study civil engineering. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list. Of the 207 schools analyzed, only 25 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 25 Best Civil Eng Colleges

Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In GA
$61,900 Median Starting Salary

It's hard to beat Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus if you want to study civil engineering. Located in the large city Atlanta, Georgia Tech is a public school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 69 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Georgia Tech is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Georgia Tech also offers 2 different higher degree levels in civil engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from the civil eng program earn an average of $61,900 for their early career.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In NJ
1.6% Growth in Graduates

New Jersey Institute of Technology is a good option for students interested in a Civil Engineering major. NJIT is a large public school located in the large city of Newark. This school ranks 237th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of New Jersey.

For those interested in something more advanced, NJIT also offers 3 different higher degree levels in civil engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the civil eng program make about $58,400 for their early career.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
7th Most Popular In MA

It's hard to beat Massachusetts Institute of Technology if you want to study civil engineering. Located in the city Cambridge, MIT is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 2 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means MIT is a great school overall.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a fairly popular school to study civil eng in United States with more than 42 graduations last year.

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#4

Clarkson University

Potsdam, NY
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In NY
8.2% Growth in Graduates

Clarkson University is a good decision for students pursuing a Civil Engineering major. Located in the town Potsdam, Clarkson is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This school ranks 135th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

With 110 undergraduates, Clarkson University is one of most popular schools to study civil eng in United States. Students who graduate from this program report average early career income of $57,800.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
5th Most Popular In IL
$60,600 Median Starting Salary

Located in the city Chicago, Illinois Tech is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population. This school ranks 117th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

A popular choice for civil engineering undergrads, there are approximately 65 learners studying this degree at Illinois Tech. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, civil eng students typically earn around $60,600 in the first five years of their career.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In CA
24.9% Growth in Graduates

UC Berkeley is a very large public school located in the midsize city of Berkeley. A Best Colleges rank of 65 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UC Berkeley is a great school overall.

There are approximately 401 civil engineering undergraduates enrolled in this program at UC Berkeley. Students from the civil engineering degree program at University of California - Berkeley get $4,277 above the average college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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#7

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In VA
$61,000 Median Starting Salary

Located in the small city Blacksburg, Virginia Tech is a public college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 79th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

There are approximately 327 civil engineering undergrads studying this degree at Virginia Tech. Graduates of the civil eng program earn an average of $61,000 for their early career.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
5th Most Popular In MA
$61,600 Median Starting Salary

WPI is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Worcester. A Best Colleges rank of 46 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means WPI is a great school overall.

With 60 undergrads, Worcester Polytechnic Institute is one of most popular schools to study civil eng in United States. After graduating, civil eng students typically earn an average of $61,600 in their early careers.

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Master Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In IN
5.0% Growth in Graduates

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 53 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology is a great college overall.

There are about 40 civil engineering undergrads enrolled in this program at Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology. Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology civil engineering graduates make $3,077 more than the average civil eng graduate.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
9th Most Popular In NY
$66,000 Median Starting Salary

RPI is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of Troy. A Best Colleges rank of 57 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means RPI is a great college overall.

With 60 undergraduates, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is one of most popular schools to study civil eng in United States. Students from the civil engineering major at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute get $4,277 more than the typical college grad in this field when they enter the workforce.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In CA
$62,400 Median Starting Salary

Located in the small suburb Davis, UC Davis is a public school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 74 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UC Davis is a great school overall.

There are roughly 215 civil engineering undergrads studying this degree at UC Davis. Students who graduate from this program state that they receive average early career income of $62,400.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In TX
7.1% Growth in Graduates

Located in the midsize city College Station, Texas A&M is a public college with a very large student population. This school ranks 89th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Texas.

For those interested in something more advanced, Texas A&M also offers 2 different higher degree levels in civil engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students from the civil engineering program at Texas A&M University - College Station get $2,777 more than the average graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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#13

Virginia Military Institute

Lexington, VA
5th Most Popular In VA
$40,400 Median Starting Salary

VMI is a small public school located in the town of Lexington. This college ranks 185th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

Virginia Military Institute is a fairly popular college to study civil eng in United States with over 59 graduates last year. Graduates of the civil eng program earn about $40,400 in their early career salary.

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Master Highest Degree Type
12th Most Popular In NY
27.3% Growth in Graduates

Cooper Union is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of New York. This school ranks 254th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

A popular major for civil engineering undergrads, there are about 33 individuals studying this program at Cooper Union.

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#15

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
5th Most Popular In NJ

Princeton is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Princeton. A Best Colleges rank of 20 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Princeton is a great college overall.

A favorite choice for civil engineering undergrads, there are approximately 37 learners studying this degree at Princeton.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In NJ
$72,700 Median Starting Salary

Stevens is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Hoboken. This school ranks 179th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of New Jersey.

There are roughly 95 civil engineering undergraduates studying this program at Stevens. Stevens Institute of Technology civil engineering majors earn $10,977 more than the standard civil eng grad.

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#17

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In PA
12.8% Growth in Graduates

Located in the large city Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 28 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Carnegie Mellon is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Carnegie Mellon also offers 2 different higher degree levels in civil engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after graduation, civil eng students generally make around $60,200 at the beginning of their careers.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In MI
$60,800 Median Starting Salary

Located in the town Houghton, Michigan Tech is a public school with a moderately-sized student population. This school ranks 197th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

For those interested in something more advanced, Michigan Tech also offers 3 different higher degree levels in civil engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the civil eng program earn an average of $60,800 in the first couple years of their career.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In TX
$61,500 Median Starting Salary

UT Austin is a very large public school located in the large city of Austin. This school ranks 78th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Texas.

There are approximately 253 civil engineering undergrads enrolled in this program at UT Austin. Soon after graduation, civil eng students typically make around $61,500 in their early careers.

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#20

Manhattan College

Riverdale, NY
Master Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In NY
$66,100 Median Starting Salary

Located in the large city Riverdale, Manhattan is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This school ranks 274th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

There are about 128 civil engineering undergrads enrolled in this program at Manhattan. Students from the civil engineering program at Manhattan College get $4,377 more than the standard college graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In MO
31.1% Growth in Graduates

Missouri University of Science and Technology is a moderately-sized public school located in the town of Rolla. This college ranks 209th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Missouri.

There are approximately 177 civil engineering undergrads enrolled in this program at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Students who graduate from the civil eng program make about $58,800 in the first couple years of their career.

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#22

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
6th Most Popular In NY
$67,100 Median Starting Salary

Located in the small city Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 12 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Cornell is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Cornell also offers 2 different higher degree levels in civil engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Civil Engineering graduates from Cornell University receive an earnings boost of about $5,377 over the typical income of civil engineering graduates.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In NY
4.5% Growth in Graduates

Located in the large city New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 26 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Columbia is a great school overall.

There are about 155 civil engineering undergraduates enrolled in this program at Columbia. Students from the civil engineering major at Columbia University in the City of New York earn $4,277 more than the typical college grad in this field when they enter the workforce.

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#24

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
7th Most Popular In PA
15.3% Growth in Graduates

Located in the small city Bethlehem, Lehigh is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 43 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Lehigh is a great school overall.

A favorite major for civil engineering undergraduates, there are about 72 learners studying this degree at Lehigh. Students who graduate from the civil eng program make around $57,400 in their early career salary.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In WA
0.7% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city Seattle, UW Seattle is a public college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 84th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Washington.

There are roughly 302 civil engineering undergraduates enrolled in this degree at UW Seattle. Graduates of the civil eng program make about $61,900 in the first couple years of working.

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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
32 University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
33 University of Delaware Newark, DE
34 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ
35 Northwestern University Evanston, IL
36 University of Virginia - Main Campus Charlottesville, VA
37 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
38 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
39 South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Rapid City, SD
40 Pennsylvania State University - University Park University Park, PA
41 Rice University Houston, TX

Civil Engineering by Region

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

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
The 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 46,014
Electrical Engineering 31,993
Computer Engineering 15,329
Chemical Engineering 14,729
Biomedical Engineering 11,483

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.

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