Civil engineering focuses on the man-made structures that make up our environments. Civil engineers oversee public works like roads, bridges, and water and sewer systems. They also design buildings, drainage systems and environmental infrastructure.
Because civil engineers contribute to the functioning of our physical world, the demand for them remains strong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, civil engineers are expected to experience 8% job growth by 2030. Other civil engineering graduate jobs include construction managers, environmental engineers, and surveyors.
There are few civil engineering degrees online due to the hands-on nature of the discipline. We have found a program that combines the convenience of online education with what goes into a traditional civil engineering degree.
What To Expect In An Online Bachelor Of Civil Engineering Program
A civil engineering degree combines basic courses in engineering theory with advanced courses in aspects of the discipline. Civil engineering encompasses subjects such as transportation engineering, hydraulic engineering, and environmental engineering. You will take courses and complete lab requirements in areas such as
- Structural design
- Fluid mechanics
- Computer Aided Design
- transport engineering
You will complete many individual and group tasks to practice your skills. Electives can allow you to focus your degree on a specific area of the field.
Many civil engineering degrees culminate in a final project allowing students to demonstrate that they are ready to work in industry.
For more details on civil engineering degrees, including other degree levels you can pursue, see What is a civil engineering degree?
What Courses Will I Take In A Bachelor Of Civil Engineering Program?
Bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering strengthen your fundamental understanding of the discipline. Although the core courses are similar from program to program, universities vary in the concentrations and electives offered.
Introduction to Surveying
As an overview of surveying equipment, measurements, procedures and processes, an introductory surveying course lays the foundation for interpreting site surveys. You will learn how to discuss and describe surveying, basic terminology, and the math and science needed to work with survey data.
Soil mechanics focuses on the physical and mechanical properties of the soil. It teaches you about soil classification, compaction and flow, permeability and infiltration, and related topics. You will explore soil testing, shear strength, slopes and stability.
Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering
Topics covered include water and wastewater engineering, air pollution control, and solid waste management. By focusing on the past, present and future of environmental issues and how they relate to civil engineering, you will learn how to solve problems while designing and improving more environmentally friendly structures.
Structural Engineering Design
A class in structural engineering design focuses on the principles of concrete, steel, and masonry design. You will also learn about structural analysis at the element and system level. Classes include hands-on projects, problem sets, and group discussions. You will gain insight into load and design safety, constructability and structural control, and load estimation.
The Best Online Bachelor in Civil Engineering
ZDNet’s ranking methods consider many factors to provide you with the best information on degree options. By combining federally reported data, expert information, and programmatic and professional results, our algorithm provides an objective and comprehensive view of the best civil engineering degree online. With only one program on the list, rest assured that this is the best online option available.
Unless otherwise specified, data are taken from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and the College Scorecard.
1. University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, North Dakota
About the program: UND’s online bachelor’s degree in civil engineering consists of 128 credit hours. The program meets the educational requirements for obtaining a civil engineering license in all US states. UND also offers a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree online, which can be completed in 5.5 to 6 years. This program is ABET accredited.
- Acceptance rate: 87%
- Graduation rate: 50%
- Avg. annual net price: $15,738
- Completion time : four to five years
- SAT: Optional; most student scores range from 1010 to 1250
- Minimum MPC: 2.75 (recommended)
- Registration periods per year: Three
- Course delivery method: Asynchronous
This article has been reviewed by Sierra Gawlowski, PE
Sierra Gawlowski, PE, earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and is a licensed professional engineer in Washington State. She has worked for a private consulting engineering company as well as for public bodies. Sierra enjoys mentoring engineering students and junior staff. She also leads a project team for Engineers Without Borders and currently sits on the board of Kilowatts for Humanity.
Gawlowski is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network.
Last revised May 20, 2022.