Online Civil Engineering Degrees

By Brandon Mario D`Souza

Updated March 16, 2024

Brandon Mario D’Souza

Brandon is a registered social worker with Social Work England. He obtained his master’s in social work (personnel management & industrial relations) and used it in fields such as water treatment, construction, software, and education. Then he transitioned to the health and social care sector with an M.Sc. in health psychology. Brandon loves to write, cook, and play musical instruments (piano, guitar, melodica, ukulele, and kazoo) and enjoys the calmness and serenity of nature.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

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None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.

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Students can prepare for various careers in the civil engineering field through an online civil engineering degree. The discipline of engineering is concerned with the maintenance and design of dams, roads, bridges, and other similar structures. The bachelor’s in civil engineering degree online could range between 120 and 135 credits, depending on the curriculum and institution. It could take students about 3.5 to 4.5 years to complete the program, depending on part-time or full-time study. The focus of the bachelor’s degree curriculum in civil engineering is on structures, geotechnology, water resources, and mechanics. The job outlook for civil engineering is 7% faster than average, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

Civil Engineering Degrees

Best Online Civil Engineering

A bachelor’s degree increases students’ knowledge in their respective fields and careers. Finding the best bachelor’s in civil engineering degree online could be difficult for students as there are many factors to consider. Students interested in this program should inquire about certain factors like the availability of labs and resources, the infrastructure of the college, the quality of faculty, accreditation, internship, or field experience, etc. Based on these and other factors, the Find Best Degrees team has narrowed down the best online civil engineering degree programs in the United States: *

The University of North Dakota (also known as UND or North Dakota) is a public research university established by the Dakota Territorial Assembly in 1883. UND has over 225 academic programs, including 108 undergraduate majors, 69 minors, 81 master’s programs, 37 doctoral programs, and two professional programs (medicine and law).
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
University of North Dakota 264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202 $11,503 62%

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to Expect from the Online Civil Engineering
Degree Programs

Prospective students in an online civil engineering degree will begin by completing physics, chemistry, math, and earth science courses. After these basic courses, students will take specific courses like environmental analysis, construction, materials, surveying and building design, and engineering design. The curriculum of this degree blends engineering theory classes with advanced classes in various aspects of the area. Students also learn about civil engineering technology basics in this program. Most bachelor’s in civil engineering degrees require students to complete a final capstone project to demonstrate their proficiency while working in the field.

Students would be required to complete the 120 to 135 credits of the program online, offline, or in the hybrid mode of delivery that combines both online and off-campus classes. Some programs may require students to complete a thesis, internship, or field experience. Civil engineering programs focus on planning, designing, and maintaining facilities and building facilities that serve the general public, including services like highways, mass transit, airports, and railroad systems.

Several specializations are offered in this program, like soil mechanics, environmental engineering fundamentals, introduction to surveying, etc. The courses students would be required to complete will depend on the specialization they choose. However, some basic courses are offered by most civil engineering degrees online, which are:


Civil engineering surveys determine the relative positions of varied objects on the earth’s surface. Students learn how to survey by measuring horizontal distances between the different objects and the surface of the earth and preparing a map of suitable scale.

Project and Construction Management

This course combines the two different subjects of project management and civil engineering. Students learn to manage various aspects of a project and handle the technical problems of a project. This course focuses on both project management and execution of methods.

Hydraulic Engineering

This course is concerned with the conveyance and flow of fluids, mostly concentrated on sewage and water. Among other things, students learn about the characteristics of this system, which uses gravity as the main force to cause movement amongst the fluids.

Transportation Engineering

This course focuses on scientific principles of planning, operation, functional designs, and management of facilities of different modes of transport to provide rapid, comfortable, safe, and economically compatible movement of goods and people.

Renewable Engineering

This course focuses on different renewable undertakings in the field of civil engineering. Students learn about projects like installing solar panels, implementing new-age hydro energy, and constructing wind farms.

Some of the other courses bachelor’s in civil engineering students can expect include but are not limited to:

  • Construction and Culture
  • Principles of Engineering Economy
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Introduction to Civil Engineering
  • Surveying for Civil Engineering and Construction
  • Mechanics for Civil Engineers
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Foundation Engineering and Earth Retaining Structures
  • Capstone Design Project
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Civil Engineering and Society
  • Reinforced Concrete Design

Students can refer to the Guide to Bachelor Programs for more information on undergraduate degrees.

Degree Types for Online Computer Engineering
Degree Programs

There are three types of civil engineering online degree programs – the Bachelor of Arts or BA Civil Engineering, the Bachelor of Science or BS Civil Engineering, and the Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering or B.Eng. Civil Engineering. The basic curriculum of all these degrees in civil engineering could be very similar; however, the focus of each degree would differ a little, depending on the curriculum and concentration.

Bachelor of Arts in Civil Engineering

The Bachelor of Arts or BA in Civil Engineering program helps students analyze and evaluate information to solve civil engineering problems and innovate modern civil engineering designs by applying engineering sciences, fundamentals of civil engineering, and applied mathematics. The program’s focus is to provide an integrated education to students to prepare them for responsible engineering positions in industries, businesses, government, or consulting firms.

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

The Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering or BS in Civil Engineering helps students gain the ability to apply the knowledge of science, mathematics, and engineering to civil engineering. Through the program’s curriculum, students learn how to plan and design projects and work hands-on in project management. They gain expertise with computer software and experiment with other advanced technologies in engineering. Students also develop critical thinking skills through this program and get opportunities to participate in undergraduate research.

Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering

The Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering or B.Eng. in Civil Engineering is a more specialized degree than the bachelor of science. B.Eng. undergraduate programs are more practical, where students are introduced to and familiarized with theories and principles. The program’s primary focus is on practically implementing these theories and principles, which will help students become more prepared when they enter the field.

Areas of Specialization for Online Civil Engineering
Degree Programs

Specializations could be a course of study or a major subject in which a specialist practices. Doing a specialization helps students understand whether they enjoy a specific sub-area and can become an expert in it. Through specializations, students gain expertise in a particular area of study that eventually helps in increasing their career prospects. Here are a few examples of specializations in an online degree in civil engineering:

Area of SpecializationDescriptionCareer Options
Construction Engineering and ManagementIn this course, students will focus on how to construct functional, safe, and sustainable buildings over time. During projects, they will learn about basic design principles of building code regulations, constructions, and operations. Students also learn to organize construction processes like making a timeline, maintaining resources, and preparing budgets.Civil engineer, construction project engineer, and senior manager of projects
Structural EngineeringIn this specialization, students learn how to design public structures and ensure that they bear up and function during natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, etc. Students take courses like bridge design, home improvements, site inspection, foundation development, and skyscraper design.Lead or associate structural analyst
Environmental EngineeringIn this specialization, students learn to reduce the overall impact that any artificial system would have on the world’s ecosystem and use natural resources for construction projects. They study pollution issues and design technical mechanisms to manage them.Environmental consultants, air quality inspectors, wastewater engineers, drinking water quality control specialists, etc.
Geotechnical EngineeringThis specialization involves studying soils, rocks, and other artificial materials that support a system. Students learn about the chemical properties of earth materials that use different types of rocks and varied building techniques. Students also learn about water and soil interactions.Assistant geotechnical engineers
Transportation EngineeringIn this specialization, students learn to use different networking systems individuals could use to travel, like subways, railroads, seaways, and airways. They also learn about the safe and efficient movement of people.Transportation managers, application support engineers, transportation and logistics software development engineers, etc.
Water resources engineeringIn this concentration, students understand how to develop drinking water infrastructure in cities and towns. They also learn about the hydrologic cycle and use information about natural systems to design artificial lakes, ponds, and water sanitation facilities.Water resources engineers

Why should I do an Online Civil
Engineering Degree?

A civil engineering online bachelor’s degree will provide a broad range of foundational knowledge that can help students prepare for a career in the civil engineering field. This degree focuses on structural, transportation, geotechnical, and construction engineering and concentrations like transportation and planning, protection of water resources, prevention of erosion, etc. In addition, civil engineering involves more than just executing and planning. Students have the chance to use their imagination to make sure that their designs are both effective and efficient. A bachelor’s degree in civil engineering is worth it for students who want to pursue careers designing construction projects with scale and scope in different demographics.

Many professionals in the industry hold a civil engineering bachelor’s degree or higher. This allows them to enter the sector, build expertise, and obtain industry accreditation. One can utilize one’s expertise to provide answers for problems that influence our natural and built environments while staying on the cutting edge of research advancements. Upon graduating from an online civil engineering degree, students would have acquired a wide range of skills, including the ability to:

  • display professional behavior and ethics consistent with principals deemed of high quality;
  • show divergent thinking and emerge as leaders in the field of civil engineering, exhibiting an aptitude for learning and continuous improvement;
  • exhibit critical thinking skills needed to excel in one’s changing workplace;
  • determine engineering theories or designs and their application in the field;
  • display effective communication to collaborate with different stakeholders in construction projects or other projects related to the field of civil engineering;
  • apply principles of civil engineering in projects which will lead to the betterment of the environment and society;
  • plan, manage and execute theories of civil engineering in projects of varied types in the public or private sectors;
  • utilize scientific, engineering, and mathematical principles to solve and identify complex problems in civil engineering;
  • apply engineering designs that can be used to produce solutions meeting specific needs of safety, public health, welfare, etc.; and
  • conduct and develop appropriate experimentation, interpretation, and data analysis, and use engineering principles or judgments to come to conclusions.

Free Courses for Online Civil Engineering
Degree Students

There are many free online civil engineering bachelor’s degree courses available online. These free courses help students gain additional knowledge in this field and understand some extensions. Students should not mistake these courses as a replacement for bachelor courses as they are usually not accredited or do not provide any certification and licensing. However, completion of such courses may help students in their assignments, exams, and research. Here are a few courses students can look into:

CourseDescriptionProvided by
The Industry and Profession in Construction ManagementIn this course, students learn about the different roles and responsibilities individuals would play in being construction managers. They will be able to distinguish characteristics that define construction management organizations.edX
Mastering StatisticsIn this course, students learn about the conditions influencing a structure or object subjected to time-invariant forces in equilibrium. They look at the conditions under which an object moves or remains stationary.Coursera
Modern Building DesignIn this course, students learn how technology, climate change, and regulation are altering the designs of buildings and professional practice in the construction field. They also explore trends and problems in this field.FutureLearn

How to get into the Online Civil Engineering
Degree Program?

Most institutions have a list of admission criteria a student must meet to pursue an online bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Since this field is in demand, the admission procedure for these programs follows stringent norms. A student with a high school diploma or a GED will be eligible to apply for most online civil engineering degrees. Different institutions would differ in their list of admissions requirements; however, most programs have certain standard civil engineering degree admissions requirements, including:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Completion of relevant prerequisite courses like science (including physics) and math (including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus)
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.5 to 3.0 (some institutions may require a higher GPA)
  • ACT and SAT scores
  • Some colleges allow students to take up those prerequisites during their degree program if they do not meet all the requirements.

How Long does it take to complete the Online Civil Engineering
Degree Program?

Completing the civil engineer online degree could take around 4 years. Many factors could influence this timeframe, including curriculum, concentration, electives, internships, etc. Students prefer the online learning mode as they can complete the program at their own pace and focus on other priorities and challenges like work or family. Usually, it takes around 120 to 135 credits to get a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. The number of credits completed by students per semester could also determine the length of time they take to finish the degree. Here is a quick summary of the duration of the online civil engineering degree:

  • Time to complete a full-time civil engineering degree online program: about 4 years
  • Time to complete a part-time civil engineering degree online program: about 4 to 7 years

Accelerated Online Civil Engineering
Degree Programs

Accelerated programs help students complete their degree in less time than the stipulated 4 years. The number of accelerated online civil engineering degrees is low in the United States; however, students can use different methods to reduce their course duration. They can transfer credits, get accelerated course schedules, use work experience credits, and other techniques to obtain the degree faster. Those with an associate degree in civil engineering can easily complete their bachelor’s degree in two years. Colleges also provide combined civil engineering degree, which integrates bachelor’s and master’s programs, allowing students to complete both in 5 years instead of the usual 6.

Accreditations for Online Civil Engineering
Degree Programs

Accreditation is a process led by non-governmental and nonprofit bodies to ensure that institutions providing degree programs adhere to certain accepted standards and procedures that help students achieve professional success in their field. Most colleges are regionally accredited by recognized bodies such as the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The six primary ones are:

In addition to a college being accredited, the bachelor of science in civil engineering degree may also be programmatically accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Students who complete ABET-accredited online civil engineering degrees are deemed to have the required skill sets that employers would demand in civil engineering professions.

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Students can refer to the Guide to College Accreditation to understand more about accreditation and its importance.

How to Pay for an Online Civil
Engineering Degree?

Since a bachelor’s degree takes about 4 years or more to complete, it could become a stressful task for students to manage their budget and studies. The cheapest online civil engineering degree would cost about $28,500. Students may be stressed about how to pay for college, which would include the cost of tuition and other educational expenses. Although one could take up part-time and full-time jobs to fund their studies, one could explore other financial aids as well, such as:


Scholarships are awards of money that do not need to be repaid unless the student fails to meet the award’s requirements. They can be given by different entities like state governments, businesses, community groups, trusts, etc.


Grants are awarded based on merit, need, or both. They are frequently given by federal and state governments, nonprofits, and educational institutions. Just as with scholarships, grants too, do not need to be repaid.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is an application form seeking federal financial aid. It is available to prospective or current college students. Students can check the FAFSA student aid guide to understand more about it.

Private Student Loans

Private student loans are offered by banks or other financial institutions. Because loans attract interest, it is easy for students to fall into debt. To avoid this, one can seek grants to pay off student loans or seek donors to pay off student loans, easing the financial burden on students.

Federal Direct Loans

Federal loans are low-interest loans funded by the government. Students do not need to pay the loan till they graduate from their program and find employment. Of course, there are many terms and conditions to be met.

For more information on funding opportunities, refer to the financial aid guide.

Scholarships for Online Civil Engineering
Degree Students

Scholarships are a great way for students to support their education. With scholarships, students are less burdened with finances. Several individuals, community groups, businesses, and universities offer scholarships to deserving students; a few examples are:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardApplication Deadline
ASDSO’s Dam Safety Scholarship ProgramThe Association of State Dam Safety (ASDSO) provides one scholarship to an undergraduate senior interested in pursuing a profession linked to dam design, construction, and operation and studying in a relevant discipline.VariesTBA
American Welding Society (AWS) ScholarshipsThe American Welding Society (AWS) Scholarships are provided to help engineering students pursue careers in the application of welding arts in civil and structural engineering fields.$3,000 to $6,000+March 1
Bechtel Corporate Scholars AwardThe Bechtel Corporate Scholars award is given to encourage students with academic achievement and who want to pursue a career in construction-related engineering fields. The award also consists of internship and mentoring opportunities.$5,000November 15, 2024

FAQs Related to the Online Civil Engineering
Degree Program

Can you get a civil engineering degree online?

Yes. Students who may have to balance their existing jobs with other responsibilities can opt for an online Bachelor of Science in Civil engineering degree. The program could vary between 120 and 135 credit hours and take about four to five years to complete.

How to get a civil engineering degree online?

How long is a civil engineering degree?

Is a civil engineering degree worth it?

What is the difference between civil engineering and civil engineering technology?

What does the curriculum of a bachelor’s in civil engineering degree provide?

Is there a difference between an online civil engineering degree and its offline counterpart?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after an Online
Civil Engineering Degree

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the employment outlook of civil engineers is expected to grow 7% from 2021 to 2031, which is as fast as the average for other occupations. An online civil engineering degree is beneficial for students who want to pursue different roles in the field of civil engineering and work in public or private projects to meet the needs of large-scale development of humans, like water systems, roads, buildings, and so on. Many professions and positions come under civil engineering, such as:

OccupationJob DescriptionSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)
Civil EngineersCivil engineers focus on designing, building, and maintaining the infrastructure of different projects and systems. They oversee and guide construction works with varying scales and scopes.Problem-solving skills, writing skills, decision-making skills, organizational skills, speaking skills, math skills, leadership skills$88,0507% (as fast as average)
Environmental EngineersEnvironmental engineers use foundations of engineering, biology, soil science, and chemistry to understand the solutions available for ecological problems. They also assist businesses and government agencies in cleaning up hazardous locations.Reading skills, writing skills, interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, imagination$96,8204% (as fast as average)
SurveyorsSurveyors usually make very precise measurements to understand how to develop boundaries of properties. They also research survey records, land records, and land titles.Time-management skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, visualization skills, physical stamina, detail-oriented$61,6001% (little or no change)
Construction ManagersConstruction managers usually plan, budget, coordinate, and supervise the different construction projects from initial to finish points. They spend much of their time in the field monitoring projects.Technical skills, analytical skills, decision-making skills, communication skills, business skills, leadership skills$98,8908% (faster than average)
Urban and Regional PlannersUrban and regional planners usually develop plans and programs to use lands that will help to create communities so that we can accommodate the growth of the population and take care of other physical facilities that may be required.Decision-making skills, analytical skills, leadership skills, communication skills$78,5004% (as fast as average)
Landscape ArchitectsLandscape architects design parks and other spaces outdoors as required by their clients. They also examine environmental information on land problems like drainage and energy consumption.Communication skills, analytical skills, technical skills, visualization skills, problem-solving skills, creativity$67,9500% (little or no change)

Certifications and Licensing for Online Civil
Engineering Degree Students

Certification in the field of civil engineering will provide the right credentials for students to expand their careers. Advanced credentials through certifications help students attain technical and academic competence. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) offers in-depth information on professional certifications in the field of civil engineering. Some certifications would add to the professional capability of students who have completed civil engineering online degrees, which include:

Project Management Professional (PMP)

The Project Management Certification (PMP) validates that the individual is highly skilled in motivational processes, project expertise, and developing an efficient business environment. It also recognizes project managers with the skills to manage projects and provide project leadership experience and expertise.

Certified Construction Manager (CCM)

The Certified Construction Manager (CCM) credential helps professionals build skills for construction management. Individuals with this certification can be expected to meet high levels of field expertise, demonstrate the capability of developing construction projects, and display other necessary skills in construction.

Safety & Health Fundamentals Certificate Program

The Safety & Health Fundamentals Certificate Program is provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This certification aims to train public and private sector employees in occupational health and safety. Candidates focus on the high incident rates of employees and ways to decrease them and add to their knowledge of incident investigation, fall hazard awareness, safety and health management, etc.

After completing an undergraduate degree in civil engineering, students must look at the requirements for licensure outlined by the NCEES Member Licensing Boards. NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying) is a nonprofit organization that enhances professional engineering and surveying licenses. It provides licensure to individuals to practice civil engineering by combining factors like education, exam, and experience.

Additional Resources for Online Civil Engineering
Degree Students

A student joining a professional association or organization benefits them to a vast extent. They can access training, conferences, networking opportunities, and other such benefits and gain invaluable insights into the practical aspects of the field of civil engineering. Students and graduates of online civil engineering degrees can consider the following resources to advance their careers:

Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW)Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) is recognized worldwide and has a global network of professional engineers focused on sustainable development in the technical field. ESW fosters technical, cultural, and educational exchanges amongst members passionate about constructing sustainable projects around the world.
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) is a one of its kind non-profit organization that provides research related to earthquakes and advanced measures to avoid destruction and damage.
American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)The American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) is a non-profit that focuses on engineering education and the advancement of engineering technology. It also promotes excellence in the field of public service, research, and practice.
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is one of the older national-level engineering societies in America. It helps individuals, especially civil engineers, access world-class seminars, magazine resources, courses, certificate programs, etc.
Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA)The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) focuses on utilizing projects that use design-build principles and on integrated education and communication. DBIA also provides many multidisciplinary facilities by delivering lectures and sponsoring events.

Some additional resources students can access are the National Society of Professional Engineers, which addresses the non-technical concerns of licensed and professional engineers, and the International Engineering Consortium.

Author Bio:

Brandon Mario D’Souza

Brandon is a registered social worker with Social Work England. He obtained his master’s in social work (personnel management & industrial relations) and used it in fields such as water treatment, construction, software, and education. Then he transitioned to the health and social care sector with an M.Sc. in health psychology. Brandon loves to write, cook, and play musical instruments (piano, guitar, melodica, ukulele, and kazoo) and enjoys the calmness and serenity of nature.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.