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2024 Best Civil Engineering Doctor's Degree Schools

College Factual reviewed 117 schools in the United States to determine which ones were the best for doctor's degree seekers in the field of civil engineering. When you put them all together, these colleges and universities awarded 1,086 doctor's degrees in civil engineering during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Jump to one of the following sections: * Our Methodology

  • Best Doctor’s Degree Schools List

Choosing a Great Civil Engineering School for Your Doctor's Degree

Best Civil Engineering Doctor's Degree Schools

Overall Quality Is a Must

The overall quality of a doctor's degree school is important to ensure a good education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges for a Doctor's Degree ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.

Average Early-Career Salaries

Average early-career salary of those graduating with their doctor's degree is one indicator we use in our analysis to find the schools that offer the highest-quality education. That is, everyone wants their doctor's degree to be worth something, and salaries are one measure of determining that.

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 Demand - The number of civil engineering students who choose to seek a doctor's degree at the school.
  • Educational Resources - The amount of money and other resources allocated to students while they are pursuing their degree. These resources include such things as number of students per instructor and education expenditures per student.
  • Student Debt - How easy is it for civil engineering to pay back their student loans after receiving their doctor's degree.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or accredited by a recognized civil engineering related body.

Our complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for civil engineering students working on their doctor's degree.

More Ways to Rank Civil Engineering Schools

Since picking the right college can be one of the most important decisions of your life, we've developed the Best Civil Engineering Doctor's Degree Schools ranking, along with many other major-related rankings , to help you make that decision.

Best Schools for Doctorate Students to Study Civil Engineering in the United States

Explore the top ranked colleges and universities for civil engineering students seeking a a doctor's degree. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

17 Top Schools for a Doctorate in Civil Eng

MIT crest

Any student pursuing a degree in a doctor's degree in civil engineering needs to take a look at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Located in the medium-sized city of Cambridge, MIT is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Stanford crest

Stanford University is one of the best schools in the United States for getting a doctor's degree in civil engineering. Stanford is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the suburb of Stanford. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from Stanford University

Northwestern crest

Every student who is interested in a doctor's degree in civil engineering needs to take a look at Northwestern University. Northwestern is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Evanston. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from Northwestern University

Notre Dame crest

Every student who is interested in a doctor's degree in civil engineering has to look into University of Notre Dame. Located in the large suburb of Notre Dame, Notre Dame is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from University of Notre Dame

USC crest

USC is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Los Angeles. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from University of Southern California

Duke crest

Located in the city of Durham, Duke is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from Duke University

UC Davis crest

Located in the suburb of Davis, UC Davis is a public university with a fairly large student population. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from University of California - Davis

Rice crest

Rice is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Houston. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from Rice University

UC Berkeley crest

UC Berkeley is a very large public university located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from University of California - Berkeley

University of Virginia crest

University of Virginia is a very large public university located in the small suburb of Charlottesville. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from University of Virginia - Main Campus

Princeton crest

Princeton is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit university located in the small city of Princeton. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from Princeton University

Columbia crest

Located in the city of New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from Columbia University in the City of New York

UCLA crest

Located in the city of Los Angeles, UCLA is a public university with a very large student population. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from University of California - Los Angeles

UIUC crest

Located in the city of Champaign, UIUC is a public university with a fairly large student population. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Georgia Tech crest

Located in the city of Atlanta, Georgia Tech is a public school with a very large student population. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus

Vanderbilt crest

Vanderbilt is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Nashville. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from Vanderbilt University

Virginia Tech crest

Located in the city of Blacksburg, Virginia Tech is a public school with a very large student population. More information about a doctorate in civil engineering from Virginia Tech

Additional Noteworthy Schools

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

Civil Engineering by Region

View the Best Civil Engineering Doctor's Degree Schools for a specific region near you.

Other Rankings

Best associate degrees in civil engineering, best master's degrees in civil engineering, best value in civil engineering, best for non-traditional students in civil engineering, best online in civil engineering, most popular online in civil engineering, best bachelor's degrees in civil engineering, best overall in civil engineering, highest paid grads in civil engineering, best for veterans in civil engineering, most popular in civil engineering, most focused in civil engineering.

View All Rankings >

Rankings in Majors Related to Civil Eng

One of 41 majors within the Engineering area of study, Civil Engineering has other similar majors worth exploring.

Civil Eng Focus Areas

Most popular majors related to civil eng, 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 .

Popular Reports

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Civil Engineering Graduate Programs in America

1-25 of 196 results

MIT School of Engineering

Cambridge, MA •

Massachusetts Institute of Technology •

Graduate School

Massachusetts Institute of Technology ,

Graduate School ,

CAMBRIDGE, MA ,

Stanford School of Engineering

Stanford, CA •

Stanford University •

  • • Rating 5 out of 5   3 reviews

Current Master's student: The best part about coming to Stanford are the people and the ability to find a group of friends who are interested in the same things that you may be very interested in . Coming from India, there is a large Indian community here such that I have never felt homesick. The campus does get a bit dead during the holidays but it is to be expected as people who do live in the USA, go back for vacations. Overall the professors are great and are leafing professionals in their respective fields doing some of the most fascinating research in the world. I would highly anyone to come here to experience this type o f workhand play hard culture that is fostered into this place. ... Read 3 reviews

Stanford University ,

STANFORD, CA ,

3 Niche users give it an average review of 5 stars.

Featured Review: Current Master's student says The best part about coming to Stanford are the people and the ability to find a group of friends who are interested in the same things that you may be very interested in . Coming from India, there... Overall the professors are great and are leafing professionals in their respective fields doing some of the most fascinating research in the world. I would highly anyone to come here to experience... .

Read 3 reviews.

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ •

  • • Rating 4.33 out of 5   3 reviews

Master's Student: The best part of the Princeton University mechanical engineering graduate degree is the excellent faculty that teach the courses. They are incredibly knowledgeable and also very willing to help students in office hours or in sponsorship of projects. The worst part of the Princeton University mechanical engineering graduate degree is the lack of structure for the graduate research program which can leave you feeling unsure on the direction of your research. ... Read 3 reviews

PRINCETON, NJ ,

3 Niche users give it an average review of 4.3 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says The best part of the Princeton University mechanical engineering graduate degree is the excellent faculty that teach the courses. They are incredibly knowledgeable and also very willing to help... .

Colorado School of Mines

Graduate School •

  • • Rating 4.33 out of 5   9

Illinois Institute of Technology

CHICAGO, IL

  • • Rating 4.35 out of 5   37

P.C. Rossin College of Engineering & Applied Science

Lehigh University •

BETHLEHEM, PA

Pratt School of Engineering

Durham, NC •

Duke University •

  • • Rating 5 out of 5   2 reviews

Master's Student: New program, Financial Technology, is a comprehensive curriculum bringing together financial principles and computing. Interesting electives and flexibility to create your own tract, incorporating courses from all of Duke's colleges. ... Read 2 reviews

Duke University ,

DURHAM, NC ,

2 Niche users give it an average review of 5 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says New program, Financial Technology, is a comprehensive curriculum bringing together financial principles and computing. Interesting electives and flexibility to create your own tract, incorporating... .

Read 2 reviews.

George R. Brown School of Engineering

Houston, TX •

Rice University •

Blue checkmark.

Rice University ,

HOUSTON, TX ,

McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Evanston, IL •

Northwestern University •

Master's Student: Northwestern's Master of Science in Energy and Sustainability is a first of its kind professionally focused master's program in the nation. Interdisciplinary by design, MSES covers the technical, policy, and business/economics of the energy and sustainability sector pulling professors from the Kellogg School of Management as well as the McCormick School of Engineering. The industry professionals are leaders in their respective fields and are always willing to help the students. The cohort focused program enables deep connection among the students that will last a lifetime! ... Read 3 reviews

Northwestern University ,

EVANSTON, IL ,

Featured Review: Master's Student says Northwestern's Master of Science in Energy and Sustainability is a first of its kind professionally focused master's program in the nation. Interdisciplinary by design, MSES covers the technical,... .

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Vanderbilt School of Engineering

Nashville, TN •

Vanderbilt University •

Vanderbilt University ,

NASHVILLE, TN ,

Division of Engineering and Applied Science - California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA •

California Institute of Technology •

California Institute of Technology ,

PASADENA, CA ,

College of Engineering - University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN •

University of Notre Dame •

University of Notre Dame ,

NOTRE DAME, IN ,

Viterbi School of Engineering

Los Angeles, CA •

University of Southern California •

Master's Student: Best experience is that I have the ability to engage with other students and my professors in real time. My worst experience would have to be; moments of not being able to hear what is being talked about during a lecture due to classroom audio issues. ... Read 2 reviews

University of Southern California ,

LOS ANGELES, CA ,

Featured Review: Master's Student says Best experience is that I have the ability to engage with other students and my professors in real time. My worst experience would have to be; moments of not being able to hear what is being talked about during a lecture due to classroom audio issues. .

Cornell Engineering

Ithaca, NY •

Cornell University •

Cornell University ,

ITHACA, NY ,

University of Michigan College of Engineering

Ann Arbor, MI •

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor •

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor ,

ANN ARBOR, MI ,

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Tufts University School of Engineering

Medford, MA •

Tufts University •

Master's Student: The application process was smooth and post-acceptance I was welcomed into the Tufts community. So far, Tufts has been very communicative, especially about the return to school during the Covid-19 pandemic. ... Read 3 reviews

Tufts University ,

MEDFORD, MA ,

Featured Review: Master's Student says The application process was smooth and post-acceptance I was welcomed into the Tufts community. So far, Tufts has been very communicative, especially about the return to school during the Covid-19... .

Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science

University of California - Los Angeles •

University of California - Los Angeles ,

Whiting School of Engineering

Baltimore, MD •

Johns Hopkins University •

  • • Rating 4.83 out of 5   12 reviews

Master's Student: Just starting now but the onboarding process is great! The student orientation was very helpful and the school has an amazing network. ... Read 12 reviews

Johns Hopkins University ,

BALTIMORE, MD ,

12 Niche users give it an average review of 4.8 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says Just starting now but the onboarding process is great! The student orientation was very helpful and the school has an amazing network. .

Read 12 reviews.

College of Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA •

Carnegie Mellon University •

  • • Rating 4.75 out of 5   4 reviews

Master's Student: The interdisciplinary courses and the myriad type of courses offered gives you the opportunity to learn more than you anticipated. In addition, several niche topics and research work are available for graduate students and the college of engineering lives up to the industry expectations with its basic as well as advanced level course structure. ... Read 4 reviews

Carnegie Mellon University ,

PITTSBURGH, PA ,

4 Niche users give it an average review of 4.8 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says The interdisciplinary courses and the myriad type of courses offered gives you the opportunity to learn more than you anticipated. In addition, several niche topics and research work are available... .

Read 4 reviews.

University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science

Charlottesville, VA •

University of Virginia •

Current Doctoral student: The academic program is very diverse to provide in-depth knowledge in various fields. The content is up-to-date with current developments, and the class requirements are somewhat challenging; however, you learn great ways to improve your skill sets. ... Read 3 reviews

University of Virginia ,

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA ,

Featured Review: Current Doctoral student says The academic program is very diverse to provide in-depth knowledge in various fields. The content is up-to-date with current developments, and the class requirements are somewhat challenging;... .

Georgia Tech College of Engineering

Atlanta, GA •

Georgia Institute of Technology •

  • • Rating 5 out of 5   1 review

Master's Student: The best part is sitting through top professors of the world’s lecture! The worst part is the time of classes! They are offered in the middle of the day! ... Read 1 review

Georgia Institute of Technology ,

ATLANTA, GA ,

1 Niche users give it an average review of 5 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says The best part is sitting through top professors of the world’s lecture! The worst part is the time of classes! They are offered in the middle of the day! .

Read 1 reviews.

UC Berkeley College of Engineering

Berkeley, CA •

University of California - Berkeley •

University of California - Berkeley ,

BERKELEY, CA ,

Northeastern University College of Engineering

Boston, MA •

Northeastern University •

Master's Student: BEST PARTS OF THIS PROGRAM OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN DATA ANALYTICS ENGINEERING IN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING FROM NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY IS THAT, THIS PROGRAM IS ONLINE, AND FLEXIBLE AND TIME RESTRICTION FOR STUDY, AND HAVE WORLD RENOWNED EDUCATION FACILITY FOR STUDENTS FROM ALL ROUND THE GLOBE TO ENHANCE THE CAPABILITIES OF STUDENTS, MANAGERS, DIRECTORS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CHAIRMEN AS WELL. THIS PROGRAM ACTUALLY IS BASED ON ONLINE PLATFORM TO EDUCATE MORE AND MORE STUDENTS TO ENROLLED AROUND THE GLOBE. DATA ANALYTICS ENGINEERING IN MASTER OF SCIENCE PROGRAM CAN BUILT ABILITIES / CAPABILITIES OF STUDENTS TO MAKE AND TAKE DECISIONS ABOUT BUSINESS PROCESS PREDICTIONS AND FORECASTING ABOUT COMPANY HEALTH AND REGULARIZATION. THIS PROGRAM ENHANCE THE CAPABILITIES OF STUDENTS ABOUT COMPANY PROFILE, FINANCE, HUMAN RESOURCES, PRODUCTION, SALES & MARKETING AND ALL THE PROCESS. ... Read 1 review

Northeastern University ,

BOSTON, MA ,

Featured Review: Master's Student says BEST PARTS OF THIS PROGRAM OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN DATA ANALYTICS ENGINEERING IN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING FROM NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY IS THAT, THIS PROGRAM IS ONLINE, AND FLEXIBLE AND TIME RESTRICTION... .

Tandon School of Engineering

Brooklyn, NY •

New York University •

  • • Rating 4.73 out of 5   15 reviews

Master's Student: As a bioinformatics master's student at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, I've had the opportunity to explore the fascinating intersection of biology and computer science. The program has provided a robust curriculum, covering topics such as proteomics, transcriptomics, NGS, and data analysis, which have equipped me with the skills needed to analyze and interpret complex biological data. The faculty at Tandon are experienced and supportive, and I've had the chance to collaborate with fellow students on exciting research projects. The interdisciplinary nature of bioinformatics has allowed me to gain insights into cutting-edge technologies and methodologies that are shaping the future of the field. Overall, my experience at NYU Tandon has been enriching, and I look forward to applying the knowledge and skills acquired during my master's program to contribute meaningfully to the field of bioinformatics. ... Read 15 reviews

New York University ,

BROOKLYN, NY ,

15 Niche users give it an average review of 4.7 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says As a bioinformatics master's student at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, I've had the opportunity to explore the fascinating intersection of biology and computer science. The program has... The faculty at Tandon are experienced and supportive, and I've had the chance to collaborate with fellow students on exciting research projects. The interdisciplinary nature of bioinformatics has... Overall, my experience at NYU Tandon has been enriching, and I look forward to applying the knowledge and skills acquired during my master's program to contribute meaningfully to the field of... .

Read 15 reviews.

Cockrell School of Engineering

Austin, TX •

University of Texas - Austin •

  • • Rating 4.5 out of 5   2 reviews

Master's Student: The engineering school is a vibrant and encourages the learning aspect in students. It has all the facilities a student might need conveniently located in the buildings from libraries, workshops, innovation centers to a cafe for the snacks and fuel. ... Read 2 reviews

University of Texas - Austin ,

AUSTIN, TX ,

2 Niche users give it an average review of 4.5 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says The engineering school is a vibrant and encourages the learning aspect in students. It has all the facilities a student might need conveniently located in the buildings from libraries, workshops,... .

Bethlehem, PA •

Lehigh University ,

BETHLEHEM, PA ,

Virginia Tech College of Engineering

Blacksburg, VA •

Virginia Tech •

  • • Rating 4 out of 5   3 reviews

Master's Student: Overall, I had a really good academic experience, the classes were well-structured, and the professors were good. My only two problems were with my academic advisor and the senior design project. My senior design project was a 2 credit class, but I was working on it for approximately 15 hours a week, which is not reflected in my transcripts or resume. My graduate academic advisor was unresponsive and seemed to know nothing about the graduate school she worked for. ... Read 3 reviews

Virginia Tech ,

BLACKSBURG, VA ,

3 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says Overall, I had a really good academic experience, the classes were well-structured, and the professors were good. My only two problems were with my academic advisor and the senior design project. My... .

Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Gainesville, FL •

University of Florida •

University of Florida ,

GAINESVILLE, FL ,

University of Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, PA

  • • Rating 4.43 out of 5   74

Mississippi State University

MISSISSIPPI STATE, MS

  • • Rating 4.5 out of 5   48

Florida Institute of Technology

MELBOURNE, FL

  • • Rating 4.6 out of 5   58

Showing results 1 through 25 of 196

civil engineering phd ranking

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Best Doctorates in Civil Engineering: Top PhD Programs, Career Paths, and Salaries

Civil engineering degrees teach students how to design and execute building and infrastructure projects. For those looking to pursue advanced studies in civil engineering, a civil engineering PhD is a great option. We’ve put together a list of 10 of the best PhDs in Civil Engineering to provide an overview of what to expect when pursuing this degree and to help make your search for the right school easier.

Choosing a program that provides all you need for quality education can be a difficult task. Read on for all the details of each program, including the admissions process, tuition, and core material covered. We’re also showing you the best civil engineering jobs and what you can expect for a PhD in Civil Engineering salary.

Find your bootcamp match

What is a phd in civil engineering.

A PhD in Civil Engineering is a doctoral research degree that prepares you for a career in high-level research and civil engineering jobs. A PhD can take anywhere from four to six years to complete. A civil engineering PhD involves in-depth and rigorous coursework, which prepares students for advanced engineering practice, and a PhD thesis to conclude the program.

How to Get Into a Civil Engineering PhD Program: Admission Requirements

The requirements to get into a civil engineering PhD program include a qualifying exam, a minimum undergraduate or graduate degree GPA, and standardized test scores. Admission requirements vary by school, however, with the specifics differing from program to program.

For most programs, students will have to complete a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering or a related field. Some programs allow students with only undergraduate degrees to apply. Students will also have to submit letters of recommendation, a resume, a personal statement, and a writing sample. Some schools require GRE or GMAT scores to apply to their graduate program.

PhD in Civil Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Official transcripts from undergraduate and graduate schools attended
  • Letters of recommendation
  • GRE/GMAT scores
  • Writing sample

Civil Engineering PhD Acceptance Rates: How Hard Is It to Get Into a PhD Program in Civil Engineering?

It is very hard to get into a PhD program in civil engineering. Most schools are very selective with the applicants they admit into their PhD in Civil Engineering programs. Make sure that you meet all of the admission requirements before applying and that you have the dedication to complete a research-heavy program.

How to Get Into the Best Universities

[query_class_embed] how-to-get-into-*school

Best PhDs in Civil Engineering: In Brief

Best universities for civil engineering phds: where to get a phd in civil engineering.

The best universities for civil engineering PhDs include Arizona State University, Rice University, Syracuse University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Drexel University. If you’re wondering where to get a PhD in Civil Engineering, our overview of the best schools below might help.

Arizona State University takes the second spot worldwide when it comes to global impact , out of 1,406 universities ranked, according to Times Higher Education ’ s Impact Rankings. Its graduate school has more than 450 programs, with 91 percent of its graduates getting jobs within 90 days of graduation.

PhD in Civil, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering

The coursework in the civil, environmental, and sustainable engineering PhD program at Arizona State University prepares students for a lifelong career in civil engineering research and practice. Concentration areas in the program include environmental, sustainable, structural, transportation, geotechnical, and hydrosystems engineering. 

PhD in Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering Overview

  • Program Length: N/A
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $13,814/academic year (in state); $26,298/academic year (out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities : Arizona State University and CONACYT Doctoral Fellowships for Mexican Students, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, GPSA Graduate Research Support Program, Gastwirth Graduate Student Loan Fellowship Program, Achievement Rewards for College Scientists, Completion Fellowship, Graduate College Enrichment Fellowship, Graduate College University Grant, Teaching Assistant/Associate, Research Assistant/Associate, Graduate Services Assistant, Graduate Intern

PhD in Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Minimum GPA of 3.20 in a master’s degree or in the last 60 hours of an undergraduate degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal statement

Carnegie Mellon University , founded in 1900, ranks number four on the list of the 2023 Best Engineering Schools by US News & World Report. It has over 1,300 faculty members spread across six colleges and several graduate programs.

PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering

The civil and environmental engineering doctoral program has three major focus areas in environmental engineering, sustainability and sciences, advanced infrastructure sciences, and mechanics, materials, and computing. Students will be matched with a PhD thesis supervisor whose research goals align with theirs. 

PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering Overview

  • Program Length: 3 years (with MS degree), 4 years (with BS degree)
  • Tuition and Fees: $46,400/academic year
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Assistantships, PhD fellowships, GEM Fellowship program

PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering Admission Requirements

  • University or college transcripts 
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Essay questions
  • GRE scores (currently waived) 

Drexel University focuses on experiential education, giving students all they need to become excellent researchers and educators. The university, founded in 1891, continues to excel on different fronts with its massive list of programs and cooperative education. 

PhD in Civil Engineering

This program equips graduate students with the skills and technical expertise needed for the plan, design, construction, and maintenance of different scales of infrastructure. Program concentrations include architectural engineering, structural engineering, hydraulic engineering, sustainable engineering, hydrology/water resources, geotechnical engineering, and geosynthetic engineering. 

PhD in Civil Engineering Overview

  • Program Length: Approximately 4-5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 77% (university acceptance rate)
  • Tuition: $1,342/credit hour
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Teaching, research, and graduate assistantships 
  • Transcripts
  • Standardized test scores (waived for 2022 PhD applicants)
  • 2 letters of recommendation

George Washington University was chartered in 1821 and currently has 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It offers graduate programs in the academic departments of education and human development, political management, arts and design, business, engineering and applied sciences, international affairs, and law. 

The program features research areas in environmental engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, mechanics and materials engineering, and water resources engineering. Students who hold a master’s degree have to complete a minimum of 30 credits, which includes a minimum of 12 credits in dissertation research, to earn the doctorate.

  • Tuition and Fees: $1,995/credit
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Research assistantships, teaching assistantships
  • 3.4 GPA from graduate programs or 3.3 GPA from undergraduate programs
  • Published research or conference papers
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
  • 3 recommendations
  • Transcripts from previous colleges and universities
  • 400-to-600-word statement of purpose

Iowa State University held its first class in 1869. It now has a current student enrollment of 30,708. The university values learning communities, and with over 800 student organizations, you get a chance to learn in an environment where you feel valued and heard. 

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering 

The Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering requires a minimum of 72 credits, which includes dissertation research. Concentration areas include civil engineering materials, construction engineering and management, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, and intelligent infrastructure engineering. 

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering Overview

  • Program Length: 5-6 years
  • Tuition and Fees: $11,404/academic year (in state); $26,948/academic year (out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Graduate assistantships

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s or graduate degree from a regionally accredited university or college
  • Transcripts from previous universities
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • GRE or GMAT may be required by specific programs 

A public research university founded in 1885, Michigan Technological University (MTU) currently boasts over 125 degree programs. Its graduate school has existed for over 125 years and has 70 degree options, including master’s and doctoral degrees.

The civil engineering PhD program at Michigan Technological University has a minimum 30-credit requirement in coursework with at least six credits in thesis research. Students can choose concentration areas in geotechnical, structural, water resources, infrastructure, and transportation. 

  • Program Length: 3 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 3-7% in recent years
  • Tuition: $25,517/year
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and administrative assistantships 
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Prerequisite course
  • Statement of purpose

Missouri University of Science and Technology, founded in 1870, has a commitment to integrating research, education, and application to raise global leaders in various fields. The STEM-focused university has more than 7,200 students enrolled in over 100 degree programs.

PhD in Civil Engineering 

This program allows students to gain engineering expertise and advanced research skills in eight concentration areas that include architectural engineering, construction materials, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, and transportation engineering. The school’s college of engineering has a PhD student-to-faculty ratio of less than three-to-one.  

  • Tuition and Fees: $7,840/20 credit hours (in state); $22,170/20 credit hours (out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship, graduate research assistants, graduate assistants, graduate teaching assistants, Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship Program, external funding
  • Master of Science in Engineering with minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Partnership with a PhD advisor from the faculty

Rice University opened its doors as Rice Institute in 1912 to 77 students. Today, the university offers several undergraduate, graduate, and online programs to its student population of over 7,000. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of six-to-one. 

This doctoral program has two sub-tracks in Civil Engineering (CE) and Environmental Engineering and Sciences (EES). Graduate students can choose to pursue a doctoral degree in either of these, with the coursework for both revolving around structural mechanics and FEM, earthquake engineering, structural dynamic systems, applied mathematics, and probabilistic mechanics.

  • Program Length: 4-5 years
  • Tuition: $54,100/year
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Graduate fellowships, National Science Foundation fellowships, NASA fellowships, the Ford Foundation fellowship, Fulbright Foundation fellowships
  • GRE scores (waived for 2022 admissions)
  • Application and fee

Syracuse University , with over 200 undergraduate and graduate programs, ranks as a top destination for international students. It currently has a student population of 22,000 enrolled across its different colleges and schools. 

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering

This program is designed for engineering graduates who want to pursue a career in engineering research and teaching. Students can choose to concentrate on environmental engineering, construction engineering and management, structural engineering, or geotechnical engineering. To complete the PhD, students have to meet a GPA of 3.333 throughout the program.

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  • Program Length: 3-5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 69% (university acceptance rate)
  • Tuition and Fees: $33,358/year
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Research assistantships, graduate assistantships, university fellowships
  • Master of Science from an accredited school
  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering or a related field
  • Proven potential for research work
  • An average of B+ grade in MS courses
  • Departmental approval
  • Satisfactory scores on graduate entrance exams

Pennsylvania State University , founded in 1855, has more than 750,000 alumni, which demonstrates its rich history and long-term commitment to educating professionals across several fields. Its academic options include undergraduate, graduate, professional, and online degrees. 

Graduate students in this program learn about core and advanced subjects and research findings on modern civil engineering principles and methods. Students can choose from specializations in structural engineering, water resources engineering, water transportation engineering, and geotechnical and materials engineering. 

  • Tuition and Fees : $9,481/9-credit semester (in state); $15,574/9-credit semester (out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Teaching and research assistantships, fellowships, trainingships, scholarships, loans, employment, The Summer Tuition Assistant Program
  • GPA of 3.0 

Can You Get a PhD in Civil Engineering Online?

Yes, you can get a PhD in Civil Engineering online. The University of South Carolina, for example, offers an online program in civil engineering. Mississippi State University offers an online PhD in Engineering with a concentration in Civil Engineering.

Best Online PhD Programs in Civil Engineering

How long does it take to get a phd in civil engineering.

It takes between four and seven years to get a PhD in Civil Engineering. A doctoral degree in engineering disciplines usually requires many semester hours to complete the intensive coursework.

In addition, students have to take a doctoral comprehensive examination, which is necessary to be admitted into candidacy for the PhD degree. Students who fail the examination will have to retake the examination. Also, students have to complete a dissertation and a defense of the dissertation.

Is a PhD in Civil Engineering Hard?

Yes, a PhD in Civil Engineering is relatively hard. Considering the volume of advanced-level courses students have to take, completing the credit requirement can be draining. In addition, writing a dissertation is difficult, even for seasoned academics.Doctoral comprehensive examinations are often tough exams, which students can either pass or fail. Most programs only allow two attempts at the exam.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a PhD in Civil Engineering?

It costs an average of $19,792 per year to get a PhD in Civil Engineering, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This amount covers the tuition and fees for the program. The average cost of a civil engineering doctorate program at public universities is $12,410 per year, and at private institutions is $26,597, according to NCES.

How to Pay for a PhD in Civil Engineering: PhD Funding Options

The PhD funding options that students can use to pay for a PhD in Civil Engineering include teaching assistantships, graduate assistantships, research assistantships, loans, university fellowships, administrative assistantships, and tuition waivers. Students often receive full funding of their program costs through these options.

Best Online Master’s Degrees

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What Is the Difference Between a Civil Engineering Master’s Degree and PhD?

The difference between a civil engineering master’s degree and a PhD is the level of education. While both are advanced degrees, they differ in the type of coursework and research students are required to complete.

A master’s program in civil engineering focuses mainly on set courses covering a range of engineering topics, with a specialization or concentration that offers an opportunity for more focused study. On the other hand, a PhD is heavily research-focused and steered more by the student’s preferences overall, with instructors and advisors playing a largely supervisory role.

Master’s vs PhD in Civil Engineering Job Outlook

Civil engineering professors , who are typically required to have a PhD, have a job outlook of 12 percent growth in the coming years, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Meanwhile, urban and regional planners , with a master’s degree entry-level education requirement, have a job outlook of 7 percent growth.

Difference in Salary for Civil Engineering Master’s vs PhD

The average salary for a PhD in Civil Engineering is $98,000, according to PayScale. Some job titles requiring a PhD in Civil Engineering earn much more than that. The average salary for a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering is $75,000. Getting a doctoral degree usually leads to higher-paying positions.

Related Civil Engineering Degrees

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Why You Should Get a PhD in Civil Engineering

You should get a PhD in Civil Engineering because of better job opportunities, higher salaries, research opportunities, and specialized skills.

Reasons for Getting a PhD in Civil Engineering

  • Job opportunities. Earning a PhD in Civil Engineering qualifies you for more career opportunities in the field. If you want to work in academia, for example, then a doctoral-level engineering education is the right fit.
  • Higher salaries. With better job opportunities often come higher salaries. Civil engineers with a doctoral degree earn, on average, higher salaries compared to those with a master’s or bachelor’s degree.
  • Research opportunities. Doctoral programs are usually heavily research-focused. Completing a PhD program in civil engineering gives you the experience you need to pursue research-based careers and further research opportunities.
  • Specialized skills. A PhD in Civil Engineering inculcates in professionals specialized skills to deal with a wide range of real-world problems. For example, students can gain expertise to work as construction managers.

Getting a PhD in Civil Engineering: Civil Engineering PhD Coursework

Four young professionals sitting at a table, taking notes

The coursework for civil engineering PhD students is usually elaborate, rigorous, and intensive. Some core subject areas covered in a PhD in Civil Engineering program include properties of construction materials, structural dynamics, deep foundations, soil behavior, and metal structures.

Properties of Construction Materials

This course covers the details regarding the properties of polymeric materials used in construction and infrastructural development. Students learn the physical and chemical characteristics of these materials and their relevant application in different projects.

Structural Dynamics

This course explores the mechanics of structure, structural vibrations, and foundations. Students learn how to analyze and design safe and stable construction projects. This includes how to ensure that a foundation is the right fit for a particular building project.

Deep Foundations

This subject deals with different foundation designs and their integrity. It covers mat or raft foundation design accomplished by plate theory, pile design, and continuous beam design.

Soil Behavior

Understanding soil behavior is critical to success in civil engineering. This course teaches students about soil structure, soil properties, soil formation, soil composition, clay mineralogy, and conduction phenomena.

Metal Structures

This core subject deals with the properties and behavior of metal structures used in civil engineering projects. Students learn about plate girders, compression members, block shears, and more.

Best Master’s Degrees

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How to Get a PhD in Civil Engineering: Doctoral Program Requirements

The requirements for a PhD in Civil Engineering include completing advanced coursework, receiving research proposal approval, passing a qualifying examination, achieving candidacy, and writing and defending a thesis.

Students in a PhD in Civil Engineering program have to complete advanced coursework and meet the credit requirements before they can move on to the research project component of the degree program. Courses typically take a couple of years to complete.

The research proposal outlines the details of your anticipated research, including the benefits it will offer the civil engineering field. The proposal also includes how you will conduct your research and approximately how long it will take.

The qualifying examination is usually a comprehensive examination that tests a student’s ability to apply concepts and theories learned so far in the engineering program in real-life situations. While it’s mostly a written exam, there can also be an oral component. Students will have to pass this exam to complete the program.

Receiving candidacy means that you are eligible to be awarded a Doctoral Degree in Civil Engineering. At this phase, you are no longer considered a graduate student but have advanced to become a graduate candidate. It is sometimes informally called the “ABD,” or “all but the dissertation,” phase of a PhD program. 

Finally, to earn their PhD, doctoral students will have to complete and defend a dissertation, also called a thesis, outlining their research methods and results. Your advisor and other committee members will supervise your work, guiding you along the way and helping determine when you are ready to successfully defend your thesis and be awarded your PhD.

Potential Careers With a Civil Engineering Degree

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PhD in Civil Engineering Salary and Job Outlook

With a PhD in Civil Engineering, you can earn $100,000 to $150,000 a year. Many jobs requiring this degree have a good job outlook, too, with projected growth that is faster than average. So, getting a Doctoral Degree in Civil Engineering can help secure a successful future.

What Can You Do With a PhD in Civil Engineering?

With a PhD in Civil Engineering, you can get a job as a civil engineer, environmental engineer, construction engineer, civil engineering professor, and architectural and engineering manager.

Best Jobs with a PhD in Civil Engineering

  • Civil Engineering Professor
  • Architectural and Engineering Manager
  • Civil Engineer
  • Construction Manager
  • Environmental Engineer

What Is the Average Salary for a PhD in Civil Engineering?

The average salary for a PhD in Civil Engineering is $98,000 . Many doctoral degree holders find jobs with salaries even higher than this. Below, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best-paying jobs for civil engineers with a doctorate.

Highest-Paying Civil Engineering Jobs for PhD Grads

Best civil engineering jobs with a doctorate.

The best civil engineering jobs with a doctorate include architectural and engineering managers, civil engineering professor, civil engineer, environmental engineer, and construction manager. Here are details about these jobs, including the average salary, the job outlook, the number of jobs available, and the highest-paying states.

Architectural and engineering managers are responsible for designing plans for new building and construction projects. They prepare budgets for these projects and coordinate the activities of staff to ensure the project is made to specifications. 

  • Salary with a Civil Engineering PhD: $152,350
  • Job Outlook: 4% job growth from 2020 to 2030
  • Number of Jobs: 197,800
  • Highest-Paying States: California, New Mexico, Colorado, New Jersey, Texas

An advanced study program in civil engineering qualifies construction managers to supervise and coordinate different building and construction projects. These professionals also prepare budgets, estimate costs, schedule activities, and interpret technical information regarding the project. 

  • Salary with a Civil Engineering PhD: $98,890
  • Job Outlook: 11% job growth from 2020 to 2030
  • Number of Jobs: 448,000
  • Highest-Paying States: Alaska, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, California

Engineers who hold a civil engineering doctorate can become environmental engineers. In this role, they prepare environmental reports and provide professional support and consultation for environmental projects.

  • Salary with a Civil Engineering PhD: $96,820
  • Number of Jobs: 52,300
  • Highest-Paying States: Texas, California, Idaho, Tennessee, Connecticut  

Civil engineers prepare, analyze, and implement plans for building and construction projects. They confer with regulatory bodies to ensure that a project meets with the regulations and standards. Also, they perform soil testing, cost estimation, and infrastructure maintenance. 

  • Salary with a Civil Engineering PhD: $88,050
  • Job Outlook: 8% job growth from 2020 to 2030
  • Number of Jobs: 309,800
  • Highest-Paying States: California, Alaska, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey

Civil engineering professors work in academia, often as faculty members of faculty at a college civil engineering program. They are also heavily involved in research in the area of civil and environmental engineering. 

  • Salary with a Civil Engineering PhD: $79,640
  • Job Outlook: 12% job growth from 2020 to 2030
  • Number of Jobs: 1,276,900
  • Highest-Paying States: California, Illinois, Rhode Island, Washington, Alabama

Is a PhD in Civil Engineering Worth It?

Yes, a PhD in Civil Engineering is worth it. It’s an excellent education path to gain expertise, specialization, and research experience in civil engineering. The research opportunities offered by PhD programs are valuable if you’re considering a career as an educator or a researcher.

If you already have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in any engineering major, you can set yourself up for better career opportunities with a doctoral degree. Some universities offer online programs for distance students, and on-campus programs feature a range of student activities and services that add value.

Additional Reading About Civil Engineering

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PhD in Civil Engineering FAQ

Yes, you should get a PhD in Civil Engineering if you want to gain an edge in your career or switch careers and become a teacher or researcher at a university or college. In addition to achieving your career goals, you get a chance for better pay.

Most PhD program applicants already have a Master’s Degree in Engineering or a related field. However, applicants with a bachelor’s degree can get admitted as well, given that they meet specific conditions and requirements.

Yes, you can participate in a civil engineering PhD from a school in the US as an international student. Most colleges have a separate admissions process for international applicants that includes passing an English proficiency exam.

Some of the factors to consider when choosing your PhD program and school are accreditation, flexibility, academic reputation, costs, career services, faculty, and program outcomes. Our list provides an excellent shortcut to finding some of the best PhD in Civil Engineering programs available.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication .

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Civil & Environmental Engineering PhD

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Berkeley is a place of intellectual vitality. This vitality is evident in its creative and forward-looking curricula and classroom teaching, its attentive academic mentoring, and the innovative research conducted by students and faculty.

CEE focuses on developing future leaders for the engineering profession, for academia, and for applying engineering methods in the broader societal context. CEE conducts cutting-edge research, defining what constitutes the evolving domain of civil and environmental engineering.

We offer both Master's (the Master of Science and the Master of Engineering ) and Doctoral degree programs. We support seven programs of study for the MS and the PhD, each of which has its own prerequisites for admission and degree requirements. CEE offers two programs of study for the MEng. CEE also offers three concurrent degree programs and two certificate programs.

Master of Engineering (MEng)

This professional degree emphasizes solving technical, sociological, environmental, and economic problems involved in the design, construction, and operation of engineering structures, processes, and equipment. Studies include courses in the engineering sciences necessary to the engineering interpretation of the latest scientific developments. Courses in design, operation, humanities, and economics provide a basis for the analysis and solution of problems in professional engineering.

Students in this degree program select either a concentration in Systems (Civil Systems) or Transportation Engineering (see above descriptions). There are options for either full-time or part-time enrollment.

CEEs MEng program is offered in conjunction with the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership .

Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

These degrees emphasize the application of the natural sciences to the analysis and solution of engineering problems. Advanced courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics, and the life sciences are normally included in a program that incorporates the engineering systems approach for analysis of problems.

Students in these degree programs select one of the following seven concentrations:

1. Construction Systems: Construction is a large, vital, and exciting field now disrupted by deep technology like AI, robotics, embedded sensors and nano-materials. The industry is reshaping itself for example by increased use of modular and off-site production with radically new supply chains, virtualization and development of digital twins, and innovative management thinking such as Lean Construction.This program will educate you to lead tomorrows automation of the construction industry.

You will learn to leverage these disruptions to realize the next generation of adaptable, resilient, sustainable smart buildings and infrastructure. We teach construction systems as a computational and management science, integrating technology with applications for example to realize state-of-the-art structural and geotechnical designs, to launch you as a technologist, entrepreneur, researcher, academic, or management professional geared to drive construction industry transformation.

Our curriculum includes:

Construction viewed as a socio-technical system including its data science, optimization, and simulation aspects,

Construction viewed as a project-based production system including its organizational, financial, planning, control, legal, and contractual aspects,

Integration with structural and geotechnical design,

Technology including the use of robots, cloud computing, machine learning, sensing, scanning, and information modeling such as BIM and VDC,

Large-scale systems thinking including societal-scale mobility, energy flows, and urban forms,

The freedom to take courses in other disciplines.

Our graduates find a wide range of employment opportunities in private industry and in the public sector, for example in tech companies, consulting, design, building, transportation, and industrial construction firms, as well as in public- and private owner organizations, both domestically as well as internationally.

As we are located in the San Francisco Bay Area the center of major local, national, and international construction activity our Program is strongly interlinked with industry. Our class projects and research leverage the ability to go observe as well as study specific local and international projects. We draw on examples from residential-, commercial building-, industrial-, and heavy/civil construction throughout our curriculum. We also invite industry practitioners to present guest lectures describing industry challenges and solutions.

2. Energy, Civil Infrastructure and Climate: Energy, climate, and infrastructure systems are closely tied together, and these connections manifest in many forms. Our society cannot function without energy and infrastructure systems. Energy systems with the lowest possible greenhouse gas footprint are a key to mitigating climate change. Civil infrastructure systems are a backbone of society, and they are also major users of energy that needs to be reduced for a more sustainable development.

The objective of the Energy, Civil Infrastructure and Climate (ECIC) Program is to educate a cadre of professionals who will be able to analyze from engineering, environmental, economic, and management perspectives complex problems such as energy efficiency of buildings, environmentally informed design of transportation systems, embodied energy of construction materials, electricity from renewable sources, and biofuels, and address such overarching societal problems as mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation of infrastructure to a changing climate. ECIC also promotes research at the intersection of energy, infrastructure and climate science.

3. Engineering and Project Management: The Engineering and Project Management (E&PM) Program educates professionals to become leaders in managing projects and companies in Architecture-Engineering-Construction (AEC) and in other industries. E&PM graduates find a wide range of employment opportunities in private industry and in the public sector, for example in engneering consulting-, building-, transportation-, and industrial construction firms, as well as in public- and private owner organizations, both domestically as well as internationally.

As infrastructure systems become more complex, tomorrow's industry leaders must add innovative management thinking to a solid foundation in design and construction. The E&PM Program is uniquely specialized in teaching and researching such new management concepts as Lean Construction, Cost and Schedule Forensics, and Sustainability Engineering. Our teaching and research emphasizes new concepts, technologies, developments, and techniques applicable to both domestic and international project and corporate management. The Program emphasizes the interrelationships of all life-cycle components: planning, design, manufacturing, construction, operation, maintenance, and re-purposing/decommissioning.

As we are located in the San Francisco Bay Area-the center of major local, national, and international project management and construction activity-our Program is strongly interlinked with industry. Our class projects and research leverage the ability to go observe as well as study specific local and international projects. We draw on examples from commercial building-, industrial-, and heavy/civil construction throughout our curriculum. We also invite industry practitioners to present guest lectures describing industry challenges and solutions.

4. Environmental Engineering: Management of environmental resources to protect human health and the systems that support life is one of the biggest challenges facing modern society. In recognition of the interdisciplinary nature of these challenges, Berkeley's Environmental Engineering Program provides you with the education needed to address current and future environmental issues. Graduate coursework and research is focused in three Areas of Emphasis :

  • Air Quality Engineering (AQE)
  • Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology (EFMH)
  • Water Quality Engineering (WQE)

You are encouraged to develop a broad set of problem-solving skills through courses and research in related fields such as:

  • Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Energy & Resources Group
  • Environmental Science, Policy & Management
  • Integrative Biology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Plant & Microbial Biology
  • School of Public Health

5. GeoSystems : The GeoSystems Program encompasses a broad area of teaching and research in geotechnical and geological engineering, environmental geotechnics, and applied geophysics. The focus is on the evaluation of engineering properties of geologic materials and on providing engineering solutions for dealing with geologic environment and processes, and natural hazards.

To this end we pursue studies of the mechanical behavior of soil and rock masses, laboratory and field characterization of material properties, development and application of geophysical techniques for site and subsurface characterization, development of advanced analysis methods, and evaluation of static and dynamic (seismic) performance of soil deposits, earth structures, and underground space.

The GeoSystems graduate program has a long tradition of excellence and its graduates are leaders in the industry and academia. The strength and breadth of Berkeley's GeoSystems is enhanced by close ties with faculty in other areas of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences. Close interaction of the faculty with consulting companies and practitioners also provides opportunity for exposure to the state-of-the-art practice through invited lectures and site visits to ongoing engineering projects in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Due to the broad interdisciplinary nature of the field we welcome students with a wide range of backgrounds in Engineering and Earth Sciences.

6. Structural Engineering, Mechanics, and Materials: CEE's Structural Engineering, Mechanics, and Materials (SEMM) Program has an international reputation for excellence. Many of the fundamental developments underlying the state-of-the-art in structural engineering, mechanics, and materials were pioneered by SEMM faculty and students. This tradition of excellence continues today through vigorous programs of basic and applied research, and careful attention to instruction.

The active involvement of SEMM faculty in the forefront of research projects and in the solution of challenging real world engineering problems results in an instructional program that is up-to-date and relevant. SEMM offers excellent opportunities for study and research leading to advanced degrees in the areas of structural analysis and design, mechanics of structures and solids, and materials in structures and construction.

The curriculum provides a strong basis for advanced professional practice, research, or teaching. Programs of study can be tailored easily to fit individual needs and interests, whether broad-based and multidisciplinary, or narrowly focused and highly technical. Graduates from the SEMM Program have gone on to become world leaders in private practice, government service, education, and research.

7. Systems (Civil Systems): The focus of the Systems Engineering Program (Systems) is understanding complex large-scale systems and developing tools for their design and operation. Such systems encompass built elements in the broad sense (infrastructures transportation, structures, etc.), societal systems (social networks, populations enterprises), and natural systems (land water, air). These systems are at the core of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the 21st Century.

The understanding of how such systems work requires knowledge about the constitutive laws that govern them, such as traffic flow, fluid mechanics, structural mechanics, and smart networks. It also requires an understanding of the theoretical paradigms that are used to model, control and optimize such systems. These include the theories of computation, control theory, optimization, behavioral economics, sensor networks, statistics, and signal processing.

In response to these challenges, the Systems Program provides courses that cover both field knowledge and technical/theoretical tools. This is reflected in the curriculum. We offer masters and doctoral degree programs providing the key skills, e.g., technological, mathematical, or social scientific, as well as the knowledge for a broad range of engineering domains. Our graduates lead the next generation of research, start-ups, industrial corporations, and public-sector organizations.

8. Transportation Engineering: Graduate studyin transportation at the University of California, Berkeley prepares you for a professional, teaching, and research career. Emphasis is on the acquisition of advanced knowledge concerning planning, design, operations, maintenance, rehabilitation, performance, and evaluation of transportation systems, including their economic and public policy aspects. The program stresses development of analytic, problem-solving, design, and management skills suitable for public and private sector professional work.

Transportation Engineering faculty with diverse backgrounds and research interests, including emeriti professors, teach transportation courses. In addition, faculty from City and Regional Planning , Economics , Industrial Engineering and Operations Research , Business Administration , Political Science , and other departments offer courses related to transportation.

Students also have the opportunity to work and interact with research staff at the Institute of Transportation Studies .

Students in the PhD program have the option of pursuing a designated emphasis (DE) to supplement their study.

Concurrent Degrees

The concurrent degree program is a formal arrangement of two existing, but separate, master's degree programs, which result in the students earning two masters degrees. CEE offers the following concurrent degree programs:

  • Program in Structural Engineering and Architecture (MArch/MS)
  • Program in Transportation Engineering and City and Regional Planning (MCP/MS)
  • Any CEE graduate program and Public Policy (MPP/MS)

For further information regarding these programs, please see the department's website .

Certificates

Certificate in Engineering and Business for Sustainability: The Engineering and Business for Sustainability (EBS) Certificate Program trains UC Berkeley graduate students to understand the complexity and urgency of their role in engineering, business, and environmental management, and to work across boundaries to achieve sustainable solutions to pressing societal problems. This program allows students to tap into multidisciplinary educational resources from the College of Engineering , Haas School of Business , Energy and Resources Group , Goldman School of Public Policy , College of Natural Resources , and the School of Public Health , to learn how to have a lasting beneficial impact on the global environment. This program is open to all Berkeley graduate students who meet the EBS Certificate course requirements. For further information regarding this program, see the department's website .

Certificate in Intelligent Transportation Systems: Jointly sponsored by CEE, the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering, this program is designed to assist students in studying ITS in a systematic and focused way. Faculty advisers help students design a personalized study program to meet their goals. For more information regarding this program, see the department's website .

Designated Emphasis

Berkeley Ph.D. students are eligible to pursue a Designated Emphasis as part of their doctoral studies. Common Designated Emphases for CEE doctoral students include:

  • Computational and Data Science and Engineering
  • Global Metropolitan Studies
  • Development Engineering

A designated emphasis is a specialization, such as a new method of inquiry or an important field of application, which is relevant to two or more existing doctoral degree programs. You are required to complete the academic work in the area of specialization and all the requirements of the doctoral program. You must be admitted to the DE before taking the qualifying examination. A complete list of Designated Emphases is here .

Contact Info

[email protected]

760 Davis Hall

Berkeley, CA 94720

At a Glance

Department(s)

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Admit Term(s)

Application Deadline

December 11, 2023

Degree Type(s)

Doctoral / PhD

Degree Awarded

GRE Requirements

construction engineers discussing construction project

Ph.D. in Civil Engineering

Lead the way in ideating, designing and building tomorrow’s infrastructure, or educating future engineers.

Infrastructure has reached a tipping point where aging buildings, bridges, highways, waterways and other structures urgently need technical civil engineering expertise and new ideas to solve today’s challenges. A doctoral degree from UND offers the knowledge and skills you need to elevate your civil engineering skills and knowledge for greater opportunities in private and public sectors, or education.

Why earn a Ph.D. in civil engineering?

If you're an international student, refer to the international application process for deadlines.

Civil engineers experience no shortage of exciting challenges, growth prospects and a wide range of fascinating specialties to choose from. For those pursuing academia, the opportunity to shape and mold future engineering minds will have an enormous impact on tomorrow's infrastructure designs and structures.

This UND graduate program offers the highest advanced study in civil engineering with opportunities to either choose a career path aimed at a senior-level manager or research leader position, or as an educator in higher education. You'll gain the highest level of skills and expertise related to your chosen specialty or area. Most Civil Engineering Ph.D. students are funded by GRA/GTA and provided with tuition waivers.

UND's Ph.D. in Civil Engineering

Elevate your skills with specialized training customized to meet your interests and goals.

Gain a broad-based education with a curriculum that includes traditional study, multidisciplinary exposure and high-quality research.

Work with a committed faculty team to discover the area of most interest, and explore research and opportunities.

Study at a Carnegie Doctoral Research Institution ranked #151 by the NSF. Students are an integral part of UND research.

Enhance your professional skills at 60+ free workshops offered through the UND School of Graduate Studies. Our goal is to provide you with the workforce skills and job search strategies to succeed.

Gain a competitive edge through UND's Accelerate to Industry (A2i) ™ program. This workforce readiness program provides immersive job training for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. It is one of only 30 programs nationwide.

What can you do with a Ph.D. in civil engineering?

Students gain the fullest understanding of engineering design with the advanced skills that many global companies in the public and private sector value in their search for top civil engineering talent. For those seeking a career in academia, a Ph.D. offers the ideal path to success.

UND graduates can expect a range of opportunities in many specialties such as:

  • Project Management
  • Construction
  • Environmental
  • Transportation
  • Geotechnical

UND Civil Engineering alumni have gone on to a variety of successful careers with:

  • Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson, Inc.
  • WSB & Associates, Inc.
  • Bolton & Menk, Inc.
  • Burns & McDonnell, Inc.

Ph.D. in Civil Engineering Courses

CE 502. Structural Stability. 3 Credits.

Concept of stability; equilibrium and energy methods; stability of columns, beam columns, and frames; inelastic buckling; stability by slope deflection and matrix methods; use of codes for the stability design of aluminum and steel columns and frames; torsional and lateral torsional buckling of beams and beam columns. Prerequisite: Background/knowledge of mechanics of materials; additional information is available in the CE Graduate Student Handbook on the CE Department website and the CE graduate student blackboard site. On demand.

CE 503. Structural Dynamics. 3 Credits.

Single-degree and multi-degree of freedom systems; continuous systems; free and forced vibrations; harmonic and periodic excitations; viscous and non-viscous damping; pulse excitations; numerical methods for dynamic response; earthquake response of linear elastic buildings; structural dynamics in building codes. Prerequisite: Background/knowledge of mechanics of materials and dynamics; additional information is available in the CE Graduate Student Handbook on the CE Department website and the CE graduate student blackboard site. On demand.

CE 517. Transportation Asset Management. 3 Credits.

Course focused on the principles of transportation asset management with an emphasis on pavement management system (PMS). Network- and project-level pavement management processes will be discussed, but the emphasis will be on network-level. Bridge management system will also be covered. Prerequisite: Background/knowledge of mechanics of materials and statistics; additional information is available in the CE Graduate Student Handbook on the CE Department website and the CE graduate student blackboard site. F, even years.

CE 518. Pavement Engineering. 3 Credits.

Structural pavement design concepts for flexible and rigid pavements; traffic and environmental loading factors; material characterization; hot mix asphalt design and analysis concepts, SuperPave mix design method, stresses and strains in flexible and rigid pavements, joints and load transfer of rigid pavements, fast track concrete, and construction issues. Prerequisite: Background/knowledge of soil mechanics; additional information is available in the CE Graduate Student Handbook on the CE Department website and graduate student blackboard site; consent of instructor for undergraduate students. F.

CE 524. Open Channel Hydraulics. 3 Credits.

Study of advanced topics in open channel hydraulics. Computer applications. Prerequisite: Background/knowledge of hydraulic engineering; additional information is available in the CE Graduate Student Handbook on the CE Department website and the CE graduate student blackboard site. F.

CE 536. Environmental Engineering III. 3 Credits.

Water chemistry in unit Operation and process design for water and wastewater treatment; physical, chemical, and biological systems; plant design project, computer-assigned design analysis. Prerequisite: Background/knowledge of introductory environmental engineering; additional information is available in the CE Graduate Student Handbook on the CE Department website and the CE graduate student blackboard site. F.

Online Civil Engineering Ph.D.

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Flexible Online Civil Engineering Ph.D. Courses

With asynchronous classes, you do not attend class at a set time. If you need to balance work, family, and other commitments, this flexible format allows you to learn anywhere at any time.

Depending on your instructor, you’ll learn online through:

  • Lesson modules
  • Streaming video content
  • Virtual libraries
  • Posted lectures
  • Online simulations

There will be times when you interact with your instructor and classmates through online discussion boards, polls, and chat rooms.

Your learning revolves around materials that can be accessed on your own time within a set time frame. However, this is not a self-paced course. You’ll have structure and deadlines.

Civil Engineering Ph.D. Research for Online Students

Online Civil Engineering Ph.D. candidates are expected to perform cutting edge research. You must be selected by a research faculty member to join their research group or act as advisor. You will be required to complete research work in person. The research facility could be at your own location depending on the project and thesis topic. You'll work with your faculty advisor to determine how much of the program can be completed online.

Top-Tier Civil Engineering Ph.D. Online

Over a third of UND's student population is exclusively online; plus, more take a combination of online and on campus classes. You can feel reassured knowing you won't be alone in your online learning journey and you'll have resources and services tailored to your needs. No matter how you customize your online experience, you’ll get the same top-quality education as any other on campus student.

  • Same degree:  All online programs are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) . Your transcript and diploma are exactly the same as our on-campus students.
  • Same classes: You’ll take courses from UND professors, start and end the semesters at the same time and take the same classes as a student on campus.
  • Real interaction:  You can ask questions, get feedback and regularly connect with your professors, peers and professionals in the field.
  • Your own academic advisor:  As an invaluable go-to, they’re focused on you, your personal success and your future career.
  • Free online tutoring:  We're here to help you one-on-one at no cost. Plus, get access to a variety of self-help online study resources.
  • Unlimited academic coaching:  Need support to achieve your academic goals or feeling stumped by a tough course? We'll help with everything from stress and time management to improving your memory to achieve higher test scores.
  • Full online access:  Dig into virtual research from the Chester Fritz Library. Improve your writing skills with online help from the UND Writing Center. Get online access to career services, veteran and military services, financial services and more.
  • 24/7 technical support:  UND provides free computer, email and other technical support for all online students.
  • Networking opportunities: Our significant online student population means you’ll have a large pool of peers to connect with. UND has numerous online events and activities to keep you connected.

Best Online College

Our high alumni salaries and job placement rates, with affordable online tuition rates make UND a best-value university for online education. UND's breadth of online programs rivals all other nonprofit universities in the upper Midwest making UND one of the best online schools in the region.

UND ranks among the best online colleges in the nation for:

  • Affordability
  • Student satisfaction (retention rate)
  • Academic quality (4-year graduate rate)
  • Student outcomes (20-year return on investment per Payscale.com)

Check out the faculty you'll work with at UND or discover additional education opportunities.

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civil engineering phd ranking

U.S. News & World Report Rankings

U.s. news & world report graduate school specialty rankings, u.s. news & world report undergraduate program rankings, american society for engineering education (asee) standings, engineering statistics, engineering technology statistics, repeatedly ranked #1.

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Course Catalog

Civil engineering, phd.

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, consistently ranked as having one of the best graduate programs in the country, offers graduate work leading to master's and doctoral degrees. These are in a variety of specialized areas through departmental programs which are described on this page.

Opportunity exists for specializing in computational science and engineering via the Computational Science & Engineering optional graduate concentration.

Department Research Areas of study and research pursued by our world-renowned faculty are focused in the following ten specializations:

More information about these specialized areas may be found at the department's research website .

Through the research centers based in the department, CEE students participate in a wide range of groundbreaking research projects with immediate relevance to real-world engineering applications. For more information, see the department's research centers website .

CEE at Illinois is one of the nation’s best-equipped programs, with a broad range of facilities for civil and environmental engineering education and research. For more information, see the department's research facilities website .

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy, primarily a research degree, requires from three to four years of graduate study beyond the master's degree.  The major area of specialization encompasses courses and research that are closely related, but the courses need not be offered by a single major department. Candidates must demonstrate a capacity for independent research by preparing an original thesis on a topic within the major field of study, must meet the qualifying requirements or examination in the area of specialization, and must pass both preliminary and final examinations.

For additional details and requirements refer to the department's  Graduate Handbook  and the  Graduate College Handbook .  Qualifying Exam information can be found here.

Entering with an approved Master's Degree:  

Other requirements, entering with an approved baccalaureate degree:.

  • Ability to identify and utilize advanced mathematical, computational, design and/or experimental skills to solve complex problems in civil and environmental engineering
  • Demonstrate technical knowledge and depth in at least one or more CEE subject areas and breadth of knowledge in at least one additional area.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively (written, oral presentation, and other media)  technical ideas, design concepts, or research results.
  • Understanding of the student’s professional and scientific ethical responsibilities;
  • Propose, plan, and execute original research idea that target current or future societal challenges related to civil and environmental engineering.
  • Demonstrate skills to teach technical subjects in CEE at the university level

Admission Requirements The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering accepts applications for admission to the graduate program for both fall and spring semesters.

Admission to the Graduate College with full status in civil engineering is granted to graduates of accredited institutions whose requirements for the master's degree are substantially equivalent to those of the University of Illinois, provided the applicant's preparation is appropriate for advanced study in his or her chosen major field and his or her cumulative grade point average is at least 3.00 (A = 4.00). The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is currently optional. However, it is strongly recommended that the GRE test be submitted to help faculty with admission and funding decisions for all PhD applicants. If GRE scores are submitted, CEE does not have minimum scores for admission. GRE scores are only valid for five years prior to the proposed term of entry. For additional information, see the departmental Web site .

All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit TOEFL or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores as evidence of English proficiency. Minimum admission requirements are set by the Graduate College.

Financial Aid Financial aid is available in the form of fellowships and research and teaching assistantships. Starting in Fall 2020, Grainger Engineering PhD students in their first five years of enrollment who meet the minimum eligibility requirements are guaranteed a funded appointment for fall and spring that includes a full tuition waiver, a partial fee waiver, and a stipend.

All applicants, regardless of US citizenship, whose native language is not English and who wish to be considered for teaching assistantships must demonstrate spoken English language proficiency by achieving a minimum score of 50 or 24 on the speaking subsection of the TOEFL iBT or 8 on the speaking subsection of the IELTS. For students who are unable to take the iBT or IELTS, a minimum score of 4CP is required on the EPI test , offered on campus. All new teaching assistants are required to participate in the Graduate  Academy for College Teaching conducted prior to the start of the semester.

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Admissions Graduate Contact:  Joan Christian Departmental Admissions & Requirements Graduate College Admissions & Requirements

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2023-2024 Catalog (PDF)

A copy of the full 2023-2024 catalog.

Civil Engineering (Ph.D.)

Doctoral candidates tailor a highly individualized Program of Study (typically 50 credit hours of courses beyond the bachelor's degree) to develop expertise in one of the following major specialization areas:

  • Construction and Infrastructure Systems
  • Engineering Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Water Resources
  • Geosystems Engineering
  • Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials
  • Transportation Systems Engineering

As part of the Program of Study, candidates must complete a Minor Field of Study. To demonstrate the ability for independent research, the candidate must pass a qualifying examination, a thesis proposal, and a thesis defense.

Candidates are required to complete a doctoral thesis reporting the results of original and independent research that derives from the scientific method and demonstrates creativity and technical expertise in the principles and methods essential to modern Civil & Environmental Engineering.

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PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering

The Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD program at Northeastern University is flexible and may be adapted to any subject area in civil and environmental engineering. The Graduate School of Engineering also offers an interdisciplinary Doctor of Philosophy degree involving substantial work in two or more academic departments or disciplines ( Interdisciplinary Engineering, PhD ).

  • Program Details
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Innovative Curriculum

Students admitted to the program are involved in cutting edge research, often interdisciplinary, in all areas of civil and environmental engineering. Awarding of the Doctor of Philosophy degree is based on ability to formulate, execute, and communicate original research as well as have strong performance in course work.

For more information on the structure and requirements of the doctoral program, please see the  Graduate Catalog or contact the Civil and Environmental Engineering Associate Chair for Graduate Studies.

  • Ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems.
  • Ability to explain and apply engineering principles.
  • Ability to identify, motivate, formulate, and solve important problems, through original, independent, use-inspired scholarly research.

Funding is available for graduate students focused on research in the form of graduate research assistantships, graduate teaching assistantships, and fellowships.

  • CEE Chair’s Select Stipend for Professional Development Awarded for merit, incoming Ph.D. students have the opportunity to receive for their personal professional development one-time  stipend funds of $5,000. These funds provide agency for the students to pursue significant professional development at key junctures in their program.
  • CEE Professional Development Fund Once enrolled, all Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD students have the opportunity to apply to receive funds for reimbursement of allowable professional development expenses. These funds provide agency for the students to pursue additional professional development during their program.
  • PhD Network Travel Funding Match The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering provides matching funding to the Ph.D. Network and research project for travel support, up to $500/student per year.
  • CEE Department Graduate Awards and Ceremony Departmental awards for excellence in research, teaching, and leadership, with monetary honorariums, are awarded to selected MS and PhD students at the conclusion of each academic year at the CEE Graduate Awards Ceremony.

The department offers  Graduate Fellowships  to PhD and MS/PhD applicants. These prestigious Graduate Fellowships include integrated research and teaching to foster a comprehensive graduate education. All applicants are considered automatically for the fellowship program. It is strongly recommended that applicants interested in funding within the department via fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

  • Tyler McCormack, PhD'24
  • Nicholas Briggs, PhD'22
  • Nishant Yadav, PhD'23
  • Andrew Summerfield, PhD'21
  • Angelina Jay, PhD'17
  • Learn more.
  • Scholarship Report

Experiential Learning

Northeastern combines rigorous academics with experiential learning and research to prepare students for real world engineering challenges including industry experience as part of the co-op program or an internship. The Cooperative Education Program , also known as a “co-op,” is one of the largest and most innovative in the world, and Northeastern is one of only a few that offers a Co-op Program for graduate students. Through this program, students gain professional experience employed in their field of interest as part of the academic curriculum. Northeastern has over 3,000 co-op employer partners in a wide variety of organizations, from large companies to entrepreneurial start-ups. Students can also participate in the university’s Experiential PhD program .

CEE PhD Workshop

To celebrate the outstanding work of our students, each year a workshop for PhD students is hosted by the department that includes a research expo, professional development presentations, panel discussions on academic and industry careers, and related topics.

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Academic Advising

The Academic Advisors in the Graduate Student Services office can help answer many of your questions and assist with various concerns regarding your program and student record. Use the link below to also determine which questions can be answered by your Faculty Program Advisors and OGS Advisors.

  • Graduate Student Services

Admissions & Aid

Ready to take the next step? Review degree requirements to see courses needed to complete this degree. Then, explore ways to fund your education. Finally, review admissions information to see our deadlines and gather the materials you need to Apply.

Student News

civil engineering phd ranking

Engineers Without Borders Experience Leads to Pursuit of an MS in Engineering and Public Policy

Melanie Marino, who is pursuing an MS in Engineering and Public Policy, as well as a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, was drawn to advance her education in public policy after a trip with Engineers Without Borders to Tanzania, which required working with the local government to help a village with an unreliable supply […]

civil engineering phd ranking

Sustainability and Data Sciences Laboratory Invited to Present at United Nations HQ

The Sustainability and Data Sciences Laboratory presented at a United Nations event on disaster risk reduction, highlighting the importance of data-driven climate resilience and resilient infrastructure.

civil engineering phd ranking

PhD Spotlight: Sadia Khan, PhD’22 – Civil and Environmental Engineering

Originally from Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sadia Khan graduated from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and served as a lecturer at the University of Asia Pacific in Dhaka. She joined the civil and environmental engineering PhD program at Northeastern in 2017. Under the guidance of Professor Edward Beighley, civil […]

Cassie Nickles

PhD Spotlight: Cassie Nickles, PhD’21 – Civil Engineering

Cassie Nickles’ research focused on large-scale river networks and hydrologic applications enabled by NASA’s upcoming Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission. In the four years of her PhD, she published four articles in top journals: Remote Sensing, Water Resources Research, and Geophysical Research Letters. She also presented her findings at ten conferences, nationally and internationally. From connections made at these conferences, she had the opportunity to intern at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the summer of 2020.

100 Best Civil Engineering schools in the United States

Updated: July 18, 2023

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Below is a list of best universities in the United States ranked based on their research performance in Civil Engineering. A graph of 693M citations received by 21.4M academic papers made by 474 universities in the United States was used to calculate publications' ratings, which then were adjusted for release dates and added to final scores.

We don't distinguish between undergraduate and graduate programs nor do we adjust for current majors offered. You can find information about granted degrees on a university page but always double-check with the university website.

1. University of California - Berkeley

For Civil Engineering

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2. Stanford University

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3. Harvard University

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4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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5. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

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6. University of Maryland - College Park

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7. University of Wisconsin - Madison

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8. University of Washington - Seattle

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9. University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

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10. University of Texas at Austin

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11. Georgia Institute of Technology

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12. University of California - Los Angeles

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13. Cornell University

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14. Pennsylvania State University

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15. Ohio State University

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16. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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17. University of California-San Diego

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18. Texas A&M University - College Station

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19. University of Southern California

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20. California Institute of Technology

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21. Columbia University

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22. University of California - Davis

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23. Michigan State University

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24. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

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25. University of Arizona

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26. University of Florida

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27. Arizona State University - Tempe

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28. Purdue University

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29. University of Colorado Boulder

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30. University of Pennsylvania

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31. University of Central Florida

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32. Princeton University

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33. North Carolina State University at Raleigh

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34. Johns Hopkins University

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35. Boston University

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36. Northwestern University

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37. Iowa State University

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38. Rutgers University - New Brunswick

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39. Yale University

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40. University of Chicago

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41. University of California - Irvine

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42. Duke University

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43. Carnegie Mellon University

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44. Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

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45. University of California - Santa Barbara

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46. Colorado State University - Fort Collins

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47. University of Delaware

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48. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

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49. University of Utah

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50. University of Virginia

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51. New York University

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52. University of Rochester

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53. University at Buffalo

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54. Oregon State University

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55. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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56. University of Illinois at Chicago

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57. University of Cincinnati

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58. University of Pittsburgh

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59. University of Tennessee - Knoxville

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60. Washington University in St Louis

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61. University of Iowa

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62. University of Nebraska - Lincoln

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63. Rice University

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64. University of Massachusetts - Amherst

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65. University of Connecticut

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66. University of California - San Francisco

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67. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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68. University of Kentucky

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69. University of Nevada - Reno

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70. Clemson University

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71. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science

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72. University of Kansas

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73. Missouri University of Science and Technology

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74. University of California - Santa Cruz

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75. Auburn University

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76. University of Miami

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77. University of South Florida

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78. Stony Brook University

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79. University of Houston

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80. Lehigh University

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81. Florida International University

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82. Vanderbilt University

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83. University of Missouri - Columbia

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84. University of Oklahoma - Norman

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85. San Diego State University

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86. University of South Carolina - Columbia

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87. Washington State University

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88. Florida State University

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89. University of Georgia

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90. University of Notre Dame

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91. Brown University

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92. Providence College

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93. Wayne State University

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94. Indiana University - Bloomington

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95. Portland State University

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96. Drexel University

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97. Case Western Reserve University

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98. West Virginia University

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99. Colorado School of Mines

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100. University of California - Riverside

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The best cities to study Civil Engineering in the United States based on the number of universities and their ranks are Berkeley , Stanford , Cambridge , and Ann Arbor .

Engineering subfields in the United States

Best Undergraduate Civil Engineering Programs

Civil engineers design bridges, buildings and more. These are the top undergraduate schools for civil engineering where the highest engineering degree offered is a doctorate. Read the methodology »

To unlock full rankings, SAT/ACT scores and more, sign up for the U.S. News College Compass !

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civil engineering phd ranking

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

  • #1 in Civil
  • #3 in Engineering Programs (doctorate)  (tie)

The University of California, Berkeley overlooks the San Francisco Bay in Berkeley, Calif. Students at this public school have more than 1,000 groups to get involved in, including more than 60 fraternity and sorority chapters.

(out-of-state)

(fall 2022)

SAT, GPA and More

civil engineering phd ranking

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA

  • #2 in Civil

Georgia Tech, located in the heart of Atlanta, offers a wide range of student activities. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, an NCAA Division I team, compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference and have a fierce rivalry with the University of Georgia. Since 1961, the football team has been led onto the field at home games by the Ramblin' Wreck, a restored 1930 Model A Ford Sport Coupe. Georgia Tech has a small but vibrant Greek community. Freshmen are offered housing, but aren't required to live on campus. In addition to its campuses in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia Tech has campuses in France, Ireland, Costa Rica, Singapore and China.

civil engineering phd ranking

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL

  • #3 in Civil
  • #5 in Engineering Programs (doctorate)  (tie)

The University of Illinois is located in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign in east-central Illinois, only a few hours from Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis. The school's Fighting Illini participate in more than 20 NCAA Division I varsity sports and are part of the Big Ten Conference. The university boasts one of the largest Greek systems in the country, and almost a quarter of the student body is involved. It’s not hard to find something to do on campus with more than 1,600 student organizations, including professional, political and philanthropic clubs. All freshmen are required to live on campus.

civil engineering phd ranking

Purdue University--Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN

  • #4 in Civil
  • #8 in Engineering Programs (doctorate)  (tie)

Purdue University's West Lafayette, Indiana, campus is the main campus in the Purdue University system, which encompasses four other campuses throughout the state. About 20% of students are affiliated with Greek life, and Purdue offers a wide range of activities and organizations. Performance groups include the "All American" Marching Band, six jazz bands and two symphony orchestras. The Boilermakers, Purdue’s athletic teams, compete in the Division I Big Ten Conference and are well known for their dominant men’s and women’s basketball teams. The Boilermaker Special, Purdue’s official mascot, is a railroad locomotive cared for and maintained by the student-run Purdue Reamer Club. Although no students are required to live in university housing, about one-third of undergraduates live on campus.

civil engineering phd ranking

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA

  • #5 in Civil
  • #1 in Engineering Programs (doctorate)

Though the Massachusetts Institute of Technology may be best known for its math, science and engineering education, this private research university also offers architecture, humanities, management and social science programs. The school is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just across the Charles River from downtown Boston.

civil engineering phd ranking

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

  • #6 in Civil
  • #13 in Engineering Programs (doctorate)  (tie)

Virginia Tech, a former military technical institute in Blacksburg, encourages students to “invent the future.” It is a research powerhouse, with seven research institutes and two university research centers that offer undergraduate and graduate students research opportunities. Graduate offerings include programs in the highly ranked College of Engineering. The university sports teams, known as the Hokies, compete in the NCAA Division I Atlantic Coast Conference. Students account for more than half the total residents in Blacksburg. They can participate in more than 600 clubs and organizations, including a large Greek system of more than 50 fraternities and sororities. Freshmen must live on campus, and the school has renowned dining facilities. Notable Hokie alumni include football player Michael Vick and talk show host Hoda Kotb.

civil engineering phd ranking

Texas A&M University

College Station, TX

  • #7 in Civil  (tie)

Ready to be an Aggie? All students assume the nickname at Texas A&M, an academic and athletic powerhouse in central Texas. Once an all men’s school called the Agricultural and Mechanical College – now shortened to A&M – the university today is coed and offers a wide variety of majors and activities. Students can choose from more than 1,000 clubs and organizations, including nearly 60 fraternities and sororities. About 10% of students go Greek. More students, about 25%, play in Texas A&M intramural sports leagues, one of the largest programs in the country. The school’s varsity sports compete in the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference, cheered on by mascot Reveille IX, a collie. Miss Rev, as the collie is known, is also the highest-ranking member in the school’s Cadet Corps, the largest ROTC program in the nation (not including programs at service academies). First-year students interested in community service can get involved right away through the Freshmen in Service and Hosting program (FISH). All students can give back during The Big Event, the largest single-day, student-run volunteer effort in the country in which more than 22,000 Aggies work to improve the nearby cities of College Station and Bryan. For many students, these communities are also home; freshmen are not required to live on campus and many choose to live in College Station or Bryan.

civil engineering phd ranking

University of Texas at Austin

  • #11 in Engineering Programs (doctorate)

The University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest schools in the nation. It’s divided into 13 schools and colleges, the biggest of which is the College of Liberal Arts. It also has highly ranked graduate programs, including the McCombs School of Business, Cockrell School of Engineering and School of Nursing. Students can participate in more than 1,000 clubs and organizations or in the sizable UT Greek system. The university has several student media outlets, and its sports teams are notorious competitors in the Division I Big 12 Conference. UT also offers hundreds of study abroad programs, with the most popular destinations being Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, France and China. Freshmen do not have to live on campus.

civil engineering phd ranking

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

  • #9 in Civil
  • #2 in Engineering Programs (doctorate)

The sunny campus of Stanford University is located in California’s Bay Area, about 30 miles from San Francisco. The private institution stresses a multidisciplinary combination of teaching, learning, and research, and students have many opportunities to get involved in research projects.

civil engineering phd ranking

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

  • #10 in Civil  (tie)

Carnegie Mellon University, a private institution in Pittsburgh, is the country’s only school founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The school specializes in academic areas including engineering, business, computer science and fine arts.

civil engineering phd ranking

University of Michigan--Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

The university boasts of Ann Arbor, only 45 minutes from Detroit, as one of the best college towns in the U.S. Freshmen are guaranteed housing but not required to live on campus. Students can join one of the school’s more than 1,500 student organizations or 62 Greek chapters. Athletics play a central role at Michigan, including the football team’s fierce rivalry with Ohio State. Michigan also offers highly ranked graduate programs, including the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, College of Engineering, Law School and Medical School, in addition to the well-regarded School of Dentistry and Taubman College for Architecture and Urban Planning. The University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers is ranked among the top hospitals in the country.

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Cornell University

  • #12 in Civil
  • #10 in Engineering Programs (doctorate)

Cornell University, a private school in Ithaca, New York, has 14 colleges and schools. Each admits its own students, though every graduate receives a degree from Cornell University. The university has more than 1,000 student organizations on campus.

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Arizona State University

  • in Engineering Programs (doctorate)

Arizona State University’s Tempe campus offers more than 200 research-based programs in the arts, business, engineering and more. The campus is located just outside of Phoenix, in the suburb of Tempe, Arizona.

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California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

The California Institute of Technology focuses on science and engineering education and has a low student-to-faculty ratio of 3:1. This private institution in Pasadena, California, is actively involved in research projects with grants from NASA, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Colorado School of Mines

For students who want to work in the sciences, opportunities abound at the Colorado School of Mines. A public engineering and applied sciences school in Golden, Colorado, Mines has 14 academic departments, including Mechanical Engineering and Geophysics. The school also offers courses in the Liberal Arts & International Studies and Economics & Business departments. When students aren’t studying, the school’s location is ideal for outdoor recreation. Golden is 13 miles from the state capital of Denver and lies in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where students can bike, hike and climb. The campus also has a climbing wall for students to test their skills before attempting the Rockies. Cold-weather sports fans can partake in the annual Winter Carnival, a student-run affair packed with skiing and snowboarding at a local resort. The Mines sports teams, known as the Orediggers, compete in the NCAA Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, which is mostly made up of other teams from Colorado. The school mascot is Blaster the burro, and a giant "M" emblazoned onto nearby Mount Zion signifies the school spirit. There are more than 140 student clubs and organizations, including seven fraternities and three sororities. First-year students are required to live on campus. Even the student newspaper, The Oredigger, is decidedly science based; sections include weekly roundups of new discoveries and a Geek of the Week feature.

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Columbia University

New York, NY

Columbia University has three undergraduate schools: Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and the School of General Studies. This Ivy League, private school guarantees students housing for all four years on campus in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighborhood in New York City.

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Duke University

Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke University is a private institution that has liberal arts and engineering programs for undergraduates. The Duke Blue Devils sports teams have a fierce rivalry with the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill Tar Heels and are best known for their outstanding men's basketball program.

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North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC

North Carolina State University, known as NC State for short, is the largest four-year college in the state. Students have more than 100 degree programs and more than 580 clubs and organizations to choose from.

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Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Northwestern University is a private school in Evanston, Ill., about 30 minutes outside of Chicago. Undergraduate students have about 100 options for majors or can design their own non-traditional degree program.

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The Ohio State University

Columbus, OH

OSU offers more than 200 undergraduate majors, as well as a Personalized Study Program where students can design a nontraditional education. The university also offers a variety of graduate programs through such highly ranked schools as the College of Education and Human Ecology, Max M. Fisher College of Business and College of Medicine. Students can participate in more than 1,000 on-campus clubs and organizations, including more than 60 fraternities and sororities, or volunteer through the Pay It Forward program. Sports are a big part of campus life, with The Ohio State University Buckeyes competing in the NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference. All freshmen must live on campus, unless they are from Central Ohio and can commute. Students can also study abroad in more than 75 countries through OSU.

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The Pennsylvania State University--University Park

University Park, PA

There is rarely a dull moment on The Pennsylvania State University campus, also known as Happy Valley. With around more than 1,000 clubs and organizations, there are broad opportunities to get involved in campus life. The school mascot is the Nittany Lion, and teams compete in the Division I Big Ten Conference. The football team plays in Beaver Stadium, which is one of the largest arenas in North America, which seats nearly 107,000 fans. Penn State is home to a thriving Greek system with more than 70 sororities and fraternities. More than 16,000 students volunteer in THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Students raise money for pediatric cancer research and awareness throughout the year and participate in a 46-hour dance marathon - no sitting or sleeping allowed. Freshmen must live in one of five housing areas on campus. Across the street from campus is State College, a bustling small town with an array of coffee shops, restaurants, shops and bars populated mostly by students. Surrounded by mountains, the school is also close to skiing, snowboarding and hiking opportunities.

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Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

The ivy-covered campus of Princeton University, a private institution, is located in the quiet town of Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton was the first university to offer a "no loan" policy to financially needy students, giving grants instead of loans to accepted students who need help paying tuition.

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