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Top Online Universities Offering Civil Engineering

by Amy Pearson

Students studying online at the top civil engineering programs learn to design and construct structures, such as bridges, buildings or roads, as well as devise improvements for aging systems, such as subways or sewer systems. Online civil engineering classes are generally geared toward graduate students and are often interdisciplinary in nature. This allows learners to specialize in a particular civil engineering sub-field, such as waste-water management or infrastructure construction, while also learning about methodologies and practices involved in all engineering sub-specialties.

Purdue University

Purdue University’s engineering programs consistently rank among the best in the nation. "U.S. News and World Report" ranks Purdue’s civil engineering program seventh in the nation. The magazine also ranks Purdue's online engineering program fourth in the nation. Their online interdisciplinary Master of Science in Engineering degree offers a number of civil engineering courses, so students may specialize in the discipline. Adjustment of geospatial observations, coordinate systems, digital photogrammetric systems, geographic information systems, global sustainable engineering and hyperspectral remote sensing are some of the civil engineering topics covered in online classes at Purdue.

Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech’s online engineering program ranks 13th in the country according to "U.S. News and World Report." The school’s civil engineering program in particular is also highly regarded, considered the tenth best according to the magazine. Virginia Tech partners with four other Virginia-area colleges to provide the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program, a collaborative distance education option. Virginia Tech’s Civil and Environmental Engineering option gives distance students remote access to over 40 full-time, highly qualified faculty as part of an interdisciplinary option that emphasizes the environmental impact of civil engineering.

Pennsylvania State University

"U.S. News and World Report" ranks Pennsylvania State University’s World Campus online engineering graduate program second in the nation. PSU’s World Campus offers a multi-disciplinary master’s degree in systems engineering, a good option for civil engineers looking to expand their marketability and to improve their understanding of engineering from a broad perspective. Online courses cover vital civil engineering skills, such as modeling and management of engineering problems, project management, systems engineering and software architecture.

University of Southern California

The online civil engineering graduate program offered through the University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering ranks first in the nation among other online graduate schools, according to "U.S. News and World Report." The highly selective graduate school offers several civil engineering sub-specialties, such as transportation systems and structural engineering. Their online education allows remote students to connect with experienced, tenured on-campus faculty as well as other students via the school’s blended classroom model.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University’s online engineering program ranks among the top 20 in the country, according to "U.S. News and World Report." Their civil engineering program also ranks in the top 25. Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals is an engineering program that offers nearly 150 courses designed to give students the flexibility to complete an individualized plan of study completely online. Learners have a variety of courses to choose from that will broaden their marketability and improve their overall understanding of civil engineering. Courses include systems management, environmental compliance, air quality control technology, principles of water and waste-water treatment, public decision-making methods, industrial process and pollution prevention, according to the university's online course catalog.

About the Author

Amy Pearson earned dual bachelor's degrees in management and horticulture. She is a licensed elementary teacher for kindergarten through sixth grades. Pearson specializes in flower and vegetable gardening, landscape design, education, early childhood and child development.

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