Accredited Online Civil Engineering Degrees

By Jennifer King Logan | Updated 10/21/2020
Quick Facts
Accreditation: ABET
Average Tuition: $32,084
Alumni Salary: $61,950

From the smallest dwellings to the largest skyscrapers, from dams that control our water supplies to the roads and highways that transport people and resources, the sustained infrastructure of our society depends on civil engineers who design and build structures. Those who are interested in studying how structures are designed and built will find they have many educational and career options. For instance, civil engineering technicians need only an associate degree to earn a median annual salary of $53,410, while civil engineers with bachelor’s degrees can expect to earn a median annual wage of $87,060. The following is a list of popular online degrees in civil engineering at the bachelor’s level. Continue reading for more information about accreditation and career paths for civil engineers.

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Most Popular Accredited Online Schools for Civil Engineering Bachelor's Degrees

Visitors to our site are most interested in these schools
Rank School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# 1 #1 Liberty University $11,700 58% (298 reviews)
645 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Civil Engineering (view all)
645 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Civil Engineering
  • BS: Civil Engineering
# 2 #2 University of North Dakota $15,895 67% (3 reviews)
172 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Civil Engineering (view all)
172 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Civil Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
# 3 #3 Great Basin College $10,603 100% (1 review)
37 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Civil Engineering (view all)
37 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Civil Engineering
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Land Surveying / Geomatics
# 4 #4 Idaho State University $24,168 Add Review
57 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Civil Engineering (view all)
57 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Civil Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Surveying and Geomatics Engineerin...
# 5 #5 Old Dominion University $30,840 64% (11 reviews)
196 Programs, 4 Bachelor's in Civil Engineering (view all)
196 Programs, 4 Bachelor's in Civil Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology - Civil Eng...
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology - Civil Eng...
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology - Civil Eng...
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology - Civil Eng...

Overview of Online Civil Engineering Degrees

A Bachelor's of Science (B.S.) in civil engineering provides a general, yet well-rounded, basis of engineering knowledge and course work is heavily geared toward scientific and technical studies, such as geology, physics, and construction management. Those looking to broaden professional opportunities into consulting or senior-level management jobs should continue their studies by obtaining an online master's degree in civil engineering.

Students wanting to go beyond a master’s can pursue a doctorate in civil engineering and eventually earn a PhD with a designation of being a doctor of engineering science. Students who want to continue their education without seeking a PhD candidacy may be interested in obtaining a professional certificate. Civil engineering professional certificates are proof of mastering a certain portion of postgraduate-level curriculum, combined with elements of PhD study.

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Civil Engineering

An online bachelor’s degree in civil engineering will prepare students for a career in structural design. Civil engineers take existing environments and help make them accessible to the world. Diverse industries such as transit, hydroelectric, aerospace, construction, car manufacturers and others need civil engineers. Entry-level jobs in any of these fields require a bachelor's degree.

When students pursue an online bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with a full-course load, obtaining a B.S. in civil engineering takes about four years, with up to approximately 132 credit hours to graduate. Students will take general education classes during the first two years, including math and sciences with extremely technical aspects. Chemistry, physics and geography courses are often required, as well as calculus. Upper-level courses focus directly on engineering applications, including geomatics, thermodynamics, hydraulics, engineering design, differential equations, and more. Graduation requirements usually include undertaking an internship for practical experience in the civil engineering field.

Prior to enrolling in an online degree program for a bachelor’s in civil engineering, prospective students should either have a high school diploma or GED, as well as adequate grades and test scores for college admission. Bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering are earned through four-year colleges, although it is sometimes possible to complete the first two years at a community college. If pre-college test scores are insufficient for admission into a civil engineering degree program, applicants may want to retake pertinent tests, such as the SAT or ACT, if possible. It may also be prudent to gather letters of recommendation to assure college civil engineering departments that the candidate is capable of succeeding in the program.


Students seeking online degrees in civil engineering should select programs that are ABET-accredited. ABET (the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited programs have curriculums that meet industry standards and are often respected by prospective employers and graduate programs.

ABET is the recognized standard for engineering excellence and is held in high regard by governmental and private agencies. ABET accreditation also allows graduates the opportunity to secure specific jobs that require the organization’s curriculum and endorsement, including government jobs and other positions based on formal civil engineering training.

Careers in Civil Engineering

Any industry involved with planning, designing, and using accessible space requires the services of civil engineers. Depending on the specific need or project, civil engineers may find employment in various places. Government agencies, firms, organizations, private clients, as well as colleges and universities all often have need of hiring civil engineers. Here are some examples of where civil engineers are needed:

  • Structures: Civil engineers may also work as structural engineers. Structural engineering is similar to architecture, but civil engineers are responsible for the technical and scientific aspects of the structure’s function and stability. Civil engineers working in this industry may be involved in designing bridges, buildings or dams.
  • Transportation: Civil engineers working in the transportation industry typically design roadway and transit systems, creating traveling paths for society to get from point A to point B. Many are employed with government agencies such as the Department of Transportation (DOT).
  • Geotechnology: Civil engineers involved in the geotechnical industry help ensure that structural foundations are safe and secure. These positions include designing tunnels, retaining walls, and other structures that are closely dependent on the earth’s surface.
  • Construction: Those working in the construction industry help design safe structures that allow construction projects to succeed. In many cases, these structures are not permanent, but will be used again for similar projects.

Frequently Asked Questions About Civil Engineering Degrees

How much can I earn as a civil engineer?

As of May 2019, the median annual wage for civil engineers was $87,060, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest paid 10% of civil engineers earn a median annual salary of at least $144,000, and the highest-paying opportunities are found in the public sector.

What are the best job opportunities for civil engineers?

According to Interesting Engineering, an online magazine for engineers, three of the best-paid career opportunities for civil engineering graduates are engineering project management, senior civil engineering, and civil engineering management. These positions require years of prior work experience because they involve managing projects and other engineers. Such job opportunities are found across the standard specialties of civil engineering, such as in structural engineering, transportation engineering, and materials science engineering. In addition, climate change is creating demand for specialists in growth areas such as marine and water resources engineering, coastal environment engineering, and earthquake engineering.

Do I need an advanced degree to become a civil engineer?

With a bachelor's degree, graduates have access to many civil engineering jobs. However, leadership, research, and teaching positions are typically only available to those who hold master's or doctoral degrees. It is also possible to become a civil engineering technician with an associate degree. Civil engineering technicians, who earn a median annual salary of $50,410, assist civil engineers with planning, designing, and building various types of construction projects, such as residences, bridges, and highways.

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