Purdue Civil Engineering: The Future-Forward Degree

What are some of the pathways for civil engineers looking to advance to new levels? One option to consider is an online master’s in civil engineering, a flexible and affordable, transformational educational experience for busy professionals.

Perhaps you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering (CEE) or another discipline such as mechanical engineering or chemical engineering. Maybe you’ve developed a specialization in an engineering field, from traffic and transportation to geotechnical and coastal engineering. But in your role as a project manager, designer, or consultant, you’re likely wondering about what’s next for you and the best ways forward.

How will you deepen your expertise, fill knowledge gaps, and develop as a lifelong learner? Traditionally, full-time, on-campus graduate programs have been one of the proven higher education paths to promotions, senior positions, and licensure. Today, online options open up new opportunities for busy professionals, especially those unable to move or put their careers on hold.

The Best of Both Worlds

Top-ranked online master's degree programs offer the best of both worlds. For civil engineers, one such program is the Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Purdue University.

The award-winning online civil engineering degree program is part of an innovative partnership collaboratively launched through Purdue’s world-renowned College of Engineering. The program is already earning a national reputation as it prepares current and future civil engineers with future-facing skills and deep knowledge needed to thrive in the civil and environmental engineering sectors.

The Boilermaker Difference

Since 1869, Boilermakers have been pioneers in applications that span nearly the entire spectrum of the civil engineering profession. Students who earn a master’s degree from the Purdue’s civil engineering graduate program will be immersed in key civil engineering concepts and fundamentals, including:

  • environmental engineering
  • hydraulic/hydrologic engineering
  • structural engineering
  • geotechnical engineering
  • construction engineering
  • transportation engineering
  • geomatics engineering
  • architectural engineering
  • materials engineering

The 30-credit hour program is designed to prepare students to create solutions with real-world applications. Learn about new smart mobile technologies, safety assessment techniques, and much more through one of three specialization tracks:

  • Sustainable Water (SW): Hydrology and hydraulics, water resources and infrastructure systems, wastewater management, water treatment, structural design
  • Infrastructure, Resiliency and Sustainability (IRS): Transportation systems, geotechnical engineering, traffic engineering, sustainable infrastructure, construction materials, construction management
  • Smart Mobility (SM): Emerging technologies, autonomous transportation systems, big data analytics, econometrics, network models, optimization methods

Learn more about the online coursework, electives, and curriculum.

A big part of Purdue’s historic reputation is the people. The faculty who teach this cutting-edge coursework are leading experts in their fields and innovative instructors.

“Our faculty are very well known in their own fields of research and expertise. We are also well known not only for doing research, but also for having a strong teaching ethic,” said Rao Govindaraju, who heads Purdue’s civil engineering programs and is a professor of civil engineering.

The Online Difference

This year, U.S. News & World Report ranked Purdue’s civil engineering online master's program as #2 in Best Online Master's in Civil Engineering Programs. The program is also ranked #3 in overall Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs and the institution itself ranks #7 in Best Engineering Schools. The 100% online degree features the same faculty, uses the same coursework, and results in the same degree as on-campus.

The online program is “strongly supported by our world-renowned faculty," Govindaraju said about the recognition. "This program has been years in the making to ensure our online learners get the best education possible."

Aligned With Industry

Each track within Purdue’s civil engineering master’s degree is designed to be closely aligned with in-demand industries and skills. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are several factors that will require skilled civil engineers:

  • An aging U.S. infrastructure requires civil engineers to rebuild, repair, and upgrade bridges, roads, levees, dams, airports, buildings, and other structures.
  • Cleaning the nation’s waterways requires civil engineers to build and manage waste treatment plants.
  • Renewable energy projects, from wind farms to solar arrays, will need expert infrastructural oversight.

At the same time, the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge, from the American Society of Civil Engineers, makes clear the new and rigorous standards needed for civil engineers to be successful in the future. The body of knowledge “is likely to result in a heightened need for a graduate education,” according to economists at BLS. “Therefore, those who enter the occupation with a graduate degree will likely have better prospects.”

Purdue’s learning design for the online graduate program is uniquely tailored to meet each individual students' needs. The 30 credit-hour degree can be completed according to your schedule's requirements, in consultation with Purdue's academic advising team.

Taking the Next Step

The mission of Purdue’s online master’s degree in civil engineering is to prepare more civil engineering students to take their careers to the next level. Designed with student success at the core, the future-forward program provides education in a cross-section of topics that not only meet specific interests, but also build the skills needed to succeed in today's world.

Learn More About the Program

A few considerations to keep in mind as you explore this degree:

  • Prerequisite courses: Prerequisite coursework to enroll in civil engineering programs includes math (calculus, linear algebra, differential equations) and a preferred bachelor’s degree background in engineering, physical sciences, or a related field.
  • GRE Scores: Purdue’s Civil Engineering admissions standards do not require students to take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test.
  • Minimum GPA: Qualified students will need to have a minimum GPA of 3.00 on undergraduate degree transcripts from accredited universities or postsecondary institutions.
  • Financial aid: Federal financial aid may be available for eligible students enrolled in the online program.