Masters in Civil Engineering

About the Masters in Civil Engineering degree

Masters in Engineering Programs for Civil Engineers will prepare you for the job you’ve always dreamed of in the civil engineering field. Whether you want to be an executive officer or a works director, this degree will help you start out your career not as a beginner, but as a well-trained and fully capable businessman. Chief Executive Officer or Public Works Director are two of the positions you may have available to your career after this degree. You can expect that with this degree, you should be able to find a position with a starting salary of nearly $60,000 per year.

What is the Masters of Civil Engineering degree?

The Masters of Civil Engineering is a engineering degree consisting of core classes and specialized classes. These more specialized classes will be according to the major or concentration in Civil Engineering you choose as your degreee track.  Those seeking this degree sometimes consider the Masters in Engineering Management Degree as an alternative as it focuses more on the management and business aspects of engineering.

Masters in Civil Engineering Majors

There are many different majors, or specializations, to choose between in masters in civil engineering programs. These include:

  • Masters in Civil Engineering with a focus in Structural Engineering - chiefly concerned with structural design and analysis

  • Masters in Civil Engineering with a focus in Architechtural Engineering - which deals more with building public structures

  • Masters in Civil Engineering with a focus in Construction Engineering and Management - which involves building structures from previously designed plans

  • Masters in Civil engineering with a focus in Transportation Engineering - which deals with designing transportation systems to flow smoothly and safely

Generally only a few concentrations are offered in each school, however. Make sure you first check that the program at the school you are applying for offers the concentration you particularly want to specialize in.

Masters in Civil Engineering curriculum/courses/areas of study

In the masters of civil engineering, you will find that the courses are categorized differently according to the individual curriculum, which varies by school. However, a common categorization is to divide the courses up into “core” courses and “specialized” courses. The more specialized ones are the ones that pertain to your major and give you an expertise in the particular area of your specialization. Among the courses you’re likely to take are:

  • engineering and civil engineering courses,
  • lots of high-level math classes like statics and dynamics,
  • mechanics,
  • engineering measurement,
  • hydrology,
  • transportation engineering.

In addition to this will be more specific classes about structural engineering, architectural engineering, geothermal engineering, etc., according to your choice of specialization in your masters of civil engineering.

Masters in Civil Engineering admissions requirements

Masters in civil engineering programs have extremely high standards for those applying. To get a chance at this degree, you will at the very least have to have a Bachelor’s degree (IN engineering) and possibly, where the standards are higher, a Masters in Engineering. That’s pretty specific, so you have to start planning way in advance. You’ll probably also need to years of related work experience, which may or may not be totally completed by the time you enroll–they’re a little more lenient on the timing of that one. Additionally, if you’re lucky you may be able to find a program that will allow you to take some prerequisite classes as deficiencies instead of requiring you to get a complete undergraduate degree, especially if you have many years of experience in the industry already. One other thing to watch out for is the minimum required GPA. For some schools the minimum can be as high as 3.0 to allow you to qualify. Other common requirements are:

  • official transcripts
  • letter of intent
  • professional résumé
  • letters of recommendation

Masters in Civil Engineering accreditation

Although institutions of higher learning are themselves accredited by separate organizations, any school that has an engineering program also needs to get it accredited by another organization that specializes in accrediting such programs.

http://www.abet.org/ is the main US accreditor for science and engineering programs in schools.

Masters in Civil Engineering resources:

Tips on choosing a Masters in Civil Engineering programs

  1. Tuition - An old adage, “You get what you pay for,” is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind. Don’t expect the top level education for the minimum price, but do consider whether a program seems to be overpriced, and certainly don’t try to enter a program you can’t pay for. If necessary, consider the amount of debt you will have to go into (or add to your previous undergraduate debt) and whether you’re willing to take it on in order to be able to go to the best school. Sometimes compromise, settling for second best, is the only tenable option; but if you can handle paying for your first choice, don’t settle for less!
  2. Admissions - You may come up against a dilemma- admissions criteria that are so high they include something you don’t already have. Like… a master’s degree. Then there are two choices; settle for a different school or go earn a master’s and come back. You have to decide for yourself how important it is to you to get into this particular school.
  3. Program Length  - The length of the program, unless it conflicts uncompromisingly with your schedule in some way, should not be the main determiner in which degree program you try. However, it is best to keep in mind that, all other things being equal, while an excessively longer program may be wasting your time by taking longer for the same degree, it may be less overwhelming to work at this slower pace and help you retain more of what you study.
  4. Accreditation - It is very important that you get into an accredited program. Accreditation means that future prospective employers will have to honor your degree, and without this the degree will be unable to help you attain your dream job. Be sure to check that not only the school in general but also the masters in civil engineering degree program is accredited by a recognized accreditation agency.

How long does a Masters in Civil Engineering Degree take to complete?

The institution from which you obtain your Masters in Civil Engineering will have a given number of credits required to graduate from the program, a list of required classes, or both. Often the requirement is for approximately thirty credits (on top of your previously earned master’s degree). There may be a requirement that some of these credits be gained through hands-on experience, as through a graded project. Within these guidelines, there may be some flexibility to be had regarding the actual number of school years you spend in the degree. Other factors, such as whether you have to work to cover the cost of your tuition, also factor in. However, an estimate as to how long it will take to complete the degree is between 18 months and 3 years.

How much does a Masters in Civil Engineering cost?

Allowing for variation between individual programs and the differing costs of tuition in different institutions, the Masters in Civil Engineering should have a tuition cost of between $10,000 and 30,000 dollars USD. This does not include:

  • room and board
  • other living expenses
  • additional program expenses

these can be estimated (with only limited accuracy, as living expenses vary according to individual tastes) to be about 5,000 dollars per semester. The tuition cost will cover only the classes involved in the program, which should give you a good feel for what you’ll need to do to be able to afford the program. If you don’t think you can afford it, look into financial assistance, provided by the federal and state governments to needy students. This assistance is readily given if the student is seen to have a true financial need and a real desire to learn.

Additional Masters in Engineering Resources:

Engineering Associations

How to Become an Engineer

Engineering Accreditation

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