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Best Online Degrees in: Civil Engineering

Editor’s Picks: Online Schools for Civil Engineering

Value
The award for best value for an online bachelor’s degree in civil engineering goes to the University of North Dakota Online. Payscale.com reports that UND Online has an annual return on investment of 7.6%, with the number increasing to 8.2% for those who received some sort of financial aid throughout their education. The site also reported that 58% of students received some sort of financial aid. The program is also fully accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Flexibility
The University of North Dakota Online also wins our award for best flexibility in an online bachelor’s degree program in civil engineering. UND Online provides a unique program designed specifically for working professionals. The program allows students to follow the same curriculum as UND’s traditional program, but while providing online access to recorded classroom lectures and course materials at any time.

Career Support
The award for best career support for an online bachelor’s degree in civil engineering goes to Old Dominion University Online. Students and graduates of the program can contact a Cyber Coach for career assistance. The center provides students with career counseling around the clock, and every day of the year.

Financial Support
The award for bet financial support goes to the University of North Dakota Online. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the school was able to award some sort of financial aid to 88% of its students during the 2010-2011 school year. The NCES also reported that those who received financial aid received more than $11,400 in grants, scholarship aid, and federal student loans during the same school year.

Technology Support
The award for best technology support goes to the University of North Dakota Online. The school is ranked No. 3 by U.S. News & World Report in student services and technology among schools offering online bachelor’s degrees. The school provides all online students with 24/7 live tech support.

Student Engagement
The University of North Dakota Online also won the award for best student engagement. The school was the highest ranked in the category by the U.S. News & World Report among all schools that offered an online bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. In addition, UND’s online programs are all taught by qualified faculty members who are available to answer any student questions via phone or email.

Library and Research Support
The award for best library and research support goes to Old Dominion University Online for providing several ways for students to obtain the resources they need. Online students have access to Old Dominion library system through a dedicated website. The school also provides research assistance by phone, email, or live through its Ask-A-Librarian service.

Learning Support
Old Dominion University Online wins the award for best learning support. The school is ranked by the U.S. News & World Report in multiple categories. Online students can access online tutoring, and individualized assistance from skills development and academic coaching through the school’s Student Success Center.

Faculty Credentials
The award for best faculty credentials for an online bachelor’s program in civil engineering goes to University of North Dakota Online. The school’s professors and faculty earned high marks from the student ratings website CollegeProwler.com. The school earned an 8.8 out of 10 rating in the smartest professors category, and an 8.7 in the most caring professors category.

Faculty Accessibility
North Dakota State University Online wins the award for best faculty accessibility for an online bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. The school’s professors and faculty earned high marks from the student ratings website CollegeProwler.com. Students gave the school’s academic advisors an 8.4 rating out of a possible 10, while the giving an 8.7 rating out of 10 in the most caring professors category.

Prior Learning Options
The University of North Dakota wins our award for best prior learning options by providing transfer students with a dedicated staff to help advise students hoping to transfer previously earned credit to their new degree program. UND Online also has a growing list of hundreds of transfer program agreements with community colleges throughout the U.S. The school also ranked third in the 2012 Guide to Online Schools for its dedicated Military Affairs department who are charged with the tasks of helping active U.S. Military members enroll, and transfer, into an online program.

Explore a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering

If you are curious about how a bridge is designed and constructed, or how a water treatment system works, you may want to consider earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. This can lead to a career where you’re the one drawing up the blueprints and seeing your design come to life. In most cases, the average time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering is four to five years. However, the amount of time it takes you to earn your degree depends on several things, such as whether you attend classes full-time or part-time, the specific requirements of the program you’re enrolled in, how many previously-earned credits you have and are able to transfer, and your ability to successfully pass each class and progress through the program.

Class Curriculum

Civil engineering majors will gain an understanding of a variety of structures and systems, such as airports, sewage systems, roads, overpasses, and tunnels. A civil engineering program will build on a strong foundation of mathematics and physics. Each program varies, but here are a few of the more common classes found in a civil engineering program:

  • Civil Engineering Design. This class will cover the design process, tools and software used in designing, engineering ethics, and the economy of engineering. The course will also focus on working as part of a design team, emphasizing communication skills.
  • Structural Analysis. This class will teach students about the construction and usage of the various components of a structure, such as beams and frames. The course will also cover energy and weight distribution of structures, and matrix analysis.
  • Construction Law. This class will cover the legal aspects of the construction industry. Students will learn about local, state, and federal regulations, licensing requirements, contracts, liability, and dispute resolution, and discuss relevant court cases and acts that are in place, such as the Miller Acts.

As a civil engineering major, many of your assignments may involve designing and drawing blueprints using software such as Autocad and Civil 3D. The designs you create must meet the desired structural requirements and be physically sound. Throughout your courses, will may also be required to complete exams and written reports to show your understanding of the topic being covered.

Building a Career

Graduates who earn a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering should have the knowledge and skills needed to design a structure or system that will meet any required needs and demands. Civil engineers design, oversee construction, conduct research, and even educate organizations and the public about the structure or system they are putting in place. Civil engineers are responsible for designing bridges, tunnels, dams, roads, water systems, and much more. Employment opportunities may be available with engineering firms, construction companies, and local, state, and federal government organizations.

Earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to find employment, but an increasing number of jobs are expected to be available. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 19% increase in employment for civil engineers through the year 2020. The BLS also shows the average annual wage for civil engineers to be $82,710. However, a civil engineer’s salary can vary depending on several factors, one of the main ones being where you work in the country. For example, in the same report, the BLS shows that the average income for civil engineers in Houston, Texas, is $103,480, whereas the average in Atlanta, Ga., is $78,300. Other factors include the amount of experience you have, the industry you work in, and your employer.

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