10 Top Civil Engineering Schools, Their Locations and Rankings

Joseph Kanu
Joseph Kanu  - Content Writer, Editor and Blogger February 24, 2023
Updated 2023/02/24 at 5:18 PM
Top Civil Engineering Schools
Top Civil Engineering Schools

Civil engineering entails the conception, designing, building, supervising, operating, constructing and maintaining infrastructure projects and systems in both public and private sectors.

These infrastructures include roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment.

Following your search for the top civil engineering schools, this article provides you with just 10 top civil engineering schools, their locations, years of establishment, and rankings.

Below are 10 of the top civil engineering schools intending civil engineers should consider.

1. Georgia Institute Of Technology

The very first on our list is the Georgia Institute Of Technology simply referred to as Georgia Tech and in the state of Georgia, it is simply called “Tech” or “The Institute’. The institution is a public research university and institute of technology established in 1885 and located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Georgia Institute Of Technology is part of the University System of Georgia and has satellite campuses in Savannah, Georgia; Metz, France; Shenzhen, China; and Singapore.

This learning institution was founded as the Georgia School of Technology as part of Reconstruction plans to set up an industrial economy in the post-Civil War Southern United States.

At first, Georgia Institute Of Technology offered only a degree in mechanical engineering but by 1901, the school’s curriculum had expanded to include electrical, civil, and chemical engineering, and in 1948, the school changed its name to reflect its evolution from a trade school to a larger and more advanced technical institute and research university.

Georgia Institute Of Technology is ranked 69th in the world in the QS World University Rankings® 2019.

2. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

Carnegie Mellon University was established in 1900 as a private research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In its formation, the Carnegie Institute of Technology merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research to form Carnegie Mellon University as a single institution.

One of Carnegie Mellon University’s predecessors was established in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie as the Carnegie Technical Schools, and in 1912, the schools became the Carnegie Institute of Technology and began granting four-year degrees. 

In 1967, the Carnegie Institute of Technology and the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research, founded in 1913 by Andrew Mellon and Richard B. Mellon and previously a part of the University of Pittsburgh were merged to form Carnegie Mellon University, and since the merger, Carnegie Mellon University has operated as a single institution. 

Carnegie Mellon University is comprised of seven colleges and independent schools which are The College of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mellon College of Science, Tepper School of Business, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, and the School of Computer Science.

Carnegie Mellon University has its main campus located 5 miles (8 km) from Downtown Pittsburgh, and also has more than 12 degree-granting locations in six continents, including degree-granting campuses in Qatar, Silicon Valley, and Kigali, Rwanda i.e Carnegie Mellon University Africa.

The institution also has partnerships with universities across the U.S. and in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Japan, China, Mexico, and Italy. Carnegie Mellon University is ranked #52 in QS World University Rankings 2023.

3. Virginia Tech (VT)

Virginia Tech previously Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI), was opened on October 1st, 1872 as a public land-grant research university with its main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia.

The institution has educational facilities in six regions statewide, a research centre in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and a study-abroad site in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. Virginia Tech is a senior military college through its Corps of Cadets ROTC program.

The school offers a total of 280 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to some 34,400 students and as of 2015, Virginia Tech was Virginia’s second-largest public university by enrollment.

Virginia Tech is ranked among the top 50 universities in the United States for total research expenditures, top 25 in computer and information sciences, and top 10 in engineering, the last two of which are the highest rankings in Virginia.

The school manages a $522 million research portfolio, and is grouped among “R1: Doctoral Universities; Very high research activity”. Virginia Tech was ranked 62nd in the 2022-2023 edition of Best Colleges.

4. New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)

New Jersey Institute of Technology was founded in 1881 as a public research university in Newark, New Jersey with a graduate-degree-granting satellite campus in Jersey City. The institution was founded with the support of local industrialists and inventors like Edward Weston, and others.

New Jersey Institute of Technology began as Newark Technical School (NTS) in 1885 with a total of 88 students, and grew into a standard engineering college; Newark College of Engineering (NCE) and then an addition of a School of Architecture in 1973 was made, and finally, it grew into a polytechnic university that currently hosts five colleges and one school.

The school offers 51 undergraduate i.e BSc/BA majors and 71 graduate i.e Masters and PhD programs. NJIT offers professional programs in Healthcare and Law in collaboration with closeby institutions such as Rutgers Medical School and Seton Hall Law School via its Honors College.

New Jersey Institute of Technology is a member of the Sea Grant and Space Grant research consortia and has participated in the McNair Scholars Program since 1999. The school is ranked 61 Nationally.

5. California Institute Of Technology 

California Institute Of Technology usually branded as Caltech or CIT is a private research university founded in 1891 and located in Pasadena, California. The school is ranked among the best academic institutions globally and enrols approximately 2400 students, however, it is one of the most selective universities in the world.

California Institute Of Technology is known for its strength in science and engineering and belongs to a small group of institutes of technology in the United States which is majorly devoted to the instruction of pure and applied sciences.

California Institute Of Technology was founded as a preparatory and vocational school by Amos G. Throop, and it began attracting notable scientists like George Ellery Hale, Arthur Amos Noyes, and Robert Andrews Millikan in the early 20th century. 

Both the Scientists and engineers at the California Institute Of Technology and the scientists from there have played a key role in many modern scientific breakthroughs and innovations, including advancements in sustainability science, earthquake monitoring, quantum physics, soft robotics, and protein engineering.

6. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) was established in 1824 as a private research university located in Troy, New York, with an extra campus in Hartford, Connecticut, and a third campus in Groton, Connecticut that was closed in 2018.

The school was founded by Stephen Van Rensselaer and Amos Eaton for the purpose of applying science to the common purposes of life. The institution is the oldest technological university in the English-speaking world and the Western part of the world in general.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is organized into six major schools comprised of 37 departments, with an emphasis on science and technology. The school is grouped among R1: Doctoral Universities: Very High Research Activity.

Many of the school’s engineering programs are highly ranked, and as of 2017, the school’s faculty and alumni included 6 members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 6 National Medal of Technology winners, 5 National Medal of Science winners, 8 Fulbright Scholarship beneficiaries, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics.

To add to that, the school’s  86 alumni are members of the National Academy of Engineering, 25 of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 17 of the National Academy of Sciences, 8 of the National Academy of Medicine, 1 of the National Academy of Public Administration, and 9 of the National Academy of Inventors.

7. North Carolina State University (NC State)

North Carolina State University was founded in 1887 as a public land-grant research university and is located in Raleigh, North Carolina. The institution is part of the University of North Carolina system and is the largest university in the Carolinas.

North Carolina State University has historical strengths in engineering, statistics, agriculture, life sciences, textiles, and design and offers bachelor’s degrees in 106 areas of study. Its graduate school offers master’s degrees in 104 areas of study, doctoral degrees in 61 areas, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

North Carolina State University QS ranking in 2023 is 312.

8. Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)

Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), simply referred to as Illinois Tech was founded around 1890 as a private research university, located in Chicago, Illinois. The school’s current name was adopted after Armour Institute and Lewis Institute merged in 1940. 

Illinois Institute of Technology offers programs in architecture, business, communications, design, engineering, industrial technology, information technology, law, psychology, and science, and is classified among R2: Doctoral Universities; High research activity.

Illinois Institute of Technology ranks 127 out of 443 National Universities.

9. The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA or UT Arlington)

The University of Texas at Arlington was founded in 1895 as a public research university, located in Arlington, Texas. The school was in the Texas A&M University System for a good number of decades until 1965 when it joined the University of Texas System.

The University of Texas at Arlington is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities; Very high research activity, and is the largest university in North Texas and fourth-largest in Texas.

According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023, the University of Texas at Arlington is ranked number 601-800 among the other 1,799 global universities.

10. The University of Tennessee (officially The University of Tennessee, Knoxville; or UT Knoxville; UTK; or UT)

The University of Tennessee was founded in 1794 as a public land-grant research university in Knoxville, Tennessee, and is the flagship campus of the University of Tennessee system, with ten undergraduate colleges and eleven graduate colleges. 

The school hosts over 30,000 students from all 50 states and over 100 foreign countries. The University of Tennessee is in group R1: Doctoral Universities; Very high research activity. The University of Tennessee-Knoxville ranks No. 301–350 nationally, and according to World University Rankings 2023, it ranks 101–200 among other global universities.


So far we’ve been able to show you 10 top civil engineering schools, their years of establishment, locations and rankings just as earlier promised. We believe you have gotten all the information you searching for.

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