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MS in Civil Engineering In USA: Fees 2023, Top Colleges, Admissions, Placements & Salaries

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An MS in Civil Engineering in USA typically involves a 1.5 to 2-year program with tuition fees ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 or more per year, varying by university and residency status. Top institutions like MIT, Princeton, Columbia, and others are renowned for their strong civil engineering programs. 

Admission requirements typically include a bachelor’s degree in a related field, a competitive GPA, GRE scores (as per university policies), letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and, for international students, TOEFL or IELTS scores. 

Graduates have diverse career prospects in infrastructure, with starting salaries typically ranging from $60,000 to $80,000 annually. Specialisations, research opportunities, financial aid options, and networking can further enhance your education and career prospects. 

Highlights

In the USA, pursuing a Master of Science (MS) in Civil Engineering offers a flexible duration, typically spanning from 9 months to 2 years, allowing students to tailor their educational journey. To be eligible, candidates should hold a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering with a minimum of 63% in their academic record. 

A competitive application often requires a minimum GRE score of 155 in both verbal and quantitative sections, along with a 4.0 score in analytical writing. Specialisations within the program abound, ranging from Environment, Architecture, and Landscape Planning, to Construction Management, providing students with opportunities to focus on their areas of interest.

The cost of education can vary significantly, with average tuition fees ranging from $12,000 to $150,000 USD (equivalent to approximately 9.81 lakhs to 1.22 crores INR). However, this investment often leads to promising career prospects. Upon completing their MS, graduates can expect an entry-level annual salary of around $47,000 USD (approximately 34.5 lakhs INR). 

As they gain experience and expertise in the field, civil engineers can see their salaries grow substantially, with professionals earning an average of $135,000 USD (equivalent to approximately 99.2 lakhs INR) annually. These figures reflect the dynamic and rewarding nature of pursuing an MS in Civil Engineering in USA.

Top Universities for MS in Civil Engineering in USA

In the 2023 QS News ranking for Civil and Structural Engineering programs in the USA, the following list comprises the top 10 universities for masters in civil engineering in USA.

UniversityCourses Offered & DurationApplication DeadlineProgramme Fees (USD)
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyMEng Civil and Environmental Engineering: 9 months;December 1, 2022 (applications closed)57,590
University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)MEng Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering; 9 monthsJanuary 6, 2023 (applications closed)11,700
Stanford UniversityMS Civil and Environmental Engineering; 2 yearsDecember 6, 2022 (applications closed)149,080
Georgia Institute of TechnologyMS Civil Engineering; 1 yearJuly 15, 202318,900
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)MS Civil and Environmental Engineering; 1 yearFebruary 15, 202336,798
University of Texas at AustinMS Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering; 1 yearDecember 15, 2022 (applications closed)19,786
Purdue UniversityMS Civil Engineering: 1 yearApril 15, 202328,203
University of Michigan-Ann ArborMS Civil Engineering; 1 yearJanuary 15, 2023 (applications closed)52,095
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)MS Civil and Environmental Engineering; 2 yearsDecember 15, 2022 (applications closed)58,479
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)MS Civil Engineering: 1 yearDecember 15, 2022 (applications closed)33,238
Columbia UniversityMS in Civil Engineering & Engineering Mechanics: 1 yearFebruary 1, 2023 56,688
Northwestern UniversityMS in Civil and Environmental EngineeringJune 30, 202382,884
Cornell UniversityMS in Civil & Environmental Engineering: 1 to 2 yearsFebruary 1, 202329,500

Why Study MS in Civil Engineering in USA?

Studying for an MS in Civil Engineering in USA offers several advantages:

  1. Reputed Universities with Outstanding Education: The United States boasts well-known universities renowned for delivering high-quality education in Civil Engineering.

  1. Top QS World University Rankings 2023: Many of these institutions, including MIT, Stanford, and UC Berkeley, are consistently ranked among the top in the world according to the QS World University Rankings for 2023.

  1. Access to Proficient Instructors: Students have the invaluable opportunity to learn from accomplished professionals and experts in the field, enhancing their knowledge and skills.

  1. Diverse Specialisation Options: US universities provide a diverse range of specialisations within the field of Civil Engineering, allowing students to align their studies with their specific interests and career goals.

  1. Promising Job Market: With an 8% projected job growth for civil engineers between 2020 and 2030, pursuing an MS in Civil Engineering in USA can open doors to a thriving job market, offering ample opportunities for career advancement.

Admissions

The admission process for pursuing an MS in Civil Engineering in USA involves several steps:

  1. University Selection: First, prospective students should carefully choose the university where they wish to pursue their MS program.

  1. Review Requirements: Next, it’s crucial to thoroughly review the specific requirements for admission to the MS in Civil Engineering program in the USA.

  1. Online Application: Applicants must create an account on the university’s official website and complete the online application form.

  1. Single Submission: It’s important to note that each applicant can submit their application to a particular university only once.

  1. Electronic Document Submission: During the application process, candidates are required to electronically submit essential documents, including Letters of Recommendation (LORs), transcripts, and standardised test scorecards.

  1. Application Fee Payment: Following the application submission, applicants need to pay the requisite application fees.

  1. Acceptance and Offer Letter: If selected, candidates will receive an offer letter from the university indicating their acceptance into the program.

  1. Deposit Fees: Upon acceptance, candidates are typically required to make a deposit payment as part of the enrollment process.

  1. Student Visa Application: After receiving an acceptance letter, students can proceed with the application for a US student visa to facilitate their study in the USA.

Eligibility

International students planning to pursue an MS in the USA should meet the following educational requirements:

  1. Completion of a 10+2+4 educational system.
  1. Possession of a bachelor’s degree, typically a four-year program, in Civil Engineering or a closely related field.
  1. Attainment of a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale during their undergraduate studies, equivalent to a grade of “B” or an academic performance ranging from 83% to 86%.
  1. Submission of GRE test scores.
  1. Demonstration of proficiency in the English language through recognized language tests or qualifications.

MS in Civil Engineering in USA: GRE Requirement

Due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant number of universities offering Masters in Civil Engineering in USA for international students have decided to eliminate the requirement for GRE scores during the application process. Prior to the pandemic, the typical minimum or average GRE score requirements were as follows:

UniversityGRE Requirement
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)Minimum: 155 (quantitative & verbal)
Average (2021): 156-168 (both)
University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)Quantitative: 167; Verbal: 156; Analytical Writing: 3.5 (average)
Stanford UniversityAverage: 157 – 170 (quantitative & verbal)
Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)Minimum: 155 (quantitative & verbal)
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)Quantitative: 165; Verbal: 155; Analytical Writing: 4.0 (average)
University of Texas at AustinMinimum: 155 (quantitative)
Purdue UniversityQuantitative: 163; Verbal: 160 (average)
University of Michigan-Ann ArborQuantitative (Fall 2019 class average): 165; Verbal: 156; Analytical Writing: 3.8
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)Not Required
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)Quantitative: 153; Verbal: 150 (average)

MS in Civil Engineering in USA: Documents Required for Admission

Here are the MS in civil engineering in USA requirements for international students:

  • Official transcripts of academic records
  • Bachelor’s degree certificate
  • Test score reports
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Updated CV or resume
  • Work experience certificate (if applicable)
  • Submission of GRE scores, as well as IELTS or TOEFL scores

English Proficiency Requirement for International Students

Here are the minimum English language proficiency test score requirements for admission to some of the top-ranking universities that provide civil engineering courses in usa. 

UniversityIELTS RequirementTOEFL Requirement
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)7.5100
University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)7.090
Stanford University7.5100
Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)7.090
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)6.580
University of Texas at Austin6.579
Purdue University7.090
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor6.5 (84 for certain programmes)84
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)6.580
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)7.087

US Visa for International Students

When considering overseas education, the United States stands out as a popular choice for students. However, to pursue studies in the USA, obtaining a student visa is a fundamental requirement. 

There are three categories of student visas available in the US: the F1 student visa, the J1 exchange visitor visa, and the M1 vocational/non-academic student visa. International students aiming to enrol in an MS in Civil Engineering program in the USA must secure an F1 student visa. 

To commence the visa application process, it’s essential to visit the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) for approval at least six to twelve months prior to your intended program start date. The application fee for the US student visa is USD 160.

MS in Civil Engineering in USA Costs

When considering studying at the best civil engineering universities in USA, the expenses incurred by international students can be divided into two main categories: pre-departure costs and post-departure costs. 

Pre-departure costs encompass expenditures such as fees for required exams, application fees, airfare, visa fees, and miscellaneous expenses before leaving for the USA.

On the other hand, post-departure costs primarily revolve around university tuition fees, which constitute a significant portion of the expenses once you have arrived in the USA. Additionally, post-departure costs encompass the cost of living in the USA.

Tuition Fees for MS in Civil Engineering in USA

MS in civil engineering in USA fees vary from $12,000 to $150,000 USD (equivalent to 9.81 lakhs to 1.22 crores INR). To financially assist your education, you also have the option to apply for different loans designed for international students pursuing their studies in the USA.

MS in Civil Engineering in USA: Fees for Indian Students

Below is a table of estimated fees for Indian students pursuing a Master’s in Civil Engineering at top-ranked universities in the USA. Please keep in mind that these figures are approximate and subject to variation based on currency conversion rates:

UniversityCourse Fees (USD)Course Fees (INR)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology57,59047.09 lakhs
University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)11,7009.56 lakhs
Stanford University149,0801.21 crore
Georgia Institute of Technology18,90015.45 lakhs
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)36,79830.08 lakhs
University of Texas at Austin19,78616.17 lakhs
Purdue University28,20323.06 lakhs
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor52,09542.59 lakhs
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)58,47947.81 lakhs
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)33,23827.17 lakhs
Columbia University56,68846.35 lakhs
Northwestern University82,88467.77 lakhs
Cornell University29,50024.12 lakhs

Cost of Living in USA

Living expenses in the USA are relatively higher when compared to many other countries. On average, it is estimated to be around $15,000 USD (approximately 12.26 lakhs INR) per year. 

The actual expenditure can vary significantly depending on individual preferences, particularly with regard to factors such as housing costs and dietary choices. The type of student accommodation selected during your stay in the USA also plays a pivotal role in determining your overall cost of living.

ExpensesAverage Amount (USD)Average Amount (INR)
Accommodation1,5381.25 lakhs
Utilities18014,683
Food29023,656
Transport705,710
Internet705,710
Others30024,472

Scholarships

Students have the opportunity to seek different scholarships to alleviate the financial burden of pursuing an MS in Civil Engineering in USA. We’ve highlighted a few well-known scholarships here, but students can also explore a comprehensive list of available scholarships for US studies on our website:

  • Jared J. Davis Grant
  • Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award
  • QS Scholarship for Academic Excellence
  • Brian Colombana Scholarship

As an alternative, students have the option to discover more scholarship opportunities via UniScholars. It can be your guide to top Engineering Scholarships. This platform provides access to a wide array of over 1500 scholarship options, grants, and bursaries, enabling students to evaluate and choose the program that best aligns with their individual requirements.

Scope of MS in Civil Engineering in USA

The majority of the best-compensated civil engineers in the United States are employed within the oil and gas extraction sector. Conversely, job opportunities after MS in civil engineering in USA the most lucrative job opportunities in the USA can be found in locations such as Houston, Texas, Hinesville, Midland, and Georgia. 

Upon obtaining an MS degree, the median annual salary for civil engineers in the US stands at $88,050 USD (equivalent to 72 lakhs INR).

Job TitlesAverage Salary
Structural Engineer$71,865z
Civil Engineer$72,915
Project Engineer$73,595
Geotechnical Engineer$73,621
Water Resources Engineer$72,124
Senior Structural Engineer$101,731
Project Manager$88,751

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MS in Civil Engineering In USA: Fees 2023, Top Colleges, Admissions, Placements & Salaries

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