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Study civil engineering abroad

An in-depth guide to studying civil engineering as an international student.

Civil engineering degrees abroad

Civil engineering is all about the design and building of major infrastructure and construction projects like roads, bridges and buildings. It’s an essential role that helps build the towns and cities we live in and connects the world around us.

It’s one of the oldest engineering subjects, and is a popular option for international students to study abroad. Civil engineering degrees are available in universities all over the world, at all levels of study including bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels.

Civil engineering program structure

The structure and course content of each civil engineering program will differ from university to university. For example, some programs share the first year across several engineering disciplines including civil, mechanical and electronic engineering to help you get an understanding in all three areas.

Most civil engineering programs are made up of compulsory modules, but some do offer optional or elective courses you can take to help you personalise your degree. Most undergraduate programs last three or four years, and some have the option of an additional year abroad or in placement.

The learning methods will include a mixture of workshops, group work, and hands on practical work. The program will also include lectures, seminars and tutorials, and you’ll be assessed through exams, presentations, coursework, as well as a final year dissertation or project.

During an undergraduate civil engineering program you’ll cover a number of areas and modules, including:

  • Engineering mathematics
  • Mechanics, materials and structures
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Soil mechanics
  • Structural engineering
  • Engineering design

Types of civil engineering degrees

Civil engineering is a specific area of engineering, however there are specializations and associated degrees that focus on a specific area of the subject. They include:

  • Structural engineering
  • Architectural engineering
  • Transportation engineering
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Environmental engineering
  • Hydraulic engineering
  • Quantity surveying
  • Construction management
  • Town planning

These areas focus on subjects related to civil engineering, so might be worth considering if they better match your interests and career aspirations.

Why study civil engineering abroad

Studying civil engineering abroad means you can access to some of the very best programs, universities and engineering schools in the world. It also means you’ll get to experience a different approach to the subject, which can help broaden your understanding and expand your perspective.

Making the big decision to live and study in another country is also a fantastic opportunity to encounter new cultures, meet new people and improve your language skills. It can also help stand out to employers and show your willingness to try new things.

Find out more about the benefits of studying abroad.

Where to study civil engineering abroad

Deciding where in the world you want to study civil engineering will have a huge impact on your studies and your quality of life, so it’s important you think carefully. To help you make the right decision, think about things like:

  • The sort of country you want to live in

    You could be studying abroad for three or more years so make sure it’s somewhere you want to live. Think about the climate, culture and lifestyle you want when making your decision.

  • How long you want to study for

    Think about what level of degree you want to study and how quickly you want to graduate. For example, in some countries you could achieve a master’s in four years, but it could take at least six years in others.

  • The quality of the program

    If your main concern is studying at the best or most highly respected university possible, look at the rankings for civil engineering programs and focus your search on those at the top.

If you plan to return home to work after graduation, make sure the program you study is recognized by the governing body in your home country. For example, degrees need to be recognized by the Council of Civil Engineering in the UK for you to work as a chartered civil engineer.

Here’s more help on how to choose where to study abroad.

Best countries to study civil engineering

The countries that offer the best and most widely respected civil engineering degrees include the US, UK and Singapore. These countries all offer some of the world’s most highly ranked programs and are popular destinations for international students.

Canada is another well regarded civil engineering destination, thanks to its advanced economy and diverse natural resources. The Netherlands also offers some of the best programs and has a well developed infrastructure and transport system. The Netherlands also offers some of the best programs and has a well developed infrastructure and transport system.

Best universities to study civil engineering

There’s a huge range of institutions that offer civil engineering programs abroad, including large multi discipline universities, specialist engineering schools or technology colleges and universities.

To help you work out which university is the best for you to study civil engineering at, think about:

  • The content and structure of the program the university offers
  • If the university’s program includes a year in industry or a year abroad
  • What the university offers outside of the classroom - does it have a student union, or any sports teams for example
  • What sort of campus you’d like to live on, e.g. in a city or a leafy suburban area

It’s also worth researching the reputation of the university’s civil engineering courses, but don’t base your decision solely on how highly ranked they are.

See all universities offering civil engineering programs

How to study civil engineering abroad

  1. Universities & programs

    Find the right program for you and your career aspirations

  2. Application assistance

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  3. Visa & embassy guidance

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Civil engineering study abroad programs

There are several different types and levels of civil engineering degree you can choose to study abroad undergraduate, graduate and doctorate levels, including:

  • BSc
  • B.Eng (Bachelor of Engineering)
  • MSc
  • M.Eng (Master of Engineering)
  • PhD
  • Doctor of Civil Engineering (Eng.D or D.Eng)

At undergraduate level you can study a B.Eng or M.Eng, with the bachelor’s option lasting for three or four years and the master’s lasting four or five years.

Many programs let you decide whether to study for an M.Eng after your second year, or remain on the B.Eng program. However, you will need to have achieved certain grades up to that point in order to study the M.Eng program. However, you will need to have achieved certain grades up to that point in order to study the M.Eng program.

Civil engineering undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in civil engineering

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    Civil Engineering - BEng Platov South-Russian State Polytechnic University, Russia

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    4,000 USD
    Start date
    October
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Civil Engineering - BSc Altinbas University, Turkey

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    8,500 USD
    Start date
    February, September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Civil Engineering - BEng (Co-op) MAHSA University, Malaysia

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    7,200 USD
    Start date
    January, April
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Civil Engineering - BEng Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    30,634 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Civil Engineering - BEng University of Birmingham, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    23,400 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
See all bachelor's degrees in civil engineering

Diploma in civil engineering

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    Civil Engineering - UGDip MAHSA University, Malaysia

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    30 months
    Tuition fees per year
    4,200 USD
    Start date
    January, April
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Engineering Technology (Civil Engineering Design), Advanced - AdvDip RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    18,000 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Civil Engineering - NZDip Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, New Zealand

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    18,900 NZD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about
See all undergraduate diplomas in civil engineering

Pathway in civil engineering

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    Civil Engineering (Foundation) - FD Leeds Beckett University, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    10,900 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about
See all undergraduate pathways in civil engineering

Civil engineering graduate programs

Master's in civil engineering

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    Civil Engineering - MEng Altinbas University, Turkey

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    3,450 USD
    Start date
    February, September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Civil Engineering - MEng University of Birmingham, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    23,400 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Engineering (Civil Engineering) - by research - MEng RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    36,480 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Civil Engineering - MSc Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    3,850 EUR
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Civil Engineering - MSc University of Dundee, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    21,950 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
See all master's degrees in civil engineering

Doctorate in civil engineering

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    Civil Engineering - PhD RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    36,480 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Civil Engineering - PhD University of Wyoming, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    15,500 USD
    Start date
    May, September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Civil Engineering Sciences and Earth Sciences - PhD Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    9,000 EUR
    Start date
    February, September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Civil Engineering and Surveying - PhD University of Portsmouth, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    6 years
    Tuition fees per year
    8,800 GBP
    Start date
    October, February
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Civil Engineering - PhD American University of Beirut, Lebanon

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    30,060 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
See all doctorates in civil engineering

Pathway in civil engineering

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    Civil Engineering, Pre-Masters - PGP University of Surrey, UK

    Program type
    Postgraduate pathway
    Duration
    6 months
    Tuition fees per year
    12,500 GBP
    Start date
    February, September
    Show program overview about
See all postgraduate pathways in civil engineering

Entry requirements to study civil engineering abroad

Standard entry requirements for international students to study civil engineering include:

  • Secondary education with good grades in maths and science subjects
  • A personal statement displaying your interest in the civil engineering
  • English language proficiency test scores
  • Academic references
  • A bachelor’s degree (B.Eng or BSc) in civil engineering to study at postgraduate level

The exact requirements and acceptable grades will differ by program and university, so check their website carefully before you apply. Here is more on how to study abroad.

Future civil engineering careers

A degree in civil engineering will set you up for a job in the construction industry, but it’s also possible to find work in other sectors like finance, business and management. Jobs that are related to civil engineering degrees include:

  • Civil engineer
  • Design engineer
  • Nuclear engineer
  • Site engineer
  • Structural engineer
  • Construction manager
  • Patent lawyer
  • Quantity surveyor
  • Urban designer

If you know what career you want to pursue after your degree, make sure the program you choose helps you achieve it.