Online education is best for students who are self-motivated, disciplined, and organized. Prior to signing up for an online program, it is important to understand how the class is structured and delivered. Generally, online classes include pre-recorded videos that students can view on their own time, discussion forums for peer interaction, and occasional live classes. Some programs may also offer students a chance to interact with faculty.
While civil engineering is a hands-on occupation, online programs strike a balance by offering theoretical classes in math and engineering, and supplementing them with on-campus lab coursework. A few online certificates in civil engineering do not have any campus requirements. Instead, they help students gain practical skills through projects and case studies.
Online programs are best suited for working professionals who wish to gain advanced skills, without leaving their jobs, as well as military personnel who may not have access to a university. They offer a chance to passionate lifelong learners to fulfill their higher education ambitions.
In order to thrive as an online learner, students must allocate a set number of hours every week to view lectures, complete assignments, and participate in class discussions. This will ensure they derive maximum benefit from their chosen program.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers an online certificate program in civil and environmental engineering. Students choose one of the following concentration areas:
Each certificate comprises 12 credit-hours.
Courses in the construction management concentration include construction productivity, construction planning, construction optimization and decision making, sustainable construction methods, construction cost analysis, and construction case studies.
The pavement engineering concentration features instruction in pavement design/analysis, repair of civil infrastructure, construction materials deterioration, and pavement evaluation and rehabilitation.
Railroad engineering concentration courses include railroad track engineering, railroad transportation engineering, railway signaling and control, high-speed rail engineering, and railroad project planning and design.
The transportation engineering concentration includes courses such as airport design, high-speed rail, railroad track engineering, logistics system analysis, public transportation, construction materials deterioration, and infrastructure repair, among others.
Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in engineering or science from an accredited institute, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, a completed application, and official transcripts.
Stanford University offers a graduate certificate in civil and environmental engineering with three tracks. The general track is ideal for professionals who are looking to hone their broad-based skills in the field. The other two tracks offered are:
In order to get accepted into the program, applicants must have a degree in a related field, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, and general familiarity with the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry.
Each track consists of four courses. The curriculum includes instruction in advanced building modeling, decision analysis for civil and environmental engineers, polymers for clean energy and water, parametric design and optimization, building modeling for design and construction, virtual design and construction, engineering economics and sustainability, and engineering risk analysis, among others.
Villanova University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers an urban water resources design certificate and a dam engineering certificate. Courses in these programs are offered through Villanova’s e-learning platform. Distance-based students will receive the benefit of the same coursework and instruction as their in-class peers.
The faculty for the program includes renowned professionals who are experts in their respective fields and recognized for excellence in teaching, scholarly research, and applied learning techniques. Courses taken in this program can also be applied toward a degree in civil and environmental engineering at Villanova University.
The urban water resources design program is ideal for water resource professionals and civil engineers, engaged in designing urban hydraulic and hydrologic systems in the built environment. This certificate is made up of four advanced courses. The core courses include surface water hydrology, open channel hydraulics, and urban hydrology and stormwater management. Students must choose one course from electives such as watershed modeling, environmental fluids, and groundwater hydrology, among others.
The dam engineering certificate provides students with in-depth knowledge about the analysis and design of dams. Graduates of this program will learn about planning, assessing, designing, and constructing dams and related infrastructure. Courses in this program include embankments and slopes, the analysis and design of dams, surface water hydrology, and open channel hydraulics.
For admission, students need at least a bachelor’s degree. Application requirements for the program include transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate universities attended, a statement of purpose, a current resume, official GRE scores, a completed online application, and official TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants.
University of Louisville
The University of Louisville J.B. Speed School offers a fully online graduate certificate in structural engineering. This certificate is specially designed for professionals with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, who wish to enhance their knowledge and expertise. Students in the program will delve into structural engineering concepts such as masonry design and timber design.
Applicants to the program must have a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, a minimum grade point average of 2.75, official transcripts certifying an undergraduate degree from a regionally-accredited institution, and TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students. GRE scores are not required for admission.
Comprising 12 credit-hours, the program includes courses such as the fundamentals of prestressed concrete, masonry design or timber design, current topics in civil engineering: bridge design, and special topics: building information modeling. Credits earned in this certificate can also be applied toward University of Louisville’s online master of science (MS) in civil engineering program.
On successful completion of the program, students can take up jobs in areas such as structural, commercial, or non-residential design; public works; and project management.
Northern Arizona University (Related Program)
Northern Arizona University offers an online graduate certificate in community planning. The program aims to nurture community and urban planners with advanced knowledge in public planning.
The certificate provides students with experiences and a background in community analysis, urban planning, community development, geospatial technologies, city budgeting, current issues in urban planning, and land use law.
Major admission requirements for the program include a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a regionally accredited institution, a completed graduate online application, minimum grade point average of 3.0, transcripts, one letter of recommendation, a personal statement or essay, and proof of English proficiency if English is not the native language.
The program comprises 15 credit-hours. It includes courses such as communities and public planning, data analysis and the digital community, land use planning law and ethics, community and urban GIS, and permitting and review process. This graduate certificate can concurrently be pursued with a graduate degree or as a stand-alone certificate.
At the end of the program, graduates can pursue opportunities in local government, international development organizations, federal land management agencies, private sector land development companies, city and county planning departments, and community development divisions.
Old Dominion University (Related Program)
Old Dominion University offers an online coastal engineering graduate certificate program. It provides practicing engineering professionals with a basic level of understanding about physical sciences, economics, engineering, the environment, and the various political, aesthetic, institutional, and social constraints influencing coastal engineering design. All courses in the program are taught by Dr. Navid Tahvildari and Dr. Gangfeng Ma.
Applicants to the program must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university in engineering (environmental, civil, ocean) or the oceanographic sciences (geology, oceanography). Experienced professionals in coastal engineering field may also register.
Comprising 12 credit-hours, the program includes courses such as an introduction to coastal engineering, coastal hydrodynamics and sediment processes, coastal structure design, and dredging and beach engineering. All four courses in this certificate can be applied towards Old Dominion University’s MS in civil engineering (coastal engineering focus) program.
The program can open up several lucrative opportunities for graduates. They can work in areas such as consulting engineering, project management, instrumentation development, federal, state or city government, and more.
Clarkson University (Related Program)
Clarkson University offers an online graduate certificate in construction engineering management focusing on current industry methodology, emerging technology and trends, and practical applications. Professionals in the construction industry will find the program most valuable. In the program, students will be prepared to obtain credentials as an Envision Sustainability Professional or a LEED Green Associate. The faculty for the program includes renowned professionals who are leading industry experts in the construction field.
Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, a current resume, statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students.
This graduate certificate program in construction engineering management is made up of nine credit-hours (three classes). It includes courses such as sustainable infrastructure and building, advanced construction engineering, and special topics in construction engineering management. All courses earned in this certificate can be applied towards Clarkson University’s master’s in civil and environmental engineering degree.
Erik Backus, MS – Clarkson University
Erik Backus serves as the director of the construction engineering management program in the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering at Clarkson University. Some of the classes he teaches include construction engineering, sustainable infrastructure and building, engineering design, senior design, the fundamentals of building systems, and special topics in construction engineering management. His research interests include sustainable construction, integrated project delivery, force protection engineering, and alternate transportation impacts, among others.
Backus also has received various awards such as Best Paper Award, a Facilities Employee Of The Month Award, and a Sustainability Hero Award. He has an MS from the University of Missouri, Rolla (which is now the Missouri University of Science and Technology) and a BS from Clarkson University.
Rahim F. Benekohal, PhD – University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
Dr. Rahim F. Benekohal is a professor of civil engineering at the University of Illinois. He leads graduate and undergraduate courses in conducting research in traffic flow theory, intelligent transportation systems (ITS), traffic flow modeling and simulation, traffic signals, and traffic networks. He has published his research in prominent journals such as the Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems and the Journal of Transportation Engineering.
Dr. Benekohal has won numerous awards such as the Andersen Consulting Award for Excellence in Advising, the Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, and several Best Student Paper Awards. He holds his PhD, MS, and BS in civil engineering from Ohio State University, as well as a BS in agricultural engineering from the University of Urmia.
Robert G. Traver, PhD – Villanova University
Dr. Robert G. Traver is the Edward A. Daylor Chair in civil engineering and a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Villanova University. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in areas such as water resource engineering, fluid mechanics, surface water hydrology, urban stormwater management, and open channel hydraulics. His areas of expertise include stormwater management and policy, water resources, flood control, and urban watersheds.
Dr. Traver has been actively involved in hydraulics, urban stormwater management, hydrology, and all facets of water resources at Villanova University since 1988. His work has been published in prominent journals such as the Journal of Hydrologic Engineering and the Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering. He earned his PhD from Pennsylvania State University, his MCE from Villanova University, and his BSCE from the Virginia Military Institute.
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