Civil engineering is regarded as the oldest engineering discipline that dates to the first time someone created structures to make their lives easier. It deals with the built environment as the profession of designing and creating public works such as highways, bridges, canals, dams, and other facilities and structures.

Research in civil engineering is usually done by universities to improve the existing knowledge and to apply them to recent construction and maintenance endeavors. Many universities around the world have excelled in the discipline, but only a few are recognized to be at the top of the international rankings. Here are some of the best civil engineering schools worldwide.

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Top Civil Engineering Schools in the World

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology incorporated itself in 1861 in its first building in Boston, then moved to its current location in Cambridge, the USA, in 1916. MIT specializes in joining academic knowledge and practical purpose in teaching its students.

With MIT being recognized as one of the best civil engineering schools worldwide, its Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering utilizes research and multi-disciplinary collaboration to create solutions to the issues related to civil engineering today. The faculty and students consistently spearhead field discoveries that benefit communities, industries, and economies.

The research contributions of the MIT civil engineering community are unparalleled, as well as the quality of the produced graduates yearly. The innovations in the field, and their positive contributions to human infrastructures, show why MIT is at the top of the global rankings in international universities offering civil engineering.

2. National University of Singapore

The National University of Singapore was established in 1905 as The Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School. The institution was later named the University of Singapore, then merged with Nanyang University in 1980, creating the National University of Singapore.

The NUS Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering started in 1955 and has evolved since to develop and push forward the discipline for the benefit of its students and humanity. The civil engineering department maintains its relevance through incorporating current issues with its research and instruction, to ensure its graduates constantly create positive impacts.

Through the National University of Singapore’s initiatives in collaborative and groundbreaking research and development in civil engineering, NUS is known as a top civil engineering school. NUS remains at the top bracket of civil engineering university rankings worldwide.

3. Delft University of Technology

The Delft University of Technology started in 1842 as the Royal Academy under King William II of the Netherlands. The Royal Academy restarted in 1864 as the Polytechnic School, focusing on engineering studies. By 1905, the institution evolved and was renamed the Delft University of Technology.

The Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences focuses on utilizing theoretical knowledge and applying them to present real-world issues for the betterment of the planet. The institution considers the research of its civil engineering and geosciences community as allyship to environmental conservation and societal improvement.

The Delft University of Technology specializes in creating science-based solutions to global challenges, eventually changing the world, and creating a positive impact on the planet. Delft does so while maintaining the quality of its research outputs and graduates. The Delft University of Technology remains one of the best civil engineering universities in the world today.

4. University of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley started in 1868 upon the merger of the College of California, a private college, and the Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College, a land-grant institution. UC Berkeley moved from its initial location in Oakland to Berkeley, California in 1873 and has since evolved as one of the top educational institutions in the US and the world.

Berkeley Engineering started in 1868 as the College of Mechanic Arts that had a multidisciplinary curriculum and courses in contemporary technologies at the time. Decades, evolutions, and numerous contributions later, Berkeley Engineering maintained its drive to promote the civil engineering discipline thus, making UCB one of the best civil engineering schools in the world.

Berkeley Engineering graduates have maintained the level of excellence envisioned by the forerunners of the college, as shown by the quality of its produced civil engineers. The engineering programs, particularly civil engineering, consistently places at the uppermost ranks of various well-known international university rankings for consecutive years.

5. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge founded itself in 1209 and received its Royal Charter from Henry III of the United Kingdom in 1231. Cambridge consists of self-governing colleges that independently push forward their respective disciplines and consistently benefit society through contributions.

The University of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering dated its history upon appointing the first Professor of Mechanism and Applied Mechanics in 1875 and the opening of the Engineering Workshop in 1878. The Department of Engineering’s long history shows its priceless contributions to the civil engineering discipline and to society itself.

The Department of Engineering maintains its reputation as one of the leaders in the civil engineering field as it helps in providing solutions to the world’s engineering challenges through science and technology. The University of Cambridge’s focus on retaining excellence in its disciplines placed the institution at the top of international rankings for civil engineering universities. Indeed, the University of Cambridge is an excellent civil engineering school.

6. Imperial College London

The Imperial College London is a public educational and research institution officially created by the Royal Charter in 1907, merging the Royal College of Science, the Royal School of Mines, and the City and Guilds of London Institute. The Imperial College London focuses on science, technology, medicine, and business, and excels in the engineering disciplines.

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering traces its history to 1884 upon the development of the Institution of Civil and Mechanical Engineering before the charter. The civil engineering faculty separated from the institution in 1913, creating the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering houses one of the most state-of-the-art and up-to-date research laboratories in Europe in the pursuit of leading in the field of engineering. Known as one of the best civil engineering schools worldwide, Imperial College London consistently places at the top of global rankings for civil engineering universities.

7. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Nanyang Technological University officially started in 1991 upon the merger of its predecessor institutions, the Nanyang Technological Institute and the National Institute of Education. NTU began as a teaching university and transformed into a research-intensive global university, which is one of the two largest public universities in Singapore.

NTU’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering started upon the creation of Nanyang Technological Institute in 1981 as the School of Civil and Structural Engineering. The school’s evolution prompted the renaming of the institution to its current title.

The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering maintains its leadership in sustainability and built environment due to its investment in training its engineering community members, and its focus on providing solutions to the challenges of urbanization and climate change.


Hopefully, this article on the best schools for civil engineering across the world was helpful and informative. Make sure to also check out our Scholarships Page for different information on scholarships and universities across the globe!