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    MS in Civil Engineering in USA: Top Colleges, Eligibility, Fees, Scholarships, Scope

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    Komal Yadav

    Study Abroad Expert


    MS in Civil Engineering in USA is a STEM course that can be pursued full-time and part-time by students around the world. Anyone having an understanding of designing and building structures with a bachelor's in civil engineering or a related field can apply for this program. A GRE score above 300 may also be required for admission to some USA universities offering masters in civil engineering. Its time period ranges between 9 months to 2 years for a full-time degree. 

    MS in Civil Engineering USA universities costs somewhere around 13,800 USD to 149,080 USD. For an Indian student, this is equivalent to 10.14 lakhs – 1.09 crores INR. Fees may seem a little higher but international students can avail scholarships in USA to reduce financial burden. The entry-level salary of a civil engineer in this country is approximately 47,000 USD (34.5 lakhs INR) per annum which can go up to 135,000 USD (99.2 lakhs) per year with experience.

    Top Universities for MS in Civil Engineering in USA

    According to QS News ranking of 2020 for civil and structural engineering, following are the top 10 universities offering MS in Civil Engineering in USA: 

    QS Ranking 2020 University Program Offered & Duration Tuition Fees (USD)
    1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    MEng Civil and Environmental Engineering: 9 months;

    MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering: 2 years

    26,725;

    53,450

    4 University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) MS Civil Engineering; 1 year 32,374
    13 Stanford University MS Civil and Environmental Engineering; 2 years 149,080
    18 Georgia Institute of Technology MS Civil and Environmental Engineering; 1 year 31,370
    24 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) MS Civil and Environmental Engineering; 1 year 24,122
    27 University of Texas at Austin MS Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering; 1 year 26,782
    27 Purdue University MS Civil Engineering: 1 year 13,809
    41 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor MS Civil Engineering; 1 year 25,163
    51 – 100 California Institute of Technology (Caltech) MS Civil and Environmental Engineering; 2 years 124,866
    51 – 100 The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) MS Civil Engineering: 1 year 63,898

    Why Study MS in Civil Engineering in USA?

    Civil engineering is one of the most quick-moving domains in the USA, where the students can nurture their skills and can explore various career paths. Following are some of the reasons for pursuing higher education in USA in this field:

    • According to US News Ranking 2020, civil engineering was ranked as the 2nd best engineering job and 17th best STEM job in USA.
    • Nine universities in the USA rank among the top 50 universities offering civil engineering abroad as per QS Rankings of 2020. 
    No. of Universities Ranking in top 50 V/S country
    • There are approximately 326,800 jobs in the civil engineering domain of the USA. 
    • The job growth for civil engineers in this country is projected to be around 6% till 2028 creating over 20,500 vacancies.
    • Federal government employees are paid the highest salary in this field ie. 95,380 USD per annum (median salary). 

    MS in Civil Engineering in USA: Highlights

    Duration 9 months to 2 years
    Degree Offered Master of Science (MS)
    Specializations Available  Environment, Architecture, Landscape Planning, Construction Management, etc
    Eligibility Bachelors in Civil Engineering with a minimum of 63%
    Minimum GRE Requirement 155 in verbal and quantitative, 4.0 in analytical writing
    Average Tuition Fees 13,800 USD to 149,080 USD
    Average Annual Salary  Entry-level: 47,000 USD
    With Experience: 135,000 USD

    COVID-19 Update: 

    • The majority of the universities in the USA have waived-off the GRE requirement due to testing difficulties.
    • Classes are either conducted online or through hybrid mode.

    Admission Process of MS in Civil Engineering in USA

    The admission requirements for international students is slightly different from domestic students. However, some of the general eligibility requirements and admission requirements are discussed below. 

    Eligibility for MS in Civil Engineering in USA 

    For pursuing MS in USA, international students are required to have:

    • A minimum of 10+2+4 education
    • Four-year bachelor's degree in civil engineering or related field
    • Minimum GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 in bachelor's (equivalent to Grade “B” or 83-86%)
    • GRE test score
    • Proof of English language proficiency

    MS in Civil Engineering in USA: GRE Requirement

    Submission of GRE scores has been waived-off by the majority of the universities offering Masters in Civil Engineering in the USA as students were facing difficulty in giving this test due to COVID-19. Scores below are the minimum/average requirement before the pandemic: 

    University GRE Requirement
    MIT Minimum: 155 (quantitative & verbal);
    Average of 2021: 156-168 (both)
    University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) 167 in quantitative;
    156 in verbal;
    3.5 in analytical writing (average)
    Stanford University Average: 157 – 170
    (quantitative & verbal)
    Georgia Institute of Technology Minimum: 155
    (quantitative & verbal)
    UIUC 165 in quantitative;
    155 in verbal;
    4.0 in analytical writing (average)
    University of Texas at Austin Minimum: 155 in quantitative
    Purdue University 163 in quantitative;
    160 in verbal (average)
    University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Average of Fall 2019 class:
    165 in quantitative;
    156 in verbal;
    3.8 in analytical writing
    Caltech Not Required
    University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) 153 in quantitative;
    150 in verbal (average)

    MS in Civil Engineering in USA: Documents Required for Admission

    The application package of the international student must have the following to successfully apply to USA universities:

    • Official transcripts of previous institutes
    • English translation of non-English transcripts
    • 2 to 3 letters of recommendation
    • CV/Resume
    • Statement of purpose
    • Test scores for English language and other standardized tests submitted directly submitted from the testing agency. 

    English Proficiency Requirement for International Students

    Minimum test score requirement for admission in some of the top-ranking universities of the USA are: 

    University IELTS TOEFL
    MIT 7.5 100
    UC Berkeley 7.0 90
    Stanford University 7.5 100
    Georgia Institute of Technology 7.0 90
    UIUC 6.5 80
    University of Texas 6.5 79
    Purdue University 7.0 90
    University of Michigan 6.5 84
    Caltech 6.5 80
    UCLA 7.0 87

    Visa Requirement for International Students

    Students should follow the below-given procedure to apply for a US student visa

    • Visit and accept the approval of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) at least prior to the six to twelve months.
    • Complete the visa application form and attach the current photograph.
    • Pay the visa application fees
    • Attend the visa interview with all the required documents. 

    Cost of Studying MS in Civil Engineering in USA

    Cost of study for an international student can be broadly categorized into pre-departure and post-departure costs. The pre-departure cost includes the cost of various exams taken for studying in USA, application fees, airfare, visa fees, and others. The tuition fees of the university will contribute most to the post-departure cost. These are the expenses you will have to pay once you have landed in the USA. This will also include the cost of living in USA.

    Pre-Departure Costs

    Tabulated below are some of the expenses you will have to pay before leaving for study abroad: 

    Expense Type Cost (USD)
    GRE 205
    TOEFL 170
    Application fee 1,200
    IELTS 250
    Flight fare (one-way) 700
    VISA Fee 170
    SEVIS Fee 200

    Tuition Fees for MS in Civil Engineering in USA

    The tuition annual fees for some of the top-ranking universities in USA offering MS civil engineering ranges between 13,800 USD to 74,540 USD. To support your education finacially, you can also apply for various loans available for international students planning their studies in USA. 

    Tuition fees

    MS in Civil Engineering in USA: Fees for Indian Students

    Fees of top universities Masters in Civil Engineering in USA for Indian students, as per conversion rate on October 29, 2020 is tabulated below:

    University Annual Fees (in INR)
    MIT 19.8 lakhs
    UC Berkeley 24.02 lakhs
    Stanford University 55.3 lakhs
    Georgia Institute of Technology 23.3 lakhs
    UIUC 17.9 lakhs
    University of Texas 19.9 lakhs
    Purdue University 10.2 lakhs
    University of Michigan 18.7 lakhs
    Caltech 46.3 lakhs
    UCLA 23.7 lakhs

    Cheaper Universities for MS in Civil Engineering in USA 

    Following are some of the universities offering Masters in Civil Engineering in USA:

    Cost of Living in USA

    The cost of living in the USA is higher compared to other countries. It is estimated to be approximately 10000 USD to 12000 USD per annum. The spending is varied based on the taste and preferences of the students, more specifically it is depending upon the room rent, and on the food habit. The choice of student accommodations opted while in USA is also an important factor that decides your cost of living. 

    Types of expenditures Cost in USD (Annually)
    Hostels or room rent 5000-7000
    Cost of food 2500
    Public transport 350-800
    Entertainment cost 1000-1200
    Monthly cost of living by Coast

    Scholarships for MS in Civil Engineering in USA

    The inflation rate of the USA has been increased from 1.5% to 2.3% from the year 2010 to 2020. Consequently, the tuition fees of the universities have also been increased. Thus, international students look for various sources to fund their education. Some of the options are loans, scholarships, bursaries, part-time work, etc.

    The following table provides a list of scholarships available for international students in the USA pursuing MS in Civil Engineering: 

    Name of scholarship programs Amount of scholarship (USD)
    Anne Naureen Whitney Barrow Memorial Scholarship $7000
    Western Union Foundation Global Scholarship Program $2500
    Arsham Amirikian Engineering Scholarship $2500
    MSPE Abrams Grant $3000

    For information on other scholarships available for international students, click here. Specific scholarships for Indian students are also available for studying in the USA. 

    Loan Application Process in the USA

    The loan application process is started with the loan evaluation and loan sanction process. The students should show the letter of solvency as the ‘proof of fund’ to apply for an MS program in the USA. The disbursement process for education loan in the USA starts once the students will receive the i20 form from the university. 

    Once you apply for a loan, you should compare and check the interest rates provided by the banks and their processing fees. Some of the loan providing Indian banks are

    • HDFC: Maximum loan amount is $26954 and the processing fee is 1.5% on the entire amount
    • State Bank of India: Maximum loan amount is $40431 and the interest rate is 2% on the amount of loan borrowing)
    • Axis bank

    You need to apply for a loan at least three months before the visa interview. Do not forget to evaluate the loan disbursement amount and the guarantor. The loan application process will be completed after the submission of immigration records, academic and professional certificates, and legal verification certificates such as H1B, J1, and F1 VISA. 

    Scope of MS in Civil Engineering in USA

    Most of the highest-paid civil engineers in the USA are working with the oil and gas extraction industries. On the other hand, the highest-paid positions in the USA are Houston, Texas, Hinesville, Midland, and Georgia. 

    The median pay scale of the civil engineers in the US is 86,640 USD per annum after completion of the MS. The maximum and minimum pay scale of the civil engineers of the USA is $112850 and $67430 respectively. 

    Some of the jobs in USA for civil engineers are: 

    Jobs Average Annual Pay (in USD)
    Construction engineer 68,200
    Structural engineer 67,600
    Building control surveyor 56,000
    Water resource engineer 66,000
    Transportation planner 57,000
    Quantity surveyor 60,500
    Geotechnical engineer 66,200

    Apart from the above-mentioned professions, the career path of environmental engineer and construction manager are very sharp. The projected growth rate of environmental engineers and construction managers in is 8% and 11% respectively. Hence, studying MS in civil engineering in this country can give you a vast opportunity to explore your career path in a better way. In addition, the rising employment rate of the country supports the increase in the career growth rate of civil engineers correspondingly.

    FAQs

    Ques. Which university is best for MS in Civil Engineering in USA?

    Ans. Some of the top-ranking universities offering MS in Civil Engineering in USA are Massachusetts Institute of Technology, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, Georgia Institute of Technology, UCLA etc.

    Ques. What is the cost of pursuing MS in Civil Engineering in USA?

    Ans. Tuition fees of MS in Civil Engineering in the USA range between 13,800 USD to 74,540 USD per year. In addition to this, the annual cost of living in this country is approximately 10,000 USD to 12,000 USD.

    Ques. Can I pursue MS in Civil Engineering in USA without GRE?

    Ans. Some universities such as Purdue University and the University of Michigan do not have GRE as a compulsory requirement for admission in MS in Civil Engineering. However, the submission of such scores increases the chances of acceptance into the program. Caltech University doesn't require submission of GRE score. 

    Ques. What is the scope of MS in Civil Engineering in USA?

    Ans. After completion of MS in Civil Engineering in the USA, you can work as Construction Engineer, Structural Engineer, Building Control Surveyor, Water Resource Engineer, etc. The median salary offered to civil engineers is 86,640 USD per annum.

    Ques. What is the eligibility for admission to MS in Civil Engineering in USA?

    Ans. Bachelor's degree in civil engineering with a minimum of 63% is required for admission to MS in Civil Engineering in USA. International students are also required to submit a GRE score of 300 or above for admission to some top universities.

    Ques. What is the salary after MS in Civil Engineering in USA?

    Ans. At entry level, an MS in Civil Engineering graduate in USA earns up to 47,000 USD per annum. With experience, it goes as high as 135,000 USD per year.