Where Can I Find Free Online Civil Engineering Courses?

Although civil engineering is a specialized discipline, you don't have to pay for college courses to learn it. You can access course materials online for free through schools like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Delft University of Technology. Study the subject at your convenience with the following free online civil engineering courses. Schools offering Civil Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Free online civil engineering courses are not available for credit; however, they can be a good way for you to become familiar with the discipline and decide whether full-time study in this area is right for you. If you already work in the field, they could be a good way to brush up on your skills. As you study civil engineering, you may complete readings, assignments and exams. The campus version of these classes call for hands-on practice through projects, some of which were meant to be completed with a group. You may still complete projects listed, but since you won't have access to the course instructor, you may not be able to measure whether or not projects were performed successfully.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT offers an Introduction to Civil Engineering Design and an Engineering Mechanics I class through its OpenCourseWare (OCW) website. Free access to course materials, lectures and assignments are included.

Introduction to Civil Engineering Design

Taught by Professor Herbert Einstein to undergrads in Fall 2002, this class was created so students could learn though hands-on study. However, you may still gain knowledge of concepts covered in the class though links provided to project details and reading materials.

What Will I Learn?

This course covers civil engineering design theory, problem-solving tools and methods. You will study issues that impact civil engineering design projects, such as nearby structures, population characteristics and the environment.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

You will complete four design projects of varying difficulty. You will build a paperweight and a coat-stand, develop an area of Boston as it appeared in 1800 and design improvements to the city's Green Line streetcar system. These projects are optional since feedback from the instructor will not be provided.

What Materials Are Provided?

This course includes readings for the four projects and guidelines for creating your own civil engineering design portfolio. You can also download a definition and description of the civil engineering design process.

Engineering Mechanics I

Engineering Mechanics I is based on a for-credit course that two professors originally co-taught to undergraduates on campus. This free non-credit course doesn't provide access to instructors.

What Will I Learn?

This course covers the physical properties and mechanics of materials that engineers use to design and build structures. You will learn to solve civil engineering problems that result from the properties of materials.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

Engineering Mechanics I includes problems organized under 11 topics. The course presumes that you have completed certain college physics and math courses and provides exercises to refresh your memory. No solutions are provided.

What Materials Are Provided?

You can download lecture notes and summaries on key topics, concepts and variables. The course provides a tutorial for MATLAB, a technical computing software program used by engineers and scientists. You need special software to view some materials for this course.

Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is a public institution located in the Netherlands that offers free OCW courses based on the classes taught on campus. They offer a class in Civil Engineering in Developing Countries that you can study at your own pace.

What Will I Learn?

You will learn to design engineering projects in developing countries with different construction materials, building methods, environmental concerns and financing procedures. The course will teach you to define the phases of a project, such as feasibility, construction and evaluation.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

You will modernize a drinking water treatment plant to make it operate more efficiently and less expensively. You will also design a cyclone shelter for residents of Bangladesh and write a 1,000-word essay about one of the course topics.

What Materials Are Provided?

The course is divided into 12 lectures that include papers, handouts, videos, training manuals and Web links on topics related to civil engineering in developing countries. You can access drawings, presentations and photos of a cyclone shelter, and a video featuring an introduction to the course from its original instructor.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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