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Online Structural Engineering Master's Degree Programs

A career designing buildings, bridges and roads, with a focus on the structural capacities of these projects, can be yours after completing a master's degree program in structural engineering. See about typical classes and how online learning works. Learn about program prerequisites, and get career information below.

What Courses Will I Take for a Master's Degree in Structural Engineering?

Structural engineering coursework is typically part of a civil engineering master's degree program, and some schools may offer civil engineering programs with concentrations in structural engineering. In any case, your courses will provide extensive training in the qualities of various building materials used in a wide range of construction projects, including steel and concrete.

In order to design soundly built structures, you will learn how different materials and construction designs respond to factors including wind, earthquakes, rain and ice. You will also study how soil settlement and erosion may impact the structural integrity of projects like roads and building foundations. These courses typically involve computer-based modeling and analysis. You may also receive business-focused training in areas such as cost estimating and leadership. Additionally, you may study the laws and building codes relevant to the types of structures you may design or analyze.

Common Courses Environmental factors, cost estimating, building codes, leadership, materials evaluation
Online Availability Fully online programs are available
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree in civil engineering or related field; GRE scores
Career Outlook (2016-2026) 11%* (for civil engineers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Will My Online Program Work?

The coursework in your online structural engineering program will be identical to that of a campus-based program. You will need access to a computer with high-speed Internet access in order to complete your coursework. Through a platform such as Blackboard, you will watch lectures, participate in online discussion groups and communicate with faculty by email. Online programs provide you with increased flexibility regarding when you watch lectures; however, you can expect strict deadlines regarding homework assignments and tests, similar to a campus-based program.

Will I Need Any Prerequisites to Apply?

Many schools to which you may apply will require applicants to possess a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. Related degrees that may qualify you for admissions include mathematics, physics and applied mechanics. If your undergraduate degree is not in civil engineering, you may need to complete coursework in engineering prior to beginning your graduate study. You will need to submit your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

What is My Career Outlook in this Field?

Upon beginning your career, you will join the approximately 303,500 civil engineers, including structural engineers, employed in 2016 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This field was expected to grow 11% between 2016 and 2026. The median salary as of May 2018 is $86,640. You may work in either the public or private sector, specializing in fields including residential buildings, utility systems, highway construction and bridge construction.