Top Structural Engineering Graduate Schools

Learn about the typical characteristics of schools with strong graduate programs in structural engineering. Examine three top-ranked schools with structural engineering programs, find out what degrees they offer in this field and what you can expect to learn while in one of these top programs. Review a list of ten additional top schools in structural engineering. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Top Structural Engineering Graduate Program?

Look for engineering programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). This accreditation agency analyzes the quality of a school's faculty, curriculum, facilities and ethics before granting accreditation status. You'll also want to look at schools recognized by civil engineering program rankings. Consider those with research funding and faculty depth in structural engineering. Good schools will also have exceptional laboratory and research facilities and favorable student-to-faculty ratios.

What Are Three Top Structural Engineering Graduate Schools?

Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta

The Georgia Institute of Technology's engineering program ranked 13th in the Times Higher Education's World University Rankings for 2017 ( Its Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering boats 26 laboratories and a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. The department's graduate civil engineering program was tied for fourth by U.S. News & World Report in 2016 (

In the structural engineering, mechanics and materials program you can study alongside one of 19 faculty members. You can also learn an industry standard software program for structural design and analysis, the Georgia Tech-developed GT STRUDL. You'll have access to the 16,000-square foot Structural Engineering and Materials Research Laboratory and the Computer-Aided Structural Engineering (CASE) Center. Students also have access to photoelastic instruments and four computer laboratories. Georgia Tech grants the following civil engineering graduate degrees:

  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials

Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA

Stanford was third in the Times Higher Education's World University Rankings in 2017. The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering was tied for fourth in graduate civil engineering by U.S. News & World Report in 2016. Its structural engineering and geomechanics program is one of six civil engineering programs and home to 12 faculty members.

As a graduate student you'll have access to the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center and the National Performance of Dams Program. You'll also have the opportunity to develop the computer science technology used in structural engineering through the Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE). Graduate degrees granted include the following:

  • Master of Science in Structural Engineering
  • Master of Science in Geomechanics
  • Engineer Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering - Structural Engineering and Geomechanics (for students who have completed an M.S. in Civil Engineering)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Structural Engineering and Geomechanics

University of California - Berkeley

The University of California - Berkeley's graduate civil engineering program earned a first-place ranking from U.S. News & World Report for 2016. Research interests among the 14-member faculty include steel bridge structures, earthquake analysis and structural engineering software.

As a graduate student, you'll have access to laboratories complete with shaking tables, axial load-torsion machines and tomography equipment needed to test a structure's stability and mechanics. The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center and the 175,000-volume Kresge Engineering Library are also available to structural engineering students. Graduate degrees include the following:

  • Master of Science in Engineering - Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials
  • M.S./M.Arch in Structural Engineering and Architecture
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering - Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials

Top Structural Engineering Graduate Schools

College/University Institution TypeLocation
University of Texas--Austin (Cockrell) 4-year, Public Austin, TX
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) 4-year, Private Cambridge, MA
Virginia Tech 4-year, Public Blacksburg, VA
Purdue University-West Lafayette4-year, Public West Lafayette, IN
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 4-year, Public Champaign, IL
University of Michigan--Ann Arbor4-year, Public Ann Arbor, MI
Carnegie Mellon University 4-year, Private Pittsburgh, PA
Cornell University4-year, Private Ithaca, NY
University of California--Davis4-year, Public Davis, CA
University of Washington4-year, PublicSeattle, WA

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:

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