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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.

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 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering hosts laboratories and the university offers a student-to-faculty ratio of 22:1.

In the structural engineering, mechanics and materials program you can study alongside 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 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 University's Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering was tied for second in graduate civil engineering by U.S. News & World Report in 2019. 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 2019. Research interests among the 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 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 TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
University of Texas--Austin (Cockrell) 4-year, Public Austin, TX$12,000
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) 4-year, Private Cambridge, MA$55,000
Virginia Tech 4-year, Public Blacksburg, VA$15,500
Purdue University-West Lafayette4-year, Public West Lafayette, IN$10,000
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 4-year, Public Champaign, IL$18,000
University of Michigan--Ann Arbor4-year, Public Ann Arbor, MI$23,000
Carnegie Mellon University 4-year, Private Pittsburgh, PA$44,000
Cornell University4-year, Private Ithaca, NY$30,000
University of California--Davis4-year, Public Davis, CA$13,500
University of Washington4-year, PublicSeattle, WA$16,500

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education