Transportation Engineering Graduate Programs

Both master's and doctorate degrees are available in the transportation engineering field, and can prepare you for a career in the civil engineering industry. Read on to learn about prerequisites, common courses, online availability, and possible careers and salaries upon finishing the program. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Are There Any Prerequisites for the Transportation Engineering Program?

Both master's and doctoral degree programs are available in transportation engineering, but admission requirements vary slightly between the two degree programs. To apply to the master's degree program, you usually must hold a bachelor's degree in engineering or civil engineering. Doctoral degree programs typically require you to hold a master's degree in the engineering field. Graduate programs in transportation engineering also strongly recommend that you have extensive academic experience in the following subjects:

  • Statistics
  • Computer science
  • Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

Prerequisites Bachelor's degree in engineering, academic experience in math and science required for master's programs; a master's degree in engineering is often necessary for doctorate programs
Common Courses Transportation management, systems analysis, geometrics
Online Availability Master's degree programs available in full and hybrid formats, doctorate degrees not available.
Possible Careers Civil engineer, transportation engineer, post-secondary teacher

What Does the Coursework Involve?

Schools usually award you with a Master of Science (M.S.) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in transportation engineering. Both types of programs often include engineering, economics and urban planning courses. Both graduate programs also help you develop business and public policy skills. Common topics that you'll learn about in a transportation engineering graduate program include:

  • Transportation management
  • Structural engineering
  • Urban and transportation planning
  • Systems analysis
  • Highway engineering
  • Geometrics
  • Current transportation issues

For an M.S. program, you might need to complete a final thesis or take a comprehensive exam to graduate. You also sometimes can work as a research assistant to other engineers during the program.

A Ph.D. program requires you to conduct individualized studies on a unique topic in transportation engineering. You usually must pass a qualifying exam during the first year of the program to become a Ph.D. candidate. During the second half of the program, you'll choose a topic of study and write a dissertation exploring a transportation engineering-related problem or issue.

Can I Complete the Program Online?

Online graduate degree programs in transportation engineering are available. Master's degree programs, however, are more commonly offered online than are Ph.D. programs.

You can conduct all coursework online through recorded lectures and conferencing systems that allow you to communicate with your class in real time. Although daily assignments and lectures are delivered entirely online, you might need to take exams at an approved testing center or a community college near your home. Some online programs require you to use Windows Media Player, Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe Reader. You also might need a high-speed Internet connection, sound cards and speakers.

What Jobs Are Available?

If you graduate from a master's degree program in transportation engineering, you can work as a civil engineer, planning, designing and overseeing various transportation services and programs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), civil engineers also can help create airports, bridges and tunnels ( The BLS reported that civil engineers earned a median salary of $86,640 as of May 2018 with a projected growth of 11% in employment between 2016-2026.

You also can work in a more specialized sector as a transportation engineer. stated that transportation engineers made a median income of $65,806 as of August 2019. To work as an engineer, you might want to earn your licensure as a professional engineer. To meet the licensure requirements, the BLS stated that you typically must earn an engineering degree from an accredited institution, hold related work experience and pass an examination.

If you earn your Ph.D. in transportation engineering, you can become a postsecondary teacher or researcher. The BLS reported that postsecondary engineering teachers earned a median salary of $113,680 per year as of May 2018.

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:
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