What Are the Courses in an Online Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering?

Civil engineers oversee and design various types of construction projects, such as airports, bridges, roads, tunnels and buildings. Online civil engineering programs are available. To learn about the types of courses you can expect to take in such programs, read on. Schools offering Civil Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Core Courses in an Online Civil Engineering Bachelor's Degree Program

Online course requirements for a civil engineering bachelor's degree should cover many of the main aspects of the discipline. For instance, students might explore fluid mechanics, surveying, structural mechanics, transportation engineering and hydraulic engineering.

Important Facts About Courses in an Online Bachelor's Degree Program in Civil Engineering

Specializations Structural engineering, water resources engineering, construction engineering, environmental engineering, transportation engineering, geotechnical engineering
Online Availability Some courses are available fully online but labs typically must be completed on campus
Possible Careers Project engineer, estimator, design engineer, field engineer, superintendent
Continuing Education Professional Engineering (PE) licenses require continuing education in several states
Median Salary (May 2018) $86,640
Job Growth (2016-2026) 11%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Fluid Mechanics

A course in fluid mechanics is necessary for civil engineers who are interested in management of water resources. It should allow students to examine the physical and dynamic properties of fluids. These include transport theory, static and dynamic fluids, pipe flows, compressible flows and open channel flows.


Surveying is necessary for the construction and improvement of public infrastructures. The course teaches students how to design structures that fit with the land. Students learn to take measurements of angles and distances, to interpret satellite and inertial systems data and to perform triangulation to understand vertical curves, horizontal curves and differential leveling. Students also learn to read and prepare boundary surveys, construction surveys and U.S. public land surveys.

Structural Mechanics

Structural mechanics covers the properties of the materials and surfaces used in civil engineering. A core structural mechanics class offers an introduction to matrix methods, slope deflection methods, energy and consistent deformations methods, approximate analysis, influence lines and plane and space trusses.

Transportation Engineering

A transportation engineering course is essential for civil engineers who are interested in transportation systems, one of the largest and most important current areas of civil engineering. Such a course focuses on related systems such as highways, railroads and airports. Students learn to analyze current transportation systems and to plan new ones that will move people and goods more efficiently. In addition, the course focuses on traffic operations, highway geometry and pavement.

Hydraulic Engineering

Working with water resources is one of the most common jobs for civil engineers, which makes a core course in hydraulic engineering essential. This course highlights the creation of efficient hydraulic structures, such as levees, dams, canals and bridges. Students learn about the uses of hydraulic machinery, including hydraulic power conversion and hydraulic modeling.

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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