Top Civil Engineering Schools in 2015 | Top Universities

Top Civil Engineering Schools in 2015

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Laura Tucker

Updated Apr 16, 2024



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Discover the top civil engineering schools based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.

Focused on the design and creation of all kinds of structures – including buildings, roads, dams, canals, bridges and infinite other useful things – civil and structural engineering is an invaluable profession across the modern world.

Thanks to the continued development of technology and innovation in the sector, today more than ever society is seeing an increased need for experts in these fields. Those who study civil engineering at a leading university are well-placed to enter a jobs market with high levels of graduate recruitment and exciting opportunities from early on.

But what are the world’s top civil engineering schools? Here’s where the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015 can help, providing a ranking of the 200 top civil engineering schools around the planet. The ranking is compiled based on employer and academic reputation, as well as research citations (find out more here).

Read on for an overview of the leading civil engineering departments across each world region, or take a look at the full top 200 here.

Top 10 Civil Engineering Schools in the World

Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015


Name of Institution



Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

United States


Delft University of Technology

The Netherlands


National University of Singapore (NUS)



Imperial College London

United Kingdom


University of Cambridge

United Kingdom


University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

United States


Tsinghua University



Stanford University

United States


University of Hong Kong (HKU)

Hong Kong


University of Tokyo


See the full civil engineering school ranking >


Top civil engineering schools in the US & Canada

The ranking features a total of 49 universities in the US & Canada, with 12 in Canada and 37 in the US. As well as the three US universities in the top 10 (see above), a further 18 are within the top 100, including the University of Texas at Austin (79th in the overall QS World University Rankings® 2014/15), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (63rd in the world rankings), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech, 107th in the world rankings), Purdue University (102nd in the world rankings), Texas A&M University (165th in the world rankings), University of Michigan (23rd in the world rankings), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA, 37th in the world rankings) and University of California, San Diego (UCSD, 59th in the world rankings) – all within the global top 50.

In Canada meanwhile, five schools rank within the top 100: the University of British Colombia (43rd in the world rankings), University of Toronto (20th in the world rankings), McGill University (21st in the world rankings), University of Alberta (84th in the world rankings) and the University of Waterloo (169th in the world rankings).

To prepare for studying abroad in the US or Canada, visit our country guides.

Top civil engineering schools in Europe

Home to the most top civil engineering universities in Europe is the UK, with 25 entries in the ranking. As well as Imperial College London and Cambridge in the top 10, also ranked among the world’s top 100 are the University of Oxford (5= in the world rankings), the University of Manchester (30th in the world rankings), the University of Sheffield (69th in the world rankings), UCL (University College London, 5th in the world rankings), the University of Bristol (29th in the world rankings), the University of Edinburgh (17th in the world rankings) and the University of Leeds (97th in the world rankings).

Each with seven top universities for civil engineering are Germany and Italy. While Italy claims two within the top 50 – the Politecnico di Milano (229th in the world rankings) and Politecnico di Torino (365th in the world rankings) – Germany offers four within the top 100: Technische Universität München (TU Munich, 54th in the world rankings), KIT, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (127th in the world rankings), Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen, 147th in the world rankings) and Universität Stuttgart (274th in the world rankings).

There are plenty more top civil engineering schools across Europe, including three each in BelgiumGreecePortugalSpain and Sweden. Of these, only Greece’s National Technical University of Athens (441-450 in the world rankings), Spain’s Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (337th in the world rankings) and Sweden’s KTH, Royal Institute of Technology (110th in the world rankings) are within the top 50 worldwide. Also among the top 100 are the Belgian KU Leuven (82nd in the world rankings), the Portuguese University of Porto (293rd in the world rankings), the Greek Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (461-470 in the world rankings), the Spanish Politécnica de Madrid (385th in the world rankings) and the Swedish Chalmers University of Technology (175th in the world rankings) and Lund University (60th in the world rankings).

Each with two entries in the ranking are the Czech RepublicIreland, the Netherlands and Switzerland. While the Netheralands’ Delft University takes second place, Switzerland’s ETH Zurich (12th in the world rankings) places 12th and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, 17th in the world rankings) ranks 21st. The Czech Technical University in Prague (411-420 in the world rankings) ranks within the top 100, while Ireland’s Trinity College Dublin (71st in the world rankings) and University College Dublin (UCD, 139th in the world rankings) both feature in the top 200.

European countries offering one entrant each are AustriaDenmarkFinlandFrance, Lithuania and Norway. The Technical University of Denmark (123rd in the world rankings) ranks 49th worldwide and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (246th in the world rankings) also ranks within the top 100. Also featured are Austria’s Vienna University of Technology (246th in the world rankings), Finland’s Aalto University (187th in the world rankings), France’s Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon (INSA, 401-410 in the world rankings) and Lithuania’s Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (701+ in the world rankings).

Learn more about studying abroad in Europe with our comprehensive country guides.

Top civil engineering schools in Asia

In addition to Tsinghua University in the top 10, China claims 12 more top civil engineering schools, the most of any country in Asia. Of these Chinese schools, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (104th in the world rankings) and Tongji University (393rd in the world rankings) rank among the world’s top 50, while the Harbin University of Technology (481-490 in the world rankings), Peking University (57th in the world rankings) and Zhejiang University (144th in the world rankings) are also among the top 100.

In Japan, meanwhile, there are nine top civil engineering universities. As well as the prestigious University of Tokyo in 10th place, Kyoto University (36th in the world rankings) and the Tokyo Institute of Technology (68th in the world rankings) are also among the top 50 for civil engineering, while Tohoku University (71st in the world rankings) is within the top 100.

Of India’s seven representatives, four Indian Institutes of Technology are ranked within the world’s top 100: IIT Bombay (IITB, 222nd in the world rankings), IIT Delhi (IITD, 235th in the world rankings), IIT Kharagpur (IITKGP, 324th in the world rankings) and IIT Madras (IITM, 322nd in the world rankings).

While all six of South Korea’s offerings rank within the top 100, two are among the top 50: KAIST - Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (51st in the world rankings) and Seoul National University (SNU, 31st in the world rankings).

A further five leading schools for civil and structural engineering can be found in Malaysia, led by Universiti Malaya (UM, 151st in the world rankings), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM, 309th in the world rankings) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM, 294th in the world rankings).

All of Hong Kong’s four world-leading civil engineering schools are ranked well within the global top 50. Following HKU in 9th place, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (162nd in the world rankings) comes in at 11th, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST, 40th in the world rankings) in 17th, and the City University of Hong Kong (108th in the world rankings) in joint 35th.

Taiwan also offers four entrants in the ranking, including National Taiwan University at 28th (NTU, 76th in the world rankings) and National Cheng Kung University at 51-100 (232nd in the world rankings).

Finally, both Singapore and Thailand have two schools in the ranking. While Thailand’s offerings are both ranked 151-200 – the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand (unranked in the world rankings) and Chulalongkorn University (243rd in the world rankings) – Singapore’s schools are both within the world’s top 50, including NUS in 3rd place worldwide and Nanyang Technological University (NTU, 39th in the world rankings) in 18th.

View our full range of country guides for information about studying abroad in Asia, or to discover more leading universities in the region, see the latest QS University Rankings: Asia.

Top civil engineering schools in Latin America

There are eight Latin American universities featured in the civil engineering ranking, split between four countries. Brazil boasts half of these, including the Universidade de São Paulo (USP, 132nd in the world rankings) at 47th and the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (271st in the world rankings) at 101-150. Chile boasts two entrants: the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (167th in the world rankings) ranked 51-100 and the Universidad de Chile ranked 151-200 (220th in the world rankings). Finally, Colombia and Mexico each offer one. These are the Colombian Universidad de Los Andes Colombia (262nd in the world rankings) at 151-200 and the Mexican Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM, 175th in the world rankings) at 51-100.

See our full range of Latin American country guides, or discover more leading universities in the region with the latest edition of the QS University Rankings: Latin America.

Top civil engineering schools in Australia & New Zealand

Of the 15 leading civil engineering schools in Australia and New Zealand, 13 belong to the Aussies and two to the Kiwis. For Australia, these include the University of New South Wales (48th in the world rankings), the University of Sydney (37th in the world rankings), Monash University and the University of Melbourne (33rd in the world rankings) in the top 50, as well as Queensland University of Technology (QUT, 285th in the world rankings), RMIT University (304th in the world rankings), the University of Adelaide (100th in the world rankings), the University of Queensland (UQ, 43rd in the world rankings), the University of Western Australia (89th in the world rankings) and the University of Newcastle (257th in the world rankings) all ranked 51-100.

New Zealand’s two offerings in the civil engineering ranking are the University of Auckland (92nd in the world rankings) and the University of Canterbury (242nd in the world rankings) both in the top 50 worldwide.

Learn more about what to expect from studying in Australia and New Zealand with our country guides.

Top civil engineering schools in the Middle East

Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia each claim two leading civil engineering schools within their borders, of which the Turkish Middle East Technical University ranks highest at 51-100 (401-410 in the world rankings). Turkey’s second offering, Istanbul Technical University (501-550 in the world rankings), ranks at 101-150, while Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM, 225th in the world rankings) places at 101-150 and King Saud University (KSU, 249th in the world rankings) ranks 151-200.

Iran and Israel each feature once in the civil engineering ranking, with the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (190th in the world rankings) at 101-150 and the University of Tehran (651-700 in the world rankings) at 151-200.

Heading towards the south-west into AfricaEgypt features in the ranking with Cairo University (551-600 in the world rankings) at 151-200 for civil and structural engineering. The only other African country featured is South Africa with the University of Cape Town (141st in the world rankings) also ranked 151-200.

To read more about studying abroad in each of these regions, head to our where to study site section.

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