Best Accredited Civil Engineering Schools Chicago

Civil engineers create, design, and build structures that shelter and protect us from harsh weather conditions. The calculations involved take a lot of time and training to learn.

Many schools offer programs that teach civil engineering, but we will focus on Chicago’s best accredited civil engineering schools.

According to Tandfonline, the environmental impact of construction activity has gained increasing importance in the last few years and has become an essential subject for civil engineering education.

A survey of Portuguese higher education institutions shows that concern with this topic is mainly directed at the impact of large construction projects and primarily focused on their operational stage.

So, in this article, we will look at civil engineering, its essence, and the best accredited civil engineering schools in Chicago. The table of content below clearly outlines all you’ll get to know in this article.

What is Civil Engineering?

Civil engineering is a professional practice that involves designing and developing infrastructure projects. This includes developing nationwide transport systems or water supply networks, or on a smaller scale, such as developing individual roads or buildings.

Every aspect of a structure falls under the workload of a civil engineer. His essential roles include planning, design, budgeting, surveying, construction management, and analysis, and often civil engineering careers encompass a combination of all these elements.

The interesting part of civil engineering in the real world is that it’s an industry that aligns with societal demands. Recently, civil engineering has aligned to consider many contemporary environmental concerns.

Furthermore, they’ve sought to dismantle pollution issues and scarce water supplies while considering the potential of sustainable energy within the industry.

What Does A Civil Engineer Do?

A civil engineer majorly designs and supervises the construction of public works. Some of these works include; roads, bridges, dams, tunnels, buildings, airports, water and sewage systems, and other structures.

When we think of civil engineering, our mind immediately focuses on bridges, roads, and buildings. However, civil engineers play key roles in less colossal projects. For every instance wherein we fix a load on a platform and don’t expect it to break, a civil engineer did his work.

For huge projects, civil engineers work within and with teams. To succeed, they meet regularly to discuss how they want to perform their duties. Other key team members could include; surveyors, construction managers, architects, landscape architects, and urban planners.

Civil engineers are not. Usually the team leads but works closely with the architect. As architects have a desire for aesthetics, civil engineers have a desire for stability.

How Long Is A Civil Engineering Program In Chicago?

When you compare civil engineering with other engineering professions, their study timelines tally. Furthermore, almost all engineering professions deal with design and production.

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A civil engineering program in Chicago takes at least four years to complete. Any other addition is introduced when you want to further your pursuit of a program.

Some schools in Chicago offer a five-year civil engineering and physics program. However, these programs are seen in a few universities that lack accreditation.

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How Much Does A Civil Engineering Program In Chicago Cost?

Of course, studying in Chicago is a huge deal. But this doesn’t mean that the tuition fees are off the roof. It only means that they are not very cheap.

Generally, civil engineering tuition in Chicago falls between $13,500 – $39,500 per year. Probably a little bit costlier in comparison with engineering schools in Alabama, but it’s not excessive.

You can leverage all available civil engineering scholarships if you cannot afford the tuition.

What is the Job Outlook & Salary of Civil Engineers In Chicago?

Due to the increased necessity for civil engineers, things look very rosy for prospective civil engineers.

According to BLS, there will be 11% in civil engineering positions from 2025 t0 2028. Hence, there is a very bright gleaner of hope for these professionals.

While they keep projecting more jobs, civil engineers in Chicago take home good salaries. The average salary of an engineer in Chicago is $112, 365.

Best Accredited Civil Engineering Schools in Chicago | 2023

There are a lot of civil engineering schools in Chicago that offer exceptional programs. However, only a few we have listed here possess the necessary accreditation. So, our list of best accredited civil engineering schools in Chicago follows the conditions of certification, the number of programs, and the rankings.

Hence, the schools include;

10. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

As a student in the civil engineering field, you create and maintain the infrastructure of modern industrialized society, in addition to birthing the design and construction of all structures.

Many of the structures they create include bridges, railways, stadiums, complexes, airports, and others. These professionals work in technical and managerial positions. They function in environmental, geotechnical, structural, and transportation engineering by consulting firms, government agencies, and manufacturing companies.

ABET-accredited the civil engineering program in SIUE. Hence, this is proof that the university meets the laid-out standard. And students can practice civil engineering with their licenses. It shows why they rank among Chicago’s best accredited civil engineering schools.

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9. Joliet Junior College

Joliet Junior College is one of the excellent schools in Chicago. In this institution, you can get your civil engineering associate degree. Furthermore, this school primarily focuses on its engineering department to brew it to the world-standard status quo.

The BLS has revealed an 11% increase in civil engineering positions, so it is an excellent time to earn an associate degree. To further sweeten the deal, let me tell you that it doesn’t come at a tasking price.

JJC’s programs guarantee learning opportunities with the latest technology, fundamental classes, and expert learning from professionals. Whether you want to pursue the program online or offline is entirely up to you.

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8. Gateway Technical College

Infrastructures and roads have helped humans evolve. However, development is an arduous task. There is a powerful construct guiding the creation to avoid failure.

With Gateway’s Civil Engineering – Highway Technology associate degree, you’ll gain skills to help with surveying, developing digital models, inspection, and construction project management.

Furthermore, you’ll venture into a high-demand job market with many high-demand skills as part of a profession that helps build and maintain our society.

I believe you are in sync with this reality and want to contribute. So, since this school is among the best accredited civil engineering schools in Chicago, it’s a good place to get your foundational knowledge.

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7. College of Lake County

CLC runs a two-year program that will prepare you for continued engineering study at a four-year college or university. The program follows the first two years of an engineering program at most universities accredited by the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

This transfer program adopts about 350 students and two full-time faculty members. The Baxter Innovation Lab – an open lab designed for students to innovate, brainstorm, prototype – is open and available to help them create their designs.

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6. Bradley University

Bradley’s undergraduate and graduate CEC degrees set you up to build technical knowledge to any situation. Civil engineering brings you up to speed with sustainability concerns and a diverse sampling of infrastructure engineering principles. This way you understand the relationship construction has with engineering, business, and management knowledge.

The civil engineering program highly values technical knowledge, leadership, and research. You also get to work closely with your colleagues on various projects.

Leadership development opportunities are available through management courses and student organizations within the college. Additionally, you can streamline your degree to suit your career interests by taking internationalization, sustainability, or infrastructure classes.

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5. Valparaiso University

The Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET accredited the Civil Engineering program.

In this program, you follow a comprehensive civil engineering education that provides major design experiences in environmental, geotechnical, structures, transportation, and water resources engineering.

With a rigorous academic program and extracurricular projects, you will develop the professional skills to solve global challenges, such as increasing access to clean water and designing safer structures.
Furthermore, you develop the teamwork and communication skills you need to lead sustainable development initiatives that protect our environment and improve the quality of life of people.

Hence, they remain one of Chicago’s best accredited civil engineering schools.

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4. Purdue University

The Lyles School of Civil Engineering has a singular mission “to advance civil engineering learning, discovery, and engagement in fulfillment of the Land Grant promise and evolving responsibility.

With over 8 academic specialties, they deliver expert knowledge on a wide level. Furthermore, they reflect a solid commitment to creating more solutions in an ever-changing world.

As a student in the civil engineering department, your profession touches all aspects of society. Hence, you will work closely with diverse national constituents.

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3. Lewis University

Founded in 1932, Lewis is a practical coeducational university offering more than 80 undergraduate majors and programs of study, 37 graduate programs, and two doctoral programs.

This institution provides a diverse student population with diverse programs for liberal and professional education grounded in the interaction of knowledge and fidelity in the search for truth.

Lewis is named among the top 5 best private college values. They also hold the record of one of the highest scholarship and grant-giving institutions. Currently, over 98% of Lewis students get access to financial aid.

Their purposefulness also runs through their civil engineering department as well. They have some of the best educators and research facilities for this course. Indeed, they rank highly among Chicago’s best accredited civil engineering schools.

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2. The University of Illinois at Chicago

Civil, Materials, and Environment Engineering trains professional civil engineers. Whether it is a bachelor’s or a master’s program, they offer one of the best program structures in Chicago.

ABET, an acronym for the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, accredits UIC’s undergraduate program in civil engineering. ABET identifies the undergraduate degrees that fit the highest academic excellence standards and professional practice in preparing graduates. They do this through complex, meticulous, and rigorous examinations of engineering programs.

Due to the level of intentionality that ABET upholds, there can only be movement in the direction of progress. So, UIC has joined other top-league universities to peer in that direction.

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Read Also: 15 Best Graduate Civil Engineering Schools In The World | 2025

1. Illinois Institute of Technology

Civil engineers will always remain key as a core part of developing society. However, when you check out why schools like CAEE are regarded as top in the list of best accredited civil engineering schools in Chicago, you can see many reasons.

The Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET-accredited both the B.S. in Civil Engineering (CE) and Architectural Engineering (ARCE) programs. Although these departments have similarities, their differences outweigh them.

Graduates of CAEE in this department get the necessary training to address the different challenges in engineering. They do this by offering their civil engineering program – a program that gives students problem-solving insight.

Every necessary factor that sponsors the training process is always put into consideration. So, after graduation, you can present qualified world-class civil engineers to society.

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FAQ

Is being an engineer engaging?

Yes. Being an engineer is a very engaging and stressful responsibility.

Do civil engineers work alone?

No. Civil engineers work with teams to be efficient, productive, and meet deadlines.

What knowledge do civil engineers need?

While civil engineers don’t draw like architects, they need to know about drawing to help their interpretation.

Is civil engineering easy?

No. Civil engineering is not an easy course at all. The calculations behind the design process are tedious.

Does civil engineering involve mathematics?

Yes, civil engineers involve mathematics in their design calculations. In fact, mathematics is the base of civil engineering.

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Conclusion

Civil engineering is one of the tedious branches in engineering. The design and supervision processes are energy and time-demanding. So, you must readily absorb long hours of work as normality.

When you consider the features of these programs, you can see that this career path is very promising with a strong growth plan. So, you’re in it for a long time.

Conclusively, while the civil engineering schools at Chicago offer you exceptional training opportunities, other schools shed the same level of knowledge. The choice of the city is dependent on you.

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