Purdue Offers Affordable Online Masters in Civil Engineering on edX

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University is offering a new, affordable Master’s in Civil Engineering through edX, with support from Kaplan Higher Education, making it easy for working professionals to access Purdue’s highly ranked Master’s in Civil Engineering program completely online.

Purdue’s online master’s degree in civil engineering will begin in January 2021. Students will typically complete the 30-credit-hour degree in less than four years, but can complete it in as little as one year. Applications for the new online master’s program, priced at $22,500 for a full degree, are now open. For more information and to apply go to http://purdue.edu/CE/Academics/Graduate/Online.

The online master’s program features the same professors who teach students on Purdue’s campus Lyles School of Civil Engineering, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top five undergraduate civil engineering programs nationally and the sixth-largest graduate program. Overall, Purdue’s online graduate programs in engineering are ranked third by the magazine. ShanghaiRanking ranks Purdue’s civil engineering graduate program among the top 20 in the world.

“We are pleased to extend the opportunity to earn an affordable professional master’s degree online to another engineering discipline,” said Mark Lundstrom, Acting Dean of Engineering. “The new Civil Engineering program will help us serve students who otherwise may not have had access to our highly recognized educational resources.”

by Purdue College of Engineering and purdue online, the central organization guiding Purdue’s online offerings, previously worked with online education provider edX and Kaplan Higher Education to launch affordable master’s programs in electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering. The partners have developed remarkable online tools such as virtual labs and assessment strategies.

“Engineering is a strength of Purdue – recognized around the world – and we are excited to add an online Masters in Civil Engineering to our current lineup of Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Interdisciplinary Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering” , said Gerry McCartney, executive vice president of Purdue. In line. “The demand for these programs is evident in the large number of new students taking advantage of the opportunity to earn a Purdue engineering degree anytime, anywhere.”

Rao Govindaraju, Director of Civil Engineering at Bowen Engineering and Christopher B. and Susan S. Burke Professor of Civil Engineering, said, “Purdue has a long tradition of offering a very strong civil engineering program. Our professors are very well known in their own areas of research and expertise. We are also well known not only for doing research, but also for having a strong teaching ethic. We will bring all of this to our online offering.

Although the online program is open to any candidate who can qualify, it is particularly aimed at professionals looking to enhance their skills and careers or meet professional development requirements, or who are simply engaged in the lifelong learning and whose work and other commitments will not allow them to come to campus to attend classes.

“For civil engineering, one of the most important things is getting a permit, which requires continuous learning,” Govindaraju said. “It provides another mechanism to maintain the permit.”

The innovative program provides students with great flexibility, said Dulcy Abraham, professor of civil engineering, who chairs Purdue’s civil engineering graduate program. It is built largely on one-credit course modules covering material from three broad themes: infrastructure design, resilience and sustainability; transportation systems; and water infrastructure. Students can take one or a few courses, or take six to nine hours to earn what edX calls a MicroMasters® program, allowing them to gain expertise in specific subjects for professional purposes. However, these courses can also be incorporated into a full master’s degree if they decide to pursue one, whether online or on campus.

“I expect many learners to explore the space, to see how it works for them, whether it suits them or not,” Govindaraju said. “They’re able to do that without having to enroll in a full master’s.”

Video lectures, online discussion forums, and other features of the asynchronous program also allow online master’s students flexibility in their schedules, allowing them to balance advanced education with work and family life. Many documents will also be downloadable for offline use.

Beyond professionals, including Purdue alumni, Govindaraju and Abraham expect Purdue’s online master’s in civil engineering to appeal internationally, especially with travel restricted by the new pandemic of coronavirus. They also anticipate that it will attract students who have graduated with a bachelor’s degree and are grappling with a decision to take up a job or pursue a master’s degree. “Now you can do both,” Abraham said.

Materials developed for the online program also promise to benefit Purdue students on campus.

“If I have a lot of content available online, I can use the time I have with students much more effectively,” Govindaraju said. “Exposing students to online content before class makes them better prepared. They are able to ask more probing questions.

Writer: Greg Kline, 765-494-8167, [email protected]

Sources: Rao Govindaraju, [email protected]

Dulcy Abraham, [email protected]

Gerry McCartney, [email protected]


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