Dear Mentor:

Where can I study civil engineering for under $7000?

I am a government officer with 12 years experience in all types of civil works. I obtained B.Sc. in civil engineering from UET Lahore Pakistan in 1990. I intend to get a Master's in civil engineering in one of the following fields of studies: Transportation Engineering, Water Resources Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Structural Engineering, and Construction Management. I can spend up to US$7000. Please tell me about a reasonable university in Canada or USA from where I can get a degree within one or two years. Can I get fellowship or not? Please help me in this regard.

MS and Money, Skardu, Pakistan

Dear MS and Money:

The typical Master's in civil engineering in Canada and US is of 2-year duration. It is however sometimes possible to graduate in a shorter period; it depends on your hard work, your selection of electives, studying through the summer, and so on. Given the structure and requirements of the program, you are more likely to complete the program in a shorter period in the US than in Canada.

The US$7,000 amount is not sufficient. The cost of education in Canada ranges from Cdn$15,000 to Cdn$30,000 annually and in the US from US$15,000 to US$45,000 annually. As an international student, you are eligible for a research assistantship or teaching assistantship. In an engineering department, this would typically pay for tuition and most of the living expenses. Being eligible does not mean an assurance that you would get an assistantship. Getting admission is far easier than obtaining financial aid. For more information on assistantships, visit:

As a part of the admission criteria, you would typically be required to take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam), a standardized entrance exam. You can find Information on Entrance Exams in the iMahal Education Channel. Upon taking the GRE, you can use the iMahal College Finder to identify colleges that best match your performance and personal needs. You may also wish to visit:

You can find the List of Engineering Colleges in Canada and the List of Engineering Colleges in the US in the iMahal Education Channel.

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