Autodesk Civil 3D Student Version Download (PC/Mac)

Civil 3D is civil engineering software for designing infrastructure projects based on Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) workflows. Engineers use it to build and manage projects such as rails, land development, roads and highways, airports, and water. The main difference between AutoCAD and Civil 3D is that AutoCAD is a generic CAD software while Civil 3D is specific for civil engineering projects.

The latest version of Civil 3D was released in March 2022 and is available for students. This article will guide you through the process of downloading the full student version for free.

Run Microsoft apps on Mac with Parallels (50% OFF for students).

The regular commercial license of the software is $275 per month or $2,205 if billed yearly, which calculates to $184 monthly. Three-year subscription paid in advance is $5,955 ($165/month).

System requirements

Like every CAD software, it requires more computing power than average home machines. Here are the recommended configurations for optimal performance:


Operating system – 64-bit version of Microsoft® Windows® 10
Processor – 3+ GHz
RAM – 16 GB
Display – 1920 x 1080 with True Color and 3840 x 2160 for high resolution
Graphic card – DirectX 12 compatible 4 GB GPU with 106 GB/s Bandwidth
Disk space – 16 GB available, for large datasets, point clouds, and 3D modeling an additional 6 GB is required
.NET Framework – 4.8 version or later


Civil 3D is not available for Apple macOS devices as it is built only for Windows operating systems. The only way to install and run the software on Mac devices is to install virtualized environments such as Parallels Desktop. This will let you run Windows programs on Mac without rebooting. As of now there are no plans to release macOS version of the software.

How to download free Civil 3D student version

Students and teachers are eligible for up to 3-years of access to tens of full software versions currently available under Autodesk’s Education Program. The list is always updated to include the latest releases. The main purpose of this initiative is to allow students to learn software for free and get the skills needed to get employed.

Before your start, you will need to obtain a .edu email address from your school.

  1. Once on the Education program page, find Civil 3D and click on the “Get started” button
  2. If you are already enrolled in the program, simply log in with existing credentials. Otherwise, click on the “Create an account” button
  3. On the next page, enter the following: country of residence, educational role, institution type and date of birth
  4. Then you will be prompted to enter your full name, .edu email address and set up a password
  5. Briefly explain how you intend to use the software as well as the field of study, the year of enrollment and the expected graduation year
  6. You will receive a confirmation email with a link on which you have to click
  7. This will lead you to the dashboard, where you will have to log in to access all the available software
  8. Locate the version of Civil 3D that you want to download and you will be presented with serial number and product key
  9. Click on Install now and Download button to save the executable file to your device
  10. Follow the on-screen installation instruction
  11. During the first boot, you will be required to install the serial number and product key

Remember that every year Autodesk might reevaluate your membership to check if you are still a student.

Software features

  • Terrain and surface modeling for planning transportation systems, creating water flows and more.
  • Interoperability with other popular CAD formats such as IFC
  • Calculate material quantities by creating volume reports
  • Corridor models and bridge design with data-rich models and workflows
  • Documenting and planning from drawings
  • Geotechnical modeling
  • Analyze surface data

Alternatives to Civil 3D

SAP2000 – General purpose software for designing infrastructure systems and projects available for students.

SkyCiv – The best all-around and cheaper alternative to Civil 3D for structural design and analysis. With thousands of engineers using it worldwide, the commercial license starts from $69 a month. Student version is available.

Estru3D – Open-source structural analysis software with its own graphical user interface and based on Stiffness Matrix Method

Rilla Easter
Chief Content Officer, digital marketer and technical writer specializing in the IT field. Holds a bachelor's degree in economics. Loves hiking with her two Vizslas.