After completing undergraduate coursework at the Bengal Engineering College, University of Calcutta, Fazlur R. Khan received his bachelors degree from the University of Dacca in 1951 while placing first in his class. A Fulbright Scholarship and a Pakistani Government Scholarship subsequently enabled him to travel to the United States in 1952 where he pursued advanced studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana. In three short years Khan earned two masters degrees one in structural engineering and one in theoretical and applied mechanics and a PhD in structural engineering.
In 1961, Fazlur Khan was made a Participating Associate in Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; in 1966 he became an Associate Partner and in 1970 a General Partner the only engineer partner at the time.
In 1973 he was honored with the top accolade for an engineer in the United States, election to the National Academy of Engineering.
He was cited five times among "Men Who Served the Best Interests of the Construction Industry" by Engineering News-Record (for 1965, 1968, 1970, 1971, and 1979); and in 1972 he was named "Construction's Man of the Year." He was posthumously honored with the International Award of Merit in Structural Engineering from the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering and a Distinguished Service Award from the AIA Chicago Chapter (both in 1982).
In 1983 the American Institute of Architects recognized Fazlur Khan's contributions with an AIA Institute Honor for Distinguished Achievement.
The Structural Engineers Association of Illinois recognized his achievements with the John Parmer Award in 1987. The SEAOI also commissioned a sculpture in Fazlur Khans honor by the Spanish artist Carlos Marinas. The sculpture is located in the lobby of the Sears Tower.
Other honors include: