ABET Accredited Engineering Schools
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is an important accrediting body for individuals seeking technical degrees in the United States. Attending an ABET-accredited school can have an impact on your career options and your ability to practice as an engineer.
What Is ABET Accreditation?
ABET accreditation is a particular type of programmatic accreditation. Programmatic accreditation refers to accreditation that is only granted to particular types of educational programs or schools. In this case, ABET accredits only engineering, computer science, and other applied science degree programs. In general, “accreditation” refers to the process of evaluating a particular educational program by some outside entity.
When looking at a particular engineering school or program, ABET looks for a number of different criteria. It evaluates the learning outcomes of degree programs and looks at the qualification of professors. In short, ABET accreditation is a good metric of an applied science program’s quality.
Why Should ABET Accreditation Matter to Me?
As a student, finding an ABET-accredited engineering program is very important. As stated above, this special accreditation is a good sign that an engineering degree will get you the skills you need to succeed in the industry. In fact, many scholarships for engineering students are only open to applicants in ABET-recognized programs.
ABET accreditation is also key for professional advancement. Many state boards and other certification agencies require applicants to graduate from an ABET-accredited program. For example, to earn the professional engineer (PE) license in most states, you must have at least an ABET-accredited bachelor’s degree. The federal government and many other employers hire only engineers who have degrees from ABET-accredited institutions. ABET certifies programs globally, and an ABET-accredited degree is now commonly required even for overseas engineering positions.
How Can I Find an ABET-Accredited Program?
Finding an ABET-accredited program isn’t difficult. In fact, there are more than 3,100 accredited programs available throughout the world. This search function makes it easy to identify programs based on degree level, program area, and state.
Perhaps you’re interested in earning an accredited degree with a more flexible course delivery method. ABET also accredits online programs; they tend to revolve around computer science topics. Here you’ll find a list of current ABET-accredited, 100 percent online programs. ABET uses the same accreditation standards, whether a program is online or traditional in nature.
How Can I Avoid a Diploma or Accreditation Mill?
Another reason ABET accreditation is important is that it allows you to separate legitimate academic programs from useless diploma mills. Diploma mills are shady operations that often award degrees simply for paying the tuition bill or completing a minimal amount of work. These degrees are unlikely to advance your career, and if you get caught passing off a diploma mill degree, you may be charged with fraud.
Accreditation mills are similar to diploma mills. They are accreditation agencies that award “accreditation” to schools in return for a certain amount of money. The federal government and employers do not recognize these accreditation agencies. The US Department of Education has more information about accreditation. You can also check out the Council on Higher Education Accreditation for a list of legitimate accreditation agencies.
Will I Have Better Job Prospects If I Have an ABET-Accredited Degree?
An ABET-accredited degree is the first step to launching a successful technical career. ABET itself has a database of thousands of jobs available exclusively to engineers with ABET-accredited credentials. Professional groups such as IEEE, the American Council of Engineering Companies, and the National Society of Professional Engineers also have useful job banks.
- ^Occupational Outlook Handbook. Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor. Accessed February 15, 2012. www.bls.gov/ooh/Architecture-and-Engineering/home.htm