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ABET accreditation, should it be a significant factor?

  1. Jul 20, 2015 #1
    I am a current student at the University of Cincinnati and I am in the Architectural Engineering program they have. The Architectural Engineering program they have there is new (I believe its been around for 3-4 years or so) and since its a 5 year program they haven't had a graduating class yet. I just recently found out that the program is not ABET accredited (and when I was coming in as a freshman I did not realize being accredited was a thing). UC is well known for their engineering programs so it makes me think that employers would take the colleges reputation into play when considering you for a job. However ABET only accredits programs and not colleges.

    • Is it a big deal to not be accredited? (should I be worried)
    • If I am in the program now when it is not considered accredited and by the time I graduate it is accredited, would that mean I am accredited? (Using my logic it would make more sense that you have to go through an accredited program from start to finish to be considered accredited but i could be wrong.)
    • Should I consider transferring into an accredited engineering program?
    • opinions/comments?

    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 20, 2015 #2
    ABET is very important in ME and EE. You should probably ask potential employers how important it is in your field.
  4. Jul 20, 2015 #3


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    Architectural Engineering is a NEW designation for the NCEES and may only have a few ABET accredited schools available. Soooo,... you should check with your state licensing PE board as to whether they will let you take the PE exam after 4-5 years of graduation. If your state board says yes, you can feel confident that your current school is fine for YOUR current state of residence. Should you relocate to another state, then ABET accreditation will become very important for you.

    ABET accreditation is an excellent way to measure how good is the college's engineering degree, but it becomes an (almost) essential requirement, if you plan to pursue professional licensure as an Engineer. Your particular program may also qualify for AIA licensure / certification as well (I am NOT knowledgeable about this).

    Is ABET accreditation the be all, end all requirement for getting a PE? No, you can still become a licensed engineer without an ABET accredited degree, but it is usually much more difficult to be allowed to sit for the exam. So, I would investigate how well your current program is viewed by the state board of PE's and if you are planning to relocate out of state. If you are open or planning to relocate out of state, you should give some consideration to transferring to an ABET accredited program.
  5. Jul 20, 2015 #4
    Okay thanks guys, really, your comments are helpful. I have just spoken to my Dean at UC, and he reassured me that as soon as they have a graduated class that they are filing for accreditation review (it is a requirement to be accredited). AND he answered my second question ("If I am in the program now when it is not considered accredited and by the time I graduate it is accredited, would that mean I am accredited?") saying that even if I am already years into my program that I will still be considered accredited.
  6. Jul 20, 2015 #5


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Homework Helper

    You need to contact the PE licensing board in the state in which you wish to practice. In the US, individual PE licensing boards are set up in the individual states; I'm not aware of any national licensing board in the US at this time.

    The individual state PE licensing boards can be contacted by clicking on the particular state or states in which you wish to practice:

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