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Importance of Accreditation

  1. Feb 20, 2009 #1


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    From the reading I've done I've gathered that selecting an ABET accredited engineering undergraduate program is generally a worthwhile endeavor. However, is it so worthwhile in the case of Engineering Physics? I ask because that is the degree I wish to obtain and it is not accredited at the university I will be attending. I don't want to close doors on myself but I'm under the impression that a physical engineer will generally not be providing services directly to the public unless he/she's working for a consulting agency, which doesn't seem to be where most physical engineers are employed anyway. Please do correct me if I am wrong.

    This issue concerns me because I wish to work for an organization dealing in some way with space, experimental physics, and/or nanotechnology, respectively. I do not want to pursue a PhD, but I have not ruled out a masters (is a masters necessary to compete for entry-level jobs in these sectors as an engineer? I know there are a lot of BEng graduates out there now). I understand these positions may be quite competitive and I want to have a fall-back plan in case I cannot get the job. I'd like a PE certification to be included somewhere in that plan. Thus, back to the ABET accreditation. Oregon State University is accredited in virtually all the other main engineering disciplines. OSU does, however, offer MSc in engineering physics. Maybe I should just start with a relevant discipline and specialize in a branch of engineering physics at the masters level? I'd hate to do this however, because it seems backwards; engineering physics is usually an undergraduate degree.

    Your thoughts?

    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2009 #2
    If you want to work in experimental physics, you will definitely need a Ph.D in physics. Being a professional engineer would count for little. Nanotechnology is an extremely broad field. If you're more interested in the "applied" side of nanotech (electrical engineering), it may be advantageous to get an ABET degree. If you're more interested in the "science" side of nanotech (physics, chemistry, materials science), you will most likely need a Ph.D in one of those subjects.

    Also, what do you mean by "space"? Do you mean astronautical engineering (orbital mechanics, etc) or space science (astrophysics, astronomy, atmospheric physics, etc)?

    I would definitely get an ABET degree if you're not sure what you want to do. Even if you don't become a PE, it is a good degree by itself.
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