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Programs Masters degree without ABET undergrad

  1. Nov 14, 2017 #1
    Hi all,

    I'm currently applying to a master's program in engineering. The program seems to be great except for one caveat - it's not ABET accredited. Nor do I think are any master's programs (correct me if I'm wrong on that).

    This isn't a problem for most applicants who have an ABET undergrad degree, but I have a liberal arts degree. This program accepts non-engineering undergrad degrees and spends the first year or two "catching up". (It's the LEAP program at Boston University if any are wondering.)

    How much of a disadvantage is this to me once I am in the job market? Any disadvantage seems to be make or break these days, and I've even noticed some internships require enrollment in an ABET program.

    Is it worth it to get a second undergrad degree in order to get this cert?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 14, 2017 #2
    That's a tough call, and it depends to a great extent on how employable you think your MS degree will be. If it is a program with a proven high placement rate, maybe it is OK. If not, you may be setting yourself up for a disappointment down the road.
  4. Nov 14, 2017 #3
    I assume it largely depends on which field I am going into as well, but I hate to close any doors on myself. On the other hand I also hate to go through undergrad again when this program exists specifically to avoid that.
  5. Nov 14, 2017 #4
    If you want to maximize your options, go for the ABET accredited undergraduate engineering degree. This will remove all questions about the accreditation status of your engineering degree. It will, in all likelihood, enable you to learn more in the graduate program due to having a more complete background. Of course, there is the downside, more time and more effort.

    I think we could say that by trying to short-circuit the process, you are already closing some doors on yourself.
  6. Nov 14, 2017 #5
    I'll have to look into options for second undergrad degrees. Maybe there is one which will let me apply some credits from my previous degree (though I kind of doubt it). Forcing myself to sit through all those gen-eds again will be a struggle. Thanks for your input.
  7. Nov 14, 2017 #6
    In all likelihood, you will be able to apply almost all of your general education credits. I would imagine that your 2nd undergrad degree would be almost all technical, and as a result, extremely intense.
  8. Nov 14, 2017 #7
    That would be ideal, I've only checked out one program so far (also at B.U.) and they said they do not count any previous credits towards a second undergrad degree. I hope you are right and other universities are different. I'll let you know what I find after some digging tomorrow.
  9. Nov 15, 2017 #8


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    Almost all undergraduate programs in the US let you transfer 60 (4 semesters worth ie 2 years) credits or so into their school for any program. Generally that is your first two years of undergrad or electives. So your prospective college isn't doing you any more favors than any other school would.
    Most of the Masters Programs have the same undergraduate programs that are ABET accredited and don't bother to accredit their higher level offerings.
    As far as ABET accreditation is concerned, the only real advantage is if you plan to pursue a PE (Professional Engineering license). Then ABET accreditation would come into play. And most states would waive that requirement if you have a Masters in an Engineering discipline (maybe not for a general Masters of Engineering non-discipline degree). I say most, because I know there are some states that will not waiver on the ABET degree requirement.
    Employers however almost always look at your highest education level and your work experience.
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