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A Survey of Credit Hour Requirements in BS Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering ABET Accredited Programs

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Educational & Professional Issues of Strategic Importance to the Civil Engineering Profession – and ASCE

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Derek Guthrie Williamson University of Alabama

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Dr. Williamson obtained his undergraduate degree in 1990 in Engineering and Public Policy from Washington University in St.Louis. He received his MS (1993) and Ph.D. (1998) degrees in environmental engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Williamson joined the faculty of the the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at The University of Alabama in 1999. He has enjoyed 15 years of a dynamic profession of teaching, research, and service. he now serves as the Director of Undergraduate Programs for his Department.

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Kenneth J. Fridley University of Alabama

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Kenneth J. Fridley is the Senior Associate Dean for the College of Engineering at The University of Alabama. Prior to his current appointment, Fridley served as Professor and Head of the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alabama. Dr. Fridley has been recognized as a dedicated educator throughout his career and has received several awards for his teaching efforts, including the ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) Leadership Award in 2010. At the University of Alabama, Fridley has led efforts to establish several new programs including new undergraduate degree programs in construction engineering, architectural engineering and environmental engineering, a departmental Scholars program allowing highly qualified students an accelerated program to earn their MSCE in addition to their BS degree, the interdisciplinary "Cube" promoting innovation in engineering, and the cross-disciplinary MSCE/MBA and MSCE/JD dual-degree programs.

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The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a sampling and analysis of today’s ABET accredited Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical engineering curricula. U.S. programs submitting ABET reports in 2015, were polled for their Table 5.1 data. The sampled programs were examined for total credit hours and credit hours in each of the following categories: math and science, engineering, general education, and other. While there has been considerable discussion nationally about a trend to reduce credit hour requirements and on how credit hours can/should be distributed between different categories, there is a need to establish a database of credit hours use in engineering degree programs. The degree of variability within and across degree programs will be evaluated. Such information can help professional societies understand how programs are using credit hours as they consider and update Bodies of Knowledge. This will also provide individual programs a sound base to which comparisons may be made

Williamson, D. G., & Fridley, K. J. (2017, June), A Survey of Credit Hour Requirements in BS Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering ABET Accredited Programs Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27522

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