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Asee's Role In The Accreditation Review Of Abet Eac Programs In Engineering, Engineering Physics, And Engineering Science (Et Al.): A Brief History, The Current Status, And A Look Ahead

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

History, Program Design, and even a Journal Club

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.194.1 - 15.194.15

Permanent URL

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Paper Authors

author page

James Farison Baylor University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

ASEE’s Role in Accreditation Review of ABET EAC Programs in Engineering, Engineering Phys., and Engineering Sci. (et al.): A Brief History, the Current Status, and a Look Ahead


While not as numerous as Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and other “common” engineering baccalaureate programs, there is a surprising number of engineering programs with a “more general” program title. And, while some might assume that these “more general” programs would largely be offered only by smaller, primarily private institutions, there are a considerable number of major state (and private) institutions that also offer these programs.

This paper presents a brief history and a more detailed look at the current status of the set of programs that the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) now lists under the program heading of “Engineering, Engineering Physics, and Engineering Science” plus a few additional programs with similar names or with other variations outside of ABET’s standard set of program titles that ABET has assigned to ASEE. This set of programs has been assigned to ASEE for purposes of providing program evaluators (PEVs) for accreditation visits.

Further, this paper provides a look ahead at the prospective accreditation review load for ASEE PEVs. This information is important in helping to estimate the number of ASEE PEV assignments that will be needed over the next several years. Perhaps surprisingly, that number is not easily estimated ahead, as only the years for the next scheduled general review (NGR) of programs already accredited can be determined from the ABET public website. Several other variables that lead to the final number can only be estimated. Nonetheless, a “forecast” is important for the planning of ASEE’s PEV workload and therefore the anticipated number of ASEE PEVs needed each year. Further, the roster of multidisciplinary engineering programs itself is an important source of information about this set of engineering degree programs and the institutions that provide them.


One of the significant distinctions of a substantial number of baccalaureate engineering programs is that they intentionally do not align naturally with the currently established major disciplines like civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, etc. Such programs were previously called “non-traditional” engineering programs, but, more recently, “multidisciplinary” engineering programs. Currently, ABET labels this set as “Engineering, Engineering Physics, & Engineering Science.” The set includes programs called engineering, general engineering, engineering science, engineering physics, and a few other similar (non-disciplinary) program titles.

Interestingly, the first “official” accreditation of engineering programs began in 1936 through the Engineers Council for Professional Development (ECPD), the forerunner of ABET. Four of the initial set of accredited engineering programs are still functioning. Many others have been added,

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015