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Civil Engineering Program Criteria: A Snapshot of How Programs Meet the Criteria

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

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

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Scott R. Hamilton York College of Pennsylvania

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Scott Hamilton is the Coordinator for the new Civil Engineering Program at York College of Pennsylvania. He is a registered Professional Engineer and has both a MS and PhD in civil engineering and a Masters in engineering management from Stanford University and a BS from the United States Military Academy, West Point. He is a retired US Army Corps of Engineers officer who has had assignments in the US, Germany, Korea, and Afghanistan. During his military career he spent over 10 years on the faculty at the US Military Academy at West Point teaching civil engineering. He also served as the Director, Graduate Professional Development at Northeastern University’s College of Engineering.

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David A. Saftner University of Minnesota Duluth

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David Saftner is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He received a BS in Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy and MS and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan.

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Camilla M. Saviz P.E. University of the Pacific

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Camilla Saviz is Professor and Chair of Civil Engineering at the University of the Pacific. She received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University, an M.B.A. from the New York Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Davis. She joined Pacific in 1999 and is a registered Professional Engineer in California.

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Programs seeking accreditation by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (EAC/ABET) must satisfy eight General Criteria plus any applicable Program Criteria that address curricular topics and faculty qualifications. Applicability of the Program Criteria generally is determined by the program name. As such, “Civil Engineering” and similarly named programs seeking accreditation by the EAC/ABET at the baccalaureate level must demonstrate that the program meets both (1) the General Criteria for Baccalaureate Level Engineering Programs and (2) the Civil Engineering Program Criteria (CEPC). This paper will focus on the curricular topics required by the CEPC. A subset of the overall curricular topics required by the CEPC includes the following (, 2018): • apply knowledge of mathematics through differential equations, calculus-based physics, chemistry, and at least one additional area of basic science; and • analyze and solve problems in at least four technical areas appropriate to civil engineering.

The present study will be conducted to characterize current practices within EAC/ABET- accredited Civil Engineering programs by examining: • The minimum number of credit hours of mathematics and sciences, and engineering topics required, and minimum number of credit hours required for graduation; • Required and designated elective courses and credit hours in mathematics and the sciences; • Courses used to satisfy the additional area of basic science required; and • Topics and credit hours used for coverage of technical areas of civil engineering.

Of 250 EAC/ABET accredited Civil Engineering programs, the 47 programs scheduled for a comprehensive review in the 2018-19 accreditation cycle will be prioritized for analysis, followed by programs that were reviewed in 2017-18. These programs may be more likely than others to have up-to-date information available on web sites and to have made any curricular changes in response to the CEPC in anticipation of their upcoming accreditation visit. Data will also be sought directly from Department Heads and Chairs.

Analysis of results presented in this paper can assist civil engineering programs in identifying different pathways to satisfying accreditation criteria and can provide important information for the next review of the CEPC, scheduled to begin in October 2020.

COORDINATING NOTE: This abstract is submitted at the specific invitation and request of Tom Lenox, the coordinator of the ASCE Liaison Committee’s session(s) for the Civil Engineering Division of ASEE in 2019. It should be considered for inclusion in the sessions on “Educational & Professional Issues of Strategic Importance to the Civil Engineering Profession – and ASCE.” that the ASCE Liaison Committee is organizing.

Hamilton, S. R., & Saftner, D. A., & Saviz, C. M. (2019, June), Civil Engineering Program Criteria: A Snapshot of How Programs Meet the Criteria Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32507

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