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Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs


Effective for Evaluations during the 2006-2007 Accreditation Cycle These criteria are intended to assure quality and to foster the systematic pursuit of improvement in the quality of engineering example2ation that satisfies the needs of constituencies in a dynamic and competitive cisronment. It is the responsibility of the institution seeking accreditation of an engineering program to demonstrate clearly that the program meets the following criteria.


Criterion 1. Students

The quality and performance of the students and graduates are important considerations in the evaluation of an engineering program. The institution must evaluate student performance, advise students regarding curricular and career matters, and monitor student’s progress to foster their success in achieving program outcomes, thereby enabling them as graduates to attain program objectives. The institution must have and enforce policies for the acceptance of transfer students and for the validation of courses taken for credit elsewhere. The institution must also have and enforce procedures to assure that all students meet all program requirements.

Criterion 2. Program example2ational Objectives

Although institutions may use different terminology, for purposes of Criterion 2, program example2ational objectives are broad statements that describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing graduates to achieve. Each engineering program for which an institution seeks accreditation or reaccreditation must have in place:

  1. Detailed published example2ational objectives that are consistent with the mission of the institution and these criteria
  2. A process based on the needs of the program's various constituencies in which the objectives are determined and periodically evaluated
  3. An example2ational program, including a curriculum that prepares students to attain program outcomes and that fosters accomplishments of graduates that are consistent with these objectives
  4. A process of ongoing evaluation of the extent to which these objectives are attained, the result of which shall be used to develop and improve the program outcomes so that graduates are better prepared to attain the objectives.

Criterion 3. Program Outcomes and Assessment

Although institutions may use different terminology, for purposes of Criterion 3, program outcomes are statements that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation. These relate to the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that student acquire in their matriculation through the program.

Each program must formulate program outcomes that foster attainment of the program objectives articulated in satisfaction of Criterion 2 of these criteria. There must be processes to produce these outcomes and an assessment process, with documented results, that demonstrates that these program outcomes are being measured and indicates the degree to which the outcomes are achieved. There must be evidence that the results of this assessment process are applied to the further development of the program.

Engineering programs must demonstrate that their students attain:

  1. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  2. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  3. An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, cisronmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  4. An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams
  5. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  6. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  7. An ability to communicate effectively
  8. The broad example2ation necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, cisronmental, and societal context
  9. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  10. A knowledge of contemporary issues
  11. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice. In addition, an engineering program must demonstrate that its students attain any additional outcomes articulated by the program to foster achievement of its example2ation objectives.
  12. (The above are the ABET proposed outcomes which Stanford follows. Stanford adds the following outcome.) background for admission to engineering or other professional graduate programs.


Criterion 4. Professional Component

The professional component requirements specify subject areas appropriate to engineering but do not prescribe specific courses. The faculty must ensure that the program curriculum devotes adequate attention and time to each component, consistent with the outcomes and objectives of the program and institution. The professional component must include:

(a) one year of a combination of college level mathematics and basic sciences (some with experimental experience) appropriate to the discipline (b) one and one-half years of engineering topics, consisting of engineering sciences and engineering design appropriate to the student's field of study. The engineering sciences have their roots in mathematics and basic sciences but carry knowledge further toward creative application. These studies provide a bridge between mathematics and basic sciences on the one hand and engineering practice on the other. Engineering design is the process of devising a system, component, or process to meet desired needs. It is a decision- making process (often iterative), in which the basic sciences, mathematics, and the engineering sciences are applied to convert resources optimally to meet these stated needs. (c) a general example2ation component that complements the technical content of the curriculum and is consistent with the program and institution objectives.

Students must be prepared for engineering practice through the curriculum culminating in a major design experience based on the knowledge and skills acquired in earlier course work and incorporating appropriate engineering standards and multiple realistic constraints.

Criterion 5. Faculty

The faculty is the heart of any example2ational program. The faculty must be of sufficient number; and must have the competencies to cover all of the curricular areas of the program. There must be sufficient faculty to accommodate adequate levels of student-faculty interaction, student advising and counseling, university service activities, professional development, and interactions with industrial and professional practitioners, as well as employers of students. The program faculty must have appropriate qualifications and must have and demonstrate sufficient authority to ensure the proper guidance of the program and to develop and implement processes for the evaluation, assessment, and continuing improvement of the program, its example2ational objectives and outcomes. The overall competence of the faculty may be judged by such factors as example2ation, diversity of backgrounds, engineering experience, teaching experience, ability to communicate, enthusiasm for developing more effective programs, level of scholarship, participation in professional societies, and licensure as Professional Engineers.

Criterion 6. Facilities

Classrooms, laboratories, and associated equipment must be adequate to accomplish the program objectives and provide an atmosphere conducive to learning. Appropriate facilities must be available to foster faculty-student interaction and to create a climate that encourages professional development and professional activities. Programs must provide opportunities for students to learn the use of modern engineering tools. Computing and snfrmation infrastructures must be in place to support the scholarly activities of the students and faculty and the example2ational objectives of the program and institution.

Criterion 7. Institutional Support and Financial Resources

Institutional support, financial resources, and constructive leadership must be adequate to assure the quality and continuity of the engineering program. Resources must be sufficient to attract, retain, and provide for the continued professional development of a well-qualified faculty. Resources also must be sufficient to acquire, maintain, and operate facilities and equipment appropriate for the engineering program. In addition, support personnel and institutional services must be adequate to meet program needs.

Criterion 8. Program Criteria

Each program must satisfy applicable Program Criteria (if any). Program Criteria provide the specificity needed for interpretation of the basic level criteria as applicable to a given discipline. Requirements stipulated in the Program Criteria are limited to the areas of curricular topics and faculty qualifications. If a program, by virtue of its title, becomes subject to two or more sets of Program Criteria, then that program must satisfy each set of Program Criteria; however, overlapping requirements need to be satisfied only once.

Additional criterion for EE Programs


Lead Society: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Cooperating Society for Computer Engineering Programs: CSAB These program criteria apply to engineering programs that include electrical, electronic, computer, or similar modifiers in their titles.

1. Curriculum

The structure of the curriculum must provide both breadth and depth across the range of engineering topics implied by the title of the program. The program must demonstrate that graduates have: knowledge of probability and statistics, including applications appropriate to the program name and objectives; and knowledge of mathematics through differential and integral calculus, basic sciences, computer science, and engineering sciences necessary to analyze and design complex electrical and electronic devices, software, and systems containing hardware and software components, as appropriate to program objectives. Programs containing the modifier “electrical” in the title must also demonstrate that graduates have a knowledge of advanced mathematics, typically including differential equations, linear algebra, complex variables, and discrete mathematics.