Licensure, Registration & Certification

Licensure, registration, and certification

ABET provides programmatic quality assurance for graduates of ABET-accredited programs who work in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology and who are seeking professional recognition by enhancing their individual credentials through licensure, registration, and certification programs where appropriate.

Licensure, registration, and certification can provide the following benefits:

  • Demonstrates to the public an individual's competency, qualification, and expertise in professional practice
  • Shows a commitment to the understanding of professional, ethical, and societal responsibilities
  • Emphasizes the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare within society

Licensure and certification, however, differ in terms of legal status.

Licensure refers to the demonstration of ability or knowledge required by law before being allowed to perform a task or job. Certifications earned from professional societies provide important opportunities for recognition of an individual’s professional knowledge and experience that are portable and that can provide feedback on the knowledge transfer that occurs within academic programs.

U.S. State Board Requirements

ABET does not provide licensure, registration, or certification services for individuals. However, throughout its history, ABET has contributed significantly to the education of students who later seek official recognition of their qualifications to serve the public.

In the United States, for example, where licensure for the engineering and surveying professions are regulated at the state level, graduation from an ABET-accredited program is almost universally required to validate the educational experience of applicants.  In states where non-ABET graduates are permitted to be licensed, an additional four to eight years of work experience may be required.

Candidates interested in pursuing licensure, registration, and certifications are encouraged to check this list of the requirements maintained by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, as the requirements vary by state and territory.

Graduates of programs outside of the U.S which are not accredited by ABET might be recognized for the purposes of licensure, registration or certification by one of the four Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) in which ABET participates. Please read the requirements for recognition under the MRAs for complete information.

Employer Preferences

Many employers require graduation from an ABET-accredited program as a minimum qualification. In fact, it signifies preparation for entry into the profession. For example, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires applicants in computing to have graduated from an ABET-accredited program before they are eligible to sit for the Examination for Registration to Practice in Patent Cases.

Learn More

ABET encourages you to explore the websites of our member societies and other organizations who can provide more detailed information about licensing, registration, and certification:

Related Links

ABET Facts

Accredited Programs at HBCUs

Howard University was the first historically black college or university to have ABET-accredited programs. ABET's predecessor, the Engineers' Council for Professional Development, accredited three engineering programs there in 1937.