New To Accreditation?

What Is Accreditation?

Accreditation is a process by which educational programs or institutions are reviewed to determine if they meet certain standards of quality. Accredited status is not permanent; it has to be renewed through periodic review.

In the United States, academic accreditation is voluntary and decentralized; it is carried out by many non-governmental, non-profit organizations. Academic accreditation typically involves an external quality review by a team of professional experts from academe or industry who volunteer to contribute their professional knowledge and experience to quality assurance and improvements for education.

In other countries, accreditation may be required or governmental. Please visit the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for more information about accreditation and quality assurance in countries outside of the United States.

What Is ABET Accreditation?

ABET accreditation is not a ranking system; rather, it is a form of quality assurance, declaring to the relevant professional community and to the world at large, that a program meets the quality standards set by the technical profession.

ABET accreditation applies to programs only, not degrees, departments, colleges, institutions, or individuals.

ABET is a federation of member professional and technical societies. These societies and their individual members collaborate through ABET to develop quality standards, known as ABET Criteria, on which ABET review teams base their evaluations of applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology programs.

How Does a Program Achieve ABET Accreditation?

A program achieves ABET accreditation when it complies with the criteria, policy, and procedures upon which an ABET review is based. The ABET accreditation review process typically takes 18 months to complete, starting with a program's formal request for an ABET review.

Please see Accreditation: Step-by-Step for detailed information about the ABET accreditation process.

In addition, Information for Programs Seeking Initial Accreditation (PDF) answers many frequently-asked-questions that you may have.

Questions?

Please contact the Accreditation Department.

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.