Harvard engineering programs receive accreditation

Photo by Kiera Blessing

2 min read

Three bachelor of Science (S.B.) degree programs — in Engineering Sciences, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering — at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the global accreditor of engineering programs.

ABET accreditation provides international recognition of the quality of these programs.

“Accreditation by ABET provides strong external validation that our programs meet the standards of the best engineering programs,” said SEAS Dean Frank Doyle. “This is further evidence that our students graduate with both the broad knowledge uniquely available from a curriculum embedded in the liberal arts and the technical skills necessary to become well-prepared engineers ready to be leaders in the field.”

The ABET committee of external experts met with faculty, administrators, students, and alumni and inspected SEAS classroom and laboratory facilities during a site visit in October 2015. Reviewers examined each program’s processes for continuous improvement of the curriculum based on assessment of student learning outcomes.

This marks the initial ABET accreditation for the Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering S.B. programs. The programs, formerly tracks within Engineering Sciences, were launched as new degree programs in 2012 in response to strong student interest. They have grown significantly since inception; Mechanical Engineering enrolled 53 concentrators last academic year and Electrical Engineering had 43 concentrators.

The accreditation of the two newer programs is retroactive to October 2013. As a result, S.B. degrees in Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering earned by graduates from 2014 forward are now considered to be ABET-accredited. The Engineering Sciences S.B. program, which has been continuously accredited since 1962, was also reviewed and its accreditation was renewed.