ABET Introduction

What Is Accreditation?

Accreditation is a review process to determine if educational programs meet defined standards of quality. Once achieved, accreditation is not permanent—it is renewed periodically to ensure that the quality of the educational program is maintained.

In the United States, academic accreditation is voluntary, decentralized, and carried out by many non-governmental, non-profit organizations. The process of academic accreditation typically culminates in an external quality review by a team of professional experts from academe or industry. These experts volunteer their time, professional knowledge, and experience to this process of quality assurance and ongoing improvement to education in their disciplines.

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

What Distinguishes ABET Accreditation?

ABET accreditation is not a ranking system. It is a form of quality assurance for programs in the areas of applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. Our accreditation is recognized globally as evidence that a program meets the standards set by its technical profession.

We offer accreditation to programs only, not to 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 standards of quality, known as ABET Criteria, on which our review teams base their evaluations of programs under consideration for accreditation.

How Can Your Program Achieve ABET Accreditation?

The accreditation process typically takes 18 months to complete. Programs new to ABET accreditation begin with a formal request for a review. Accreditation: Step-by-Step offers a detailed overview of our accreditation process.

See Eligibility Requirements to determine if ABET accreditation is available for your program.

ABET accreditation requires compliance with the criteria, policies, and procedures upon which our review is based. Information for Programs Seeking Initial Accreditation answers many frequently-asked-questions for programs and institutions new to ABET accreditation.