Engineering license without ABET accreditation?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by JonM, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. JonM

    JonM New Member

    I will start out by saying I'm a huge opponent of our accreditation system for a multitude of reasons not just an issue with ABET. I put over a year of research into our accreditation system before choosing a school which sadly, no longer holds it's national accreditation let alone the ABET issue.

    My question is, are there states that will still license you without ABET accreditation?
    I know the requirements for the EIT license and the Pro license in terms of years of school and time on job vary from state to state so I then had to wonder are there states that do not require ABET.

    All that having been said there are 3rd world nations with ABET accredited degrees taught in the basements of factories, and I've seen some of their materials and lectures with absurd mistakes in base level knowledge, so my faith in accreditation is less than wobbly. I've researched the people on these councils, their history, been in 2 different ABET accredited schools and was grossly disappointed by their complete lack of standards and teacher incompetence.

    I'll take a diploma in engineering from my preferred distance school over the trip through hell for an ABET accredited degree from my local and sub-local options. As it stands states tend to require a B.A. for the pro license which isn't on my radar any way you measure it. My goal is electronic gadgetry targeting lifestyle, recreation and music and as I understand it, a pro license is more for the high power electrical side if engineering where human safety is a tremendous concern.

    Just the same, can you be licensed without ABET?
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    In Massachusetts a person with an Engineering degree from a non-ABET school has to go through an "Equivalency Appraisal" in order to become licensed. There are specified agencies that do this appraisal which includes your schooling and experience. It seems like you don't need a license for your purposes.
  3. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I think you will make a mistake if you get degree from non ABET accredited university.
    ABET slowly is flexing and allowing schools like ASU to offer Bachelor of Engineering degrees 100% on line.
    While there are states that may let you become a licensed PE and seat for FE exam etc , the majority requires ABET accredited degree also internationally ABET accredited degree is recognized under Washington Accord.
    So my 2c is go for ABET accredited degree.
  4. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    States seldom lock in with a 100% no exceptions commitment to a particular accreditor when it comes to licensing.

    They just don't want to lose the wiggle room.

    What you tend to see is a requirement for ABET or a program registered with the state as licensure qualifying. The latter allowing schools to start engineering programs pre-ABET and still allow their engineers to sit for the PE exam. Still others throw in the "or a program of equivalent rigor and content" exception.

    Different states handle things differently.

    The first step is to see what your state allows. If it is ABET or nothing then a non-ABET school would be a bad bet.

    Of course, you should also be aware that a good number of engineers are not licensed PEs. Manufacturing companies routinely employ a large number of unlicensed engineers. Some need to be licensed at a certain point as they ascend the ranks. Some don't.

    At my company we employ hundreds of engineers with fewer than 20 being licensed (mostly mechanical, manufacturing and electrical). In some areas, like civil engineering, licenses are much more commonplace.

    So, step one is to figure out whether you even need a license to do the thing you want to do. Step two is to look at your state's requirements and see if a non-ABET program would serve your needs.
  5. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    A few years ago I thought about getting a BSEE from a DEAC accredited school, California National University. CNU - California National University This school wasn't, and isn't, ABET accredited but the rep stated that many state boards of engineering had allowed their graduates to take the F/E and receive Engineering Intern certificates.

    Here in New Mexico, our statute reads:

    61-23-14. Certification as an engineer intern; requirements. (Repealed effective July 1, 2018.)
    A. An applicant for certification as an engineer intern shall file the appropriate application that demonstrates that the applicant:
    (2) has obtained at least a senior status in a board-approved, four-year curriculum in engineering or in a board-approved, four-year curriculum in engineering technology that is accredited by the technical accreditation commission of the accreditation board for engineering and technology; and

    A BSET must be from an ABET school but a BSEE (say) apparently does not. I haven't looked recently but I think the same situation exists in many, if not most, other states.

    Electronics engineers rarely need professional licenses anyway but if the F/E certificate is one of your goals, there's Grantham University's on-line BSET which is ABET-TAC accredited. Grantham University I'm sure there are others.
  6. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Grantham BSET degree ABET-TAC accredited ? Its DEAC accredited I don't see anything on their website that its ABET-TAC accredited.
    Am I looking in a wrong place on their web site?

    Their business programs - Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) accredited.
  7. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    According to ABET's website Grantham is not accredited by any of their commissions, including ETAC. So if someone has a source as to Grantham attaining this accreditation that would be helpful if it just didn't hit website updates yet.

    Otherwise it may have just been an unfortunate rumor.
  8. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Grantham and ABET

    Yeah, I wonder why the school isn't shouting it from the housetops but in the actual catalog there is an update page close to the front that states that the BSET is ABET-TAC accredited.
  9. GranthamGrad

    GranthamGrad New Member


    I graduated from Grantham Univeristy and landed an Electrical Engineering job for the Air Force. I'll gladly show you the supporting ABET documentation below. Yes, I'm smiling ear to ear ...

    Abet link: Find an ABET-Accredited Program | ABET

  10. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

  11. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Well, looks like I missed it then. I'm not sure why Grantham doesn't have ABET on their accreditation page. That's definitely a feather in their cap.

    Interestingly, Grantham also has a decent number of articulation agreements. Many are NA, as one might expect, but they also have a smattering of colleges in Kansas and Missouri. I am curious how programmatic accreditation might work to their advantage with other schools. By that I mean would an RA/ABET school accept an NA/ABET degree holder into a graduate program? Probably too soon to tell.
  12. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Congratulations to GG, both for completing the BSET and for landing an actual Engineering job! I gather, incidentally, that BSET holders get many of the same jobs, at about the same pay, that BSEE holders get and that many employers consider BSETs to be "Engineers". I think this is interesting because it suggests that the Cold War era overhaul of engineering curricula to include much more higher math and physics may not have been such a wise move for the profession. Certainly there are engineers who do need that theoretical background but the majority apparently do not.
  13. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I've have participated in the building of a number of bridges, the steel span variety that people drive over with their cars. When you're in school you learn to do all the calculations required to design the steel members based on span and load and blah and blah, blah. It's funny then when you learn that these have all been calculated long since and can be found in giant old books (now, nice little software programs). Certainly it's important to understand the math behind the calculations but a reasonably intelligent person, using these sorts of resources, could design a perfectly serviceable bridge.
  14. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    But if someone wanted to build a bridge with some new ceramic carbon fiber material, you'd need to go back to the "drawing board" and use all that esoteric knowledge.

    That's what the RMS Titanic tragedy was really about, you know. Harland and Wolff built her with steel hull plates and rivets instead of the well-known and understood wrought iron. No one apparently knew it at the time, but in the extreme cold North Atlantic water, the steel became extremely brittle so that, instead of "giving" where the iceberg contacted them, the shelll plates cracked and shattered and the rivet heads sheared off.

    Hollywood, of course, preferrred to manufafcture a romance rather than deal with the true story. (eyeroll)

    EDIT: Make that a STUPID romance!
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2016
  15. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    Which is probably how Chip promotes ;-)
  16. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    One might argue that you just described the difference between being an engineer and a skilled builder.

    If I have an experienced contractor over to my house s/he can build my deck using all of the normal sort of thing that one uses to build a deck. The calculations are the same for my deck or any other deck.

    But if I want some sort of crazy deck that is going to use non-standard materials or is going to do something that a typical deck doesn't do then one needs an engineer to, as you put it, go back to the drawing board.

    So when Neuhaus wants a deck he goes to a guy with his name written on the side of a truck. When a rapper wants a moon rock deck with beach glass inlay that is suspended above a cliff you should probably get an engineer.

    The majority of bridges likely follow the same formula. But I'm sure that there are bridges that don't. I would imagine that different soil types, climates, proclivity for natural disasters and others factors change those assumptions to the point where a clever fella' with a spreadsheet might out of his or her depth.
  17. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    There are some bridges, buildings and other structures (like nuclear submarines) that require special attention, special materials, special designs, etc. But most bridges are not designed for their aesthetic appeal or exotic applications. Most of them are the kind that help you cross little river/streams, railroad tracks or even other roads. The most important feature for these structures is durability and low cost. Sometimes durability is #1, sometimes it's low cost. The grand, sweeping structures that are designed and built in some places are quite beautiful to see and very complicated to design and build. Very few architects and engineers get to build those kinds of structures.
  18. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Even fewer non-architects and engineers get to design them.
  19. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I would say that as the number of those bridges approaches 1, the number of non-engineers/architects approaches 0.
  20. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    Archaic arch-work. Maybe that's of complex design or maybe not.

Share This Page