Regis University receives ABET accreditation for the Computer Science program.

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by atrox79, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. atrox79

    atrox79 New Member

    I started the BS in Computer Science program at Regis University in January of this year & a few months later, my academic adviser sent out an email of "updated requirements" for the CS degree, because Regis was applying for a "new accreditation". She didn't go into any more detail, and while I "hoped" it was going to be ABET, I wasn't planning on holding my breath.

    Today I was looking over the Regis U. page & I saw they are announcing ABET accreditation: BS in Computer Science Degree - Regis University CPS

    The ABET site does not have them listed yet because it seems like it is just updated on a yearly bases & the list is from October 2010. However, it should be updated this year.

    It makes me happy because I knew that Regis had a very rigorous program & with this accreditation, it can help re-assure people looking for a CS degree that Regis is a good option (but expensive). This makes it the second Computer Science I know of (FSU being the other) that is offered online and accredited by ABET.

    I know ABET isn't a big deal in CS, but at the very least, it marks a program as meeting a set of standards that is considered acceptable by the ABET. Top programs like Carnegie Melon & Stanford don't even bother with ABET accreditation for this CS programs because it's unnecessary, but the quality of their programs speak for themselves. For a sort of "unknown" place like Regis, it seems like it would be more important to have the ABET accreditation so that everyone would know that they're going to learn everything they need to.

    I'm excited & happy that I chose Regis! I planned on going to a local state school for my MS so this will make the application process easier (required prerequisites covered, etc).
  2. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    I will agree and disagree with you. ABET is a HUGE step up for CS in one case. An ABET accredited CS degree will allow you to sit the patent bar if paired with a JD. A non-ABET accredited CS degree when paired with the same JD, will not.

    Depends on your track.
  3. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Technically, you can qualify for the patent bar exam with an ABET CS degree, regardless of whether or not it is paired with a JD. The US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) only requires patent bar candidates to hold a suitable science or engineering degree -- the law degree is optional.

    If you qualify for and pass the patent bar exam with a law degree, then you get the title of "patent attorney".
    If you do so without a law degree, then you get the title of "patent agent".

    As far as the USPTO is concerned, "patent agents" and "patent attorneys" can perform exactly the same functions. So is possible to practice patent law, to an extent, without a law degree. The drawback is that patent agents only have legal authority to handle matters that are exclusively within the USPTO. As soon as an intellectual property issue moves outside the USPTO, to a state or federal court, then only a patent attorney can handle it.

    In practice, eligibility for the patent bar exam is not usually considered a major plus for ABET-accredited CS degrees, because only a tiny fraction of CS graduates will ever consider taking it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2011
  4. addision

    addision New Member

    Patent agent

    Don't mean to hijack this thread so this will be my only post on this subject.

    About the only non-ABET degree allowed for becoming a patent agent is a biology degree. I called patent licensing and they said as long as the biology degree is from an accredited school.

    As far as ABET for CS, this is still an engineering field. While there are fewer jobs out there for pure CS graduates, you may still be able to transition this degree into any other position that is looking for an "engineer" who knows the math and has problem solving abilities and can prove it. Having an ABET degree would do that. What type of positions would want a non-specific engineer? Sales of specialized products, Engineering management etc. I see a number of positions on the job boards for people that "must have a degree in the field of engineering".
  5. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Actually, the USPTO accepts many non-ABET science degrees, including physics, general or organic chemistry, pharmacology, textile technology, and even botany. You can see the full list under "Category A" in the current (February 2011) "General Requirements Bulletin for Admission to the Examination for Registration to Practice in Patent Cases Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office".

    Not necessarily. It's true that ABET accredits both engineering and CS programs; however, the two accreditation programs are separate (engineering = ABET/EAC; CS = ABET/CAC) and are not considered interchangeable. In fact, ABET also accredits technology programs (ABET/TAC) and surveying programs (ABET/ASAC), and those are different too.

    When an engineering employer, graduate school, or licensing board specifies an "ABET degree", they typically mean ABET/EAC specifically. A degree in CS or surveying may have valid ABET accreditation, but it isn't ABET engineering accreditation.

    I'm sure that some CS majors have found work as "engineers" -- as well as some physics, chemistry, or geology majors -- but it's not particularly common, and I question whether an "ABET" degree would be a significant asset in such cases. A CS degree may certainly be ABET, but it's not the right kind of ABET for engineering purposes.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2011
  6. BobbyJim

    BobbyJim New Member

    there are exceptions


    CalDog: "When an engineering employer, graduate school, or licensing board specifies an "ABET degree", they typically mean ABET/EAC specifically. A degree in CS or surveying may have valid ABET accreditation, but it isn't ABET engineering accreditation."

    True as you noted, there MAY be exceptions. About half the US state engineering license boards MAY consider ABET CAC/TAC/ASAC to be acceptable education. Some states even license software engineers as a distinct discipline within professional engineering.

    Some states MAY even consider non-ABET engineering or hard-science degrees as acceptable with additional courses and/or more years of experience working under a licensed engineer's supervision, plus additional references from professional engineers.

    Every state engineering license board operates at the pleasure/mercy of the state legislature and lobbyist. :saeek:
  7. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    It is true that some engineering boards may consider ABET/CAC, ABET/TAC, or ABET/ASAC degrees to be acceptable for purposes of engineering licensure. And the same is also true for science degrees. In fact, I can take it a step further -- in California, it is legally possible to get a PE license with a bachelor's degree in poetry. Or further still -- it is legally possible in California to get a PE license with no college degree of any kind.

    But the point is that no engineering board will accept such education as interchangeable with an ABET/EAC degree. In all of these cases, an applicant would have to have extra years of approved work experience (sometimes many years), relative to an applicant with an ABET/EAC degree. The Board might or might not accept an ABET/CAC CS degree, but even if they did, it wouldn't be on equal terms.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2011
  8. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Do they? NCEES and IEEE are currently in the process of developing a Software PE exam, but it is not available in any state at this time:

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2011
  9. BobbyJim

    BobbyJim New Member

    I agree and think that is what I said above 'as an exception to engineering licensing requirements'. Isn't it?

    But my second, and probably more important point was that some states license SOFTWARE ENGINEERS as professional engineers - software engineering, with appropriate ABET degrees and experience!!!
  10. BobbyJim

    BobbyJim New Member

    For a while Texas was grandfathering software engineers while waiting on the exam to be developed. I haven't checked recently to see if they are still doing that.
  11. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    This article on Software PEs in Texas states:

    So again, ABET/EAC degrees are preferred. It's true an that ABET/CAC degree -- or even a non-ABET science degree -- could work too. But the Texas board does not consider such degrees to be equivalent to ABET/EAC degrees, even when it comes to software engineering. Years of extra work experience are required.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2011
  12. BobbyJim

    BobbyJim New Member

  13. atrox79

    atrox79 New Member

    If a computer science degree is accredited by EAC, it would probably have a closer resemblance to electrical/computer engineering. As far as I remember, EAC has very strict guidelines for lab work & I can only see these requirements being satisfied by a hardware-specific program. Still, most computer engineering degrees cover all of the CS coursework in addition to a bunch of EE material.
  14. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    ABET/EAC only accredits "computer engineering" degrees. They don't handle "computer science" degrees. which are the responsibility of ABET/CAC.

    ABET/CAC only accredits "computer science" degrees. They don't handle "computer engineering" degrees, which are the responsibility of ABET/EAC.

    So a computer science degree cannot be accredited by EAC, by definition. If a computer-related degree is accredited by EAC, then it has to be a computer engineering degree, again by definition.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2011
  15. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    double post, please delete
  16. RobStand

    RobStand New Member

    If you want to sit the patent bar and you have a computer science degree, it must be ABET-accredited. If your CS degree isn't ABET, you can satisfy the USPTO's requirements by taking, for example, 24 hours of physics or 30 hours of chemistry.

Share This Page