The integrated B.Sc. and M.Eng. programs of the ME Department are separately accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org. The B.Sc. program is accredited at the baccalaureate level and the M.Eng. program is accredited at the masters level. ABET is the nation's preeminent accrediting agency for engineering and technology programs, and ABET accreditation is a universally recognized as an indication of quality. The organization was founded in 1932 as the Engineers' Council for Professional Development (ECPD) for the purpose of increasing recognition of engineering as a profession along the lines of medicine and law. ECPD was renamed the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in 1980, and ABET, Inc. in 2006.
ECPD reviewed and accredited its first engineering programs in 1936. UofL's Mechanical Engineering Department was among this group. With 73 years of continuous ECPD/ABET accreditation, no engineering department in the nation has been accredited longer.
ABET requirements for masters level accreditation state:
“The criteria for masters level programs are fulfillment of the baccalaureate level general criteria, fulfillment of program criteria appropriate to the masters level specialization area, and one academic year of study beyond the baccalaureate level. The program must demonstrate that graduates have an ability to apply masters level knowledge in a specialized area of engineering related to the program area.”
Our B.Sc. program is structured to satisfy the general criteria for baccalaureate level engineering programs, and the M.Eng. program satisfies the additional masters level requirements (extra year of academic study and demonstration of an ability to apply masters level knowledge in a specialized area related to mechanical engineering).
Accreditation Status of the B.Sc. Degree
One question that often arises about our integrated B.Sc. and M.Eng. programs is whether their B.Sc. program is accredited if a student does not complete the M.Eng. The answer is, unequivocally, yes. The M.E. faculty explicitly structure the B.Sc. program to satisfy all baccalaureate level criteria, and the program is separately reviewed and accredited under this premise.
Professional Registration with only the B.Sc. Degree
Another accreditation-related question is whether M.E. students holding only the B.Sc. degree are able to become registered professional engineers. Because the program is separately and fully accredited, our B.Sc.-only graduates are automatically eligible to sit for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination. After completing the standard experience requirements, those same graduates are permitted to take the Principles and Practice in Engineering (PE) examination in Kentucky or any other state in the nation. Passing this exam makes one eligible for licensure by the appropriate state board as a registered professional engineer. Students holding a professional license in Kentucky are permitted to practice engineering in other states through comity, a legal term describing state-to-state reciprocal recognition of professional engineering licenses (licensure is performed by the individual states).