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What is ABET Accreditation and Why Does It Matter?

A Valuable Accreditation, A Stronger Degree Program

What is ABET?

ABET offered the original standard for professional engineers more than 80 years ago in the U.S. and now covers programs at more than 750 colleges in 30 countries. ABET began in 1932 as the Engineers' Council for Professional Development, and in 1980—to reflect its expanding mission with the evolving computer sciences—it was renamed the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.


Around the same time, ABET also started reaching out internationally, first by working with the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board. By the 1990s, ABET was offering consultation and support to accreditation boards around the world.

ABET accredits associate, bachelor's, and master's programs in applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. ABET is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization focused on ensuring that a university's coursework and programs meet international standards.

ABET's criteria were developed by professionals from its 35 member societies, representing more than 1.5 million professionals working in these fields. More than 2,200 members of these professional societies volunteer as ABET program evaluators. That means the people checking program quality work in the field and understand the technical and teaching challenges within their discipline. These professionals are vested in seeing that students are properly trained because it is important for the advancement of their field.

ABET calls itself a "network of experts" because it brings together so many people who care about their professions and are dedicated to making sure standards are upheld. These people come from academia and industry to contribute their understanding of what makes for quality education in these important technical fields. They review program materials, visit campuses, and deliberate on just what it means to be ABET accredited.

It is this mixture of experience, thoroughness, and dedication that makes ABET accreditation a worldwide standard. ABET accredits programs—not just institutions—so you know every program that has earned ABET accreditation has done so on its own merits.

“When I joined the Walden University faculty in 2011, the BS in Information Technology program was just beginning to look at pursuing ABET accreditation,” said Dr. John Borton of Walden University. The program had a strong curriculum that was based on the IEEE and ACM model curricula. At the time, I was impressed with the quality of the Walden program and the commitment of the faculty to providing a quality education to the students enrolled in the program. These two factors—quality and commitment—continue to be the hallmark of Walden’s BS in Information Technology and BS in Computer Information Systems programs.”

When you choose Walden’s ABET-accredited BS in Information Technology program, you know you will be getting an education that meets the standards of the profession, giving you a recognized mark of achievement and career preparation.

ABET program accreditation is voluntary. Walden University has gone through the process because we believe in the strength and the value of our information technology program. So when we say Walden will give you a comprehensive education in information technology, you don't have to just take our word for it. You can take the word of an organization that makes it its business to know what constitutes a high-quality education.

Learn more about Walden University's BS in Information Technology, which earned ABET accreditation in 2013—one of the most important assurances of quality that employers look for in degrees. Walden's BS in Information Technology is one of the few online information technology programs to earn this designation. ABET accreditation assures both companies and students that a university is training its students in what they need to know to be effective in a global marketplace.

Dr. John Borton has been a faculty member and department chair in the computing field for over 30 years. He joined the Walden University BSIT and BSCIS program faculty in 2011. In 2014, he was certified as an ABET program evaluator, reviewing the quality of IT and CIS programs to ensure they meet the high level of quality expected by ABET.