College of Integrated Science and Engineering

JMU Engineering achieves ABET reaccreditation


By: Lianne Boxley, CISE Student Writer

James Madison University’s Bachelor of Science degree program in Engineering has been reaccredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the global accreditor of college and university programs in ABET logoapplied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. 

ABET is a nonprofit organization that serves to promote excellence in STEM education. Its voluntary peer-review process is highly respected by companies and institutions around the world, assuring employers that graduates are prepared to excel in today’s diverse technical workforce. Achieving reaccreditation signals that Madison Engineering produces engineering professionals ready to use innovative design thinking to solve complex challenges. 

The Madison Engineering program first achieved ABET accreditation in 2013, just 5 years after its inception. To achieve its accreditation status, the engineering department engaged in an eighteen-month peer review process where a team of highly skilled professionals from academia, government, and industry evaluated the department’s curricula, faculty, facilities, and institutional support. After extensive examination, the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET determined that the program met its rigorous standards, and then chose to reaccredit the program in 2019.

In its review, ABET commented on three exceptional qualities that Madison Engineering exhibits: the four years of design and project requirements, the broad array of jobs for its graduates, and the program’s continuous pursuit of assessment and quality management. “These strengths highlight that our faculty have done an exceptional job of creating a 21st-century engineering education not only in content, but in how our students learn, and why the best engineering programs are always innovating,” says Kurt Paterson, head of the department of engineering.

By achieving reaccreditation, Madison Engineering has demonstrated its ability to meet a global standard in engineering education, commit to a process of self-examination, and establish learning outcomes that prepare students to become critical thinkers. The program has also established educational objectives to ensure that its students are able to:  

  • Make significant contributions to engineering practice and the profession using innovative design thinking, application of engineering principles, and understanding of system interactions and dependencies to develop sustainable solutions that safely address the needs of a global marketplace.

  • Function effectively in the work environment with integrity and professionalism.

  • Demonstrate the use of appropriate methods to effectively communicate with diverse audiences in the work environment.

  • Demonstrate a commitment to professional development through on-the-job experiences or advanced studies. 

“Madison Engineering was launched as an innovative educational offering to meet modern engineering needs,” says Paterson. “The accreditation and the glowing optional comments about some of our program’s unusual strengths highlight that outside reviewers think our faculty, students, and alumni have created something special in engineering education.”

For more information about the Madison Engineering’s reaccreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, visit

Published: Friday, September 20, 2019

Last Updated: Monday, September 23, 2019

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