Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering Garner ABET Accreditation

A young woman works on laptop while standing indoors with an engineering project in the background.
Undergraduate students in computer science and electrical & computer engineering will earn degrees with ABET accreditation. (Photo by Patrick Dodson)

By Michael Parker

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 8, 2022) — The University at Albany’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) has secured ABET accreditation for its bachelor of science degrees in computer science and electrical & computer engineering after a rigorous review lasting more than a year.

Considered the one of the preeminent accrediting organizations worldwide, ABET (formerly known as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredits college and university programs in the disciplines of applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree levels.

ABET accreditation assures confidence that a collegiate program has met standards essential to prepare graduates to enter critical STEM fields in the global workforce.

This accreditation conveys to potential employers that UAlbany bachelor of science graduates in computer science and electrical & computer engineering have a solid educational foundation and are capable of innovating emerging technologies and anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public.

“Achieving ABET accreditation for our bachelor’s degree programs in computer science and electrical & computer engineering is a great milestone for the University and for our students,” said UAlbany President Havidán Rodríguez. “It is recognition that our programs and our faculty provide a rigorous, hands-on education, positioning our graduates to pursue high-level careers in critically important STEM fields in New York and beyond.”

“Our faculty at the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences have done an outstanding job in developing first-class computer science and electrical and computer engineering programs,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Carol H. Kim. “This accreditation will ensure that our students are fully prepared to tackle the next generation of challenges confronting our state, nation and world.”

“ABET accreditation is an important step for the University in fulfilling our goal of innovative workforce development for the region and New York State,” said Michele J. Grimm, Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “It further demonstrates the high quality of our computer science and electrical & computer engineering bachelor’s programs as well as the commitment of our faculty and staff, and it reinforces to our students that their degree is industry-relevant."

ABET was established more than 80 years ago as the standard against which professional engineers in the United States were held for licensure. Today, ABET has become the basis of quality for STEM disciplines all over the world, with a particular emphasis on efficiency, technology, and sustainability. Developed by technical professionals from its member societies, ABET criteria focus on student learning and experience.

For undergraduates enrolled in UAlbany’s ABET-accredited programs, the recognition serves as a powerful asset upon entering the workforce, by verifying that their educational experience meets the global standard for education in their profession.

ABET accreditation also enhances employment opportunities within multinational corporations that require graduation from accredited programs; supports entry into technical professions through licensure, registration, and certification; establishes eligibility for federal loans, grants, and scholarships; and paves the way for students to work internationally, as ABET accreditation is recognized worldwide through international agreements -- with many other countries’ national accrediting systems based on the ABET model.

UAlbany’s bachelor of science in computer science is designed to teach students to design, build, and test sophisticated software systems and install them on computer platforms. Students work with and design software systems involving databases, modeling, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, communication, and information retrieval. Students also learn how to solve problems by working with programming languages, data structures, and algorithm analysis.

The U.S. Department of Labor projects an 11 percent growth in employment of computer science graduates by 2024, the highest rate of all occupations. As computer science careers exist in manufacturing, finance, service, sales, health care, retail, government and more, UAlbany alumni from the computer science program can pursue their interest in almost any industry. Job titles include systems engineer, IT Project Manager, computer/network security consultant, software developer, application programmer, business intelligence analyst, computer systems programmer, and computer security specialist. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $97,430 in May 2021.

UAlbany’s bachelor of science in electrical & computer engineering focuses on the development of world-changing technologies such as renewable energy systems, wireless networking, smart cities, embedded computing systems, medical devices, robotics and much more. The program combines analytical rigor with experiential exploration as students develop an appetite for solving complex problems in service to society. They work shoulder to shoulder with world-class faculty, tackle local and global challenges, and put ideas into action. The UAlbany program is one of the few in the country that provides a solid foundation in both electrical engineering and computer engineering – while also allowing students to customize their degree to meet their interests and career goals.

Electrical engineers and computer engineers are in high demand, and professionals with unique skills typically enjoy high starting salaries. The median salary in the U.S. is $115,120 for computer hardware engineers and $97,970 for electrical and electronics engineers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Students who graduated from the program have gone on to work for companies such as Amazon Web Services, Morgan Stanley, the Naval Nuclear Laboratory, IBM, General Electric, Ernst & Young, Richmore Aviation, General Dynamics, Global Foundries and many others. Job titles of graduates include computer engineer, software engineer, electrical engineer, computer network architect and computer hardware engineer.

The ABET accreditation also comes on the heels of the launch of the Albany Artificial Intelligence Supercomputing Initiative (Albany AI), a $200 million public-private endeavor that will empower university and industry researchers to harness massive data sets to better understand how to automate complex operations like diagnosing and treating disease and forecasting natural disasters.

The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences will play a central role in the development of Albany AI, which includes renovation of the Former Albany High School, an iconic 110-year-old neo-classical building on the University’s Downtown Campus, that will serve as the college’s home.  UAlbany will also build a new supercomputing cluster housed in the Uptown Data Center with the goal of becoming first university-based computer to reach a quintillion computations per second.