ABET Accreditation

civil engineering students during a special event in classroom

UIC’s undergraduate program in civil engineering is accredited by ABET, the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. Through complex, meticulous, and rigorous examination of engineering programs across the nation, ABET identifies the undergraduate degrees that meet the highest standards of academic excellence and professional practice in preparing graduates.

ABET is a federation of 28 professional and technical societies representing applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. Among the most respected accreditation organizations in the United States, ABET has provided leadership and quality assurance in higher education for more than 75 years.

More than 100,000 students graduate from ABET-accredited programs each year, and millions of graduates have received degrees from ABET-accredited programs since 1932.

Program Educational Objectives

As part of the accreditation process, ABET asks our department to capture the overall goals of the undergraduate programs in civil engineering. These are called our program educational objectives.

Graduates of the civil engineering program at the University of Illinois at Chicago will establish careers in engineering, research and development, and/or management professions and will be involved in professional societies. Within a few years of completing the program, graduates are expected:

  • To apply technical expertise, effective design skills, and sustainability principles to address evolving engineering challenges affecting a diverse society.
  • To be engaged in continuing education. Motivated graduates will have pursued or have well-formulated plans to pursue graduate education.
  • To effectively and ethically contribute as a member, manager, or leader of multidisciplinary teams through efficient communication of technical and nontechnical issues.

Civil engineering is a regulated profession, meaning that a majority of professionals in the field will become licensed Professional Engineers within five years of graduation. To attain this license, a civil engineering student must take and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam to become certified as an Engineer-in-Training. A new civil engineer then must take the Principles of Engineering exam. When that exam is passed, and when the new civil engineer has successfully demonstrated sufficient evidence of work experience and other qualifications required by the state and jurisdiction in which he or she works, the Professional Engineer license will be awarded. The PE license is highly regarded in the industry and opens doors to many successful and rewarding careers.

Civil engineering graduates who choose to practice structural engineering also will need to become licensed Structural Engineers within 10 years of their graduation.

Student Outcomes

In addition, ABET requires our department to identify the specific knowledge and skills that students are intended to have when they complete their undergraduate education. These are called student outcomes.

Students graduating from the civil engineering program at UIC will have:

  1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
  3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
  5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.