Mines News

Release Date Tuesday, September 26, 2023

South Dakota Mines Receives Prestigious ABET Accreditation for 12 Programs

A Mines student tests the integrity of concrete in a laboratory inside the university’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. This is one of the longstanding programs on campus that has been ABET accredited since 1936.

The Accreditation Commission of ABET, the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology, has granted accreditation to 12 South Dakota Mines science and engineering programs.

ABET accreditation ensures that programs meet standards to produce graduates ready to enter critical technical fields that are leading the way in innovation and emerging technologies and anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public. All of South Dakota Mines’ baccalaureate programs in engineering fields are now ABET accredited, and Mines has the most ABET-accredited programs of any South Dakota university.

“This accreditation is an important part of our effort to graduate world-class leaders in science and engineering. We undertake the rigorous process of ABET accreditation on our programs to ensure our graduates are prepared to address global challenges in the most innovative ways,” says Mines President Jim Rankin, Ph.D., P.E.

The current round of ABET accreditation began at Mines in January 2022. The 18-month process for approval included a comprehensive self-study by each program as well as a three-day visit and inspection of each program on campus completed by 16 professional ABET evaluators who are experts in their fields of study. A final review and approval of each program by the ABET Commission took place in July 2023.   

Sought worldwide, ABET’s voluntary peer review process is highly respected because it adds critical value to academic programs in the technical disciplines, where quality, precision and safety are of the utmost importance.

Developed by technical professionals from ABET’s member societies, ABET criteria focus on what students experience and learn. ABET accreditation reviews look at program curricula, faculty, facilities and institutional support and are conducted by teams of highly skilled professionals from industry, academia and government with expertise in the ABET disciplines.

Mines’ ABET accreditation is also important to industry partners. Graduating from an ABET-accredited institution is required for anyone seeking a professional engineering (PE) license. “ABET accreditation is part of why our graduates are so successful with 98% job placement in their field of study and an average starting salary of more than $70,000,” says Rankin.

Three longstanding Mines baccalaureate programs have been ABET accredited since 1936: civil engineering, electrical engineering and metallurgical engineering.  

Mines’ computer science baccalaureate program was first accredited in 1991 and is the oldest ABET accredited computer science program in the state. Additionally, two Mines programs received ABET accreditation for the first time: biomedical engineering and geology. This approval is retroactive and applies to all graduates who completed degrees after Oct. 1, 2020.

Other ABET-accredited baccalaureate programs at Mines include computer engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, geological engineering, mining engineering and industrial engineering and engineering management.

The computer engineering program is accredited under the Computer Accreditation Commission. The geology program is accredited under the Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission. All other programs are accredited under the Engineering Accreditation Commission.

“Geology at South Dakota Mines is just the second such program in the United States, and the fifth in the world, to become ABET accredited,” says Interim Vice President of Research Laurie Anderson, Ph.D. “When faced with the option to seek ABET accreditation, the choice was self-evident; rather than simply complying with a mandate, our programs receive an internationally respected accreditation and associated public recognition.”

ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization with ISO 9001:2015 certification. It currently accredits 4,564 programs at 895 colleges and universities in 40 countries and areas.

More information about ABET, its member societies and the accreditation criteria used to evaluate programs can be found at www.abet.org.  


About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,493 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 98 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $70,036. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram, and Snapchat.

Contact: Gray Hughes, 605-394-2554, Gray.Hughes@sdsmt.edu