The Current Status of ABET Accreditation of Information Systems Programs

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Issues in Information Systems


As of March 2012 there were 35 Information Systems (IS) programs at 34 universities accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). This paper investigates these ABET accredited IS programs to see what these programs have in common and how do they differ from other IS programs. The data was collected by visiting the web pages of the selected IS programs. This paper includes a study of the required IS courses, elective IS courses, required programming courses, required business courses, the title of the IS program (IS/MIS/CIS), the department and college where the IS program was located and the year of ABET accreditation. It is interesting to notice that after 21 years of IS accreditation, only one of the ABET accredited IS degrees is a BBA degrees. This study points out several significant differences between the ABET accredited IS programs and the typical BBA IS programs at the sample universities. The growth of ABET accreditation has been slow, 35 programs over 10 years. ABET accreditation of engineering and computer science is the norm but ABET accreditation of IS programs is not the norm. It is interesting to note that none of the top rated IS programs in US News & World Report are ABET accredited.