Engineering Programs Recover Accreditation

The Division of Engineering and Applied Physics has regained accreditation by the Engineers' Council for Professional Development in its mechanical and civil engineering curricula for B.S. candidates, Dean Harvey Brooks disclosed yesterday. These areas were on probation after the April, 1954 survey until the Council's re-evaluation in April, 1957.

In the 1954 report, the ECPD suggested that the Division give more emphasis to design and laboratory work in its undergraduate program. The Division complied by adding more courses in design and enlarging the laboratory program, especially in the field of thermodynamics.

These changes have primarily affected the Division's five-year B.S. program, instituted in 1955. Under this plan, a student can take a fifth year to finish the preparation needed for a professional engineering license. Because of standard undergraduate requirements, an engineering student cannot acquire this preparation in four years.

Dean Brooks, in explaining the loss of accreditation, said that "there has been a definite trend in the school since the war towards more science and less engineering practice in our curriculum."

The Division has gone further than most engineering schools towards the pure sciences, Dean Brooks commented. He pointed out that the lack of separate programs in the various fields of engineering at Harvard is a manifestation of this trend. "This trend has certainly been one of the problems which has affected accreditation," he added, "because the ECPD is looking for an educational program which has design as a very important constituent."

The Dean added that another matter not yet settled between the Council and the Division is whether an M.A. candidate with an acreditable program meets the council's standards, since theoretically only B.S. candidates are eligible for accreditation.