University Program Accreditation (ABET)

TMS fulfills its mission toward engineering education, in part, through its involvement with ABET. TMS is the ABET Participating Body with lead society curricular responsibility for programs in metallurgical, materials, and similarly named engineering programs, including programs in polymers, welding engineering, and welding technology.

The Accreditation Process

TMS appoints representatives to the ABET Board and its commissions, and appoints members to serve on accreditation teams to visit the programs for which TMS has curricular responsibility or shares responsibility with another participating society. 

The TMS Accreditation Committee is responsible for ratifying the program criteria with which metallurgical and materials science engineering programs across the United States are evaluated. Qualified volunteer program evaluators are always in demand, particularly those employed in industry, women, and minorities.

Become a Program Evaluator

To be considered for an appointment by TMS as a program evaluator, the individual must:
  • Have been actively practicing or teaching metallurgical or materials engineering during the preceding six years
  • Have achieved a level of professional stature commensurate with this responsibility. The individual must be one who is perceived by the academic community as being a peer in the program area being evaluated.

ABET Program Evaluator Considerations

The evaluators must satisfy a number of criteria relating to ABET needs and the needs of the metallurgical/materials profession as a whole including:
  • Geographic distribution (evaluators should not visit institutions near home.)
  • Academic/nonacademic distribution (reasonable representation from both is desirable).
  • Area of specialization distribution (evaluators for various types of programs must be available).
  • Group size consistent with an evaluator making a visit at least every other year during term of appointment.
Learn more about becoming an evaluator volunteer.

Nominations for Evaluators

Nominations/solicitations for evaluators are made at the fall meeting of the TMS Accreditation Committee. Candidates should fill out the online application on the ABET website. At the fall meeting, a review committee investigates the qualifications of the nominee and makes recommendation based upon both the nominee's qualifications and evaluator group considerations. A nominee receiving a majority vote will be presented to the committee for final approval as an evaluator candidate. Candidates then must complete the training requirements.

Evaluator Training

Training Sessions

After approval, candidates attend Program Evaluator Candidate Training at ABET headquarters which includes online pre-work.

Observing A Site Visit

After successful completion of the training session, the candidate will be expected to participate in a visit as an observer to assist the regular program evaluator. Following the visit, the observer will submit a visit report, which will be critiqued by the review committee and the regular program evaluator. Positive recommendations of both the review committee and the regular program evaluator will constitute completion of the training.

Final Review

Candidates satisfactorily completing the training requirements will be presented to the TMS Accreditation Committee for addition to the evaluator list to be submitted for approval to the TMS Board of Directors.

Evaluator Responsibilities

Length of Appointment

Appointments are for a five-year period with an annual review of performance for continuation of appointment.

Site Visits and Reporting

All evaluators who make a visit must submit a copy of the visit report to TMS Headquarters. A report review committee will review each report and provide feedback to the evaluator. An unsatisfactory report review will mandate that the evaluator participate in another training session prior to another visit. Two unsatisfactory report reviews will be an automatic removal from the approved list.

Continued Training

Approved Program Evaluators are required to attend an ABET Refresher/Retraining Session every two years. Refresher training is held at the TMS Annual Meeting and MS&T. Remote access via the web is also available for the sessions. 

Resources

White Paper on "Design" in Ceramics, Materials, Metallurgical and Similarly Named Engineering Programs 

The purpose of this White Paper is to provide clarification and examples for interpretation of the ABET criteria as they relate to materials programs, but in no way is it intended to supersede the ABET criteria. It remains the responsibility of individual programs to demonstrate that the ABET criteria are met. Programs retain the flexibility to define, develop, and demonstrate innovation in their curricula, educational objectives, outcomes, and assessment methods, particularly as they relate to design.

Contact Us

For more information on TMS Accreditation activities, please e-mail us.