History-making Participation in First ABET-accredited HBCU Bioengineering Program

Achievement date: 

North Carolina A&T University (NCAT) is experiencing record enrollment and graduation of women and minority Bioengineering students just one year after becoming the first historically black college and university (HBCU) to attain full Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accreditation for its BS program in the field. The program was initiated by the NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials (RMB), headquartered at NCAT.


NCAT offers the first seamless undergraduate and graduate Bioengineering program at an HBCU. In Spring 2017 the seventeen students enrolled in the Master’s program were 59% female and 35% African-American, with 65% choosing not to provide race/ethnicity information. Ninety-five students enrolled in the Bachelors program, with 65% female and 69% African-American. Since inception of NCAT’s biomedical engineering degree programs in Fall 2010, there have been 27 MS graduates (52% female) and 24 BS graduates (71% female). Many students have successfully found employment in industry, including Baxter International, BioMet, Medtronic, St. Joseph’s, and the Veterans Administration. Others have gone on to graduate and/or professional schools and post- doctoral fellowships at institutions, including the Universities of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Utah, and Virginia, Pennsylvania State, and Rutgers.


Innovations resulting from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields have positively touched nearly every aspect of human life. Therefore, the quality of the STEM research, and its ability to meet the needs of individuals, communities, nations and the world is inextricably linked to the individuals.Talented scientists and engineers from underrepresented populations are valued for the diversity of views they bring to industry and research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions—yet their numbers continue to be small. Bioengineering is the application of engineering principles and techniques to the medical field. It combines the design and problem-solving skills of engineering with medical and biological sciences to improve healthcare diagnosis and treatment. A degree in this field prepares students for careers in engineering design, management, research, consulting, sales, teaching, and product development in federal and state governmental agencies, companies, and foreign services.