Accreditation status of the B.Eng. Bioengineering
McGill’s new B.Eng. degree in Bioengineering has undergone an extensive approval process as mandated by the Government of Québec. On June 13th, 2016, final approval of the program was granted by Mme. Hélène DAVID, Minister responsible for Higher Education in the Province of Québec. Following its internal review and approval at McGill, the program underwent an external review process, which started in the Fall of 2014. This involved in-depth reviews of the content and structure of the program by multiple bodies external to the university and included visits from external experts who all recommended that the degree program be approved. This recommendation was also made in light of very positive recommendations of external experts from industry and from world-renowned institutions with comparable programs.
Accreditation of engineering programs by the Engineers Canada Accreditation Board (ECAB) only pertains to the eligibility of graduates of an engineering program for licensure as Professional Engineers in Canadian provinces. Graduation from an accredited program is not the only requirement for licensure as a Professional Engineer, as other requirements also exist (e.g., sufficient work experience under the supervision of a licensed Professional Engineer, passing the Professional Practice Examination, etc.). Moreover, graduation from an accredited program is not required to become licensed within Canada (as engineers trained abroad, for example, can also become licensed engineers), although it is indeed the simplest way to do so.
According to the ECAB’s Accreditation Criteria and Procedures, (Section 3.6.11: “Accreditation procedures and application,” page 25), accreditation for new undergraduate engineering programs in Canada can only be granted by the ECAB after students have graduated from the program. Following normal procedures for the accreditation of new engineering programs, the Bioengineering program at McGill University will undergo a formal accreditation review and site visit during the final year of study of its first cohort of students. Please rest assured that the Bioengineering program was developed while paying careful attention to accreditation criteria to ensure that the program will meet accreditation requirements when the time comes. Indeed, the ability of graduates from this new program to become licensed Professional Engineers was one of the many requirements considered by the Government when reviewing and approving the program. Moreover, it is worth noting that all other Engineering programs at McGill University are ECAB-accredited, and that we expect no less of this new program, when the time comes for it to be accredited by the ECAB.
Lastly, please note that the Faculty of Engineering and the Department of Bioengineering at McGill University will keep all students informed of progress in the accreditation status of the Bioengineering program.