One of the primary objectives of the Academy is "to establish criteria for the education of environmental engineers." Accordingly, the Academy has been recognized by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as the lead society for the accreditation of degree programs in environmental engineering, environmental engineering technology and related specialties.
In addition to its role within ABET, including voting representation on both the Engineering Accreditation Commission and the Technology Accreditation Commission, the Academy supports continuous efforts to strengthen and improve environmental engineering education. The Academy co-sponsors, with the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, conferences on environmental engineering education which are held, generally, every five years.
Unlike most engineering specialties, the identification of environmental engineering at the bachelor's degree level is uncommon; most environmental engineering degrees are awarded at the graduate level. However, ABET currently does not allow "dual level" accreditation, which, in other branches of engineering, has forced most institutions to seek accreditation only at the bachelors level. As a result, the relatively small field of environmental engineering now accounts for one-third of the total engineering degree programs accredited at the master's degree level.
The Academy applauds those educational institutions which have voluntarily submitted their degree programs for ABET accreditation, demonstrating not only their compliance with established standards, but their support for the process. For like reasons, the Academy applauds those environmental educators who have achieved specialty certification. The Education Section of the Environmental Engineering and Science Resource Guidebook recognizes this voluntary support of professional standards.
The educational institutions that have environmental programs and related specialties accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as of October 2015 are listed together with the Board Certified Environmental Engineers, Board Certified Environmental Engineering Members, and Board Certified Environmental Scientists of the Academy associated with each. The American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists is the lead society for assisting ABET in the preparation of program criteria for these programs and their evaluation. The complete text of the accreditation criteria to which the listed programs conformed can be accessed at http://www.abet.org.