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Quality Assurance of Programs

Standards are high for engineers and architects—and for good reason, as a great deal of responsibility lies on the shoulders of these professionals. The same is true for the institutions entrusted with their education and development.

To ensure our educational system and graduates remain among the best in the world, accreditation by oversight boards is necessary for all Canadian universities offering engineering and architectural degree programs. At FEAS, all of our undergraduate engineering programs have been accredited with the highest possible rating by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB). Our architecture program has also been granted full accreditation by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB).

For more information about quality assurance, please contact the Director of Quality Assurance Dr. Fei Yuan at fyuan@ee.ryerson.ca or 416-979-5000 ext. 6100.

In Canada, the CEAB is responsible for accrediting undergraduate engineering programs. During an accreditation visit, an exhaustive examination of engineering programs and facilities is conducted to determine if the programs deserve accreditation. Graduates of a CEAB-accredited program are permitted to join Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), or its counterparts in other provinces, and to describe themselves as professional engineers (PEng) after completion of a work period under the supervision of a licensed engineer, and after passing examinations in law and ethics.

As outlined in the Engineers Canada PDF fileAccreditation Criteria and Procedures document, external link, the engineering profession also expects the following from its members: competence and an understanding of engineering’s impact on society. As such, accredited engineering programs must offer more than adequate mathematics, science and engineering curriculum content. They must also develop students' communication skills and provide them with an understanding of the environmental, cultural, economic, and social impacts of engineering on society, as well as the importance of lifelong learning.

At FEAS, all eight of our undergraduate engineering programs are accredited.

Assessment of Graduate Attributes

One accreditation criterion for engineering programs required by the CEAB is graduate attributes, which an institution must demonstrate that graduates of its programs possess. In addition, the institution must implement and employ processes to demonstrate that program outcomes are being assessed in the context of these attributes, and that the results of such assessments will be applied to the further development of programs. The attributes are as follows:

  1. A knowledge base for engineering: Demonstrated competence in university-level mathematics, natural sciences, engineering fundamentals, and specialized engineering knowledge appropriate to the program.
  2. Problem analysis: An ability to use appropriate knowledge and skills to identify, formulate, analyze, and solve complex engineering problems in order to reach substantiated conclusions.
  3. Investigation: An ability to conduct investigations of complex problems by methods that include appropriate experiments, analysis and interpretation of data, and synthesis of information in order to reach valid conclusions.
  4. Design: An ability to design solutions for complex, open-ended engineering problems and to design systems, components or processes that meet specified needs with appropriate attention to health and safety risks, applicable standards, and economic, environmental, cultural and societal considerations.
  5. Use of engineering tools: An ability to create, select, apply, adapt, and extend appropriate techniques, resources, and modern engineering tools to a range of engineering activities, from simple to complex, with an understanding of the associated limitations.
  6. Individual and team work: An ability to work effectively as a member and leader in teams, preferably in a multidisciplinary setting.
  7. Communication skills: An ability to communicate complex engineering concepts within the profession and with society at large. Such ability includes reading, writing, speaking and listening, and the ability to comprehend and write effective reports and design documentation, and to give and effectively respond to clear instructions.
  8. Professionalism: An understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the professional engineer in society, especially the primary role of protection of the public and the public interest.
  9. Impact of engineering on society and the environment: An ability to analyze social and environmental aspects of engineering activities. Such ability includes an understanding of the interactions that engineering has with the economic, social, health, safety, legal and cultural aspects of society, as well as the uncertainties in the prediction of such interactions. An understanding of the concepts of sustainable design, development and environmental stewardship is also required.  
  10. Ethics and equity: An ability to apply professional ethics, accountability, and equity.
  11. Economics and project management: An ability to appropriately incorporate economics and business practices, including project, risk, and change management into the practice of engineering and to understand their limitations.
  12. Lifelong learning: An ability to identify and to address their own educational needs in a changing world in ways sufficient to maintain their competence and to allow them to contribute to the advancement of knowledge.

The professional master of architecture degree in conjunction with the pre-professional bachelor of architectural science degree from Ryerson University compromises an accredited professional education.

In Canada, all provincial/territorial architecture associations recommend a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) is the sole agency authorized by the Canadian Architectural Licencing Authorities (CALA) to accredit Canadian professional degree programs in architecture for the purpose of architectural licensure. A program may be granted a six-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on its degree of conformance with established educational standards.

The architecture program at Ryerson University received accreditation for a six-year term by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) in 2013.