UCA establishes College of Science and Engineering 

Also receives  ABET accreditation for engineering physics program

UCA Engineering Class

UCA engineering class

The University of Central Arkansas has announced the establishment of the College of Science and Engineering. 

The announcement was made during Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting. 

The college has also renamed one of its seven departments from the Department of Physics and Astronomy to the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Engineering.

These new upgrades are in response to the university’s most recent ABET accreditation for the engineering physics program. ABET accredits college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. 

“For our students, it means that they can see UCA continues to offer the programs and develop new programs that are going to be the programs of the future,” said Stephen Addison, dean of the College of Science and Engineering. “We want to have agile programs that meet the needs of today’s students but are continuously changing so we are not just meeting the needs of today but creating new opportunities as new demands come up.”

The engineering physics program was introduced at UCA in the fall of 2019. At that time, three students were enrolled. In fall 2023, the program boasted 51 majors. 

“We are seeing more and more students seeking out UCA to pursue an engineering education,” said Addison. “We have these programs. It makes sense to tell people that we have them, and the best way of doing that is if engineering appears in the name of the college.” 

The college comprises a total of six departments. The other departments in the college are Biology; Chemistry and Biochemistry; Computer Science and Engineering; Geography; and Mathematics. 

“Our campus works to cultivate a culture of innovation and ensure programmatic distinction. This ABET accreditation is a testament to our faculty and staff and the overall excellence in the College of Science and Engineering,” said UCA President Houston Davis.

Two other UCA programs have received ABET accreditation. The Bachelor of Science in computer science received accreditation in 2006. The university’s cybersecurity program was the first in Arkansas to receive ABET accreditation. 

“The goal is to contribute to the state’s economic development, and our region’s economic development and to provide opportunities for people to live and work in Arkansas,” Addison said. “We are looking for opportunities for students and meeting the needs of employers in the region which are not necessarily being met currently.”