Penn State Altoona offers nation's only ABET-accredited RTE program

Rail Transportation Engineering Tracks Photo
Credit: John Michael Yohn

ALTOONA, Pa. — Penn State Altoona’s Rail Transportation Engineering (RTE) degree program has been sanctioned by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. 

The recent validation makes Penn State Altoona home to the first and only ABET-accredited Rail Transportation Engineering program in the United States.

“Penn State Altoona is honored to have our baccalaureate Rail Transportation Engineering program — the first program of its kind in the United States — accredited by ABET,” said Chancellor and Dean Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry. “The accreditation of the RTE program is a testament to our outstanding faculty and staff and their commitment to providing our students with a high-quality engineering education. Accreditation from ABET assures students and their families that Penn State Altoona's trailblazing RTE program meets the global standards for engineering education and signals to employers that our students are prepared to be productive and innovative rail transportation professionals.”

Sought worldwide, ABET’s voluntary peer-review process is highly respected because it adds critical value to academic programs in the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines, where quality, precision and safety are of the utmost importance.

Developed by technical professionals from ABET’s member societies, ABET criteria focus on what students experience and learn. ABET accreditation reviews look at program curricula, faculty, facilities and institutional support and are conducted by teams of highly skilled professionals from industry, academia and government, with expertise in the ABET disciplines.

ABET is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. It currently accredits 3,709 programs at more than 750 colleges and universities in 30 countries.

More information about ABET, its member societies and the accreditation criteria used to evaluate programs can be found at

For more information about Penn State Altoona’s Rail Transportation Engineering degree program, visit