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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Iron Range Engineering Receives Accreditation

University program first in nation using 100 percent project-based learning for upper-division learning.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 9-5-2013

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Iron Range Engineering program recently was accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), becoming the ninth ABET-accredited program in Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

Iron Range Engineering is the first in the nation that uses 100 percent project-based learning for upper-division learning, said Rebecca Bates, professor and chair of Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Integrated Engineering.

Iron Range Engineering began delivering a new model for engineering education in January 2010 and produced its first bachelor of science in engineering (BSE) graduates in December 2011. There are now more than 40 graduates of the program, with nearly all of those employed in industry. Two are in graduate school.

Among all colleges and universities in the state of Minnesota (public and private), Minnesota State Mankato’s total of nine ABET-accredited programs is second only to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (12 ABET-accredited programs), according to ABET’s website,, which lists all ABET-accredited programs in the United States and in the world.

Iron Range Engineering (IRE) is a unique and collaborative program between Minnesota State Mankato and Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, Minn.

Located in the heart of Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range, the Iron Range Engineering model is a project-based-learning program in which students work closely with industry on design projects throughout their third and fourth years. The goal of this approach is to produce graduates with significant integrated technical and professional knowledge and competencies.

Iron Range Engineering students are upper-division engineering students who are enrolled at Minnesota State Mankato and are typically graduates of Minnesota’s community colleges, most commonly from Itasca Community College Engineering.

More information on Minnesota State Mankato’s Iron Range Engineering Program is available at or by contacting Rebecca Bates, department chair, at or at 507-389-5587. More information on Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology is available at

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,413 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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