West Virginia University has become the first and only institution in the state to offer an internationally accredited undergraduate degree program in computer science.

The program was recently accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), an international accreditation agency for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering and technology.

WVU s program is offered by the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineeringnamed for outstanding University alumnus Ray Lane, former chief executive officer of Oracle.

ABET accreditation provides gratifying recognition of the quality of our Bachelor of Science in computer science degree program,said Brian Woerner, department chair.It will help us attract the best students and make our graduates even more attractive to industry.

In addition to computer science, the department offers accredited undergraduate programs in computer engineering and electrical engineering, as well as a degree program in biometric systems and several graduate programs. It has approximately 400 undergraduates and 250 graduate students across all degree programs.

Our computer science faculty members are outstanding teachers working at the leading edge of their field,Woerner noted.Recently, some of our computer science faculty were part of an interdisciplinary team that was awarded a West Virginia EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) Research Challenge Grant to establish a center in information fusion networks.

Faculty members also conduct internationally recognized research on the development of high reliability software, in collaboration with NASA s Independent Verification and Validation Center in Fairmont. A recent survey published in the June 2007 issue of the Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery rated WVU as one of the top 50 software engineering research programs in the world.WVU students conduct hands-on work with the latest computing technology. For example, student system workers built the departments unique computer network that features a customized version of the open-source Linux operating system.

Many of the departments graduates hold positions of prominence in areas such as high reliability software and in the aerospace, biometrics and video game industries. Besides Lane, other notable department alumni include Jack Waters, chief technical officer of Level 3 Communications; and Harry Morgan, an early developer at America Online.