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The History of Engineering at UNF

Many years of offering higher education passed before Engineering arrived in Jacksonville and the Florida First Coast. Jacksonville was the last of the major metropolitan areas in the state to have a significant engineering college or school. Fortunately, this has changed, as the First Coast has become home to the School of Engineering within the College of Computing, Engineering, and Construction at the University of North Florida.


Engineering first appeared at the UNF campus in 1987 with the local hosting of the Joint UF UNF Program in Electrical Engineering, designed to serve the needs of aspiring engineering students. The program was successful as a program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE). In addition, it provided an excellent opportunity for students unable to attend the University of Florida's electrical engineering program in Gainesville. In 1992, UNF assumed responsibility for the BSEE program, created the Department of Electrical Engineering, and paired it with the Department of Computer and Information Sciences to become the newly named College of Computing Sciences and Engineering. In the few years that followed, the Department of Construction Management was added to the college. As the years progressed and these programs all received public acclaim, the reorganized and renamed College of Computing, Engineering and Construction now consist of the School of Engineering, the School of Computing, and the Department of Construction Management.


Rapid growth in the Jacksonville area led a group of leaders in the local engineering community, organized as the UNF Engineering Advisory Council (EAC), to advocate for additional engineering programs. The efforts of the EAC, faculty, and administrators at UNF came to fruition with the approval of the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (BSCE) and the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) degree programs in 1999. In 2000 the first students were admitted to the BSCE program, and in 2001, the BSME program. All three programs applied for and received the much-coveted ABET accreditation. The three programs would now be known as the School of Engineering.  


In 2006, the School of Engineering and the Department of Construction Management relocated into a new, multi-storied Science and Engineering Building, and again in December 2017, into the Skinner-Jones Hall, providing faculty and students excellent laboratory space, study areas, office space, and equipment. The future is exceptionally bright and promising for these nationally recognized programs and reflects great credit upon the students, faculty, administrators, and the University of North Florida.