About Us

Minnesota State University, Mankato's Automotive Engineering Technology (AET) Program offers the opportunity to turn passions into a profession. 

The primary goal of the AET program is to provide all graduates with the solid technical foundation necessary to ensure their success in a wide variety of employment opportunities. To accomplish this goal, program outcomes and objectives are defined and assessed for continuous improvement.

History of Automotive Engineering Technology


The Industrial Technology (IT) Program is the grandfather of the Automotive Engineering Technology Program. Like most universities across the country, at Minnesota State University, Mankato, the closest thing to a degree in AET was a bachelor s degree in IT. In 1971, only two automotive–related courses even existed at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Well, times they do change and so did the faculty. Some of the new faculty had experience with and a passion for automotive engineering. They wanted to share their passion and experience with their students. Automotive course offerings were added on a continual basis until, by 1975, a concentration of seven automotive–related courses existed. Some students specialized in this new concentration, eventually gaining employment in the automotive industry. As enthusiasm for the automotive concentration grew, design projects became an integral portion of the curriculum in 1974.


As automotive design projects progressed to higher levels of sophistication and technology they required modern labs. Additional space and state–of–the–art equipment was necessary to support both the basic curriculum and the design projects. New labs were developed and equipment was acquired using department funds and a number of research grants from state and external sources.

The Automotive Engineering Technology Program grew and became an official concentration under the Industrial Technology degree in the 1986–87 Bulletin. One year later, the AET concentration option was offered under the new Manufacturing Engineering Technology (MET) Program. Finally, in the 1988–89 Bulletin, Automotive Engineering Technology was presented as an official major.

AET and MET became equally strong programs, and both considered applying for accreditation from the Technology Accreditation Commission –Accredited by Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org (TAC–ABET). It was decided to apply for accreditation only for the Manufacturing Engineering Technology Program because; the MET Program was slightly larger than the AET Program, three of the four faculty members had manufacturing backgrounds compared to only one faculty member with an automotive background, the MET Program had more competition from other accredited programs than did the AET program. The MET accreditation was awarded by TAC–ABET effective in 1989.

1990's and 2000's

Politics, technology, and its terminology continued to change. The AET Program is now part of the Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering Technology (AMET) Department under Minnesota State University, Mankato s College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

The AET Program applied to the TAC–ABET in 1994 and was accredited in 1995, 2002 and 2008.


The AET Program continues to attract students from all parts of the United States and the world. Faculty and staff are dedicated to effective and innovative teaching and individual study to maintain their professional currency. Customized research areas provide state–of–the–art equipment and space necessary for a variety of student design projects and student competition vehicles. Students, faculty, and staff, in partnership with government and business, apply new research in vehicle design on a daily basis. Technology is continuously advancing and Minnesota State University, Mankato is a leader in Automotive Engineering Technology research, design, and training. The University is positioned to remain a leader in this area for a very long time.

Program Outcomes

AET students at the time of graduation are prepared to:

  • apply knowledge of science, math, statistics, and engineering technology to solve problems encountered in a professional career in the automotive industry.
  • design, analyze and build virtual and real models, and conduct testing in product development environments through applied computer technologies.
  • define and communicate a set of requirements for a system, component or process and develop solutions to satisfy given criteria in an optimal fashion using creativity in design.
  • function effectively as a manager, leader, or member of a team.
  • understand and practice professional, ethical, environmental, and global responsibilities.
  • communicate effectively across all design and management interface levels of an organization.
  • recognize the need for and then develop the skills for life-long learning.
  • understand and engage in behavior which respects diversity and global cultures.
  • practice timeliness and quality with regard to work requirements.

Program Objectives

AET graduates two to three years into their careers should have the foundation to:

  • deliver products, services, and support to both internal and external organizations by applying technical knowledge, problem solving techniques and hands-on skills in traditional and emerging technologies.
  • actively participate in on-going professional development, professional growth, and increasing professional responsibility.
  • effectively communicate ideas to technical and non-technical people.
  • perform in or manage cross-functional teams.
  • work within the accepted standards of professional integrity and conduct.
  • design, analyze, build, and test virtual or real models in product development and continuous improvement environments.
  • implement, and continuously improve cost, quality, time, and goals using world class management methodologies.

Student Enrollment Facts

  2013 - 2014 2014 - 2015 2015 - 2016 2016 - 2017 2017 - 2018 2018 - 2019
Newly Declared Undergraduate First-Time Students 34 43 58 46 18 32
Newly Declared Undergraduate Transfer Students 26 25 25 17 41 16
Graduating Seniors 29 33 29 35 26 29
Total Student Enrollment 161 185 206 183 181 161
Employment or Continuing Education Within 1 Year of Graduation 89.50% 100% 100% 92% 100%

Data from Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment

Based on Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment survey respondents with full-time employment or continuing education.

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