Obtaining US Licensure as a Non-US Engineer

Frequently Asked Questions
on Obtaining US Licensure as a Non-US Engineer

I am a practicing engineer in another country. I want to become licensed in the United States. What is my first step?

In the US, engineering licensing is administered by each individual state, not by a federal agency. So the first step is to determine the state in which you want to become licensed and practice. Then contact that state's licensing board. Each state acts independently to set its own education, experience, and residency requirements, so you will need to find out what is required by the state you have selected.


My engineering degree is from an institution outside the United States. Will the state board accept this degree?

States have different requirements in this regard. In nearly all cases, however, you will need to have your academic credentials evaluated.

How do I have my degree(s) evaluated?

Contact Engineering Credential Evaluation International (ECEI) at www.ecei.org. The ECEI is part of the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET), which is responsible for accrediting US engineering programs.

What will I be required to produce for this evaluation?

ECEI requires the following:

  • A completed application form (available on their website) that has been signed and notarized
  • Official transcripts and degree verification sent directly from the institution
  • Original diploma and transcript issued to you when you graduated
  • An official English word-for-word translation if the original documents are not in English
  • Syllabi or course descriptions
  • A processing fee (in US funds)

Once I submit all these things to ECEI, how long will the evaluation process take?

The ECEI states that the evaluation generally takes about six weeks from the time all the required documents are received.

What will the ECEI evaluation say?

The evaluation will indicate whether your academic degree(s) are "substantially equivalent" to ABET-accredited engineering degree(s) in the United States.

Will all states accept my academic credentials if they are approved by ECEI?

Not necessarily. You must check with your state board to determine whether this will satisfy the education requirement.

May I sit for the exam outside the United States?

As a rule, no. You may speak with your state board about alternate arrangements, but most states do not make provisions for administering the exam outside the United States.