Qualifying to Take the NCEES PE Exam

Educational and Residency Requirements

Do all states have the same education requirements?

No. Each state acts independently to set its own education experience, and residency requirements. States can have widely different requirements in these areas.

Do I need a degree to take the PE exam?
Some states require that you have a BS degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program, with no exceptions. Other states permit you to take the PE exam with an engineering technology, physics, math, or chemistry degree, or without any degree at all, providing you meet experience requirements. These requirements are nearly always greater for applicants without an accredited engineering degree.

What does "ABET-accredited" mean?
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, or ABET, periodically reviews, surveys, and visits U.S. institutions with engineering and engineering technology degree programs. If ABET's criteria are met, the degree program becomes accredited for a certain number of years.

What is the EAC?
The Engineering Accreditation Commission, or EAC, is the body within ABET that performs the accreditation function and determines acreditation actions for engineering.

How can I find out if my degree is accredited?
ABET lists EAC-accredited programs on their web site. Your state board is also aware of which programs are accredited and might be willing to tell you over the phone.

What if my engineering degree was obtained before my engineering program became accredited?
If your degree program became accredited after you graduated, your degree is unaccredited.

What if some of the engineering programs at my university are accredited, but my particular degree program was not?
Your degree is unaccredited.

What if my degree is from a foreign university?
Degrees from foreign universities are accepted in some states. However, in some instances, it is difficult to convince your state board that your international degree is equivalent to an ABET-accredited degree. Numerous agreements with organizations worldwide like the Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), enable some foreign universities to become ABET-accredited. To learn more about receiving an evaluation of your foreign engineering credentials, contact Engineering Credential Evaluation International (ECEI) at www.ecei.org.

What if I have a MS engineering degree from an ABET-accredited university, but my BS degree is not accredited?
Contact your state board. States handle this situation differently.

Can I take the PE exam with a math, physics, or chemistry degree?
In some states, yes; in others, no. Contact your state board. The experience requirement may be greater than for someone with an ABET-accredited 4-year engineering degree.

I have an engineering technology degree. Can I take the PE exam?
In some states, yes; in others, no. Contact your state board. The experience requirement may be greater than for someone with an ABET-accredited 4-year engineering degree.

Can I take the PE exam if (a) I have a 2-year technical degree, (b) I have completed some courses toward an engineering degree, or (c) I have no degree?
In some states, yes; in others, no. Contact your state board. The experience requirement will usually greater than for someone with an ABET-accredited 4-year engineering degree.

I have a military education. Can I take the exam?
It depends on what is meant by "military education." A 4-year engineering degree from West Point or the Naval Academy is probably accredited. However, AIT-type "military training" that is more trade-oriented is essentially the same as no degree at all. Contact your state board. The experience requirement may be greater than for someone with an ABET-accredited 4-year engineering degree.

Residency Requirements

Do I have to live in the state in which I take the FE and PE exams?
Contact your state board. A few states have residency requirements. Most do not, however, since it is common for consulting engineers to be registered in adjoining states.

 


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