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Engineering: A Creative Profession, Serving Society

Professional Registration, and Review Courses
for the Professional Engineer and Fundamentals of Engineering Examinations
 

Page Contents:
Registration/Licensure Information

Continuing Education Requirements in PA

Examinations and Examination Dates

Applying to Take the Examinations

Calculators
Services for Penn State Students
Penn State Review Courses
Information Sources

 

 

Updates

(1/10/14) This page was updated to reflect the new registration and testing procedures for the FE exam that were implemented on January 1, 2014.

 

 

Registration/Licensure General Information
States license engineers just as they license other professions. The licensing process is designed to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public from fraudulent and unethical practitioners.

The College of Engineering encourages all engineers to work toward professional registration/licensure.  Licensure as a Professional Engineer, PE, indicates that the individual has met the testing and experience standards of their state registration board.  There are many reasons to become a registered PE, including: personal satisfaction and recognition, being permitted to offer engineering services to the public, and raising the overall level of engineering professionalism.

Achieving and maintaining registration is a multi-step process that involves:

bulletcompleting the general engineering education requirements
bulletpassing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE/EIT) Examination
bulletaccumulating the necessary experience
bulletpassing the Principles and Practices of Engineering (PE) Examination
bullet completing 24 hours of mandatory continuing education in each two-year license renewal cycle. For details see: http://www.engr.psu.edu/cde/FE_PE/Continuing_Education_for_PEs_in_PA.htm.

A similar path exists for land surveyors to attain licensure as a Professional Land Surveyor (PLS).

The PE and FE examinations are national examinations constructed by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, NCEES.

Click here to view a PowerPoint presentation, The Path to Licensure. This presentation, developed by the NCEES, presents the reasons for licensure and the various steps to licensure. It also contains information about the format and content of the FE and PE exams.

 

Examinations and Examination Dates

On January 1, 2014, the NCEES transitioned the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exams to computer-based testing. These exams are now administered exclusively at approved Pearson VUE test centers.

NCEES made this move because they felt that computer-based testing provided advantages for both examinees and the NCEES. For example, the move to computer-based testing allows examinees to schedule their exam at a time and location that work best for them and to receive their results within 7 to 10 days. With computer-based testing, the NCEES gains enhanced security and better uniformity in testing conditions.

 

The PE exam is a paper-based exam that is administered twice each year, in the Spring and Fall -- usually April and October. Future examination dates are:

Year April October
2014 11 24
2015 17 30
2016 15 28
2017 21 27
2018 13 26

 

For information about all NCEES exams, including the FE and the PE, go to http://ncees.org/exams/. There, you will find information about each state's approval and registration process and how to register for an exam. There are also links to each exam where you will find further information about the exam and how to register for it.

 

 

Applying to Take the Examinations
Anyone wishing to take one of the examinations must first apply and have their application approved. The application processes are different for the FE and the PE. Information about both follows.

 

Applying to take the FE examination - Pennsylvania FE examination candidates who have completed at least two years of an ABET-accredited engineering degree will apply directly to NCEES for approval and registration for the exam. Go to http://ncees.org/exams/fe-exam/ and follow the instructions.

 

Virtually all Penn State engineering students at University Park are in ABET-accredited degree programs. If you have any doubt, contact the Engineering Continuing Education office - see the bottom of the page for contact information.

 

Candidates who are applying without an ABET-accredited degree will need to apply to the Pennsylvania Board for approval prior to registering with NCEES to take the exam. This approval may be requested at any time. Applications are available for download at https://www.pcshq.com/.

 

For complete Pennsylvania FE eligibility requirements and application instructions, see https://www.pcshq.com/?page=engineeringandrelatedfields,PA-fe-unceesregistrationampeesschedulinginform.

 

What to do after passing the FE examination

(The following applies to persons wishing to be certified in Pennsylvania.)

Once a candidate has taken and passed the FE exam, they will be notified that they have passed. At this point, it is up to the individual to apply for certification as an Engineer In Training, EIT. After you have graduated, go to the following Professional Credential Services website and follow the instructions: https://www.pcshq.com/?page=engineeringandrelatedfields,fecerteligreq. Note that there is an Application and Certification fee of $110.

 

The application for certification requires that an official transcript be sent directly from the university to Professional Credential Services. Transcripts can be ordered at the PSU Registrar's website, http://www.registrar.psu.edu/.

 

It is important to apply for and receive one's EIT certificate, because issuance of the EIT certificate starts the clock on the minimum period of experience required before one can apply to take the PE Examination.

 

Applying to take the PE examination - Persons wishing to take an examination must submit their application to their state licensing board by the deadlines established by the board.  In Pennsylvania, the application deadlines are: December 1, for the April exam. and July 1, for the October exam. 

 

For complete Pennsylvania PE eligibility requirements and application instructions, see https://www.pcshq.com/?page=engineeringandrelatedfields,PA-pe.

General information about both examinations - The Pennsylvania State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists has engaged Professional Credential Services, PCS, for application processing, examination administration, and score reporting of the engineering and land surveying examinations. Engineering Examination Services, a division of PCS, coordinates the examinations. If you want to apply to take the engineer and land surveyor examinations in Pennsylvania or if you have specific questions, contact:

Professional Credential Services (PCS)

Engineering Examination Services
PA Engineering Coordinator
PO Box 198728
Nashville, TN 37219
Phone: 877-ENG-EXAM (877-364-3926) or 615-880-4226
Fax: 615-846-0153
Email: paengcord@pcshq.com
 

Please remember that, even though the examinations are standardized nationally, each state still administers its own licensing process.  Therefore, rules and procedures (for example, who can take the examinations, experience requirements, etc.) can, and do, vary across states.  Please be sure that you understand the requirements for the state in which you want to be licensed.  If you have any questions about a state's rules, contact that state's licensing board for clarifications - click here for links to all state boards.  For a direct link to the web page for the Pennsylvania State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists, click here.

bullet Click here for links to all state boards.
bullet Click here for the Pennsylvania Board's home page.
bullet Click here to proceed directly to Pennsylvania licensure information.

 

 

Restrictions on What May be Taken Into the Examination Room

The examining board restricts certain items from the examination room. Here are a few of the restrictions.

 

Calculators -- Beware! NCEES only allows certain calculators to be used for the examinations. See the list of approved calculators at http://www.ncees.org/Exams/Exam-day_policies/Calculator_policy.php.  If you bring a calculator that is not on the approved list to the exam, you will not be allowed to bring it into the room and you will have to take the exam without a calculator. Only a few makes and models are approved, so do not assume that yours is on the list -- check.

 

Other Restricted Items -- In addition to the calculator restrictions, NCEES also prohibits other items in the exam room. Also prohibited, per NCEES, are: "Any device having a QWERTY keypad arrangement similar to a typewriter or keyboard is prohibited. Devices with communication capabilities are prohibited. These include but are not limited to cameras; cell phones; desktop, hand-help, laptop, and palmtop computers; databanks; data collectors; organizers; pagers or beepers; PDAs; radios; headsets; tape players; portable fax machines; calculator watches; reproduction equipment; electronic dictionaries; electronic translators; and recorders." You cannot bring pencils, lead, or erasers to the exam. Pencils and erasers will be supplied.  Click here for details.

 

Services for Penn State Students
The College of Engineering's Continuing Education office provides support to Penn State students taking the FE examination. To view information specific to Penn State students planning to apply for and take the FE examination, go to the following website http://www.engr.psu.edu/cde/FE_PE/support.htm.

 

Penn State Review Courses
To help engineers prepare for the licensing examinations, Penn State offers FE and PE review courses at sites throughout Pennsylvania. The reviews are usually presented from September to April. To see a list of available Penn State review courses, sites, and times, go to http://www.engr.psu.edu/cde/FE_PE/local_review.htm.

 


Information Sources
Following are several excellent sources of information for anyone planning to take either the FE or PE Exam.

bulletNCEES - a wealth of information about licensure and the structure and coverage of the examinations.
bullet The Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers, PSPE - licensure information and items of interest to engineers in Pennsylvania.
bullet Professional Publications - study guides, an exam forum, and FAQs.
bullet Tips on preparing for and taking the Control Systems Engineering, CSE, PE examination - Authored by Penn State EE grad. Robert Shaw, this page is a valuable reference for anyone preparing to take the CSE PE exam. Even though it is specific to the CSE PE exam, It is worth a look for anyone who is planning to take a PE exam. or who is having trouble finding review materials.
 
 

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Penn State University
Office of Continuing and Distance Education in Engineering
301-A Engineering Unit C
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 865-7643   Fax: (814) 865-3969
E-mail: masdo@engr.psu.edu

This site was last updated 05/28/14