Fundamentals of Engineering Information for CEE Students
The FE exam is typically the first step in the process leading to the P.E. license. It is designed for students who are close to finishing an undergraduate engineering degree. The exam is created by NCEES (the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying) and administered by state agencies. In Oregon, the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying, or OSBEELS, oversees the exams. Starting in 2014 the exam will be a computer based test (CBT) administered four different times a year. Students can sit for the exam when they are near completion of their BS degree or have graduated from an ABET-accredited institution, like PSU. Read more about the FE exam on the NCEES website, including FAQs about the new CBT.
The schedule for exams is available on the OSBEELS website. Students can take the exam prior to graduating, and are allowed a maximum of 10 months after the exam date to submit proof of graduation to OSBEELS in order to retrieve exam results. We do not recommended scheduling the exam more than 6 months before the anticipated graduation date. With this new schedule, students should consider the best timing to take the exam for their individual situation. Things to consider when deciding the ideal timing are your strength of knowledge base in the core (math, chemistry, physics, thermodynamics, economics, statistics) and degree specific (structural, environmental, geotechnical, transportation) materials, anticipated graduation date, and when you will have time and resources to study and prepare, which could include access to the winter term FE Review course. Application and exam windows are noted in the table below.
It is important to note that the FE exam is administered by state agencies: here in Oregon, the Oregon Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying (OSBEELS) oversees the FE Exam. Applications for the exam can be found on the OSBEELS website, and should be downloaded from that source to make sure it is the most current version.
Test Date Windows during which the tests are available:
January and February
April and May
July and August
October and November
Students applying prior to graduation will fill out the "Senior Standing Application", which requires CEE department verification of your projected graduation date. It generally takes one week to process the application and return it to the student; and is the student's responsibility to pick up the application and submit it to OSBEELS. There are no longer exam application deadlines, but it is recommended to apply a month or two before the desired exam date to ensure adequate processing time. The CEE Department recommends that students apply to take an exam close to or just after their projected graduation date, when course materials are still fresh.
Students who have already graduated from an ABET-accredited BSCE or BSENVE program do not need the CEE Department to verify anything on the application. Simply fill out the application titled "Short Form Application" and submit it with a copy of your official transcripts from the degree awarding institution.
The CBT exam fee is $225 to register with NCEES. Additional fees may be required to register with your state licensing board. OSBEELS does not currently charge a fee to apply for the exam. More information about the CBT and OSBEELS can be found on their fact sheet (PDF).
Once your application has been received by OSBEELS, they will contact you directly via email to give you information about how to register for the exam. Any questions about this process or expected response time line should be directed to OSBEELS. The CEE Department does not have any oversight over this.
The CEE Department has an excellent pass rate for current students sitting for the FE Exam. Historically, we have led the national average by between 10 and 20 points. The coursework and studying required for your degree is designed to prepare you for your career, which includes sitting for and passing the FE Exam. But many students want an opportunity to review pertinent information prior to taking the FE Exam.
The CEE Department offers an FE Exam Review course in class every winter term, and online spring, summer, and fall terms. This course is a seminar-style, non-credit course, with each section taught by a faculty expert in that area. You can find out more about this review course.
The NCEES sets exam day policies. Familiarize yourself with this information before the exam so you can be ready when the day arrives!
Computer Based Tests are proctored by Pearson VUE testing centers. OSBEELS will notify you of your test site options.
Yay! You took the exam! OSBEELS will release your test results as soon as you provide them with official documentation showing you have earned a BSCE or BSENVE degree from an ABET-accredited institution. If you are a current PSU student, be sure to apply for your degree two terms prior to your anticipated date of graduation. After your final term, check your unofficial transcripts online: login in to banweb.pdx.edu and using your ODIN login information to get to your student information. As soon as your transcripts show awarded degree information, including the date awarded, your official transcripts will too. That's the time to get the official copy sent to OSBEELS!
OSBEELS is a state agency, and they are really strict about deadlines. Please familiarize yourself with their rules so you aren't surprised by the deadlines and rules when they come up. Here is a helpful link to various Oregon Administrative Rules, as they apply to the FE exam.
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