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Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam:  How to Register and Prepare

The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing professional licensure for engineers and surveyors.  Learn more about the importance of professional licensure, as well as the process at

There is a general four-step process to become a Professional Engineer (PE):

  • Earn a degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program.
  • Pass the FE exam.  (FE exam can be taken prior to graduation)
  • Gain acceptable work experience (typically a minimum of four years). In most cases, this must be completed under the supervision of a PE.
  • Pass the PE exam in the appropriate discipline.


NCEES develops, administers, and scores the examinations used for engineering, Fundamentals of Engineering (FE), and surveying licensure, Fundamentals of Surveying (FS), in the United States.  The exam of interest to engineering undergraduates is the FE. 


Information on the FE exam and how to register -

Environmental FE exam specifications -


The FE is offered in multiple disciplines.  Seniors are strongly encouraged to take the FE exam sometime in their final semester before graduation.  EEE students should review the topics of the FE Environmental exam and prepare accordingly.  If desired, an FE Environmental Online Practice Exam can be purchased.

The FE exam is a computer based test (CBT).  Explore the CBT FE and FS exams by watching video demonstrations.  These videos can help students to “visualize” taking the exam and determine a time management strategy. 


It is recommended that students obtain the FE Reference Handbook to become familiar with it prior to their exam day.  It includes charts, formulas, tables, and other reference information needed during the exam.  An electronic version will be available onscreen during the actual exam. Printed copies are not available or allowed in the exam room.  FE Reference Handbook, version 9.5: to purchase.  

It is also recommended that students own at least one hardcopy of a basic environmental engineering book.  One such book is Introduction to Environmental Engineering by Davis and Cornwell (McGraw-Hill).  (An older version is fine.) 

Other resources

The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) has developed a succinct document explaining why professional licensure is important.  See it at

The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) has developed a document explaining when one can take the PE Exam, by state requirement.  See it at When Can I Take the PE Exam.pdf

Chi Epsilon FE Review Session Schedule - (It is strongly recommended that students reference the “Kickoff slides” found on this page.) These sessions are open to everyone who has registered for the FE exam.  No preregistration required. There are no sessions specifically on environmental engineering, but some topics are applicable.

SEEE and/or EEE SAC may sponsor some environmental-based sessions.  This is TBA.

FE Environmental Engineering Review Manual - The EEE office has this manual available for check out - all 754 pages!.  Seniors are welcome to this manual for loan for a 72hr period to review and study.  The manual includes sample questions for each test section of the exam, and step by step solutions are provided.  See Tammi Thayer in the EEE office to check out the manual.

Purdue College of Engineering -

Purdue Testing Center – While the Purdue Testing Center is a certified Pearson VUE testing center, students can select any certified center.