The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam is the first step for civil engineering students to attain a Professional Engineer (PE) license. The exam is offered online via test centers and students will be able to schedule this exam at a time and location that is convenient.
Engineering students who are within 12 months of graduating are eligible to take the FE Exam.
The FE is a 6 hour exam which focuses on all areas of civil engineering. Students may review specific content of the exam on the NCEES website. To assist students in preparing for this exam, Virginia Tech offers a 2 credit, online, pass/fail review class. This course will review the general engineering content for the exam and has specific civil engineering problems. The course is ESM 4404 ~ Fundamentals of Professional Engineering, which is offered during the spring semester only. These credits will not count towards a student’s engineering degree, as the course duplicates material learned in other coursework at Virginia Tech.
We encourage students to plan to take the FE Exam in their senior year. The CEE Department at Virginia Tech holds a very high pass rate for the exam, well above the national average. In April of 2013, students who took the civil discipline specific portion of the exam had a 93% pass rate compared to the national average of 80%.
Students will never be more prepared to pass the FE Exam than in their senior year of their BSCE curriculum. If the decision is made to take the exam later, it will likely require much more preparation time to be successful.