The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam is a 5 hour and 20 minute, multiple-choice, knowledge-based exam administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).
The FE Exam covers subject matter taught in a typical baccalaureate engineering program accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (www.abet.org). Students may choose from computer-based exams in the following seven categories: chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical and computer engineering, environmental engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, and other disciplines. The FE appropriately covers a comprehensive range of subjects in engineering. Professional licensing requires, as the first step, that a student successfully pass the FE exam.
After passing the FE exam, students must obtain at least 4 years of experience deemed acceptable to their licensing board and successfully pass a Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam. The PE exams go beyond testing academic knowledge and require knowledge gained in engineering practice.
While students graduating in all ABET-accredited majors are invited to take the FE exam prior to graduation, six of the college’s major programs (architectural, civil, chemical, chemical & biological, environmental, and mechanical) encourage their students to take the exam, and some require it for graduation. The college summarizes student performance by major in a series of charts and graphs, which not only show overall pass rates, but analyze student performance at the level of specific topic areas (e.g., mathematics, engineering mechanics, strength of materials, thermodynamics, etc.). These analyses compare the performance of CU students taking the exam to nationwide performance. Programs use these data to assess the extent to which students are being adequately prepared in the topic areas deemed to be most essential.