[Some of this text is taken verbatim from the NCEES website ]
To advance in your career as an engineer, many disciplines will require that you have a professional engineering license. By law, many jurisdictions require engineers to be licensed in order to practice. The road to licensure is multi-step: 1) Take and pass the Fundamental of Engineering (FE) exam, 2) relevant design experience for several years under a licensed professional, and 3) take and pass the Practice of Engineering (PE) exam.
The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is a measure of minimum competency to enter the profession. Employers hiring recent engineering graduates often look to see if the applicant has successfully passed the FE exam. Passing the exam also demonstrates how serious you are about your engineering career. This exam used to be called the EIT (Engineer-in-Training) exam and is still widely referred to as the EIT exam.
The FE exam consists of two parts -- one part in the morning that has questions about general engineering and engineering pre-requisites (for example, calculus, physics, and chemistry). In the afternoon, you have the choice of a test that is more specific to a single engineering discipline, for example the civil engineering test, or to take a general engineering exam again. The exam is multiple choice and closed book, but a booklet with equations will be given to you. Professor Garlock has some review materials that you can use and the engineering library is looking into purchasing some as well. More specific information about the test may be found at NCEES.
You need to apply to take the exam, which can be taken in any state (the exam is the same in all states but the application procedure is a little different). The NJ application requires (among more basic information) a passport-style photo, three references (including one reference who is a licensed PE), and notarization by a Notary Public. The exam is offered twice a year: April and October. The application deadlines are several months in advance as indicated in the table below:
|Exam Date||New Jersey||New York||Pennsylvania|
|April 14, 2012||Nov 14, 2011||Nov 1, 2011||Dec 1, 2011|
|October 27, 2012||July 3, 2012 (?)||June 1, 2012 (?)||July 1, 2012 (?)|
|April 13, 2013||Nov 13, 2012 (?)||Nov 1, 2012 (?)||Dec 1, 2012 (?)|
|October 26, 2013||July 2, 2013 (?)||June 1, 2012 (?)||July 1, 2012 (?)|
The application can be found online or it can be mailed to you by calling the state in which you plan to take the exam. It does not matter what state you take the exam; the exam is the same and it absolutely will not make a difference when you apply for the PE. The closest exam locations to Princeton are Hamilton, N.J., and Philadelphia, PA. The following table has some links and phone numbers that provide information on the application:
|New York||http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/pels/||518-474-3817 (x250)|
It is recommended that you take the exam your senior year in college. You're most prepared and in test-taking mode while you're in your final year of the engineering program. After that the passing rate declines as shown below:
For more detailed information, please visit: http://www.ncees.org/Exams/FE_exam.php