Professional Registration

Engineers must have a professional engineering license (obtained after passing two examinations and also having 4 years of suitable experience) to practice engineering in each state of the U.S. While not required for all Environmental Engineering jobs, licensure is important for environmental engineers because they are responsible for public safety in much of their work. Most states and communities require that a registered engineer give final approval to all plans and specifications for engineering projects.

Students can take the first step towards obtaining their Professional Engineering (PE) license while still a senior at Cornell. Students are eligible during their last term to take Part A of the nationwide examination, the “Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Examination.” Successful completion earns the title "Intern Engineer" (often also called “Engineer-in-Training”). Because Part A emphasizes fundamental knowledge gained in engineering distribution courses and core courses, there is a comparative advantage in taking this exam during your last term, while this material is still relatively “fresh” in your memory.

Please be sure to have BEE or CEE notified of your exam results so we receive the feedback we need to document the success of our graduates.

Success or failure in this examination has no bearing on your academic standing at Cornell.

Students can sign up to take the Fundamental of Engineering (FE) exam held throughout the year in consecutive months starting each January & February with one month between the next pair of active months, i.e., no exams given in March, but April & May, not June, etc. Students sign up directly with the NCEES site (see Each state has Pearson testing centers (similar to GRE exam or SAT’s); in NY, the closest exam sites are: 421-423 E. Main Street, Endicott, NY, and 6700 Kirkville Rd, E. Syracuse, NY. There are fees paid to both NCEES and NY State associated with the registration (total ~$200). Once the nationally conducted FE exam is passed, it is valid forever and is valid in any state for Professional Engineering registration (requires an additional 4 years of experience under another registered engineer).

Part B of the examination may be taken after four years for engineering students who have suitable engineering experience after passing Part A. Successful completion of Part B will give you the title "Professional Engineer" in the state where you took the Part B exam. With some exceptions registration in other states may usually be obtained by reciprocity rather than taking another exam.

BEE/ENGRC 5330, Engineering Professionalism, prepares the student for the general national FE Examination. FE review homework addresses FE exam preparation, and students complete the formal comprehensive review of engineering subjects associated with the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam.