The licensure process to become a Professional Engineer generally requires three steps.

  1. The candidate for licensure must pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. This exam is designed for recent college graduates and students who are close to finishing an undergraduate engineering degree from an EAC/ABET-accredited program.
  2. In most states, the candidate must gain four years of relevant work experience under a licensed Professional Engineer. Some states allow graduate engineering degrees or other special circumstances to substitute for a portion of the required work experience, but the general principle of requiring relevant and progressive work experience as a part of the licensure process exists in some form in all states.
  3. The candidate must take the Principals and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam, which is designed to test for a minimum level of competency in a particular engineering discipline. Sitting for the PE exam also requires letters of recommendation from licensed Professional Engineers with direct knowledge of the candidate's ability and fitness for licensure.

In all states and in the District of Columbia, an ABET-accredited degree satisfies the educational requirement. 

This document provides additional information about licensing as a Professional Engineer in all 50 states and DC.

The following McKelvey Engineering undergraduate degree programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET and satisfy the educational requirement for licensure as a Professional Engineer in all states and DC:

  • Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Systems Science & Engineering

The following McKelvey Engineering undergraduate degree programs are not accredited by ABET, and we have not determined whether they satisfy the educational requirement for licensure as a Professional Engineer. 

  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Science (Chemical Engineering)
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Science (Electrical Engineering)
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Science (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Science (Systems Science & Engineering)
  • Bachelor of Science in Business + Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science + Economics
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science + Math
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering

There are advantages of becoming a licensed Professional Engineer

As demonstrated by the data in the table below, the majority of students earning engineering degrees choose not to become licensed, and they have successful and satisfying careers.  Deciding to complete the steps necessary to become licensed is a very personal decision, with no right or wrong answer.

Twice each year, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) sends us the number of our graduates who have taken the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam and the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam.  Below is a table that lists five years of combined data for each exam taken.  For informational purposes, the total number of degrees awarded during that same time period are also displayed.  Note that some of the reported FE and PE exam takers listed below would have earned their degrees before 2015, so it would be imprecise to directly associate the number of exam takers with the number of degrees awarded, but it does allow for some general comparisons.

Five Years of Combined Data for BS Degrees

BME

ChE

EE

ME

SSE

2015-2019 NCEES Reported WUSTL FE Exam Takers

2

50

12

79

9

2015-2019 NCEES Reported WUSTL PE Exam Takers

1

14

15

38

1

2015-2019 WUSTL Degrees Awarded

345

207

137

352

176