Most professions, such as engineering, law, medicine, etc., have procedures for licensing of practitioners. In engineering, the procedure is called “registration” or “professional registration”. It is a legal process, governed by the State of New Jersey and by other states in the USA. Many countries around the world have similar processes, and other countries are developing procedures to ensure the public safety through this technique.
In all states, registration is a two-step process. The first step is to take and pass the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) examination, also called the EIT (Engineer-in-Training) examination. The second step is to take and pass the P&P (Principles and Practice) examination in a specialized field (such as Electrical, Civil, Mechanical, etc.).
The first and best time for a registration applicant to take the FE examination in New Jersey is during the last term before graduation with a B.S. (Both Juniors and Seniors are eligible to take the exam, Seniors have more experience and therefore it may be easier.) Admission to the P&P examination requires professional experience-- in industry, consulting, faculty service, etc. The F.E. exam is offered by the New Jersey State Board each semester (usually in October and April). Passing this exam is the first step toward registration as a professional engineer.
FOR FIRST TIME CANDIDATES (students): Before registering for the exam, you must fill out an "Engineer in Training" application form (also called a scheduling form - see below) and send it to the NJ State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (Application Form is available here under "Engineer in Training Application". Once this application is received, you will receive an application number with a packet which describes how to complete your registration. Only then can you sit for the EIT/FE exam. More information about this process is listed below.
Starting January 2014, the FE exam will move to an online format. For more information, see FE Exam Specifications.
FE review classes are given by the School of Engineering, Continuing Education Program. Review classes are held at Rutgers and there is a special discount to currently enrolled Rutgers Students (~$500 per student, ~$900 for non-students). Review classes begin in February. Classes are limited. The next session review classes are over the summer preceding the October EIT/FE exam. More information on that will be forthcoming.
Additional Information And Advice Regarding The Application Process:
Obtain a copy of the "Engineer-in-Training" application from. Carefully follow instructions for completing the application under "Directions to apply for consideration as an Engineer-in-Training", and mail to the N.J. State Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors. Payment should be by certified check or money order. Make sure you also complete the “ Child Support Questions” which should be included in the application.
To complete the application you must provide three references, one of which must have a valid U.S. processional engineer’s license (P.E.). Check the listings of faculty in the current Rutgers – New Brunswick Undergraduate Catalog, for faculty in your department with the P.E.’s. The application must also be notarized by a valid Notary Public. Check with your department office for assistance.
After your application has been received by the State Board you will be assigned an application number. At that time go to the Rutgers University Records and Transcripts Office (ASB 200L) and complete the form to have an official transcript sent to the State Board. Indicate your application number on the form so that it will be written on your transcript.
Currently enrolled undergraduates must have a letter sent by the college to the State Board which verifies academic status and anticipated graduation date. Visit EN – B100 to arrange for this letter to be sent after you have received your application number from the State Board. Make sure to give your application number which must appear on the college letter.
If you have already graduated and your degree is posted on your academic transcript, you do not need a supplemental letter. The information on your transcript will suffice. Upcoming October and January graduates who are applying for the next exam should submit the letter described in item 4.
All supporting documents, including transcripts, college letter, and reference letters, must include your application number and must be post marked to the State Board by the posted deadline. Plan to arrive at the exam early. Doors are locked at the designated time.
After graduation you must send a final official transcript to the State Board. Include your application number. Make sure you wait until degree information has been posted on your transcript before sending it. The State Board will not inform you if your application is incomplete. If you have any doubts, call their “Status Department” at (973) 504-6460.
Who should take the F.E. Exam? Most Civil Engineers take the exam. Other majors who are considering a career in consulting or public service should take it. Some people feel that all engineers should be licensed and therefore take the exam. See your advisor, undergraduate director or any trusted professor for advice.
In addition to the F.E. exam, a short “Law Exam” must also be completed prior to receiving the P.E. license. This exam may be taken at the time of the F.E. exam, the P.E. exam, or anytime between the two exams. The exam is based on the contents of a booklet entitled “Statutes and Regulations” which will be mailed to you by the State Board. Whenever you decide to take the “Law Exam”, make sure you study the booklet before you sit for the exam.
To learn more about the actual F.E. exam and how to prepare for it, visit NCEES. This is the website of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Another useful site is EITexam.