October 2021 exam administration updates

NCEES is closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the October 2021 pencil-and-paper exam administration. The exam administration will take place over two days—Thursday, October 21 and Friday, October 22.* All exam site locations are currently proceeding with reduced capacity restrictions in place. Changes to state and local requirements that further reduce capacities for groups and events may impact the number of examinees that are able to test at a specific site. NCEES will continue to monitor these changes between now and exam day.

October 2021 exam site procedures regarding COVID-19
To help ensure the health, safety, and welfare of examinees and proctoring teams, NCEES is implementing the following measures for the October 2021 exam administration. Examinees who enter the exam site must follow these guidelines on exam day.

  • Examinees will be seated alone and properly distanced from other tables.
  • Examinees and proctors are required to wear face masks at all times. This is required at all exam sites including locations with no local or state face mask mandates.** Face shields may not be used as a substitute for face masks but may be worn in addition to face masks. Face coverings must be removed for proper identification when instructed by a proctor. Proctors may visually inspect face coverings.
  • Examinees must practice social distancing at all times.
  • Examinees will be allowed to have hand sanitizer and wipes, extra face coverings, and disposable gloves in the exam room; they must be placed on the floor during the exam.
  • Examinees understand that they will be dismissed from the exam and their exam scores will be invalidated if they do not adhere to the COVID-19 safety requirements for this site.
  • Examinees understand that they are allowed to lower masks to eat or drink for brief moments as defined by the proctors and that proctors will issue a warning to examinees before they are dismissed.

NCEES will not require a signed form or ask about an examinee’s health and well-being on exam day. However, people who are sick or suspect they are sick should not enter the exam site.

Current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state the following in regard to COVID-19 exposure:

  • Quarantine if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19, unless you have been fully vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3–5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

Exam specifications and design standards
Current exam specifications and design standards are listed on https://ncees.org/engineering/pe/.

Exam administration format
Registration for the October 2021 pencil-and-paper exam administration closed at 3:00 p.m. EDT on August 26. Exams will be administered on the day assigned as follows:

Thursday, October 21, 2021
Civil: Construction
Civil: Transportation
Civil: Water Resources and Environmental
SE Vertical Forces Bridges
SE Vertical Forces Buildings

Friday, October 22, 2021
Control Systems
Civil: Geotechnical
Civil: Structural
Metallurgical/Materials
SE Lateral Forces Bridges
SE Lateral Forces Buildings

All sites for the October 2021 exam administration must operate in compliance with capacity and social distancing requirements. In most cases, this will reduce the number of examinees that can be accommodated at an exam site. Examinees will be allowed to complete the registration process only when a seat is available for their selected site. Capacity and social distancing requirements are subject to change at any time. Any changes that require a further reduction in capacity may result in the cancellation of your exam registration. Please be aware that every effort will be made to accommodate all registered examinees in a manner that protects the health and safety of everyone involved.

Click here for information about registering.

*Overseas sites will maintain their normal testing procedures. Please contact your testing agency for further instruction.

**Reasonable accommodations are available for examinees who meet certain eligibility criteria and sufficiently document their request. Examinees who have been diagnosed with a condition that rises to the level of a disability that prevents the use of a face mask or covering may submit a request for accommodations and their supporting documentation for consideration.


NCEES announces new Records option for military families seeking comity licensure

NCEES is pleased to announce that it has added a new option to the NCEES Records program to assist military families with the comity licensure process. Starting April 27, active-duty military and their spouses are eligible to transmit their NCEES Record to a state licensing board at no charge when military orders require them to relocate to that state.

The NCEES Records program is designed for currently licensed engineers and surveyors who are looking for an easier and faster way to complete the comity licensure process in another U.S. state or territory. Once established, an individual’s Record includes most—if not all—of the materials needed to apply for comity licensure in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“This new no-cost option will help members of the military and their spouses by simplifying and expediting the comity licensure process in their new state,” explained NCEES Chief Executive Officer David Cox. “Military transmittals will include a special designation to alert the receiving licensing board of their priority status. Applying for comity licensure through the NCEES Records program can often be completed and a license issued within a matter of days.”

An individual’s NCEES Record is a verified compilation of his or her official academic transcripts, full employment history, professional references, and exam results. It is commonly used by licensed engineers and surveyors to document completion of the education, experience, and examination requirements shared by all U.S. engineering and surveying licensing boards. In 2019–20, almost 40,000 engineers and surveyors transmitted their information to a state licensing board through the program.

Patty Mamola, P.E., executive director of the Nevada State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors noted, “Comity licensure is one of the most critical issues facing licensing boards today. Having additional options that allow us to specifically support our military and ease their transition to a new state is huge.”

Active-duty military and their spouses who are interested in learning more about the NCEES Records program or how to use it when they are restationed in a new state or territory should visit ncees.org/records or email military@ncees.org for more information.

Download the news release (PDF).


April 2021 Licensure Exchange

Read the latest issue of Licensure Exchange, the NCEES publication dedicated to opinions and ideas regarding the licensure of engineers and surveyors.

  • From the President: NCEES adapts zone and annual meetings for COVID-19
  • Enforcement Beat: Unlicensed practice as a construction manager may not be obvious
  • Member Board Brief—Board operations: business as usual in unusual times
  • Exam News: Virtual meetings keep exam development moving forward
  • Headquarters Update: State of the Council presentations introduced to keep member boards informed
  • NCEES preparing to select winners for the 2021 Engineering and Surveying Education awards
  • NCEES outreach
  • Member board news and upcoming events
  • NCEES continues centennial celebration
  • NCEES annual report and Squared now available

Download the April 2021 issue (PDF).

Browse the Licensure Exchange archives.


Update on January 2021 exam results

All results from the January 2021 PE Civil exams were released to NCEES member licensing boards on February 16. How and when examinees receive their results varies by state. Some boards use NCEES Exam Administration Services to release the results directly to examinees. Some release them through another testing service such as PCS. Other boards release the results themselves. In addition, some state boards validate the results at a board meeting before they can release them to examinees.

To find out how you will receive your result, select your state (or foreign entity) and exam from the engineering webpage or log into your MyNCEES account.

Stay in the loop

Follow NCEES on social media to be alerted to exam-related news.

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to our YouTube channel Follow us on LinkedIn Subscribe to our RSS feed

February 2021 Licensure Exchange

Read the latest issue of Licensure Exchange, the NCEES publication dedicated to opinions and ideas regarding the licensure of engineers and surveyors.

  • PE Structural grading goes virtual in response to COVID-19
  • NCEES moves to virtual zone interim meetings for 2021
  • Member Board Brief: Changing lanes and looking for new opportunities when facing pandemic roadblocks
  • From the President: Virtual meetings keep NCEES moving forward
  • Enforcement Beat: New member orientation essential to understanding law enforcement guidelines
  • HQ Update: NCEES explores new avenues for surveying outreach
  • NCEES publishes history book to celebrate centennial
  • Member board news and upcoming events
  • NCEES Engineer and Surveyor Profiles put faces to the professions

Download the February 2021 issue (PDF).

Browse the Licensure Exchange archives.


Update on October 2020 exam results

All results from the October 2020 pencil-and-paper PE exams, including the PE Structural exam, were released to NCEES member licensing boards on December 15. How and when examinees receive their results varies by state. Some boards use NCEES Exam Administration Services to release the results directly to examinees. Some release them through another testing service such as PCS. Other boards release the results themselves. In addition, some state boards validate the results at a board meeting before they can release them to examinees.

To find out how you will receive your result, select your state (or foreign entity) and exam from the engineering webpage or log into your MyNCEES account.

Stay in the loop

Follow NCEES on social media to be alerted to exam-related news.

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to our YouTube channel Follow us on LinkedIn Subscribe to our RSS feed

April 2021 exam administration updates

March 10, 2021

NCEES COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire
Examinees scheduled to test during the April pencil-and-paper exam administration are required to print and complete the NCEES COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire prior to arriving at the exam site. The completed questionnaire, along with your exam authorization and valid ID, are required for admittance to the exam site.

Download the NCEES COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire


December 16, 2020

NCEES is closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the April 2021 pencil-and-paper exam administration. All exam site locations are currently proceeding with reduced capacity restrictions in place. Changes to state and local requirements that further reduce capacities for groups and events may impact the number of examinees that are able to test at a specific site. NCEES will continue to monitor these changes between now and exam day.

April 2021 exam site procedures regarding COVID-19
To help ensure the health, safety, and welfare of examinees and proctoring teams, NCEES is implementing the following measures for the April 2021 exam administration.

Examinees must review and satisfy the following requirements before being admitted to an exam site. No one will be admitted to the exam site if they have met any of the COVID-19 qualifications listed below.

  • Tested positive for COVID-19
    UNLESS symptom-free and fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medicine AND at least 10 days have passed since your last exposure, or you have received two negative COVID-19 test results in a row, 24 hours apart.
  • Experiencing (or have experienced) one or more associated symptoms within the last ten (10) days: shortness of breath, cough, fever, chills, sore throat, loss of smell and/or taste
    UNLESS you have been symptom-free and fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medicine.
  • Live with or have had close contact with someone who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19
    UNLESS at least 10 days have passed since your last exposure.
  • Have been or are currently under home quarantine or centralized observation by government or healthcare authorities
    UNLESS at least 10 days have passed since your quarantine or centralized observation has been lifted by the government or healthcare authorities.

Examinees who meet the above conditions on exam day and are admitted to the exam site must agree to follow the below guidelines on exam day.

  • Examinees will be seated alone and properly distanced from other tables.
  • Examinees and proctors are required to wear face masks at all times. This is required at all exam sites including locations with no local or state face mask mandates.
  • Examinees must practice social distancing at all times.
  • Examinees will be allowed to have hand sanitizer and wipes, extra face coverings, and disposable gloves in the exam room; they must be placed on the floor during the exam.
  • Examinees understand that they will be dismissed from the exam and their exam scores will be invalidated if they do not adhere to the COVID-19 safety requirements for this site.
  • Examinees understand that they are allowed to lower masks to eat or drink for brief moments as defined by the proctors and that proctors will issue a warning to examinees before they are dismissed.

Exam specifications and design standards
Design standards for the October 2020 exams listed below will remain in effect for the April 2021 exams.  

PE Civil exam
Civil: Construction (PDF; with design standards)
Civil: Geotechnical (PDF; with design standards)
Civil: Structural (PDF; with design standards)
Civil: Transportation (PDF; with design standards)
Civil: Water Resources and Environmental (PDF)

PE Structural exam
Friday morning breadth – vertical forces (PDF)
Friday afternoon depth – vertical forces (PDF)
Saturday morning breadth – lateral forces (PDF)
Saturday morning depth – lateral forces (PDF)

PE Architectural Engineering (PDF; with design standards)

Exam administration format
Registration for the April 2021 pencil-and-paper exam administration will open at 10:00 a.m. EST on January 27 and close at 3:00 p.m. EST on March 4. The exam administration will take place over two days—Thursday, April 22 and Friday, April 23.* Exams will be administered on the day assigned as follows:

Thursday, April 22, 2021
Civil: Geotechnical
Civil: Transportation
Civil: Water Resources and Environmental
SE Vertical Forces Bridges
SE Vertical Forces Buildings

Friday, April 23, 2021
Architectural Engineering
Civil: Construction
Civil: Structural
Naval Architecture and Marine
SE Lateral Forces Bridges
SE Lateral Forces Buildings

All sites for the April 2021 exam administration must operate in compliance with capacity and social distancing requirements. In most cases, this will reduce the number of examinees that can be accommodated at an exam site. Examinees will be allowed to complete the registration process only when a seat is available for their selected site. Capacity and social distancing requirements are subject to change at any time. Any changes that require a further reduction in capacity may result in the cancellation of your exam registration. Please be aware that every effort will be made to accommodate all registered examinees in a manner that protects the health and safety of everyone involved.

Click here for information about registering.

Reasonable accommodations are available for examinees who meet certain eligibility criteria and sufficiently document their request.

*Overseas sites will maintain their normal testing procedures. Please contact your testing agency for further instruction.


December 2020 Licensure Exchange

Read the latest issue of Licensure Exchange, the NCEES publication dedicated to opinions and ideas regarding the licensure of engineers and surveyors.

  • From the President:  Work of NCEES continues during pandemic
  • Member Board Brief: Navigating the legislative process
  • NCEES launches podcast series
  • Future City moves to virtual format for 2021
  • NCEES opens 2021 Engineering Education and Surveying Education awards
  • Enforcement Beat: COVID-19 presents training opportunities
  • Committee Focus: NCEES committees and task forces begin work on 2020–21 agenda
  • Exam News: Board approves 2020–21 exam item costs
  • HQ Update: NCEES resources can facilitate interstate practice
  • Moments in NCEES history
  • Member board news and upcoming events
  • MBA Webinar Resource Program available to assist with virtual outreach

Download the December 2020 issue (PDF).

Browse the Licensure Exchange archives.


October 2020 Licensure Exchange

Read the latest issue of Licensure Exchange, the NCEES publication dedicated to opinions and ideas regarding the licensure of engineers and surveyors.

  • NCEES holds virtual annual meeting to address key issues 
  • From the President: Knotts accepts presidency, outlines vision for year ahead
  • HQ Update: Adaptation key to addressing change
  • NCEES installs 2020–21 board of directors
  • Enforcement Beat: COVID-19 pandemic impacts enforcement activities
  • NCEES expands member board outreach support with webinar resource program
  • Statement of ownership, management, and circulation
  • Moments in NCEES history
  • Member board news and upcoming events
  • Nominations open for 2021 service awards

Download the October 2020 issue (PDF).

Browse the Licensure Exchange archives.


NCEES moves computer-based testing transition of PE Civil exam to 2022

The Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Civil exam is moving to computer-based testing (CBT), with appointments available year-round at Pearson VUE test centers beginning April 1, 2022. The exam will be offered for the last time in pencil-and-paper format in October 2021. Registration for the April 2022 CBT exam will open November 1, 2021.

NCEES originally planned to complete the PE Civil exam’s transition to CBT format in 2023 but fast-tracked the change as part of its response to COVID-19. After the April 2020 pencil-and-paper exam administration was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, NCEES added an extra day to the October 2020 administration and began exploring the possibility of moving the PE Civil exam to CBT earlier than planned.

“Under the current COVID-19 guidelines, fewer examinees can be in the exam room at the same time, so we began discussions with Pearson VUE about transitioning the PE Civil exam from 2023 to an earlier date,” explained NCEES Chief Officer of Examinations Tim Miller, P.E. “This new format will give examinees more flexibility about when and where they take the exam.”

For more information on the PE Civil exam and the transition of NCEES licensing exams to CBT format, visit ncees.org/cbt.