FE Exams

Applications for FE Exam

To take the FE Exam, students must be either seniors or in their last semester, depending on their major.

Senior Year
Aerospace Engineering
Biological Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Industrial Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Software Engineering

Last Semester
Civil Engineering

All students must apply to take the exam through the State Board of Licensures. Please see the Board website for application deadlines and application forms. The deadline for former students is different from those for currently enrolled students. (www.pepls.state.ms.us)

If you are currently enrolled in the Bagley College as an undergraduate, you may take advantage of a simplified application process.

To apply to the Board of Licensure and register for the FE Exam:

  • Got to www.pepls.state.ms.us and scroll down to Application Forms
  • Select the Engineer Intern application.
  • You will see an explanation of the online process as well as a description of the new CBT exam.
  • You will be given detailed instructions on how to complete the online application and pay the application fee.
  • You will see a link to click that will take you to the application.
  • That link will take you through a series of screens where you will answer questions, supply your contact information, provide your education information and then answer some questions about whether you have ever been arrested, disciplined, had a name change, etc.
  • You will then pay the application fee of $25.00 with a credit card or electronic check and submit the application and payment.
  • Once you have submitted the application and payment information, you will receive 2 confirmation receipts – one you can print immediately upon payment while still on the site and the other confirmation/receipt is sent to your email address.
  • Your application will be entered into the Board’s computer system and your payment will be deposited into the Board’s state treasury account.

Within a few days, the Bagley College of Engineering will be contacted to verify that you are a currently registered student. Once this verification has been completed, you will be copied on an email to the board and, at that time, may proceed to the NCEES website to continue the exam registration process.

To register for the exam, go to www.ncees.org, click on Exams and read the information on the page. You may then click one of two buttons on the bottom of the page. If you would like to pay the exam fee by credit card then click the on-line registration button. If you would like to pay by check or money order, click the Mail-In Registration button for a pdf form that you can fill out and mail in.

Should you encounter problems with the registration process please contact NCEES and also email Robert Green (green@bagley.msstate.edu) with specific details of the problem.

The MSU student chapter of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) has pulled together some useful FE Exam review materials which can be viewed in a self-enrolled Canvas course: information on enrolling in the course. It is available to MSU students at no cost.

Questions and Answers about the FE Exam

When is the exam offered?

The FE exam is offered year-round at NCEES-approved Pearson VUE test centers. The exam is computer-based for all disciplines.

What calculator can I use on the exam?

NCEES only allows certain calculators to be used on the FE Exam. It is the responsibility of the examinee to be aware of those calculators which are allowed and to have one available for use on the exam. Neither NCEES, the Bagley College of Engineering, nor Mississippi State University provide calculators for use on the FE Exam.

I would like to take the exam but I'm not sure if I'm ready for it. What should I do?

Successfully passing the FE Exam requires that you know the fundamentals of engineering and have spent some time reviewing for the course. Typically seniors are ready for the exam but even then they need to have taken certain courses. If you are in doubt about your ability to take and pass the exam, talk to your advisor or department head. They can give you the best guidance.

I've heard the exam is hard and I'd like to take it once just see what it is like. Can I do that?

The FE Exam is comprehensive and can be difficult. However, students who have taken the proper courses and adequately reviewed for the exam should not have trouble passing. We require that you not take the exam unless you are a senior and have done some preparation for the exam.

Do I really need to study for the FE Exam?

Yes! The FE Exam is a comprehensive test of the knowledge you have gained throughout your undergraduate education. The exam is a test of your knowledge of fundamental engineering topics and you are most likely rusty on some them. A structured review prior to the exam will help you recall the information you may not have readily available and to pass the exam the first time you take it. Students who have failed the exam in the past say they believe they would have passed had they reviewed a little. The students who do pass say that the review was a big help in passing.

I was told that everyone fails the exam the first time they take it. Is that true?

No. Students who are prepared for the exam, have done some review of the material on the exam, and who come to the exam rested, do well when they take the exam. Many people pass the exam the first time they take it. You should too.

I don't really need to be a licensed Professional Engineer so should I bother to take the FE Exam?

Yes you should. There is no better time to take the FE Exam than when you are in school. While you may not need to be a licensed professional engineer for your first job, many engineers have found themselves changing jobs mid-career and having a PE has been a tremendous help to them. Should you choose to consult or even hold some governmental jobs, being registered is required. Many employers look favorably upon registration even if it is not specifically required.

I have my Reference Manual. Is that all I need to study?

No. The reference manual available on the NCEES website is not a study guide. A few years ago there was no limit on the number of reference books you could bring to the exam. What we found was that many examinees brought the wrong books, and/or spent too much time looking up reference information. As a result the reference manual was developed. This manual contains all of the data, formulae, tables, graphs, etc. you will need to answer the exam questions. You need to become familiar with the manual so that you can easily find the information you need when taking the exam.

What should I do to prepare for the FE?

Preparation for the FE is what your undergraduate is all about. You can not learn all you need to know for the exam the week before. Early preparation is essential. Keep in mind the FE exam is testing fundamental knowledge typically expected of all engineers. Detailed study of a particular topic is usually not your best use of time. You may want to obtain a few reference books or study guides to help you prepare. A sample exam can help relieve some anxiety by letting you see what the exam will be like.

How do I contact the Board?

The Mississippi State Board can be contacted by phone at: 601.359.6160. Their mailing address is:

Mississippi State Board of Licensure
for Professional Engineers and Surveyors
660 North Street, Suite 400
Jackson, MS 39202

The Board's web site is: www.pepls.state.ms.us

I do not plan to work in Mississippi so should I wait to take the FE exam when I get a job?

No. You should take the FE Exam as soon as you think you are ready. All 50 states will honor your exam results since it is a national exam. When you are ready to move on to the next step, registration as a Professional Engineer, Mississippi will provide your FE Exam results to the state in which you will be registered.

Why do majors have to be graduating seniors and others only need to be in their senior year to apply for the exam?

Each engineering program is slightly different in how material is covered. While it might be best to wait until your senior year to take the exam so that you have completed more of your coursework, some departments have scheduling conflicts that make it difficult for some students to take the exam during their last semester. These departments also think that students have already covered sufficient material to pass the exam as long as they are in their senior year. Other departments however, think that students need to be in their final semester (graduating seniors) before they sit for the exam. (Exceptions are made to allow students who plan to graduate in August to take the exam during the Spring semester).

Do you have other questions? If so then please send them to Robert Green at green@bagley.msstate.edu. Your question and answer may well be added to the above list.