1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

ABET Required?

  1. Jan 22, 2010 #1
    I will be a freshman in college next year and want to major in engineering physics. The problem is that the program is not ABET accredited. I know that to get a PE liscense one needs to get a degree at an ABET accredited program. However, I plan on going on to grad school. Will the lack of a PE liscense hinder my job outlook if I have a masters or PhD? Or, can I get a PE liscense if I go on to grad school even if the EP program is not ABET accedited?

    Thanks all
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2010 #2
    I'm also interested in the answer to this question. My undergrad degree will be in "physics- applied physics track." If I decide to go into an EE grad program, can I still get the same certifications as somebody with an engineering undergrad?
  4. Jan 23, 2010 #3
    Both of you need to call up your state licensing boards. Some places let you take your your exams anyway they just require you to have more years of experience working under a PE, something like straight out of school vs. 4 years before taking the FE exam and 4 yrs. vs. 12 for the PE exam.

    It's totally different ballgames. If you want to eventually sign off on big construction projects, you need the PE license. It's a legal requirement and has to do with all sorts of city/government codes and no masters/PhD can substitute. On the flip side, if you want to work in an industry that's not construction related, you may not need a PE. A masters is probably sufficient, a PhD is overkill if you're not planning to work in industrial research.

    One the civil engineering professors at my school just took his FE, so I know it's possible. If the grad program is ABET accredited, it should help, but call the licensing board.
  5. Jan 23, 2010 #4
    The problem is that I have no idea where I will be living in so many years

    I would like to go into research. I had always understood that if one wants to go into research then a PhD is a necessity (or at least strongly recommended).

    From what you said, I am assuming that one does not need a PE liscense to go into research?
  6. Jan 23, 2010 #5
    Basically, yeah:
    PE = building or other large structure where someone can die if it breaks
    PhD = research (and yeah, it's usually required)

    Everyone posts this stuff online, so you can look at a couple of states and see what their rules are.
  7. Jan 26, 2010 #6
    Is a PE liscense required for nuclear engineering? I would assume yes
  8. Jan 26, 2010 #7
    Astronuc is the forum member worth asking this. There's a specialized PE exam, so theoretically yes, but like the one in EE it may not be necessary for a lot of jobs.
  9. Jan 28, 2010 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I hoghly doubt you would be able to sit for a PE exam without an ABET accredited degree. I know it is required in my state and a few others. I have never, personally met anyone that did not have an accredited degree.

    The national NCEES web site even mentions this:
    http://www.ncees.org/Licensure/Licensure_for_engineers.php [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  10. Jan 28, 2010 #9
    New York (my hometown) doesn't seem to strictly require one, but it's rather unclear on the website. That's why I suggest calling up the state licensing board.

    Sampling bias? Most people who become engineers have accredited degrees cause most programs are accredited.
  11. Jan 29, 2010 #10


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook