Professional Engineering (PE) Licensure Information for
Water Resources Engineering Graduate Students [Drafted September 2020]

The Board of Examiners of Engineering and Land Surveying (OSBEELS) is in charge of licensing and registering Professional Engineers (PEs) in the state of Oregon. The Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) require you meet specific criteria to be registered as a PE as specified in OAR-010-1000: Qualifications for Registration as a Professional Engineer
 ( These generally require: (1) passing the FE exam, (2) passing the PE exam, (3) a satisfactory combination of education and experience, and (4) submission of an application packet.

Applicants can only register as a PE in Oregon upon successful completion of the FE and PE examination, and after obtaining a satisfactory combination of education and experience. OAR-010-1010: Principles and Practice of Engineering Examination ( specifies which branches of professional engineering are recognized by OSBEELS. Note, there are no requirements or pre-approvals needed to take the FE or PE exams in Oregon (but registration to sit for the exam is required). See for more details on the examination schedules for different disciplines.

OAR-010-1020 specifies the Education and Experience Requirements for Registration as a Professional Engineer ( According to this rule, there are eight different combinations of education and experience that are acceptable. Options (1), (2), and (3) require an ABET accredited undergraduate engineering program and four to six years of experience working as an engineer. Option (4) requires four years of work experience plus a graduate degree from an engineering program that offers an ABET accredited undergraduate degree in the same program or a graduate degree from a dual-program where at least one of the programs is from an engineering program that offers an ABET accredited undergraduate degree in the same program. This option also requires the completion of 32 quarter-hours of credit in at least six of the nine following subjects: Differential Equations, Physics, Statistics, Statics, Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Electrical Fundamentals, and Strength of Materials, and this coursework must be from a program with an ABET accredited ungraduated degree. Option (5) requires four years of experience plus a determination from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) that ‘equivalent’ non-ABET coursework meets the NCESS engineering education standard (see for details of how many credits are required for this). Option (6) specifies that if coursework does not meet the NCEES standard, then a combination of education and work experience totaling 12 years can be used. Option (7) specifies that military experience or training can be used to meet educational requirements based on the OSBEELS assessment. Finally, option (8) specifies that 12 years of experience can be used as qualifying experience.

Plain Language Summary: For graduate students interested in registering as a PE in Oregon after graduation, the most direct path is if you have an undergraduate degree that is ABET accredited or its equivalent (options 1, 2, 3, and 5 above). If this is not the case, then a graduate degree, or dual-degree, from a program with an ABET accredited undergraduate degree is acceptable if the coursework requirement is met. The Water Resources Engineering (WRE) program, since it is housed in the graduate school, does not meet this requirement on its own because no corresponding undergraduate ABET-accredited program exists. Students obtaining a dual-degree option with WRE as one part of the dual-degree would also have to complete the additional 32 quarter credits of undergraduate coursework requirement as stated in option (4). Note, this course work requirement must also be met for any stand-alone graduate degree (BEE, CEE, CBEE, etc.) even when there is a corresponding undergraduate ABET degree according to OAR-010-1020 subsection (4) (b). See for information from the graduate school about pursing concurrent degrees or dual majors.

For graduate students in WRE without an undergraduate ABET degree that are not pursuing a dual degree, becoming a registered PE is possible by taking additional coursework meeting the NCEES standard via option (5) or coursework that doesn’t meet the NCEES standard combined with longer work experience via option (6). Option (5) is a highly uncertain route to becoming a registered PE as NCEES does not identify in advance what specific courses at a particular university will meet their standards and applicants must bear the cost of the ‘NCEES Credentials Evaluation’ to determine the acceptability of completed coursework. The NCEES Engineering Education Standard states that NCEES requires 48 semester credit hours of engineering science and/or engineering design, 32 semester credit hours of higher mathematics and basic science, and 12 semester credit hours of general education (again, see link above for more details). Finally, be aware that these regulations vary by state and students intending to work in other states are encouraged to check state-specific guidelines.