Planning on taking the FE Exam in Minnesota?
Great, this guide will give you all the ins and outs.
From eligibility requirements to finding the best FE Exam program to study with, we have you covered.
Let’s get into it.
Taking the FE Exam in Minnesota
It is the mission of the Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design to regulate the professions and enforce the statutes and rules in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of Minnesota.
Due to its lengthy name, we will refer to the Minnesota Board of AELSLAGID as the Minnesota Board of Professional Engineers from here on out.
The board ensures that individuals meet the education, examination and experience standards for licensure or certification
All individuals on the path to becoming a licensed Professional Engineer in Minnesota must pass two NCEES-administered examinations, which are:
- Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE Exam)
- Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam (PE Exam)
The FE Exam and PE Exam are standardized tests written and scored by the NCEES and adopted by the Minnesota Board of Professional Engineers as a valid means of qualifying the competence of aspiring engineers.
Once licensed, it is the duty of the board to ensure that all licensed professional engineers are upholding all laws and regulations as they relate to protecting the the health, safety and welfare of the people of Minnesota.
What is the FE Exam?
Though there may be additional state-specific exams required, the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE Exam) is one of two exams that an aspiring engineer will take in becoming a licensed Professional Engineer.
This standardized exam is administered and graded by the NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying).
The exam itself is 5 hours and 20 minutes long with 110 questions spanning a wide range of foundational engineering concepts.
Each question is developed to confirm the level of competency of the individual in the fundamentals of engineering.
The FE Exam is a computer-based test (CBT) and closed book, though, each examinee is supplied with an NCEES reference handbook containing commonly used formulas and other useful information related to the material that is covered.
The FE Exam has 7 different exam specifications to choose from.
You may also hear the FE Exam referred to as the EIT Exam (Engineer In Training Exam) or the EI Exam (Engineering Intern Exam), all of which are the same exam.
You can learn more about the FE Exam here.
When can I take the FE exam?
The Minnesota Board of Professional Engineers identifies three paths to eligibility for taking the FE Exam.
If you are:
- Within 32 semester credits (generally your senior year) or have graduated from an EAC/ABET accredited engineering program or
- Have completed a minimum of 24 semester credits toward or have graduated with an EAC/ABET accredited graduate degree in engineering
Then you are eligible to take the FE Exam now and are not required to submit an application for approval from the Minnesota Board prior to registering directly with NCEES.
If you are unsure of whether or not your program is EAC/ABET accredited, you can perform a program search here:
If you are:
- Not a graduate (or a student) of an EAC/ABET accredited engineering program
Then you must have your education evaluated and submit an application and fee to the Minnesota Board for approval to sit for the FE exam.
These paths are unique to Minnesota and can be referenced under the current Minnesota Administrative Rules, Chapter 1800, Section 2500, Education and Experience here.
Can I take the FE exam without a degree?
Eligibility requirements are set state by state and typically have a series of eligibility scenarios that include both non-ABET accredited degrees and progressive engineering work experience.
But what if you don’t have a degree at all, can you take the FE Exam in Minnesota?
As it is currently spelled out within the Minnesota Administrative Rules, there is no direct path to taking the exam without submitting an application and having your educational background evaluated and deemed equivalent to that of an EAC/ABET accredited program.
However, as it is written in Minnesota Administrative Rules, Chapter 1800, Section 2800, Engineering Qualified by Graduation, long experience and examination, found here, there does appear to be a means by which you can qualify to waive the FE Exam altogether if you are able to provide sufficient evidence of your qualifications in the absence an engineering degree.
As these waiver requirements are constantly evolving, you can reference the most current rules under chapter 1800.2800 here.
What months can you take the FE exam?
The FE Exam is offered to eligible students year-round in four different testing windows, they are:
- January – March
- April – June
- July – September
- October – December
You are allowed to take the FE Exam once per testing window, but not more than 3 times in a 12-month period starting from the date of your first attempt.
Can I take the FE exam online?
You can not.
The FE Exam will be administered at a local Pearson Vue testing center in your region.
Once you register and are approved by the NCEES to take the exam, you will receive an email giving you the next steps in scheduling your exam appointment.
Through this process, you will be given options for a number of testing centers as well as what dates and times are available at those locations.
You can reference a current list of locations approved by the Minnesota Board of Professional Engineers to take the FE Exam here:
It’s important to schedule your exam as far in advance as possible for the best scheduling availability.
Each Pearson Vue testing center is limited in capacity, so seats are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.
Though it’s never ideal and highly unlikely that there are open seats, you are able to schedule an appointment with as little as one business day before taking the exam.
What is the passing score for the FE Exam?
Any individual who is about to take on a major goal in life is going to want to know where the goalpost of success lies.
I get it.
But if you find yourself floating around the interwebs trying to get some clarity on this question, then you are sure of one thing…
Confusion – and oh, a lot of wasted time.
When it comes down to knowing the passing score for the FE Exam in Minnesota, there is only one right answer and it’s this –
Definitely, a letdown I know, but knowing that this is as much clarity as you will get will allow you to move on to putting in time on something that can actually make an impact come exam day.
We dive deep into this question and add a bit more context around the whole scoring process in this post:
Knowing how the exam is going to be scored can be a huge advantage and give you confidence in the areas that you can control.
What is the FE Exam pass rate in Minnesota?
Minnesota does not release individual statistics for how many people in Minnesota are passing or failing the FE Exam in any given period of time.
However, the NCEES keeps a tally of these statistics for a single testing period for the population as a whole.
Currently, the FE Exam pass rate ranges from 35% to 83% depending on the exam discipline taken.
This is a huge range, and honestly, can’t really be relied on for a number of reasons.
These statistics account only for:
- Those who took the FE exam for the first time.
- Those who attended an EAC/ABET-accredited engineering program.
- Those who took the FE exam within 12 months of graduation.
I can tell you this much –
Of 100 students that come into our program at Prepineer, 95% fall outside one (or more) of these criteria.
The moral of the story, these stats reflect a population of individuals who meet the ideal testing characteristics of a candidate, not the mean characteristics as a whole.
Use them with a grain of salt.
How do I create an FE Exam schedule?
Getting your FE Exam study plan dialed in from the start is of the utmost importance in ensuring that you see this journey through.
But let’s be real.
We are on record for being horrible estimators of our time.
But it’s not any one of us individually, those big shot estimators who are supposedly “educated” in the realm of scheduling fall right there beside us in falling short.
Think about all those highly funded construction projects that go far past the scheduled finish date.
So with that, how can I best guide you in developing your study plan for your upcoming FE Exam in Minnesota?
We have spent a lot of time developing resources in the realm of FE Exam scheduling, here are a few to start with:
- Your FE Exam Study Schedule Sucks
- Here’s how to actually get started…with confidence – The 80/20 Abbreviated Study Plan
How many hours should I study for the FE Exam?
Determining how many hours a student should be putting in each day is one of the hardest things to do for a coach.
However, after over a decade of helping engineers just like you prepare for and pass the FE Exam, I can give you a general guideline as a starting point.
So whether you are taking the FE Exam in Minnesota or New Mexico, start with this.
Over the years, we have seen students spend somewhere between 150-350 hours preparing for the FE Exam.
The lower end of this spectrum is typically those that are recent graduates or within a few years of graduation.
The upper end is typically those that graduated 20+ years ago and haven’t picked up a book in just as long.
Wherever the student feels they will fall, at Prepineer, we encourage them to spread this time over a period of at least 90 days – but prefer to see them give themselves closer to 110-120 days to be prepared.
This historically has played out to be much more realistic in the context of real-life, day-to-day responsibilities.
To help you go deeper in this area, we developed the ultimate guide in determining how long you should study for the FE Exam.
Down to what it all looks like from a daily, hourly effort.
You can access the guide here:
In running through this guide, you will have a much better understanding of what the landscape ahead looks like.
It will allow you to reveal many landmines upfront so you can put in measures to avoid them.
It will help you understand the real effort and reinforce your confidence that you are doing things right when you do inevitably hit those unforeseen obstacles.
It’s the best you can do when it comes to determining how many hours you should study for the FE Exam.
Where is the best place for FE Exam practice?
As you learn more about the FE Exam in Minnesota, you will realize just how much needs to get done and how important preparing for it the right way is.
I am confident in saying that you can get this done…
But truth is, most won’t pursue the FE Exam because they will tell themselves that they can’t, for one reason or another.
At Prepineer, we have put together a proven system of coaching and curriculum that has helped even the most challenged individuals pass the FE Exam in Minnesota.
Learn more about how Prepineer is the best way to study for the FE Exam and get started for free.
In Prepineer you will:
- Get a real coach who knows how to get you to the finish line, despite how impossible you may think it is.
- A custom study plan that breaks down exactly where you should be spending your efforts.
- Proven curriculum that has helped even the most challenged find success.
Use Prepineer for 7 days free, with no obligations.
How much is the FE Exam in Minnesota?
Some state licensing boards require that examinees file a separate application and pay an additional application fee as part of their approval process in order to be qualified for taking the FE.
If you are taking the FE Exam in Minnesota and hold an EAC/ABET accredited graduate or undergraduate degree, then this is not required and you can register directly through the NCEES.
If you hold a foreign degree, or a degree that is not EAC/ABET accredited, then you must have it evaluated through NCEES Credentials Evaluations and have a copy of the report sent to the Minnesota Board of Professional Engineers.
The current cost to have your degree evaluated through the NCEES is $350 and will be paid at the end of the application process.
If you decide to cancel the evaluation and request a refund, then a $50 administrative fee will be assessed.
The NCEES will not grant refunds for applications submitted more than one year prior to the refund request.
Once you are eligible, you can apply directly with the NCEES to take the FE Exam.
The current cost to take the FE Exam is $175 and can be paid directly to the NCEES at the time of registering.
The whole registration process can be started through your myNCEES account here.
What are the FE Exam Requirements?
As mentioned, eligibility is not set uniformly across the board by the NCEES, but rather, by each state’s engineering board.
With this, the eligibility requirements to sit for the exam in Tennessee may differ from when one can sit for the exam in Georgia.
To take the FE Exam in Minnesota, eligibility depends on whether or not you hold an EAC/ABET accredited degree in engineering.
If you do, then you are eligible now and do not need to submit any application with the board prior to registering with the NCEES.
Once you pass the exam, you will submit an application to receive your EIT Certification, and it’s at this point that your education will be verified.
The EAC/ABET accredited degree is the creme de la creme when it comes to fulfilling Minnesota’s educational requirements, but it’s not the only route.
What if you don’t have an ABET-accredited degree?
What if you don’t have a degree at all?
Or your degree is from a university outside the states?
Is there any way that you can still fulfill the requirements after passing the FE Exam?
The short answer is YES!
These requirements have been outlined in previous sections and the paths can generally be summarized as:
- If you hold a non-EAC/ABET accredited degree or a foreign degree, then you must have your degree evaluated by NCEES credential evaluations and submit an application for approval to the Minnesota Board
- If you are not a graduate of an engineering program listed in any of the previous sections, but can satisfy the waiver requirements as outlined under Minnesota Administrative Rules, Chapter 1800, Section 2800, Engineering Qualified by Graduation, long experience and examination, found here, then you qualify to waive the FE Exam altogether
With all of this, instead of sifting through all the current regulations and mandates, I suggest you give a call directly to the Minnesota Board of Professional Engineer and they will give you the most direct route to understanding the next step for you.
Who should I contact if I have more questions about the FE Exam in Minnesota?
It has been said a number of times, but it’s worth mentioning again.
Eligibility requirements are constantly in flux, and what is mentioned in this resource may not answer all of your questions.
If this is the case, the Minnesota Board of Professional Engineers can provide you with the latest details concerning the FE Exam in Minnesota.
They can be contacted at:
- Website: https://mn.gov/aelslagid
- Contact: Doreen Johnson
- Email: [email protected]
- Phone: (651) 296-2388
- Fax: (651) 297-5310
- Address: 85 East Seventh Place, Suite 160, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101
Final Thoughts on taking the FE Exam in Minnesota
I hope that this resource has brought you clarity on taking the FE Exam in Minnesota.
But I know, just as many answers I have given, there may have been just as many new questions in how you can get it done.
But passing the FE Exam shouldn’t be a mystery.
Sadly though, many will doubt that they can get it done, and in turn, give up on themselves and their careers.
I don’t want that to be you.
If I offered to show you a system that has worked for thousands in your same shoes pass the FE, would you take it? Click here to start your trial and learn the exact framework that will help you pass the FE Exam in Minnesota.