The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is typically the first of two intensive competency exams needed to qualify for a professional engineer license (PE). In general, the process of becoming a PE is as follows:
- Earn a four-year degree in engineering from an accredited engineering program. The BSME from Michigan Tech has met this criterion since 1936.
- Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam.
- Complete four years of progressive engineering experience under a PE (most states).
- Pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam.
Earning a PE license is similar to passing the bar exam for attorneys after law school or the medical board exams after medical school for physicians. The National Society of Professional Engineers provides an accurate and concise definition of a PE here.
A mechanical engineering student should consider taking the FE (with an eye toward becoming a PE) if their career plans include work that requires the authority to prepare, sign and seal, and submit engineering plans and drawings to a public authority for approval, or seal engineering work for public and private clients. Students should inquire with prospective employers to determine if becoming a PE is desired for possible positions and how the credential may affect upward (or lateral) mobility in a particular company/organization.
The individual decision to prepare for and take the FE will depend on a student’s desire to keep the option open to take the PE exam after gaining the required work experience. The FE exam is not a degree requirement to graduate or an entrance exam for further education (i.e. it is not similar to the MCAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, etc).
The FE exam is appropriate to take for students who are close to finishing an undergraduate engineering degree. Most students take this exam during their final semester as an undergrad, but it can be taken earlier or post-graduation, if desired.
The FE exam is not state-specific and is administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Even if you are not a Michigan resident, you could plan to take the FE here on campus and use the Michigan registration link. In Michigan, you do not have to apply for approval or submit any documents to take the FE. Once you create an account and log into ncees.org you will be able to register for the FE. You will be prompted to select a test (choose FE), discipline, and state to take the test. After selecting, FE, mechanical, and Michigan, a list of testing centers will be displayed. The testing center within the VanPelt and Opie Library is a local option. Once you select your testing location a list of available exam dates will be displayed. The FE exam is now online and has a certain number of slots available in certain date ranges throughout the calendar year.
Additional information about exam content, format, preparation, registration, fees and scoring can be found on the NCEES website.
The Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering department does have some exam review materials online here for you to access if you wish. These materials may not match up exactly with the mechanical engineering version of the FE exam, but may be helpful in some areas.
If you’re are looking for undergraduate research opportunities this file lists areas of faculty expertise to identify possible common interests.
If you identify a ME-EM faculty member that you may want to work with, contact them directly to discuss.
If you identify a possible project with a ME-EM faculty member, please complete this form (instructions on pg. 2). Typically, this form is for upper-level students to take 1-3 credits of MEEM 4990 in a semester. If the MEEM 4990 credits are approved as such, they can be used for technical elective credits.
If you plan to take less than 12 credits in the semester in which you will graduate, you should consult with Financial Aid about being a part-time student in that final semester. Generally speaking, most student need to be full-time status (12+ credits) each semester while pursuing an undergraduate degree. There are certainly exceptions to that statement though. For most students, if it is your last semester, part-time status is OK, but you may need to have at least half-time status (6-11.5 credits) to receive aid, be eligible for loans, etc. Financial Aid can answer your questions on this in regard to your individual specifics.
Also, students should consult with Financial Aid if the placement of credits into the graduate level via senior rule will drive their undergraduate credits below 12.
What is it? Academic probation is a strong warning to students that their academic performance is less than that expected by the University. Notices of academic probation are sent to students through email at the end of the semester, when final grades are released.
Please note that probation is retroactive. When a student is notified of academic probation they already have one semester of probation (for the semester that was just completed).
How is this determined? A student seeking an undergraduate degree is placed on academic probation under any of the following three conditions:
- The University cumulative GPA is below 2.00.
- The GPA for the most recent semester is below 2.00.
- The cumulative departmental GPA is below 2.00, based on at least 16 credits. For ME students, this means all MEEM credits taken.
What are the consequences? A student on academic probation is not permitted to register for more than 16 credits per semester unless approval is granted by the Dean of Students Office. Academic probation is also an intermediate step toward academic suspension (see below). Financial aid may be impacted as well, contact Michigan Tech Student Financial Services to inquire about consequences specific to your aid package.
What can be done? When does probation end? See an advisor to develop a plan that may include repeating courses (see FAQ #6).
A student is removed from academic probation (back to good academic standing) when all of the following conditions have been met:
- The University cumulative GPA is 2.00 or greater.
- The GPA for the most recently completed semester is 2.00 or greater.
- The cumulative departmental GPA is 2.00 or greater, based on at least 16 credits.
What is it? A specified period of time where a student will not be permitted to enroll at the University
How is this determined? The following are grounds for academic suspension:
- The student earns a semester GPA of 0.0 while attempting 12 or more credits, or
- The student’s cumulative GPA is below 2.00 after two semesters of academic probation (remember that this is only one semester after triggering probation status), or
- The student does not achieve good academic standing (i.e. not on probation) after two semesters of probation (two consecutive semesters of below 2.00 semester GPAs).
What are the consequences? This depends upon how many times the student has been placed on academic suspension and how well the student performs upon return:
- Upon receiving a first notice of academic suspension, a student may not attend Michigan Tech for at least one semester, plus a summer. That is, a student suspended at the end of a fall semester may not re-enroll until the following fall, and a student suspended at the end of a spring semester may not re-enroll until the following spring semester. Students may appeal their suspension to avoid being unable to attend Michigan Tech for these time frames (see below).
- Upon receiving a second notice of academic suspension, a student may not attend Michigan Tech for two semesters, plus a summer.
- After returning from a second suspension, failure to achieve good academic standing (i.e. not on probation) or show substantial academic progress within one semester will result in academic dismissal. There is no opportunity for reinstatement after academic dismissal; however, a student may request an appeal.
What can be done? The University has a reinstatement process in place for students returning from suspension as well as a suspension and dismissal appeals process.
Reinstatement requests must be made 6 weeks in advance of the start date of the planned return semester. To request reinstatement, students must follow the procedure on the Dean of Students office website (date due for each semester published on this page also). The reinstatement request online form will ask a series of questions regarding goals, previous academic history and future plans for improvement. Students will also be asked to submit a letter of recommendation/performance review from their current employer, a transcript for any courses taken during the suspension period (see FAQ #5 for how to transfer coursework completed at other institutions to Michigan Tech) and a three-semester academic plan developed in conjunction with an ME academic advisor.
There are deadlines each semester regarding University policy for adding and dropping courses. These deadlines represent changes in grading policies and methods for adding and dropping courses.
Adding full-semester courses (fall or spring semesters)
Courses may be added on BanWeb during the initial registration period until 5:00 p.m. on Friday of the first week of the semester. Registration closes for a short period after initial registration and then reopens and stays open until the end of the 1st week of classes.
- After Friday of the 1st week of a semester, students must see an academic advisor for a late-add form which must be approved by the section instructor. MEEM course control/waiting list policies are still in effect for late-adds or section changes of MEEM courses.
Dropping full-semester courses (fall or spring semesters)
- Courses may be dropped on BanWeb until 5:00 p.m. on the Wednesday of second week of a semester.
- After Wednesday of the 2nd week, all drops must be done in person at the Registrar’s Office (first floor Administration Building).
- If a drop will put a student below 12 credits, the deadline to get a refund for that drop is at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday of the 2nd week, otherwise plateau tuition is in effect for 12-18 credits. Specific course fees may lead to billing balance changes. No refunds of any kind will be granted after Wednesday of the 2nd week unless the entire semester’s registration is withdrawn. Contact the Registrar’s Office for the percentage refund schedule in the case of complete withdrawal.
- First year students must get an advisor’s signature on an orange first-year add/drop slip for any drops after the 1st week of the semester.
- Courses may be dropped at the Registrar’s Office until 5:00 p.m. on Friday of the 3rd week with no grade. Courses dropped by this deadline will not appear on the student’s transcripts.
- First year students must obtain their advisor’s and instructor’s signatures on the orange first-year add/drop slip for any drops after the 3rd week.
- Courses dropped after 5:00 p.m. on Friday of the 3rd week through 5:00 p.m. on Friday of the 10th week will earn a ‘W’ grade. After the 10th week, courses may not be dropped without extenuating circumstances. Late drops will not be granted just to avoid poor grades.
- Courses dropped during the 4th week through the 10th week will earn a ‘W’ grade (withdrawn). A ‘W’ appears on the student’s transcript which indicates that the student dropped the course. ‘W’ marks do not affect GPA calculations, but the credits dropped are included in attempted credit hours for financial aid purposes (satisfactory academic progress).
Dropping summer half-semester courses (Track A or B)
- For summer half-semester courses (Track A/Track B), please see the Important Dates posted to the ME Advising page or the Registrar’s Office page/academic calendar for drop deadlines. See an advisor with questions.
- Plateau tuition is not in place for summer semester so any drops before the refund deadline (4:00 p.m. on Thursday of the 1st week of the track) may be refunded.
For half-semester courses during fall or spring semesters, please see an advisor with questions.