Asee peer logo

Reduced Credit Hours and Engineering Licensure: A Proposal to Break the Impasse

Download Paper |


2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Expanding Access and Opportunities for M/30

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1106.1 - 25.1106.13



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Terrence L. Chambers P.E. University of Louisiana, Lafayette

visit author page

Terrence Chambers currently serves as Associate Dean of Engineering at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. His research interests include engineering design and optimization, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and alternative energy. He is an active member of ASEE, ASME, LES, and is a registered Professional Engineer in Louisiana.

visit author page

Download Paper |


REDUCED CREDIT HOURS AND ENGINEERING LICENSURE – A PROPOSAL TO BREAK THE IMPASSE AbstractIn recent years the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) and the American Societyof Civil Engineers (ASCE) have been leading an effort to require a bachelor’s degree plus 30additional credit hours in order to fulfill the educational requirements for a P.E. degree. The BS+ 30 proposal, also known as the Raise the Bar Initiative, has been met with staunch oppositionby other professional societies, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME),which want to retain the BS degree as the first professional degree. In many of the debates onthis issue it seems that the parties are talking past each other using specialized definitions and notreally engaging each other in meaningful debate. As a result, the Raise the Bar Initiative isstalled and the planned implementation date has been slipped from 2015 to 2020. This paper setsforth a comprehensive five-step plan to reconcile the competing interests in the Raise the Bardebate, proposing a politically feasible way to close the industry exemption, retain the BS degreeas the first professional degree, and simultaneously restore 30 hours of engineering contentsubsequent to the BS degree and prior to registration as a PE. The key to the proposal is to focusfirst on Raising the Bar for Engineering Interns, after which changing the requirements forProfessional Engineers will be more politically feasible.The five steps are: 1) retain the BS as the educational requirement for Engineering Interns, 2)eliminate the industry exemption for Engineering Interns, 3) require continuing professionaldevelopment (CPD) courses for Engineering Interns, 4) increase the CPD requirements for bothEngineering Interns and Professional Engineers to 45 hours per year, the equivalent of one 3-credit hour college course per year, and 5) after ten years have passed, require the equivalent of30 credit hours after the BS degree prior to registration as a PE. Once the first four steps areadopted, the first batch of EI’s would have the equivalent of 30 extra credit hours within 10years, at which point they would meet the educational requirements of the Raise the BarInitiative to qualify for the PE exam. By focusing first on Engineering Interns, a politicallyfeasible method is proposed to both close the industry exemption and phase in the adoption ofthe Raise the Bar initiative.

Chambers, T. L. (2012, June), Reduced Credit Hours and Engineering Licensure: A Proposal to Break the Impasse Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21863

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015