In our increasingly international society, engineers who earned their engineering degrees outside of the United States will often apply for licensure in Florida. As their course of study is neither EAC/ABET nor ETAC/ABET accredited, their path to licensure is covered by Rules 61G15‐20.007 or -20.008, Florida Administrative Code.

These applicants must have their college curriculum and transcript evaluated by either NCEES or Josef Silney & Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in these evaluations. This evaluation will determine whether the applicant’s course of study is equivalent to that required for ABET accreditation and will identify any deficiencies.

Some applicants are denied licensure by the FBPE education review committee because their degree evaluation finds that their college courses, while adequate in terms of engineering, lack sufficient college-level mathematics, basic sciences, or general education. Some of these applicants appear before the Board to discuss their denial and attempt to convince the Board that their education does, in fact, meet the requirements. Though these appeals are often interesting to listen to, they rarely result in the Board changing its view as the Board relies on the evaluations as noted above.

The applicant whose college course of study is found to be lacking has several choices to rectify the deficiency. One is to simply take the college credit hours that they are short and resubmit their application. In some cases, the applicant can “CLEP” the course; that is, essentially take a course final exam to show mastery of the subject matter.

Recent changes to these rules change the hours accepted and expand the list of providers of eligible college exams. The changes are:

(2) Credit By Examination and College Courses.

(a) Deficiencies in Mathematics and Basic Sciences and/or General Education required by paragraphs (1)(a) and (1)(b), above, may be satisfied by passage of an examination identified on the “Articulation Coordinating Committee Credit-By-Examination Equivalencies” (Rev 09/2022) list incorporated by reference in State Board of Education paragraph 6A-10.024(8)(a), F.A.C., and which may be obtained at https://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-15005.

  1. Credit will only be given for exams in courses that meet the requirements of paragraph (1)(a) or (1)(b), above.
  2. For credit to be given, the applicant shall achieve a passing score as identified on the list.
  3. Three (3) credit hours shall be granted for each exam, unless the applicant provides evidence that a college or university with an EAC/ABET-accredited engineering program will grant more credit.

(b) College- or university-level courses can also be taken to satisfy deficiencies. Credit shall not be given for a college or university course or credit-by-examination exam if credit in a similar course or exam has already been earned.

These rule changes should help clarify the steps that applicants can take to rectify educational deficiencies and obtain their license.

About the Author

Now retired, Art Nordlinger, PE, was most recently the manager, transmission tariff and contracts for Tampa Electric Co. He was appointed a corporate director for the Florida Engineers Management Corporation in 2018, and served as chair in 2022.