Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Civil Engineering (MCE)


Civil Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Brandon Ross

Committee Member

Kalyan Piratla

Committee Member

Kapil Chalil Madathil


The primary goal of the thesis was to identify barriers that hinder students from taking the Fundamental of Engineering (FE) exam. The secondary goals were to determine the most prevalent barriers and compare the difference in knowledge about the FE between senior and sophomore students. The FE exam is a computer-based exam with questions based on undergraduate-level courses and is an early step in the process of becoming a professional engineer. Data for the thesis came from interviews and surveys. Interviews were done by twenty seniors, while surveys were given to forty-one senior and eighty-six sophomore civil engineering students. Interviews and surveys revealed the following as barriers:

  • Cost of the exam (test and materials)
  • Lack of career relevance
  • No motivation to study
  • Not going for a PE license

It is intended that Clemson and other universities can look at the data presented in this thesis and find ways to alleviate students’ barriers to taking the exam.

Included in

Engineering Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.