Discussion Thread

  • 1.  Structural Engineering Requirements

    Posted 04-15-2021 10:05 AM

    Hello All,
    I am Haqqani, a last year student of Civil Engineering in Kabul University, Afghanistan. As my goal is to become a professional structural engineer, I want to get my Master's Degree in Structural Engineering in the United States. But before that, I don't know which skills and requirements should a structural engineer have. Please share your ideas with me.


    Haqqani Khoram S.M.ASCE

  • 2.  RE: Structural Engineering Requirements

    Posted 04-16-2021 09:27 AM
    To obtain a general idea of skills and requirements, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) website would be a good place to start. Typically a bachelor's degree from an ABET-accredited program is the most basic requirement for PE licensure in the United States.



    Parker Suess P.E., M.ASCE
    Principal Engineer (Structural)

  • 3.  RE: Structural Engineering Requirements

    Posted 04-16-2021 12:31 PM
    Thank you very much sir,
    But how can I join one of the ABET- accredited programs for here, Afghanistan?

    Haqqani Khoram S.M.ASCE

  • 4.  RE: Structural Engineering Requirements

    Posted 04-19-2021 11:57 AM
    Hi Haqqani,

    I am not a "structural" engineer, but as a person who went through the PE licensure process having an international, non-ABET degree, I thought I could help.

    As Mr. Suess has mentioned, a degree from an ABET-accredited program (or equivalent) is necessary to be a licensed engineer in the US.

    There are a lot of extra steps in the application process for people with international (non-US) degrees, which are usually not ABET accredited. 
    First, your college degree has to be evaluated by a evaluation agency to see if it is equivalent to a ABET accredited program. It will depend on the state where you apply for application, but some states specify NCEES to evaluate. You can see what is necessary to get your credentials evaluated by the NCEES by researching their website. When I had mine evaluated,  I had my transcript sent from my college administration to NCEES directly. Along with that, you need to send the syllabus/course description showing course content and class hours (credits) for each credit shown on the transcript. Moreover, if the syllabus/course description is not in English, you need a third-party certified translation of it as well.
    After all these documents are prepared (which will need cooperation from your college office as well as time and money for getting translations), you can apply for the credential evaluation to NCEES by paying the fee and sending the documents. They will let you know if they need anything else.
    After a few weeks, NCEES will let you know the results, ie. if your degree is ABET-equivalent, or if you are missing requirements.
    If it is evaluated as ABET-equivalent, you are now at the same start line as other ABET-accredited degree holders.
    If it is evaluated as not-ABET-equivalent, you will then have to talk with the licensing board of which US state you will be applying to, and see if they will accept your application. The NCEES evaluation report clarifies what requirements are lacking to be evaluated as ABET-equivalent, so you may need to take some courses from ABET accredited colleges (some have online courses) to fulfill the requirements.

    Other than the requirements for the above academic background, most states will require work experience, reference letters from multiple professional engineers, and passing the PE exam to become a licensed professional engineer,
    Some tasks are difficult, especially if you are not working/living in the US, but I guess that cannot be helped.

    I recommend you start with the credential evaluation, it is easier doing that in your home country than in the US since you need your college office's cooperation.

    I wish you luck in your studying and future career!

    Kohei Ueno P.E., M.ASCE
    Force Construction Company Inc.
    Columbus IN