Navigating the architecture licensure process can be complex. You should begin by reviewing the website of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). While the National Council of Architecture Registration Boards (NCARB) establishes national licensure and registration requirements, and their web resources, especially the Architectural Experience Program (AXP), are extremely useful, it is important to keep in mind that individual states may have more specialized guidelines that supersede NCARB's guidelines. The New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, Architecture, has established guidelines for the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). AIA requirements are also brought to bear on state licensure processes and requirements. It is recommended that you become familiar with the resources of local chapters of the AIA, such as the AIA New York Chapter. You should also contact the Architect Licensing Advisor at your school to seek clarification about the licensure process. Finally, support for AXP and licensure should be a consideration when making a decision about pursuing professional work experience.


Why get licensed? Presentation (.ppt) and Video.

FE Exam
The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is a measure of minimum competency to enter the engineering profession. Passing the exam demonstrates initiative and drive to pursue an engineering career. Employers hiring recent engineering graduates may look to see if the applicant has successfully passed the FE exam. Passing the exam classifies one as an intern, also known as Engineering Intern (EI) or Engineer-in-Training (EIT).

NY Exam Registration

  1. Register with New York State.
    1. Obtain Forms 1 & 2 either at the Career Resource Library (30 Cooper, 6th Floor) or online.

      Form 1: Application for Licensure and First Registration
      Completed by student. Requires a $70 fee

      Form 2: Certification of Professional Education
      Request for it to be completed by Cooper's Office of the Registrar.

    2. Allow 2-3 weeks for processing.
  2. Registrant will receive the test form in the mail.
  3. Registrant may now register for the FE Exam by either hard copy or online.

Examinations are administered twice a year, in April and October. See below for Exam dates.

Those interested in taking the April exam must have Part 1 & 2 application materials postmarked by November 1 of the previous year.

Those interested in taking the October exam must have Part 1 & 2 application materials postmarked by May 1 of the same year.

Application materials must be postmarked by the filing deadlines. There are no exceptions.

Exam Schedule

Year PE Exams FE Exams
2015 April 17 April 18
October 30 October 31
2016 April 15 April 16
October 28 October 29
2017 April 21 April 22
October 27 October 28

Exam Format
The FE exam is eight hours long, with one four-hour session in the morning and another in the afternoon. Examinees must participate in both sessions on the same day. The exam is closed-book, and reference material is supplied. All questions are multiple-choice.

The FE exam consists of 180 multiple-choice questions. During the morning session, all examinees take a general exam common to all disciplines. During the afternoon session, examinees can opt to take a general exam or a discipline-specific (chemical, civil, electrical, environmental, industrial, or mechanical) exam. See exam specifications for more details.

Examinees must earn a scaled score of 70 or higher to pass the FE or FS exam.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.