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News Release

Professional Exam for Software Engineering to be Offered in April 2013

WASHINGTON (12 June 2012) — NCEES, The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, will begin offering a Principles and Practice of Engineering exam -- PE exam -- in software engineering in April 2013. Registration is scheduled to open mid-December 2012.

IEEE-USA is an exam cosponsor and is working with the IEEE Computer Society to release sample study questions.

IEEE Fellow Dr. Phillip Laplante, a professor of software engineering at Penn State University's Malvern, Pa., campus and member of the IEEE-USA Licensure and Registration Committee, is chair of the Software Engineering Licensure Examination Development Committee. He's playing a key role in the exam's development.

"The exam is the result of a comprehensive survey study of several hundred software engineering professionals and the hard work of a dedicated committee of practicing software engineers with extensive experience in a wide range of mission-critical systems," Laplante said. "Sample exam questions will be available to prospective examinees in October."

Many state licensing boards have long contended that because software engineers play a significant and expanding role in the design and operation of safety-critical systems, they should be regulated in the same manner as other engineering disciplines. Projects affecting public health, welfare and safety -- such as electric grids, traffic control systems and water treatment plants -- require licensed engineers to verify that design work is done properly.

The National Society of Professional Engineers and the Texas Board of Professional Engineers are also assisting in the exam's development. It will be used by engineering licensing boards across the United States and be administered yearly.

For more on the licensing of software engineers in an FAQ article from Laplante, see

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