Updated for the new July 2020 FE Exam Topics

Stockholm-icons / Tools / Compass Created with Sketch.

FE Civil

The latest NCEES specifications with category and topics.

Effective July 1st, 2020, these are the categories and subcategories specified by the NCEES that this discipline covers. It includes an estimate of the number of questions you will see on the official exam for each category. We've covered the specification changes in this blog post. PrepFE provides hundreds of questions in proportional amounts to the official exam.

For the prior categories and topics that were discontinued at the end of June, 2020, please see the categories here.

Civil FE exam categories

Questions on the FE Exam

Analytic geometry

Single-variable calculus

Vector operations

Statistics (e.g., distributions, mean, mode, standard deviation, confidence interval, regression and curve fitting)

Codes of ethics (professional and technical societies)

Professional liability


Contracts and contract law

Time value of money (e.g., equivalence, present worth, equivalent annual worth, future worth, rate of return)

Cost (e.g., fixed, variable, direct and indirect labor, incremental, average, sunk)

Analyses (e.g., break-even, benefit-cost, life cycle, sustainability, renewable energy)

Uncertainty (e.g., expected value and risk)

Resultants of force systems

Equivalent force systems

Equilibrium of rigid bodies

Frames and trusses

Centroid of area

Area moments of inertia

Static friction

Kinematics (e.g., particles, rigid bodies)

Mass moments of inertia

Force acceleration (e.g., particles, rigid bodies)

Work, energy, and power (e.g., particles, rigid bodies)

Shear and moment diagrams

Stresses and strains (e.g., diagrams, axial, torsion, bending, shear, thermal)

Deformations (e.g., axial, torsion, bending, thermal)

Combined stresses, principal stresses, and Mohr's circle

Mix design of concrete and asphalt

Test methods and specifications of metals, concrete, aggregates, asphalt, and wood

Physical and mechanical properties of metals, concrete, aggregates, asphalt, and wood

Flow measurement

Fluid properties

Fluid statics

Energy, impulse, and momentum of fluids

Angles, distances, and trigonometry

Area computations

Earthwork and volume computations

Coordinate systems (e.g., state plane, latitude/longitude)

Leveling (e.g., differential, elevations, percent grades)

Basic hydrology (e.g., infiltration, rainfall, runoff, watersheds)

Basic hydraulics (e.g., Manning equation, Bernoulli theorem, open-channel flow)


Water distribution systems

Flood control (e.g., dams, routing, spillways)

Stormwater (e.g., detention, routing, quality)

Collection systems (e.g., wastewater, stormwater)

Groundwater (e.g., flow, wells, drawdown)

Water quality (e.g., ground and surface, basic water chemistry)

Testing and standards (e.g., water, wastewater, air, noise)

Water and wastewater treatment (e.g., biological processes, softening, drinking water treatment)

Analysis of statically determinant beams, columns, trusses, and frames

Deflection of statically determinant beams, trusses, and frames

Column analysis (e.g., buckling, boundary conditions)

Structural determinacy and stability analysis of beams, trusses, and frames

Elementary statically indeterminate structures

Loads, load combinations, and load paths (e.g., dead, live, lateral, influence lines and moving loads, tributary areas)

Design of steel components (e.g., codes and design philosophies, beams, columns, tension members, connections)

Design of reinforced concrete components (e.g., codes and design philosophies, beams, columns)

Index properties and soil classifications

Phase relations

Laboratory and field tests

Effective stress

Stability of retaining structures (e.g., active/passive/at-rest pressure)

Shear strength

Bearing capacity

Foundation types (e.g., spread footings, deep foundations, wall footings, mats)

Consolidation and differential settlement

Slope stability (e.g., fills, embankments, cuts, dams)

Soil stabilization (e.g., chemical additives, geosynthetics)

Geometric design (e.g., streets, highways, intersections)

Pavement system design (e.g., thickness, subgrade, drainage, rehabilitation)

Traffic capacity and flow theory

Traffic control devices

Transportation planning (e.g., travel forecast modeling, safety, trip generation)

Project administration (e.g., documents, management, procurement, project delivery methods)

Construction operations and methods (e.g., safety, equipment, productivity analysis, temporary erosion control)

Project controls (e.g., earned value, scheduling, allocation of resources, activity relationships)

Construction estimating

Interpretation of engineering drawings