Updated for the new July 2020 FE Exam Topics

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FE Environmental

The latest NCEES specifications with category and topics.

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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.

Environmental FE exam categories

Questions on the FE Exam

Analytic geometry and trigonometry

Algebraic equations and roots

Calculus (e.g., differential, integral, differential equations)

Numerical methods (e.g., numerical integration, approximations, precision limits, error propagation)

Measures of central tendencies and dispersions (e.g., mean, mode, standard deviation)

Probability distributions (e.g., discrete, continuous, normal, binomial)

Estimation for a single mean (e.g., point, confidence intervals)

Regression (linear, multiple), curve fitting, and goodness of fit (e.g., correlation coefficient, least squares)

Hypothesis testing (e.g., t-test, outlier testing, analysis of the variance)

Codes of ethics (e.g., professional and technical societies, ethical and legal considerations)

Public health, safety, and welfare (e.g., public protection issues, licensing boards, professional liability)

Compliance with codes, standards, and regulations (e.g., CWA, CAA, RCRA, CERCLA, SDWA, NEPA, OSHA)

Engineer’s role in society (e.g., sustainability, resiliency, long-term viability)

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

Cost types and breakdowns (e.g., fixed, variable, direct and indirect labor, incremental, average, sunk, O&M)

Economic analyses (e.g., benefit-cost, break-even, minimum cost, overhead, life cycle)

Project selection (e.g., comparison of projects with unequal lives, lease/buy/make, depreciation, discounted cash flow)

Population projections and demand calculations (e.g., water, wastewater, solid waste, energy)


Materials science (e.g., properties, corrosion, compatibility, stress strain)

Stoichiometry and chemical reactions (e.g., equilibrium, acid-base, oxidation-reduction, precipitation, pC-pH)

Kinetics (e.g., chemical conversion, growth and decay)

Organic chemistry (e.g., nomenclature, functional group reactions)

Multimedia equilibrium partitioning (e.g., Henry’s law, octanol partitioning coefficient)

Dose-response toxicity (e.g., carcinogen, noncarcinogen)

Exposure routes and pathways

Occupational health (e.g., PPE, noise pollution, safety screening)

Fluid statics (e.g., pressure, force analysis)

Closed conduits (e.g., Darcy-Weisbach, Hazen-Williams, Moody)

Open channel (e.g., Manning, supercritical/subcritical, culverts, hydraulic elements)

Pumps (e.g., power, operating point, parallel, series)

Flow measurement (e.g., weirs, orifices, flumes)

Blowers (e.g., power, inlet/outlet pressure, efficiency, operating point, parallel, series)

Fluid dynamics (e.g., Bernoulli, laminar flow, turbulent flow, continuity equation)

Steady and unsteady flow

Thermodynamic laws (e.g., first law, second law)

Energy, heat, and work (e.g., efficiencies, coefficient of performance, energy cycles, energy conversion, conduction, convection, radiation)

Behavior of ideal gases

Runoff calculations (e.g., land use, land cover, time of concentration, duration, intensity, frequency, runoff control, runoff management)

Water storage sizing (e.g., reservoir, detention and retention basins)

Routing (e.g., channel, reservoir)

Water quality and modeling (e.g., erosion, channel stability, stormwater quality management, wetlands, Streeter-Phelps, eutrophication)

Water budget (e.g., evapotranspiration, precipitation, infiltration, soil moisture, storage)

Basic hydrogeology (e.g., aquifer properties, soil characteristics, subsurface)

Groundwater flow (e.g., Darcy’s law, specific capacity, velocity, gradient, transport mechanisms)

Drawdown (e.g., Dupuit, Jacob, Theis, Thiem)

Remediation of soil, sediment, and/or groundwater (e.g., recovery, ex-situ/in-situ treatment)

Water and wastewater characteristics (e.g., physical, chemical, biological, nutrients)

Mass balance and loading rates (e.g., removal efficiencies)

Physical processes (e.g., sedimentation/clarification, filtration, adsorption, membrane, flocculation, headworks, flow equalization, air stripping, activated carbon)

Chemical processes (e.g., disinfection, ion exchange, softening, coagulation, precipitation)

Biological processes (e.g., activated sludge, fixed film, lagoons, phytoremediation, aerobic, anaerobic, anoxic)

Sludge treatment and handling (e.g., land application, digestion, sludge dewatering, composting)

Water conservation and reuse

Ambient and indoor air quality (e.g., criteria, toxic and hazardous air pollutants)

Mass and energy balances (e.g., STP basis, loading rates, heating values)

Emissions (e.g., factors, rates)

Atmospheric modeling and meteorology (e.g., stability classes, dispersion modeling, lapse rates)

Gas treatment technologies (e.g., biofiltration, scrubbers, adsorbers, incineration, catalytic reducers)

Particle treatment technologies (e.g., baghouses, cyclones, electrostatic precipitators)

Indoor air quality modeling and controls (e.g., air exchanges, steady- and nonsteady-state reactor model)

Mass and energy balances

Solid waste management (e.g., collection, transportation, storage, composting, recycling, waste to energy)

Solid waste disposal (e.g., landfills, leachate and gas collection)

Hazardous waste compatibility

Site characterization (e.g., sampling, monitoring, remedial investigation)

Hazardous and radioactive waste treatment and disposal (e.g., physical, chemical, thermal, biological)

Energy sources concepts (e.g., conventional and alternative)

Environmental impact of energy sources and production (e.g., greenhouse gas production, carbon footprint, thermal, water needs)

Environmental Exam

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