Modified: December 31, 2020

About the Civil P.E. Exam and the Seismic Design Review Course

The CA Civil P.E. Exam

Beginning with the April 2018 exam, there is a NEW process for applying for licensure as a Civil Engineer in California. Candidates "should" pass the 8-hour NCEES Civil Engineering Principles & Practice (P&P) exam before submitting an application for licensure in California.

The following four parts need to be successfully completed to be licensed as a Civil Engineer in the State of California. You DO NOT need to pass all parts at the same time (i.e., each part may be passed separately from the other parts).

  • Part I: 8-hour NCEES Principles & Practice (P&P) Examination - administered on a Friday in mid-April and late October ("should" pass before applying to take Parts II, III and IV below)
  • Part II: California P.E. State Laws and Board Rules - Take Home Examination (submitted with application)
  • Part III: California Civil Engineering Surveying (CES) Examination - two and one-half hours in length, all multiple-choice (continuous testing by quarter)
  • Part IV: California Civil Seismic Principles (CSP) Examination - two and one-half hours in length, all multiple-choice (continuous testing by quarter)

Both the CA Civil Seismic Principles (CSP) and CA Civil Engineering Surveying (CES) examinations are administered by Prometric, Inc. in a computer-based testing (CBT) format and are offered on a continuous (quarterly) testing basis. Candidates will be authorized to sit for the exam(s) in the quarter following the quarter in which their application is approved by BPELSG. Candidates may sit for each exam once per quarter.

For more information click here

The Seismic Design Review (SDR) Course

The Seismic Design Review course is presented in preparation for the two and one-half hour CA Civil Seismic Principles (CSP) portion of the California Civil P.E. Examination (i.e., Part IV). The course is specifically tailored for individuals who do not possess a strong background in structural analysis and/or principles of earthquake resistant design.

Beginning in January 2020, the course covers seismic design, analysis, and retrofit principles that pertain to buildings and other structures using the 2018 International Building Code (IBC), 2019 California Building Code (CBC), ASCE 7-16, as well as other reference standards.