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SDR Information

About the California Civil PE Exams

Beginning with the April 2018 exam, a NEW process for applying for licensure as a Civil Engineer in California was implemented.  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:

  1. NCEES Principles & Practice of Engineering (PE) Examination – computer-based test (CBT) format, 80 questions, multiple-choice, 8 hours in length

  2. California P.E. State Laws & Board Rules Exam (Take Home Exam)

  3. Civil Engineering Surveying (CES) Principles Exam – computer-based test (CBT) format, 55 questions, multiple choice, 2.5 hours in length

  4. Civil Seismic Principles (CSP) Exam – computer-based test (CBT) format, 55 questions, multiple choice, 2.5 hours in length


The four parts DO NOT have to be passed concurrently; they may be passed separately. Applicants licensed as a Civil PE in another State may apply for comity, and typically are only required to take and pass the CA Special Civil Engineer exams (i.e., CES and CSP exams), and the Take Home exam.

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About the SDR Course

The Seismic Design Review course is presented in preparation for the 2½-hour Civil Seismic Principles (CSP) portion of the California Civil PE 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.

The course covers seismic design, analysis, and retrofit principles that pertain to buildings and other structures using the 2021 International Building Code (IBC), 2022 California Building Code (CBC), ASCE 7-16 (including Supplements 1, 2 & 3) as well as other reference standards.


About the Instructor

Steven T. Hiner is a California registered Civil Engineer and Structural Engineer and has been practicing in the field of structural engineering since 1985. He received Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from CSU Sacramento in 1985 and 1990, respectively.

For more than eleven years, Mr. Hiner worked in the private sector performing the structural design and analysis of many buildings and other structures. His main focus and area of interest has been in seismic analysis and design, and the study of the response of structures when subjected to earthquake induced ground motion.  Mr. Hiner has been teaching the Seismic Design Review (SDR) course for the California Civil PE Special Civil Seismic Principles (CSP) examination for more than 33 years. 

Mr. Hiner began teaching Live (in-person) Seminars in the Sacramento area in September of 1990. As the demand for the course increased, a San Francisco Bay Area course was added in Fall 1994, and a Southern California course was added in Fall 2017.  Live Webinars and On-Demand Webinars were added as course options starting in 2011.  As of early 2020, Live (in-person) Seminars are no longer being offered. 

Registrations & Certificates

Professional Associations

Registered Civil Engineer, California, 1988
Registered Structural Engineer, California, 1991

Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC)
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)
American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC)
International Code Council (ICC)

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