In October 1998, ASCE’s Board of Direction adopted Policy Statement 465: First Professional Degree (FPD), which supports the concept that the master’s degree or an equivalent would be required for a graduate engineer to practice civil engineering at the professional level. In the writer’s opinion, this requirement has not be implemented because there is no clear vision of how to put together a curriculum and a mechanism to bridge the gap between the existing curriculum and requirements to satisfy the first professional degree.
A model curriculum is presented for the development of a process that will lead to the entry-level degree of professional civil engineer or a master degree in Civil Engineering. This degree will carry with it not only a pure academic component, but also requires a full summer of professional experience which exposes the student to the practice in the field whether it being a site experience and/or an office experience.
The duration of both degrees would normally be five academic years with an obligatory summer semester for the professional experience requirement. The deciding factor whether a student could pursuit a graduate degree or the professional degree would be the cumulative and/or the major GPA at the end of their junior year.
Students pursuing the graduate degree would be awarded a BS at the end of their Senior Year and a MS in a minimum of one year after their Senior Year. Meanwhile students in the professional track would be awarded a Professional Degree at the end of the fifth year.