The ACOPNE Admissions Committee uses the exam to determine whether an applicant has sufficient experience and expertise to be accepted as a Diplomate in one of the four specialty areas within the Academy: Coastal, Ocean, Port or Navigation Engineering (COPNE). Information is given below regarding the Examination Process, ACOPNE Admission Committee Evaluation Criteria, ACOPNE certification requirements and ACOPNE Fundamental Principles and Canons.

Exams will either be completed in person (generally at a COPRI Conference) or via Skype with one panel member physically present.

Oral Exam

Oral examinations will be required for certification in the Academy for all applicants who have less than 15 years of experience (post-baccalaureate) and may be required for applicants with less than 25 years of experience.  The applicant will need to present a project they have worked on in the past or are presently working on that would show that they have met an area of the Body of Knowledge at the expert level.  Generally, this can be expected to take about 30 minutes, although there is no time requirement, nor limit. The exam panel, made up of at least three Diplomates, will then conduct a question/answer session on the presentation.

The exam will be fairly informal, and generally will take about two hours.  The exam committee wants the applicant to first present his/her experience that they believe qualifies them to be a Diplomate.  To do this he/she can speak from notes, maps, drawings, PPT handouts or any other prop he/she chooses.  ACOPNE will neither provide projection equipment nor does the committee wish to have a Power Point presentation.  This keeps the examinations simple, inexpensive and informal.  The committee will have questions about the applicant's experience and some related questions of a broader technical nature.  Then there will be a discussion of ethics.  The only preparation for this would be to review the ASCE canons and code of ethics and to gather experience in a format that makes it comfortable for one to discuss.

Exam Schedule

The ACOPNE Academy will attempt to conduct oral examinations in reasonably convenient locations (such as a major engineering conference or meeting location, or within the state or region where the applicant resides). However, this may not always be possible. By completing the application, the applicant agrees to travel (at his/her cost) to the closest available examination site provided by the Academy. The Academy will work and coordinate with the candidate(s) for the best possible location for the oral examination.

The Academy will provide multiple examination locations annually.

Detailed ACOPNE Examination Procedure

RESOURCES FOR BODY OF KNOWLEDGE (see Certification/Certification Exam drop down menu for BoKs)

Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge for the 21st Century: Preparing the Civil Engineer for the Future, Second Edition, American Society of Civil Engineers 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, Virginia. 2008. (http://www.asce.org/CE-Body-of-Knowledge/)

Sustainability and ASCE's New Action Plan



ASCE Code of Ethics


If you have any questions about the examination process, please don't hesitate to contact ACOPNE at: [email protected].

Body of Knowledge Links: