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.

Panel 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.

The ACOPNE utilizes Microsoft Teams and Zoom to conduct panel oral exams.

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.

ASCE Policy Statement 465

ASCE Sustainability

ASCE defines sustainability as a set of environmental, economic, and social conditions - the "Triple Bottom Line" - in which all of society has the capacity and opportunity to maintain and improve its quality of life indefinitely, without degrading the quantity, quality or the availability of natural, economic, and social resources.

ASCE Code of Ethics

First adopted in 1914, the ASCE Code of Ethics is the model for professional conduct for ASCE members. The Code of Ethics was most recently updated on October 26, 2020.

Body of Knowledge Links:





For any questions about the panel oral exam process, please contact us at [email protected].