Minimum Requirements to Apply for Diplomate Board Certification:

  • Have attained the ACOPNE Body of Knowledge specific to the applicant’s area of practice.
  • Be actively engaged in professional practice.
  • Possess a baccalaureate degree or higher from an engineering program accredited by ABET, Inc. or equivalent, acceptable to the Board of Trustees.  The applicant shall have successfully completed at least 30 semester credits, or equivalent, of acceptable graduate-level, or upper-level undergraduate courses, beyond the baccalaureate degree, acceptable to the Board of Trustees.
  • Possess a valid license to practice professional engineering recognized by a State, District, or Territory of the United States or certificate of registration/charter from a foreign country acceptable to the Board of Trustees.
  • Possess a minimum of twelve years of qualifying professional experience in one or more of the specialty fields, of which eight years must be after the first P.E. license.  Further, such work shall include active participation in responsible planning, design, analysis, construction, operation, management, regulation, research, or teaching.  In the case of teaching, the work experience shall be at a recognized engineering program acceptable to the Board of Trustees.
  • Agree in writing to adhere to Academy’s Code of Ethics.
  • Be required to defend their application by examination in a manner specified by the Board of Trustees.  The requirement for an examination may be waived by the Admissions Committee only when the written application clearly demonstrates that the applicant meets all the requirements specified in this Section and has mastered the requisite body of knowledge at the expert level in a manner and form acceptable to the Board of Trustees.

Completing the Application

Applicants for the Diplomate Board Certification must complete the ACOPNE application in its entirety and remit the appropriate fees in order to be considered. The application must be completed in English and all payment must be in U.S. dollars.

Upon submission of the application, the application will be reviewed for completeness by ACOPNE staff prior to being sent to the ACOPNE Admissions Committee. Once an application has been approved by the ACOPNE Admissions Committee, the applicant will be required to sit for an oral examination as a second step in verifying attainment of coastal, ocean, port or navigation engineering body of knowledge. Only after satisfactory completion of the application and examination process will the ACOPNE Board of Trustees issue the certificate of special knowledge indicating attainment of the Diplomate credential. Applicants with more than 15 years of experience may have the examination waived.

After submitting a completed application and a biography, curriculum vital (CV) or resume you will need to have three licensed engineers fill out a reference form. Once all three forms are received, your application is considered complete and will be reviewed after the next deadline (on a quarterly basis). It must then go to the Board for final approval. Once you’re approved, you will be invited to the next induction ceremony to receive your certification plaque and pin.

Application Fee

All applicants must submit a $400 application fee ($300 for ASCE members) with their completed application. This fee covers program expenses including application review, examinations, record keeping, issuance of a certificate of special knowledge, lapel pin, and first year certification dues.

Applicants who are denied certification and wish to reapply to the Academy must pay a fee of $175.

Applicants applying for more than one certification, must submit an additional $150 for each additional discipline (D.CE, D.OE, D.PE, D.NE).

Panel Oral Exam Interviews

The ACOPNE has begun offering panel oral exams via Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

Steps to Apply:

1- Submit application payment online:

2- Download and fill out the ACOPNE application and submit by email.

3- Download the Reference Form and forward to your professional references. Minimum of three references required. Please note, if you have a minimum of 3 professional references, no more than one reference may come from one organization, firm or entity.

4- Email your Resume or C.V. to us at [email protected].


If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].