Engineering Bodies of Knowledge

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Civil Engineering BOKA body of knowledge (BOK) represents a strategic direction and foundation for a learned profession, defining the knowledge, skills, and attitudes/attributes necessary to enter practice at the professional level.


Two engineering disciplines, civil and environmental engineering, have published explicit and comprehensive bodies of knowledge. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE) designed their BOKs to be dynamic, comprehensive, aspirational, and future-focused. Both BOKs are expressed as “outcomes”—statements that describe what individuals are expected to know or be able to do.


These two bodies of knowledge embrace the generally accepted model of a professional’s education, which includes:

     1) fundamentals in math and natural science
     2) breadth in the humanities and social sciences
     3) technical breadth
     4) professional practice breadth
     5) technical depth or specialization.


The BOK outcomes are fulfilled through a combination of formal education and practical experience. Under today’s engineering accreditation and regulatory processes, some BOK elements may not be translated into accreditation criteria and licensing requirements in the near term.


In addition to the work of ASCE and AAEE, the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) has developed a broader based body of knowledge specific to professional engineers.




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