PE Civil Breadth & Geotechnical Depth

The PE Civil exam is eight hours long and divided into two sections: breadth and depth. The breadth portion takes place in the morning and is made up of questions from all areas of civil engineering. The depth portion takes place in the afternoon and focuses on one specific area of civil engineering that is selected by the examinee.

Course Features

Our PE Civil exam review courses consist of comprehensive lectures and practice sessions to ensure our students have an excellent understanding of the material. Each review course follows the official NCEES exam specifications and is divided into two parts: The first part includes 48 hours of breadth review, which covers the topics of the breadth portion of exam. The second part includes 48 hours of discipline-specific review, which covers the student’s chosen depth subject. Student registration also includes access to our Study Hub at no additional cost.

Our New Study Hub: One Place for All Your Study Needs

Our reimagined Study Hub was designed with all of our students in mind—past, present, and future—to amplify their studies and help them approach exam day with confidence. PE Civil Breadth & Geotechnical Depth students can study anytime, anywhere, and on any device with these exciting features:

  • Study Hub's new feature: Personalized Study Plan
  • Watch, pause, and resume lecture videos where you left off
  • Make timestamped annotations on lecture videos
  • Bookmark recordings to easily review at a later date
  • Download, review, and annotate lecture notes
  • Easily access eBooks
  • Test your knowledge using different test formats in the Practice Portal Pro
  • Quiz yourself on important definitions with the Flash Cards feature
  • Ask questions to instructors while watching lecture videos
  • Access discussion forums to communicate with other students
  • Study using any device with an internet connection for a seamless experience
  • Download the Study Hub app to take your studies on-the-go!

Books by School of PE

Our PE Civil Exam Review Guide: Breadth book (a $240 value) is included in our PE Civil Ondemand review course.
NEW! Register for our Ondemand course by February 28th, 2021 and receive the PE Civil Exam Review Guide: Geotechnical Depth Preview Edition for FREE* in both paperback and eBook ($140 value). The Preview Edition is exclusive to School of PE students.

  • PE Civil Exam Review Guide Breadth
  • PE Civil Geotechnical

*A $35.50 S&H fee is applied to the book and printed materials. PE Civil Exam Review Guide: Geotechnical Depth Preview Edition offer is valid for new April 2021 and October 2021 exam Ondemand review course registrations.

PE Civil Breadth & Geotechnical Depth Course Formats

School of PE offers multiple course formats that are geared toward you and your study habits to help you succeed. Learn more about our options below and select the one that best fits your needs.

Topics Covered in the Geotechnical Depth Exam

The PE Civil: Geotechnical Depth review course helps students become familiar with the topics covered in the depth portion of the exam. According to NCEES, the Geotechnical Depth exam is comprised of 40 multiple-choice questions that require design, analysis, and application methodologies to answer the problems. Knowledge of engineering economics is also helpful for the Geotechnical Depth exam.

At School of PE, our review course material is developed by instructors who specialize in the Geotechnical area of civil engineering. The material is designed around the official NCEES exam specifications, which include:

Site Characterization

  • Interpretation of available existing site data and proposed site development data
  • Subsurface exploration planning
  • Geophysics
  • Drilling techniques
  • Sampling techniques
  • In situ testing
  • Description and classification of soils
  • Rock classification and characterization
  • Groundwater exploration, sampling, and characterization

Soil Mechanics, Laboratory Testing, and Analysis

  • Index properties and testing
  • Strength testing of soil and rock
  • Stress-strain testing of soil and rock
  • Permeability testing properties of soil and rock
  • Effective and total stresses

Field Materials Testing, Methods, and Safety

  • Excavation and embankment, borrow source studies, and laboratory and field compaction
  • Trench and construction safety
  • Geotechnical instrumentation

Earthquake Engineering and Dynamic Loads

  • Liquefaction analysis and mitigation techniques
  • Pseudo-static analysis and earthquake loads
  • Seismic site characterization, including site classification using ASCE 7

Earth Structures

  • Slab on grade
  • Ground improvement
  • Geosynthetic applications
  • Slope stability and slope stabilization
  • Earth dams, levees, and embankments
  • Landfills and caps
  • Settlement
  • Pavement structures, including equivalent single-axle load (ESAL), pavement thickness, subgrade testing, subgrade preparation, and maintenance and rehabilitation treatments

Groundwater and Seepage

  • Seepage analysis/groundwater flow
  • Drainage design/infiltration
  • Grouting and other methods of reducing seepage
  • Dewatering design, methods, and impact on nearby structures

Problematic Soil and Rock Conditions

  • Karst; collapsible, expansive, and sensitive soils
  • Reactive/corrosive soils
  • Frost susceptibility

Earth Retaining Structures (ASD or LRFD)

  • Lateral earth pressure
  • Load distribution
  • Rigid retaining wall stability analysis
  • Flexible retaining wall stability analysis
  • Cofferdams
  • Underpinning
  • Ground anchors, tie-backs, soil nails, and rock anchors for foundations and slopes

Shallow Foundations (ASD or LRFD)

  • Bearing capacity
  • Settlement, including vertical stress distribution

Deep Foundations (ASD or LRFD)

  • Single-element axial capacity
  • Lateral load and deformation analysis
  • Single-element settlement
  • Downdrag
  • Group effects
  • Installation methods/hammer selection
  • Pile dynamics
  • Pile and drilled-shaft load testing
  • Integrity testing methods
FE,PE Review Courses