For Admission To The Examination
All citizens and legal resident aliens of the United States, and any foreigner not a resident of the United States who shall file proof to the satisfaction of the Director that he or she is registered and in good standing before the patent office of the country in which he or she resides and practices, may sit for the patent exam provided they meet the following requirements:
Individuals applying for the examination must demonstrate that they possess the scientific and technical training necessary to provide valuable service to patent applicants.
Applicants bear the burden of showing the requisite scientific and technical training.
To be admitted to the examination, each individual must demonstrate possession of the required scientific and technical training.
Bachelorís Degree in a Recognized Technical Subject: An Applicant will be considered to have the necessary scientific and technical training if he or she provides an official transcript showing that a Bachelorís degree was awarded in one of the following subjects by an accredited United States college or university, or that the equivalent to a Bachelorís degree was awarded by a foreign university in one of the following subjects:
Computer Science *
* Acceptable Computer Science degrees must be accredited by the Computer Science Accreditation Commission (CSAC) of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB), or by the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), on or before the date the degree was awarded. Computer science degrees that are accredited may be found at www.abet.org.
Other Bachelor Degrees
Degrees in subjects, such as Biological Sciences, Pharmacy, and Mechanical Technology, not listed above must qualify under Category B or Category C below.
Applicants who have a Masterís or higher level degree in one of the subject areas listed above, but do not have a Bachelorís degree in such subject, must qualify under Category B or Category C below.
An Applicant with a Bachelorís degree in a subject other than one of those listed in Category A, must establish that he or she possesses scientific and technical training equivalent to that received at an accredited U.S. college or university for a Bachelorís degree in one of the subjects listed in Category A. To establish such equivalence, an Applicant can satisfy one of the following four options, other training, or other education listed below.
24 semester hours in physics. Only physics courses for physics majors will be accepted.
32 semester hours in a combination consisting of the following: 8 semester hours of chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics, and 24 semester hours in biology, botany, microbiology, or molecular biology. The 8 semester hours in chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics must be obtained in two sequential semesters, each semester including a lab. Only courses for science or engineering majors will be accepted.
30 semester hours in chemistry. Only chemistry courses for chemistry majors will be accepted.
40 semester hours in a combination consisting of the following: 8 semester hours of chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics, and 32 semester hours of chemistry, physics, biology, botany, microbiology, molecular biology, or engineering (for Computer Science see other acceptable course work). The 8 semester hours of chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics must be obtained in two sequential semesters, each semester including a lab. Only courses for science or engineering majors will be accepted. For Computer Science, see ďOther Acceptable Course WorkĒ below. All acceptable coursework for Options 2 and 4 must be for science or engineering majors.
Other Acceptable Course Work
Under Option 4, up to four semester hours will be accepted for courses in design engineering or drafting. Also, under Option 4, computer science courses that stress theoretical foundations, analysis, and design, and include substantial laboratory work, including software development will be accepted. Such courses include the representation and transformation of information structures, the theoretical models for such representations and transformations, basic coverage of algorithms, data structures, software design with a laboratory, programming languages with a laboratory, and computer organization and architecture. Other acceptable courses in computer science include artificial intelligence and robotics, networking, linear circuits, logic circuits, operating systems, and software methodology and engineering. However, the courses may not be substituted for the eight semester hours of chemistry or physics required under Option 4.
Practical Engineering or Scientific Experience: An individual relying on practical engineering or scientific experience or who does not qualify under Category A or B above may establish the required technical training by demonstrating that he or she has taken and passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) test. The FE test is a test of engineering fundamentals. The FE test is developed and administered by a State Board of Engineering Examiners in each State or comparable jurisdiction. Neither the USPTO nor any other U.S. Government agency administers the test. Individuals who desire to take the FE test should direct inquiries to the Secretaries of the appropriate State Boards. Official results of the FE test must be submitted by the deadline to establish qualification under this category. Applicants attempting to qualify under Category C must submit an official original transcript showing the award of a Bachelors degree.