Land Surveying

Get Licensed in Minnesota

Seeking initial licensure as a land surveyor?
Find below information on the education, examination, experience requirements, as well as application details and forms.

Already licensed in another state?
See the sidebar "Licensure by Comity/EEE (Reciprocal Licensure)."

For general application information relevant to all professions, see Get Licensed.

Initial Licensure

Education Overview

Applicants for licensure must either

  • a) have graduated from a four-year land surveying curriculum as specified in MN Rule 1800.3505 Subp. 4 from an accredited institution of higher learning, or
  • b) hold a bachelor's degree that includes 22 semester credits in land surveying, divided among at least six of the land surveying categories in MN Rule 1800.3505 Subp. 4, items A-K.

Applicants may sit early for the FS Exam by meeting the minimum requirements in MN Rule 1800.3505 Subp. 2, but will still need to meet the education above to receive their Land Surveyor-in-Training designation, to sit for the PS and MNLS Exams, and to be licensed.

For details on all the above, see the application for the particular exam (below) or MN Rule 1800.3505 Subp. 2 (FS) or MN Rule 1800.3505 Subp. 3 (PS).


Experience Overview

Applicants for the PS Exam and the Minnesota Land Surveying Exam (MNLS)—both of which are required for licensure in Minnesota—must  provide evidence that they meet the qualifying experience requirements.

Qualifying experience consists of varied, progressive, practical experience at land surveying work, gained under the direct supervision of a licensed land surveyor. How much experience you need depends upon the type of education you earned. See MN Rule 1800.3505 Subp. 3 for details. Qualifying experience gained prior to meeting the education requirements must meet the conditions specified in MN Rule 1800.3505 Subp. 3C.

Use the Employment History and Experience (EHE) form, which is part of the Application Form packet. Customize and send a copy to every supervisor verifying your experience. The completed form must be sent by the supervisor directly to the Board.


Examination Overview

In most instances, applicants must first pass the FS Exam and then the PS and MNLS Exams to be considered for licensure.

The FS and PS exams are administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES); but before you can register with NCEES, you must first apply to and be approved by the Board to sit for the exam. They are both computer based and offered year-round.

The MNLS Exam is administered by the Board in St. Paul.

Examination Application Packets

These application packets provide a wealth of information regarding the application process, including links to Minnesota Rules and relevant associated websites (such as NCEES). We encourage you to thoroughly review the instructions and the forms.

Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) Exam Application
Principles & Practice of Surveying (PS) &
Minnesota Land Surveying (MNLS) Exam Application

Use the combined PS/MNLS Application to apply for one or both exams.


Exam Appli­cation Deadlines

The FS and PS exams are computer based and administered year-round.

  • There is no Board application deadline. If approved, you have within three years of the date of the application to register with NCEES and take the exam before your application to the Board expires. If your application expires or if you fail the exam, you must reapply to the Board.
  • NCEES exam registration: You may register at any time, once approved. Once registered, you have one year to schedule your exam before your authorization by NCEES to sit for the exam is forfeited. Testing day/site reservations through NCEES are on a first-come, first-served basis and are restricted by seat availability at each test center.

The MNLS is paper-based and administered by the Board at least twice each year from a location in St. Paul. You apply for a particular administration of the exam and must re-apply if you do not then sit on that particular date.

MNLS Exam DateBoard Appli­cation Dead­line
October 22, 2021 CLOSED
April 22, 2022 February 7, 2022


Examination Costs

Exam Board Appli­cation Fee Exam Fee
FS $25 Paid to/set by NCEES
PS $75*Paid to/set by NCEES
MNLS $75*$250**

*If you apply at the same time for both the PS and MNLS exams, a single fee of $75 covers both applications.

**Once your application for the MNLS is approved, you will receive location, schedule, and other details for this exam by mail. You will need to submit the exam fee by the deadline stated in that approval letter. You will also want to review the MNLS Candidate Handbook (see Additional Resources below).


Next Steps After the Exams

Need to Retake an Exam?

See the applicable exam application form for how to reapply.


After Passing the FS Exam

The Board will officially notify you by mail once you pass the FS Exam. If you have already provided the Board with an official (sealed, sent directly from the institution) copy of your final transcript(s), the Board will include your Land Surveyor-in-Training (LSIT) number with your notification. If you sat prior to graduation and so submitted an unofficial transcript with your FS application, note that the Board will not issue an LSIT number until they receive the required transcript(s).

Once you have your LSIT number and the required experience, you can apply to sit for the PS and MNLS exams.


After Passing the PS and MNLS

The Board will notify you by mail once you pass each exam. Once you pass both the PS and MNLS you will be instructed by mail how to apply for your license. The license fee is $120.

Note: You are not licensed and cannot practice or hold out as licensed until the Board processes your license and issues you a license number.

Regardless of when obtained, your license expires June 30th of every even-numbered year.


Additional Resources


Stay Connected

Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design (AELSLAGID)
85 E. 7th Place Suite 160, St. Paul MN 55101 USA

 8:00 am–4:30 pm, Monday-Friday
 (651) 296-2388
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