Find out if you are eligible to become a Patent Practitioner with Wysebridge.

Anyone who meets the requirements set by the USPTO Office of Enrollment & Discipline (OED) may take the exam. Ok, so what are those requirements?

Education

In general, you must possess some formal education (most typical is a bachelors degree or equivalent) in a science or technology discipline.

Moral Character

You must be found to be an “upstanding” person…subject to the OED.  While it’s not impossible to seek registration with a record, it  may take longer and have additional costs associated with this path.

32 USPTO approved undergraduate degrees
Aeronautical Engineering
Agricultural Engineering
Biochemistry
Biology
Biomedical Engineering
Botany
Ceramic Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Computer Science*
Electrical Engineering
Electrochemical Engineering
Electronics Technology
Engineering Physics
Food Technology
General Chemistry
General Engineering
Geological Engineering
Industrial Engineering
Marine Technology
Mechanical Engineering
Metallurgical Engineering
Microbiology
Mining Engineering
Molecular Biology
Nuclear Engineering
Organic Chemistry
Petroleum Engineering
Pharmacology
Physics
Textile Technology

Education Requirements 

The USPTO / OED / US government wants to make sure if you pass the exam and become a registered agent/attorney you will actually be able to understand inventions.  Thus one of the criteria for being eligible to take the exam is possessing some understanding in a technical / scientific / related field.

Main Educational Category

There are six “categories” of acceptable qualification to meet the USPTO’s educational requirements.  The first category, category A, is the category most test takes qualify under.

1. CATEGORY A: BACHELOR’S DEGREE QUALIFICATION

If you have a Bachelor’s Degree in one of the following subjects (to the left), you qualify. The name of your degree must be an exact match.

“Other” Bachelor Degree Fields of Study Qualifications

Ok, so you don’t have a bachelors degrees that is in the list in category A.  What now?  Well, you still might be eligible to qualify.  Take a look below:

Under these possibilities, you have a Bachelor’s degree (in any subject, not listed on the list above) AND fall into one of the 4 sub-options below (Basically, if you took enough credit hours / courses in a science or technologically related field while getting your bachelors degree in another field).

Option 1: Physics – 24 semester hours in physics. Only physics courses for physics majors will be accepted.

Option 2: Biology / Chem -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 courses, each course including a lab. Only courses for science or engineering majors will be accepted.

Option 3: Chemistry -30 semester hours in chemistry. Only chemistry courses for chemistry majors will be accepted.

Option 4: Science/Engineering –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 courses, each course including a lab. Only courses for science or engineering majors will be accepted. For Computer Science, see other “Other Acceptable Course Work.” All acceptable coursework for Options 2 and 4 must be for science or engineering majors.

A.  If you have a Bachelor’s degree but are a few credits short for one of the above options, you can take some courses at a local community college to qualify. Just make sure that your courses are acceptable before you take them.

B. Under Category B, you must include official course descriptions from the year the course was taken. These should be available from the registrar of the college you took the courses (the USPTO wants to ensure you took appropriate and qualifying courses for example, they want to make sure you took Physics with calculus, not algebra based “physics.”

Less Utilized Qualifications

Training or expertise in one of the subjects in Category A.

Other Education (Including Life Experience). This is an even less utilized route, and frankly, the USPTO rarely grants admission to the exam based on this option.

Military Service: Courses taken during military service. These credits must be able to be applied towards a degree at a college or university.

Category C: Practical Engineering or Scientific Experience. An applicant 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.  Most states require you to have an engineering degree to take this exam. You also need a Bachelor’s degree in any subject.

Moral Requirements

Good moral character and reputation is established by filling out the application to be admitted to take the exam, and by having your name published after passing the exam so that anyone with a contrary opinion can address the issue with the Office.

A Few Numbers About The Industry

11151
Active USPTO Patent Agents
33427
Active USPTO Patent Attorneys

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