The Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering (BEE) offers bachelor degree programs in environmental engineering and biological engineering. Graduates receive a joint degree from Cornell University’s College of Engineering and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. There are about 250 undergraduate students in the BEE program.

Undergraduate majors

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The biological engineering major (BE) emphasizes mathematics, the physical and biological sciences, and engineering analysis and design. The major follows the academic requirements of the College of Engineering.

Student examines a tobacco plant.

The environmental engineering major (EnvE) provides students with appropriate background in the physical, chemical and biological sciences together with the mathematical, planning, analysis and design tools necessary to address complex environmental engineering problems.


Students enter the engineering program via one of two pathways:

  1. They can enroll with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences directly to the BE major or EnvE major as a first-year student.
  2. Or they can enroll with the College of Engineering and affiliate with the BE or EnvE major before the end of their sophomore year.

The graduation requirements are the same for all the students regardless of the college in which they enter.

Transfer students

Transfer students can apply to the BE or EnvE major through either college. The academic expectations and award of transfer credit in these ABET-accredited engineering programs follow the guidelines set forth by the Engineering College, and prospective applicants should review the Engineering transfer website for information.

Engineering math transfer credit is determined by the Cornell mathematics department, and transfer students must submit their previous math coursework.

Award of Advanced Placement credit is completed according to the rules of the Engineering College.

Transfer students are encouraged to apply to enter as sophomores because some of our second-year requirements do not have equivalents at most other institutions.

Contact us

John March profile picture
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Professor John March
(607) 254-5471
Brenda Marchewka
Student Services Coordinator
Brenda Marchewka
(607) 255-2173
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Riley-Robb Hall
111 Wing Drive
Ithaca, NY 14853-5701