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Graduate Field of Biological & Environmental Engineering

Be part of an extraordinary legacy.

As one of the first departments of agricultural engineering in the country, and through a transition to a premier biological and environmental engineering department, our tradition of excellence has centered on training graduate students for leadership in the field.

The Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering (BEE) is diverse with two distinct and highly integrated program areas: biological engineering and environmental engineering. Although these two program areas share significant commonality in teaching, especially with regard to the core curriculum, there are significant differences in emphasis and course options. These differences result in a flexible program that satisfies the diverse interests of our students. Accordingly, the intellectual breadth of the BEE department is even more strongly reflected by the diversity of the department's research and outreach activities.

M.S. & Ph.D.

Students can be admitted either into the M.S. program or into the Ph.D. program. The focus of these programs is on scholarly research. With top-ranked faculty, we use basic biological and environmental science to generate solutions to societal problems involving air, water, food, energy and public health.


The Master of Engineering program in Biological and Environmental Engineering (M.Eng.) is a one-year, specialized master’s degree program. The flexible, interdisciplinary program offers customized coursework, experiential projects, and dedicated support organization to advance your technical knowledge and career potential.


The Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences (MPS) is a one-year degree for professional training and practical problem-solving. The topics of interest to our students pursuing professional degrees closely parallel the research concentrations of the faculty. The capstone project required of the MPS typically reflects the special interests of our career-focused students.

M.Eng. Areas of Specialization

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Systems Engineering and Modeling

(Food, Water and Energy)

Apply engineering and biology principles to provide basic services for human needs, including clean water, soil and renewable energy, and manage waste flows (food, agricultural and human) while protecting the environment and future generations.

Molecular Engineering

(Synthetic Biology, Nucleic Acid, Health and Medicine)

Explore the processes inside the cell, interactions among cells, and cellular response to the environment. Synthetic biologists study the creation of new biological systems, focusing on finding how life works or how to use it to benefit society.

Soil and Water Engineering

(Hydrology, Contaminant Transport and Remediation)

Study interspecies interactions and design them into systems that produce useful products and preserve the environment; monitor ecosystems to preserve their stability in the face of population growth and climate change. Areas of exploration include hydroponics, biomass and food processing, management of pests and invasive species, and sustainable waste processing, including advances in composting and anaerobic digestion.