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The Biological & Ecological Engineering department offers BEE programs leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering.

Graduate Program Mission, Outcomes and Objectives.

Our policy is that students can be accepted into the program at any time during the year and it is possible that support from sponsored research can become available throughout the year.  Most students begin this program Fall Term and there are advantages with an early application in terms of assistantships and finding an advisor. We recommend that students applying for Fall Term have their application packets completed by the first Monday in January of that year, for full consideration.  You can submit an application after that date but opportunities for being accepted are greater at that time.

The Biological & Ecological Engineering Department offers the following graduate degrees:

Biological & Ecological Engineering (M.S., MEng, and Ph.D degree programs)

The graduate program in Biological & Ecological Engineering deals with diverse issues in the design and analysis of a wide range of biological and hydrologic systems. Focus areas are in bioprocessing, biosystems analysis and water resource engineering/watershed analysis. 

Research topics in Biological and Ecological engineering encompass biofuels production, metabolic engineering, microbial fuel cells, biohydrogen production, agrivoltaics, waste and waste water treatment, modeling and control of biological systems, biofuel systems analysis using techno-economic models and life cycle assessment.  Several of the research topics under Water Resources Engineering (see below) are also applicable to BEE.

*Water Resource Engineering at OSU is an interdisciplinary program separate from BEE, with advisors in the BEE department. If you want to study WRE, you must apply to the Water Resources Graduate Program's Water Resources Engineering focus NOT Biological and Ecological Engineering, unless you are seeking a dual degree experience.

Difference between M.S. and MEng:

MS and MEng programs are very different and are designed for students with different career goals. While MS programs have significant research component (Minimum 30 credits towards Thesis) the MEng (non-thesis option) is primarily based on courses and a project (Minimum 6 credits). MEng degrees are generally considered as terminal degrees (student does not plan to pursue advanced degrees such as PhD after the completion of the program) as most of the PhD programs require students with significant research experience at master's level. Although the requirements for both MS and MEng programs are similar, there are greater number of applicants for MS programs and hence the qualified applicants have higher scores compared to those admitted for MEng program. Since the MS program involves significant research, there is a greater likelihood of obtaining GRA positions in a MS program compared to MEng program. While MEng students are also eligible for both GRA and GTA positions, they are less likely to obtain them in comparison to MS students.

Prerequisites
  • Undergraduate Fundamentals
    • One year, Calculus  Equivalent : MTH 251,252, (306 or 254)
    • Applied Differential Equations  Equivalent: MTH 256
    • One year, University-level Physics  Equivalent: PH 211,212,213
    • One year, Chemistry for engineering majors Equivalent: CH 201, 202, 205, 211, 212
  • Three letters of recommendation - These are submitted using the online application system. The application system will request the email addresses of 3 people to serve as references. OSU will then send each person a request for a recommendation. Their responses will then be returned directly to OSU and added to your application.
  • Academic transcripts from each institution you attended - These can be submitted as unofficial copies using the uploading portion of the online application, unofficial copies emailed to the department, or official copies sent from the institution to the department or the Graduate School. Unofficial copies are acceptable for evaluation purposes, but official copies will be requested by the Graduate School if you are offered admission.
  • A Statement of Objectives is required. We ask that you answer these questions:
    • Briefly describe your experience conducting research and your research interests the Biological & Ecological Engineering program.

    • Briefly describe your experiences in which you exercised leadership, and what you have learned from these leadership experiences.

    • Briefly describe your characteristics (learning style, personal strengths, etc.) and your ability to persevere in challenging circumstances. 

    • Describe your thoughts on and efforts to contribute to social justice, equity, and inclusion. 

    • List the names of two or three professors you would like to work with, the reasons why you are interested in working with them, and note which of these professors you have communicated with.  

Water Resources Graduate Program

The interdisciplinary Water Resources Graduate Program at Oregon State University awards M.S. and Ph.D. degrees and brings together faculty and students from six colleges and multiple departments, including the Biological & Ecological Engineering department.  The degrees are designed to allow flexibility in coursework, while insuring an outstanding foundation and specialization in your area of interest.

The Program includes core requirements for all students with additional work concentrated in specific degree programs in Water Resources Engineering, Water Resources Science, or Water Resources Policy and Management. Students will draw from a set of existing OSU courses covering engineering approaches, watershed processes, and/or water resources management and policy.  Prospective students should visit the Water Resources Graduate Program website for more information.

Research topics in Water Resources Engineering* include use of simulation modeling to support ecohydraulic decision support, application of remote sensing and GIS to water resource management, regional hydrologic modeling, optimum irrigation management, non-point source pollution management, constructed wetlands water treatment, and groundwater quality. The department is home to the NSF-funded CTEMPs.org, developing and supporting new methods in environmental monitoring.  Departmental field campaigns are ongoing on six continents, with a strong emphasis on applied research.