The University's mission statement is as follows: “As a land grant institution committed to teaching, research, and outreach and engagement, Oregon State University promotes economic, social, cultural and environmental progress for the people of Oregon, the nation and the world. This mission is achieved by producing graduates competitive in the global economy, supporting a continuous search for new knowledge and solutions, and maintaining a rigorous focus on academic excellence, particularly in the three Signature Areas: Advancing the Science of Sustainable Earth Ecosystems; Improving Human Health and Wellness; and Promoting Economic Growth and Social Progress.” This statement is published on the Oregon State University (OSU) website, as well as published in the OSU General Catalog and Schedule of Classes.
The College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS) mission statement is: “The College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University is Oregon's principal source of knowledge relating to agricultural and food systems, and a major source of knowledge regarding environmental quality, natural resources, life sciences, and rural economies and communities worldwide. The College provides undergraduate and graduate education leading to baccalaureate and graduate degrees, and extended education programs throughout Oregon and beyond. Its research programs create knowledge to solve problems and to build a knowledge base for the future. It is a source of information and expertise in integrating and applying knowledge with benefits that are felt in domestic and international settings.”  This statement is published on the CAS website along with an articulation of CAS’ values.  The CAS reflects the following values:
  • Responsiveness to the needs of those it serves;
  • Partnership and cooperation with individuals, organizations, businesses, and agencies outside the University;
  • Teamwork and coordination among its units and with other units in the University;
  • Credibility as a source of reliable, research-based information and education.
The College of Engineering (COE) Vision is: “To create a better future.” This statement is published on the COE website as part of Strategic Plan 2015-2020 and also included in the COE Annual Report and in the OSU General Catalog and Schedule of Classes.


The definition of Ecological Engineering is engineering that incorporates ecological principles into the design of both natural and human-dominated systems. Ecology is used as its fundamental design paradigm, emphasizing resiliency, adaptation and systems approaches to develop engineered solutions that are sustainable, intrinsically incorporate a broad range of biological systems as components, and emphasize mutual improvement of both human and natural environments. This focus on incorporation of ecological principles in engineering design to promote development of robust, sustainable systems sets it apart from other engineering disciplines.

The Ecological Engineering BS program graduates students capable of analyzing problems that occur at the interface between humankind and the environment and synthesizing solutions to the benefit of both. These students are capable of addressing crucial environmental issues including habitat los, fisheries, and pollution at the system level. Many of these issues are not amenable to simple solutions. The systems perspective often suggests solutions that are not intuitively obvious to observers focused on specific aspects of the system under consideration.

The Department of Biological & Ecological Engineering (BEE) mission statement states: Our mission is to achieve national and international recognition as a center for excellence for integrated research and education in the pogroms broadly defines as Ecological Engineering, Biological Engineering and Water Resources Engineering, while maintaining strong outreach links to the agricultural and natural resources communities. Our stakeholders will include links to the agricultural and natural resources communities. Our stakeholders will include environmental and ecological consulting firms, ecotechnology providers, entrepreneurial enterprises building new 21st-century biology- and ecology- based industries, public resource management agencies, and stakeholders in the state with interests in these focus areas.

Our educational mission is to balance innovative undergraduates and graduate programs taking advantage of our unique strengths and a relevant outreach program that takes advantage of emerging technology to deliver information to a broad clientele on adoption and use of sustainable engineering technology. Our department will produce ecological engineering graduates that are work-ready and entrepreneurial systems thinkers capable of contributing to the future prosperity and sustainable future of the State of Oregon and the global community.

All Academic Programs offered in Biological & Ecological Engineering


Our educational objectives were developed to link the Department’s mission to the learning outcomes. The outcomes are then supported by the specific course learning objectives.  In Fall 2014, three PEOs for Ecological Engineering graduate objectives were drafted and evaluated by the Industrial Advisory Board:

  1. Our graduates will be employed as practicing engineers, engaged in advanced studies, or applying engineering problem-solving skills within non-traditional career paths;

  2. Our graduates will bring creative, innovative, and ethical, ecologically-derived, systems-level approaches to solving global problems; and

  3. Our graduates will provide ethical leadership and management skills within their organizations and in their communities.


The OSU Biological & Ecological Engineering department prepares its Ecological Engineering graduates to achieve Program Educational Objectives several years into their careers. This is achieved in the short-term by having students able to perform the following on graduation, while preparing them for immediate and long-term service in the field.
  • Ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • Ability to design and conduct experiments as well as analyze and interpret data
  • Ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs
  • Ability to function on a multidisciplinary team
  • Ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • Understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Broad education necessary to understand impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental and societal context
  • Recognition of the need for and ability to engage in life-long learning;
    Knowledge of contemporary issues
  • Ability to use techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
  • Ability to apply knowledge in a specialized area related to ecological engineering
  • Ability to model and design ecological systems
  • Awareness of the forces that impact design and decision making, such as resource limitations, system constraints, and the identified goals for improvement.

Student Data

Student Data Numbers
Year (Fall term) Undergraduate students Graduate student
2018-19 92 34
2017-18 104 28
2016-17 107 10
2015-16 112 11