Courses of Study 2017-2018 
    Apr 24, 2018  
Courses of Study 2017-2018

Biological and Environmental Engineering

In the College of Engineering .

Course Offerings  (Visit the department web site,, for more detailed course descriptions.)


J. C. March, chair, B. A. Ahner, L. D. Albright, C. L. Anderson, D. J. Aneshansley, L. T. Angenent, L. Aristilde, A. K. Datta, K. G. Gebremedhin, D. A. Haith, P. G. Hess, J. B. Hunter, D. Luo, M. Ma, J.-Y. Parlange, G. E. Rehkugler, N. R. Scott, T. S. Steenhuis, S. Steinschneider, M. B. Timmons, M. F. Walter, M. T. Walter, M. Wu. Lecturer: L. D. Geohring, B. K. Richards

Biological Engineering:

Offered by the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering

Contact: 207 Riley-Robb Hall, (607) 255-2173,

The Biological Engineering Program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Biological and environmental engineering (BEE) programs address three great challenges facing humanity today: ensuring an adequate and safe food supply in an era of expanding world population; protecting and remediating the world’s natural resources, including water, soil, air, biodiversity, and energy; and developing engineering systems that monitor, replace, or intervene in or add value to the mechanisms of living organisms. The biological engineering (BE) major has a unique focus on biological systems, including the environment, which is realized through a combination of fundamental engineering sciences, biology, engineering applications and design courses, and liberal studies.

Students interested in the BE major should have a strong aptitude for the sciences and math and an interest in the complex social issues that surround technology.

Students take courses in math, engineering, statistics, computing, physics, chemistry, basic and advanced biology, fundamental engineering sciences (mechanics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and transport processes), plus biomaterials, bioinstrumentation, and systems biology and engineering design. Students select upper-level engineering courses in subjects that include bioprocessing, biotechnology applications, biosensors, engineering aspects of animal and cellular physiology, soil and water management, environmental systems analysis, sustainable energy, and waste management and disposal plus technical electives from other engineering majors. Students may further strengthen their programs by completing a minor or a second engineering major. Students planning for medical school also take additional lab-based courses in chemistry and biology. Throughout the curriculum, emphasis is placed on communications and teamwork skills, and all students complete a capstone design project.

Career opportunities cover the spectrum of self-employment, private industry, public agencies, educational institutions, and graduate and professional programs in engineering and science, as well as professional fields like medicine, business, and law. In recent years, graduates have pursued careers in consulting, biotechnology, the pharmaceutical industry, biomedical engineering, management, and international development.

The living world is all around us and within us. The ongoing biological revolution has given rise to a growing demand for technical problem solvers who have studied biology, who have strong math and science skills, who can communicate effectively, and who are sensitive to the needs of people and the environment, and interested in the challenges facing society. The Biological Engineering major is designed to educate the next generation of engineers to meet these challenges.

The academic requirements* for students majoring in Biological Engineering are outlined below.

Basic Subjects:

Computer Programming: (4 Credits)

Note: We accept AP credit for some or all of the introductory biological science requirement but premeds should plan to take those courses here.

Biochemistry required: BIOMG 3300 or 3330 or 3310+3320 or 3350

Biological science electives at the 2000 level or above with a biological science prerequisite to complete 15 credits

Focus Area:

Five or more courses chosen from 1 or more of the 7 focus areas: Biomaterials, Nanobiotechnology, Ecological and Microbial Systems, Modeling and Simulation, Synthetic Biology, Molecular and Cellular Systems, or Sustainability***

Major-approved Engineering Electives:

(Engineering courses at or above 2000-level to bring the number of credits to at least 46.) One course must be a BEE capstone design course and one must be a BEE lab experience course.***

Liberal studies (two first-year writing seminars and six liberal studies electives) (24)

Advisor-approved electives (6): including orientation seminar – ENG students take ENGRG 1050, CALS students take BEE 1200


* Basic accredited curriculum. See also the section on minors. Information on preprofessional study for medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine is available at

** Students must have a competency in calculus equivalent to MATH 1110  before they attempt MATH 1910 .

*** See department website for a current list of approved courses at

Students must satisfy the College of Engineering Technical Writing requirement by including one of the approved courses in their program of study.

EHS Lab Safety course required for graduation. This will be met through your required lab course.

Total (minimum): 126

Biological Engineering Honors Program:

The B.S. degree with honors is granted to biological engineering majors who graduate with distinction from the College of Engineering and satisfy the Honors requirements given on the page “Undergraduate Study and Graduation Requirements .”

The Honors program requires completion of 9 credits beyond the B.S. degree requirements drawn from the following, with at least 6 credits in the first category:

  1. A significant research experience or honors project under the supervision of a BEE faculty member using BEE 4990 - Undergraduate Research  and BEE 4993 - Honors Thesis  completed in their senior year. A written senior honors thesis must be submitted as part of the 2nd component. A minimum grade of A- in both courses is required for successful completion of the honors requirement. It is expected that the two research courses will be taken in consecutive semesters.
  2. A significant teaching experience under the direct supervision of a BEE faculty member or as part of a regularly recognized course in the department under BEE 4980 - Undergraduate Teaching .
  3. Advanced or graduate courses. These additional courses must be technical in nature, i.e., in engineering, math, biology, chemistry, and physics at the 4000+ and graduate level.
  4.  The student must present a poster or oral presentation in a public research forum or another scholarly forum such as a national or regional professional society meeting, Bio Expo or another university or regional event by the end of your project.

Environmental Engineering:

Offered jointly by the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering and the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Contact: BEE Office, 207 Riley-Robb Hall, (607) 255-2173, or CEE Office, 221 Hollister Hall, (607) 255-3412,

The Environmental Engineering Program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Environmental Engineering is the study and practice of analyzing, designing, and managing natural and engineered systems in ways consistent with the maintenance or enhancement of environmental amenities and sustainability. It requires the ability to predict interactions and impacts among natural and engineering-system components at various spatial and temporal scales in response to alternative projects, and design and management policies. It requires a thorough understanding of interactions among the natural environment, the constructed environment, and human activities. Environmental engineers pursue development of sustainable energy systems and the impacts of climate change.

Students matriculating in the College of Engineering (CoE) generally affiliate with this major in their second year. Students matriculating in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) generally enroll in this major in their first semester. This major requires that students take the following courses:


Introduction to engineering (a): (3 Credits)

Engineering distribution courses (†):

Major-required courses:

Major Courses:


Technical communications course (select one from list of options for fulfilling technical writing) (e):

Design electives (9 credit minimum):

Need a total of three (3) courses, at least one from list of capstone design courses and remainder from list of design courses (g)

Major Approved Electives (6 credit minimum):

  • Two courses from a list of major-approved engineering electives to complete total credit requirement (h)
Additional Requirements:

  • First-year writing seminar (6)
  • Two advisor approved electives (6)
  • Liberal studies (18)

Total credits (minimum): 126


  1. Students may also take BIOSM 1610  or BIOSM 1780 .
  2. Students using this course as a second engineering distribution must take an additional major-approved elective.
  3. ENGRD 2700  (f,s,3) may be accepted (by petition) to substitute for CEE 3040  if taken prior to affiliation with the Environmental Engineering major or if necessary because of scheduling conflicts caused by co-op or study abroad. A supplement learning styles exercise is required.
  4. Students may take BIOMI 2900 - General Microbiology Lectures  in place of CEE 4510 .
  5. If the course fulfilling the technical writing requirement also fulfills another requirement (e.g., liberal studies, major-approved elective), then it may be used to satisfy both requirements.
  6. To be chosen from a list of design courses on the Environmental Engineering web site.
  7. The list of suggested courses covers the areas of environmental engineering, hydraulics/hydrology, environmental systems engineering, geotechnical engineering, remote sensing, air pollution, and renewable energy systems. The respective lists are available in the Environmental Engineering Handbook.

Academic Standing

 Majors in Environmental Engineering are expected to meet the following standards:

  1. Semester GPA ≥ 2.0
  2. Cumulative GPA ≥ 2.0
  3. A semester GPA ≥ 2.0 in core courses, design courses, major-approved electives, and engineering distribution courses(Tech GPA).*
  4. At most one grade below C- can be used to fulfill the EnvE degree requirement [in the following four categories required core courses, design courses, major-approved electives, and engineering distribution courses*].
  5. 12 credit hours each semester
  6. No failing grades

*Grade(s) below C- in these courses beyond the first will require that some of the courses so graded be repeated.  (The College of Engineering also requires that each course in the required mathematics sequence - 1910, 1920, 2930, 2940 - be passed with a grade of C- or better.)

Environmental Engineering Honors Program:

The environmental engineering honors program consists of at least nine credits beyond the minimum required for graduation in the environmental engineering major. These nine credits must be drawn from one or more of the following categories with at least 3 credit hours in the first category:

  1. A significant research experience or honors project under the direct supervision of a Environmental Engineering faculty member using BEE 4990 : Undergraduate Research and BEE 4993 : Honors Thesis or CEE 4000 : Senior Honors Thesis (1 to 6 credits per semester). A significant written report or senior honors thesis must be submitted as part of this component. Letter grade only.
  2. A significant teaching experience under the direct supervision of a faculty member or as part of a regularly recognized course in the College of Engineering (i.e., Undergraduate Engineering Teaching, BEE 4980  or CEE 4010  [1 to 4 credits per semester]).
  3. Advanced or graduate courses at the 4000 level or above.

No research, independent study, or teaching for which the student is paid may be counted toward the honors program. 

Eligibility: students must enter with and maintain a cumulative GPA equal or greater than 3.50.

Application: students must apply no later than the beginning of the first semester of their senior year but are encouraged to apply as early as the first semester of their junior year. All honors program students must be in the program for at least two semesters before graduation.