In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences .
The Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering (BEE) offers majors in biological engineering and environmental engineering. BEE faculty and students 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 the mechanisms of living organisms. The undergraduate engineering majors in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering have a unique focus on biological systems and the environment that is realized through a combination of fundamental engineering sciences, biology, engineering applications and design courses, and liberal studies. The program leads to a bachelor of science degree in biological engineering or environmental engineering, which is awarded jointly by the Colleges of Engineering and Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Engineering students take courses in mathematics, statistics, computing, physics, chemistry, basic and advanced biology, fundamental engineering sciences (solid mechanics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and transport processes), engineering applications, biomaterials, bioinstrumentation, cellular and molecular engineering, and engineering design. They may select upper-level engineering courses in subjects that include bioprocessing, soil and water management, biotechnology applications, biosensors, engineering aspects of animal and cellular physiology, environmental systems analysis, and waste treatment and disposal. Students may further strengthen their programs by completing an engineering minor. Students preparing for medical school take additional lab-based courses in biology, biochemistry, and organic chemistry. Throughout the curriculum, emphasis is placed on communication and teamwork skills and collaborative problem-solving. Specific course requirements and other information for the biological engineering major and the environmental engineering major are described in the College of Engineering section of this publication. Further information is also available at the undergraduate program office in BEE Student Services, 207 Riley-Robb Hall.
The department also offers technology concentrations in biological engineering technology and environmental engineering technology within the Interdisciplinary Studies Major in CALS. The technology concentrations emphasize technical applications of biological, environmental, physical, and life sciences. Students take courses in basic biological and physical sciences and mathematics, and choose electives in engineering and technology, agriculture, business, social sciences, and liberal studies.
Many engineering and technology students participate in undergraduate teaching and research, internships, independent study, project teams, and study abroad. Students should have a strong aptitude for the physical and life sciences and mathematics and an interest in the complex social issues that surround technology.
Career opportunities cover the spectrum of self-employment, private industry, public agencies, educational institutions, and graduate programs in engineering and science, as well as the professional fields like medicine, business, and law.
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 strong math and science skills, who can communicate effectively, who are sensitive to the needs of people and the environment, and who are interested in the challenges facing society. The Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering is preparing the next generation to meet these challenges.
NOTE: In addition to the requirements indicated below students must complete the graduation requirements for their appropriate college:
Specific course distribution requirements for the concentrations in biological engineering technology and environmental engineering technology include the following:
||Subject Area Details
||d. Computer applications
||e. Statistics or probability
||f. Introductory biological sciences*
||g. Written and oral expression*
||h. Social sciences and humanities*
||*Required of CALS majors.
||Advanced and Applied Subjects
||a. Five courses (15 credits) in the biological, environmental, or agricultural sciences
||b. Five courses (15 credits) in technology. Three courses from the list of approved technology courses.**
|| - One course must be chosen from the list of approved laboratory courses.**
|| - The lab course cannot double count as one of the three required technology courses
||**Contact department for a list of approved courses.
||Additional courses to complete College of Agriculture and Life Sciences requirements
For further details on the biological and environmental technology concentrations, contact the BEE department undergraduate programs office at 207 Riley-Robb Hall, (607) 255-2173, firstname.lastname@example.org.
J. C. March, chair, B. A. Ahner, L. D. Albright, C. L. Anderson, B. M. Barstow, A. K. Datta, K. G. Gebremedhin, J. L. Goldfarb, D. A. Haith, P. G. Hess, J. B. Hunter, S. Jung, 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: B. K. Richards
Offered by the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering
Contact: 207 Riley-Robb Hall, (607) 255-2173, or visit the Biological and Environmental Engineering website.
The Biological Engineering Program is accredited by 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, 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.
Calculus for Engineers and Engineering Mathematics: (16 Credits)
Physics: (8 Credits)
Note: premeds may petition the College of Engineering to take PHYS 2208 in lieu of PHYS 2213.
General Chemistry (4 Credits)
Organic Chemistry: (3 Credits)
Computer Programming: (4 Credits)
Biological Sciences*: (15 Credits)
Choose two of the four following:
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
Major-required courses: (48 Credits)
Fifteen or more credits of courses chosen from one or more of the 7 focus areas: Molecular and Cellular Systems, Ecological and Microbial Systems, Nanobiotechnology, Computational Biological Engineering, Synthetic Biology, Biomaterials, or Sustainability***
Major approved electives (Engineering courses at or above 2000-level to bring the number of engineering credits to at least 48.) At least one course in this category or the focus area must be a BEE capstone design course.
Liberal studies (two first-year writing seminars and six liberal studies electives) (24)
Advisor-approved electives (6)
* Basic accredited curriculum. See also the section on minors. Information on preprofessional study for medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine is available at the Cornell Career Services website.
** Students must have a competency in calculus equivalent to MATH 1110 before they attempt MATH 1910 .
*** See the BEE department website for a current list of approved courses.
Students must satisfy the College of Engineering Technical Communications requirement by including one of the approved courses in their program of study.
Orientation seminar - ENG students take ENGRG 1050 , CALS students take BEE 1050 .
EHS Lab Safety online training #2555 is required for graduation. This is typically taken in the first year.
Total credits (minimum): 128
Majors in Biological Engineering are expected to meet the following standards:
- Semester GPA ≥ 2.0
- Cumulative GPA ≥ 2.0
- A semester GPA ≥ 2.0 in biological and environmental engineering courses and engineering distribution courses
- At most, one grade below C- in required core courses, design courses, BE Focus Area electives, and engineering distribution courses can count towards completion of undergraduate Major.
- Passing grade in at least 12 credits each semester
- No failing grades
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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 .
- 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.
- 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, or another university or regional event by the end of the project.
- All interested students must complete a written application (available in 207 Riley-Robb Hall) no later than the end of the third week of the senior year, but are encouraged to make arrangements with a faculty member during the second semester of their junior year. A student must be in the program for at least two consecutive semesters before graduation.
- Each applicant to the BE Honors Program must have a BEE faculty advisor to supervise their honors program. A written approval of the faculty member who will direct the re- search is required.
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, or visit our website.
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 social sustainability goals. 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 mitigation of 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:
Mathematics-science core requirements:
Introduction to engineering: (3 Credits)
Engineering distribution courses:
Recommended: (3-4 Credits)
Introductory Biology: (3-4 Credits)
To satisfy the biology requirement select from:
Earth Science (one from the following list): (3-4 Credits)
Laboratory Course (one from the following list): (3 Credits)
Engineering Management: (3 Credits)
Technical communications course (select one from list of options for fulfilling technical communications) (e):
See technical communications requirements for information on communications course options.
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 (f)
Major Approved Electives (6 credit minimum):
- Two courses from a list of major-approved engineering electives or from design course list to complete total credit requirement (g)
- First-year writing seminar (6)
- Two advisor approved electives (6)
- Liberal studies (18)
- ENG students take ENGRG 1050 , CALS students take BEE 1050
- EHS Lab Safety Online Training #2555(h)
Total credits (minimum): 125
- Engineering matriculates must enroll in CHEM 2090 ; CALS matriculates must enroll in CHEM 2070 . Students in either college may substitute CHEM 2150 for CHEM 2090 or CHEM 2070 .
ENGRD 2020 is required by the major. It is recommended that students take ENGRD 2020 as their second engineering distribution. Students who do so have the flexibility then to take any other ENGRD or a 3000 level or higher engineering course (that is not cross-listed as a liberal studies) to fulfill the required credit minimum in the major.
- 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.
- Students may take BIOMI 2900 - General Microbiology Lectures in place of CEE 4510 .
- If the course fulfilling the technical communications requirement also fulfills another requirement (e.g., liberal studies, major-approved elective), then it may be used to satisfy both requirements.
- To be chosen from a list of design courses on the Environmental Engineering website.
- 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 on the Environmental Engineering website.
- Students must complete the EHS Lab Safety Online Training #2555 before graduation. Please email your certificate of completion to the environmental engineering coordinator in your department: Laura Ricciuti, CEE or Brenda Marchewka, BEE.
Majors in Environmental Engineering are expected to meet the following standards:
- Semester GPA ≥ 2.0
- Cumulative GPA ≥ 2.0
- A semester GPA ≥ 2.0 in core courses, design courses, major-approved electives, and engineering distribution courses (Tech GPA).*
- At most one course with a 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*].
- 12 credit hours each semester
- 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:
- A significant research experience or honors project under the direct supervision of an Environmental Engineering faculty member using 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 to the research advisor as part of this component. Letter grade only.
- 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]).
- 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.