Engineering for Life

Biological Systems Engineering

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Graduate Studies Overview

Ph.D. and M.S. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering


Professor and Department Chair: C. O. Stöckle
Professor: G. V. Barbosa-Cánovas; S. Chen; G. Hoogenboom; J. Tang, J. Wu; Q. Zhang
Associate Professor: M. Garcia-Pérez; P. Ndegwa, S. Sablani
Assistant Professor: M. Karkee; H. Lei; R. Troy Peters; B. Yang
Research Assistant Professor: C. Frear; U. Zaher
Affiliate Faculty
: D. Bender; W. Elliot; M. Flury; P. Robichaud; V. Yadama; J. Zhang
Adjunct Faculty: J. L. Ullman; S. Wang


Both thesis and non-thesis options are available. However, the Department prefers the thesis option. For entering students with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, two years of study is usually required for the master's degree. Three years beyond the master's degree is normally required to complete our Ph.D. program.

Students work with their graduate faculty committee to develop programs of study and research that prepare them for challenging and rewarding careers in ‘Bio-products and Bioengineering’, Environmental Engineering’, ‘Food Engineering’, and ‘Land and Water Engineering’.

The Department has several major facilities with modern analytical equipment available to graduate students including a state-certified Water Quality and Waste Analysis Laboratory, a computerized GIS and Environmental Modeling Laboratory, a food processing pilot plant and other food processing laboratory equipment, and a controlled atmosphere facility. Graduate students have used facilities at the USDA's Conservation Research Farm in Pullman and at WSU's Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, Washington. Faculty members who have substantial collaborative arrangements with food processing companies or government laboratories send students to off-campus laboratories to use highly specialized equipment or to learn advanced techniques.

Admission Requirements

Students should have a B.S. or M.S. in engineering or a closely related degree, with a GPA above 3.0.

Program Descriptions

The Department of Biological Systems Engineering currently offers graduate programs in the following four general research emphasis areas.

  • Bioenergy and Bioproducts Engineering: Develop engineering processes to produce useful, high-value products from the byproducts of agricultural operations and other sources of plant biomass.
  • Food engineering: The application of engineering to the production of safe, nutritious food.
  • Land, Air, Water Resources and Environmental Engineering (LAWREE): Engineering applications related to hydrologic processes at the field level or at the scale of large water sheds. Application of engineering and biological principles to the study the environmental impact of managed biological systems, including agriculture, confined animal operations, aquaculture, and natural resources.
  • Agricultural Automation Engineering: Develop engineering solutions for processes and equipment to meet the needs in specialty crop production.

Application Information

Deadline for Fall Applications is January 10th.

Deadline for Spring Applications is July 1st.

International Students are required to have successfully passed the TOEFL examination and must have an Official Certificate of Financial Responsibility.

For more information visit the Graduate School and our formal Application Page.





February 25, 2013 VSH
BSysE is one of the best....[more]

Department News

Congratulations to Regents Professor Juming Tang!

ASABE 2014 Fellow
Congratulations to Dr. Juming Tang
Congratulations to Mr. Hossein Sadeghi as the recipient of the 2013 Graduate Student Award!
Shyam Sablani is Cocharan Fellowship Program
Training Lead... .[more]
Dr. Shyam Sablani
Manoj Karkee Recieves USDA Tree Fruit Harvesting Grant ....[more]
Manoj Karkee
Qin Zhang named ASABE fellow....[more]
Qin Zhang Fellow

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Biological Systems Engineering, PO Box 646120, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6120, 509-335-1578, Contact Us