Biological and Ecological Engineering (MEng)

Oregon State University

Date Posted: Sept. 5, 2019
Submitted by: Genevieve LaMarr LeMee
Sustainability Topic: Curriculum
Content Type: Academic Programs
Program Type: Master's Degree


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, waste and waste water treatment, modeling and control of biological systems, biofuel systems analysis using techno-economic models and life cycle assessment.

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, developing and supporting new methods in environmental monitoring. Departmental field campaigns are ongoing on six continents, with a strong emphasis on applied research. Water Resource Engineering at OSU is an interdisciplinary program separate from BEE, with advisors in the BEE department. If students want to study WRE, they must apply to the Water Resources Graduate Program's Water Resources Engineering focus NOT Biological and Ecological Engineering.

The BEE department offers MS, MEng and PhD degree programs. MS and MEng programs are very different and are designed for students with different career goals. While MS programs have a 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.