Biological and Agricultural Engineering


Biological Systems Engineering

The mission of the Biological Systems Engineering graduate program is to provide advanced training in the engineering discipline that integrates life sciences with engineering. The specific objectives of our program are:

  1. to enhance the capacity for teaching and research in biological systems engineering, and
  2. to train the future generation of professionals to address challenges associated with the sustainable production, management, and use of biological materials.

These objectives reflect the mission of the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department in which our program resides, i.e., to discover, develop, apply, and disseminate knowledge for sustainable production, management, and use of biological materials, and to educate students for this work. To achieve this goal, our program focuses on three research Areas of Excellence: 1. Agricultural and Natural Resources Engineering, 2. Biotechnology Engineering, and 3. Food Engineering.  Within these areas, we offer a wide variety of opportunities for research at the interface of engineering and the life sciences.  We have a long tradition of and a respected reputation for research in biological systems engineering; we are consistently ranked as one of the top seven departments in the United States by U.S. News and World Report.

With approximately 45 graduate students and 25 faculty members, we offer a high level of personal attention. Our faculty members bring in approximately $5 million in research funding per year, offering you opportunities to conduct research in areas such as biotechnical engineering; energy systems; food engineering; biosensors; environmental, ecological, and resource engineering; machine systems; and aquaculture.

The majority of our students receive financial support to pursue graduate education in our program. While several of our students receive internal (UC Davis or Biological Systems Engineering) or external fellowships (Fulbright, home country, etc.), many others are supported as Graduate Student Researchers (GSR) or Teaching Assistants (TA).   Many of our support opportunities also cover non-resident supplemental tuition (NRST).

Our students take classes in the College of EngineeringCollege of Biological Sciences and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

The campus is centrally located in the city of Davis, with easy access to the San Francisco Bay Area, Napa Valley, the Northern California coast, the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe.  State-of-the-art facilities, including  Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, and the Arts and Recreation Center (ARC).

To meet your specific needs, we also offer five different degree options: Integrated B.S./M.S., M.S., Master of Engineering, Ph.D. and Doctor of Engineering. If you’re interested in admission, the university strongly encourages you to apply online at:



Commitment to Diversity