Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Admission Requirements

In order to be considered for admission to the Biological Systems Engineering graduate program you must take the GRE exam.  The TOEFL test is required if your previous degree is from an institution at which English is not the language of instruction. A minimum TOEFL score of 550 (213 on computerized or 80 on iBT ) is required for admission. We also require a minimum grade point average of 3.0 at the undergraduate level based on a 4.0 scale. For applicants with a Master’s degree a grade point average of 3.25 is required in their Masters program. The transcript and other information should be sent to:

Student Affairs Officer
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering 
One Shields Ave
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA 95616

Note that the codes for our Graduate Program are as follows:

  • TOEFL = 69 (Other Eng.)
  • GRE = 1602 (Agricultural Engineering)

For students without a bachelor’s degree in Engineering the following additional requirements apply:

Required Courses for Students with a Non-Engineering  Undergraduate Degree

Student must complete coursework covering all the material listed in the following subject areas.  You will be required to submit official transcripts from the institution(s) at which you have completed the coursework.  You may also be asked to provide syllabi for the coursework.    The equivalent UC Davis coursework has been included for your reference.  See the general catalog for full course descriptions. 

A. Prerequisites for Admission


  • Differential and Integral Calculus (UC Davis equivalent, Calculus – Math 21A, B &C, and Math 21D: Vector Analysis)
    • Functions, limits, continuity. Slope and derivative. Differentiation of algebraic and transcendental functions. Applications of motion, natural growth, graphing, extrema of a function. Differentials. L’Hopital’s rule.
    • Definition of definite integral, fundamental theorem of calculus, techniques of integration. Application to area, volume, arc length, average of a function, improper integral, surface of revolution.
    • Sequences, series, tests for convergence, Taylor expansions. Vector algebra, vector calculus, scalar and vector fields. Partial derivatives, total differentials. Applications to maximum and minimum problems in tow or more variables. Applications to physical systems.
    • Definite integrals over plane and solid regions in various coordinate systems.
  • Linear Algebra (UC Davis equivalent, Math 22A)
    • Matrices and linear transformations, determinants, eigenvalues, eigenvectors, diagonalizations, factorization.
  • Differential Equations (UC Davis equivalent, Math 22B)
    • Solutions of elementary differential equations.


  • Classical Physics (UC Davis equivalent, Classical Physics 9A & B)
    • Introduction to general principles and analytical methods used in physics for physical science and engineering majors. Classical mechanics.
    • Fluid mechanics, thermodynamics wave phenomena, optics.
  • Electricity and Magnetism (UC Davis equivalent, Classical Physics 9C)
    • Electricity and magnetism including circuits and Maxwell’s equations.


  • General Chemistry (UC Davis equivalent, General Chemistry 2 A & B)
    • Periodic table, stoichiometry, chemical equations, physical properties and kinetic theory of gases, atomic and molecular structure and chemical bonding. Laboratory experiments in stoichiometric relations, properties and collection of gases, atomic spectroscopy, and introductory quantitative analysis.
    • Condensed phases and intermolecular forces, chemical thermodynamics, chemical equilibria, acids and bases, solubility. Laboratory experiments in thermochemistry, equilibria, and quantitative analysis using volumetric methods.

B. Engineering Core

  1. Circuits I:ENG 17 (4)
  2. Statics : ENG 35 (3)
  3. Circuits: ENG 100 (3)
  4. Dynamics: ENG 102 (4)
  5. Fluids: ENG 103/EBS 103 (4)
  6. Mechanics of Materials: ENG 104 (4)
  7. Thermodynamics: ENG 105 (4)

C. Two upper division courses in Engineering


    1. All courses must be taken for credit (i.e., P/NP is not allowed).
    2. Courses listed under category A are required before a student is admitted (i.e., prerequisites for admission). The courses listed under categories B and C can be taken at UC Davis after admission to our graduate program. However, this will add about a year of course work.
    3. None of the courses listed under categories A and B, and the courses used to satisfy category C can be used to satisfy requirements of the graduate degree.