Graduate Programs

Think and Do more with a graduate degree.

Master’s Degrees in Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Program and Career Focus The Master of Science in Biological and Agricultural Engineering (MS) is intended for students interested in advanced research in biological engineering. The MS degree is a thesis-based degree for those individuals who want to pursue an research-oriented degree beyond the Bachelor of Science. Students are required to write a thesis and defend it at the final oral examination. A minor is optional.

See NCSU Libraries’ repository of BAE Theses.

Concentrations Engineering – Admission to this concentration requires an engineering degree in biological engineering, agricultural engineering, or a related engineering discipline with a solid foundation in the engineering sciences.

Systems AnalysisAdmission to this concentration does not require an engineering background.  Students who will be attracted to this concentration will have a strong background in science and mathematics, a methodical approach to problems, and an innate desire to understand how things fit together. Selection of the Biological and Agricultural Systems Analysis Concentration at the MS level will be appropriate for students with a BS degree in a STEM field that complements the expertise of the research faculty in this concentration such as microbiology, data science, computer science, or climate science. Students’ background would also include three semesters of calculus and at least three credit hours of math at or above the 400 level.

Areas of Specialization Choose your area of specialization:

Minimum GPA to graduate 3.0
Total hours to graduate 30 semester hours of graduate credit, six of which may be thesis research: Our research programs are diverse so selection of courses is decided by the student and committee to support the research project and interests/goals of the student.

The minor should complement the major coursework and must conform to the rules of the program offering the minor.

Required hours of 500-level courses or higher 20
Maximum hours transferred from NDS status at NCSU or from another institution 12
Program and Career Focus The Masters of Biological and Agricultural Engineering online degree is a distance education degree focused toward environmental and ecological engineering. Designed for the working professional, the flexible program has no advisory committee, no final exam and no seminar requirement.
Distance Education Yes

Are you interested in a Graduate Certificate? Learn more.

Minimum GPA to graduate 3.0
Total hours to graduate 30
Degree Requirements 20 of the 30 hrs must be at the 500 level or above. Three credits of math, biomathematics or statistics at the 400-level (or greater) are required. At least 60% of the courses on the Plan of Work must be BAE courses.
Maximum hours transferred from NDS status at NCSU or from another institution 12

Units: 3

Basic concepts of sensors and controls for biological systems. Study of transducers and circuits utilized in biological and agricultural engineering applications. Demonstration of concepts of error, accuracy and precision, linearity and other instrument characteristics by electronic models. Provision of hands-on experience for reinforcing lecture concepts in laboratories. Credit will not be given for both BAE 401 and BAE 501.

Offered in Spring Only

Units: 3

Introduction to the structure and functions of microbial cells and their cultivation and utilization in Biological engineering processes. Topics covered include Fermentation systems and downstream processing methods. Enzyme kinetics, production and application. Biomanufacturing of fuels, industrial chemicals, food additives and food products such as beer, wine, cheese and yogurt, Microbial biomass production, Introduction to environmental biotechnology including wastewater treatment and bioremediation. Field trip is an essential educational component of the course and is are required. Credit will not be given for both BAE 425 and BAE 525.

Offered in Spring Only

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2021 Spring Term

Units: 3

This course will introduce fundamental principles and practical applications of biomass-to-renewable energy processes, including anaerobic digestion of organic wastes for biogas and hydrogen production, bioethanol production from starch and lignocellulosic materials, biodiesel production from plant oils, and thermoconversion of biomass and waste materials. Restricted to engineering seniors and graduate standing in COE, CALS, PAMS or CNR.

Offered in Fall Only

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2021 Fall Term

Units: 3

Overview of technology available for implementation of a comprehensive precision agriculture program. Topics include computers, GPS, sensors, mechanized soil sampling, variable rate control system, yield monitors, and postharvest processing controls. Applications of precision agriculture in crop planning, tillage, planting, chemical applications, harvesting and postharvest processing. Credit may not be received for BAE 435 and BAE 535.

Offered in Spring Only

YEAR: Offered Alternate Even Years

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2021 Spring Term

Units: 3

The design of structural stormwater Best Management Practices [BMPs] used in the urban and suburban environments is reviewed, including stormwater wetlands, bio-retention areas, sand filters, innovative wet ponds, green roofs, permeable pavement, and reinforced grass swales. The course is application oriented and includes a pair of field trips.

Offered in Spring Only

YEAR: Offered Alternate Odd Years

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2021 Spring Term

Units: 3

Water measurement and structure sizing. Identification of water quality problems and water quality variable selection. Monitoring design, water quality sampling equipment, and sample collection and analysis. Statistical analysis and presentation of water quality data.

Offered in Fall Only

Units: 3

Fundamental understanding of hydrology, soils and ecology of natural wetland systems will be developed to serve as the basis for designing wetland systems for water treatment and restoring degraded natural wetland systems. Stormwater and wastewater treatment wetland design and implementation concepts will be emphasized. Wetland restoration will also be studied with emphasis on current wetland regulations, design, and implementation techniques. Engineered wetland concepts will be supplemented with relevant case studies. Basic understanding of biology, soils , hydrology, and soil and water engineering is required.

Offered in Spring Only

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Units: 3

This course covers principles of managing, handling, treating and applying animal and poultry manures and organic byproducts from an engineering perspective. Topics include waste characterization, descriptions of systems and technology, land application principles, preparation of waste management plans, biochemical/biological processes, and potential impacts to the environment. Assignments include homework, quizzes, projects, and discussion that emphasize problem solving and analysis.

Offered in Fall Only

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2021 Fall Term

Units: 3

This distance course introduces students to concepts of the hydrologic cycle, water quality, precipitation, evapotranspiration, infiltration, watershed delineation, surface runoff and open channel flow. Students will apply these concepts to an engineering design problem. This course is designed for non-engineering distance graduate students and lifelong education students and students from engineering disciplines outside of BAE. It will not substitute for BAE 471. The course is only open to students with senior standing or higher.

Offered in Fall Only

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2021 Fall Term

Units: 3

Theory and applications of hydraulics to open channels with an emphasis on natural streams and rivers. Course will introduce and develop principles of flow regimes [subcritical/critical/supercritical], and types [uniform flow, gradually varied and rapidly varied flow]. Application will include hydraulics of flow measuring devices, step-backwater analysis and rating curve development, and flood studies using hydraulic models. A lab-scale flume will be used to illustrate concepts. Laptops will be used in class to learn and apply HEC-RAS [water surface profiles model]. CE 382 or equivalent required. CE 381 recommended.

Offered in Fall Only

YEAR: Offered Alternate Odd Years

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2021 Fall Term

Units: 1

This course defines uncertainty and risk pertaining to stream restoration structures and identifies and quantifies sources of such. Students will review various in-stream structures and, using an example study of the rock cross vane as a guide, will investigate a structure of their choice applying the concepts of risk and uncertainty. Modules include: Introduction to structures and definitions; Types and modes of failure; Uncertainty in Stream Restoration Design; Probability of failures, cost of failures; and Failure modes and effects.

Offered in Spring Only

Units: 3

Overview of stream ecological and functional processes that structure stream corridors. Explore human interactions with streams including stream restoration structures and watershed scale practices that impact hydraulic, hydrologic, chemical, sedimentary and biotic functions. Discuss failure and risk analysis, policy and rights, and ethical use of our freshwater resources. As we move from a microscopic study of stream benthos to global-scale water concerns, students will develop a fluency in communicating human impacts on streams. Independent visits by students to a local stream required.

Offered in Spring Only

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2021 Spring Term

Units: 3

This distance course provides an introduction to applied fluvial geomorphology as it relates to natural physical stream processes. Students will learn about watershed hydrology, stream gage data analysis, bankfull stage identification, hydraulic geometry relationships, stream channel assessment and classification, stream stability and channel evolution.

Offered in Fall Only

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2021 Fall Term

Units: 1 – 6

Selection of a subject by each student on which to do research and write a technical report on the results. The individual may choose a subject pertaining to his or her particular interest in any area of study in biological and agricultural engineering.

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2021 Fall Term

About the Doctoral Program The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering is pursued by outstanding students with an intense interest in independent study and research.

It consists of advanced coursework, a written and oral comprehensive preliminary examination, extended and in-depth research, a written dissertation, and a final oral defense of the research.

See NC State Libraries’ repository of BAE Dissertations.

Concentrations Engineering – Admission to this concentration requires an engineering degree in biological engineering, agricultural engineering, or a related engineering discipline with a solid foundation in the engineering sciences.

Systems AnalysisAdmission to this concentration does not require an engineering background.  Students who will be attracted to this concentration will have a strong background in science and mathematics, a methodical approach to problems, and an innate desire to understand how things fit together. Selection of the Biological and Agricultural Systems Analysis Concentration at the MS level will be appropriate for students with a BS and/or MS degree in a STEM field that complements the expertise of the research faculty in this concentration such as microbiology, data science, computer science, or climate science. Students’ background would also include three semesters of calculus and at least three credit hours of math at or above the 400 level.

Areas of Specialization
Minimum GPA to Graduate 3.0
Total Hours to Graduate 72 (54 for students with a previous master’s degree): Our research programs are diverse so selection of courses is decided by the student and committee to support the research project and interests/goals of the student.

A minor is required. The minor should complement the major coursework and must conform to the rules of the program offering the minor.

Residency Requirement 1 year

Master’s Degrees in Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Program and Career Focus With our certificate program, you can formally certify competency in environmental engineering with an emphasis on watershed management and restoration. Although not a graduate degree, this Graduate Certificate in Biological and Agricultural Engineering online program may satisfy many of your needs for professional development. Should you later decide that a formal graduate degree best suits your needs, then some course work from this program may transfer. However, successful completion of this program does not guarantee admission to a graduate degree program.

View the program website.

Distance Education YES
Program Objectives
  • Enable students and practitioners from many disciplines to study the technical and engineering aspects of design and analysis of environmental systems with an emphasis on the watershed-scale.
  • Provide students the opportunity to develop a solid foundation in engineering systems targeted at environmental issues, particularly related to non-point sources and their impact on water quality at the watershed-scale.
  • Provide practicing engineers and other professionals a source of graduate level engineering education in the environmental field.
Minimum GPA to complete 3.0
Total hours The Graduate Certificate requires 12 credits of coursework from a list of approved classes.  At least 9 credits must be from BAE courses. A grade of C- or better is required to receive credit for a course. To receive a graduate certificate, the student must have a minimum 3.0 GPA on all certificate coursework.

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