Biological and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. (Ithaca)

Field of Study

Biological and Environmental Engineering

Program Description

Ph.D. degree candidates are required to select at least one minor subject from outside the field. The Ph.D. research degrees require submission of an acceptable thesis or dissertation.

Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-2173

207 Riley-Robb Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • bioenergy and integrated energy systems
  • bioenvironmental engineering
  • biological engineering
  • bioprocess engineering
  • ecohydrology
  • environmental engineering
  • food engineering
  • industrial biotechnology
  • nanobiotechnology
  • sustainable systems
  • synthetic biology


Visit the Graduate School's Tuition Rates page.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall, Dec. 1; Spring, October 1

Requirements Summary:

Applicants to the Ph.D. must have a baccalaureate degree (bachelor's degree) in an area of engineering, physical science, or biological science with a strong preparation in mathematics and physics. Deficiencies in undergraduate training must be made up early in the advanced degree program.  

Learning Outcomes

As a graduate student in the field of Biological and Environmental Engineering we will help you to develop into an outstanding engineering researcher and ethical scholar in our field. We will work together so that you can further your strengths that brought you here and expand your abilities beyond. This means that you will be able to make original and substantial contributions to our discipline. It also means that you will seek opportunities to reach out to the community at large and engage in activities increasing the impact of your research to our society.

Your time as graduate student will be spent in part with classes and in large part with your research project. The knowledge you obtain from your classes will form a strong basis onto which you can build your research. You will become skilled in the techniques important to your research. In addition, you will have many opportunities to also develop your communication skills for oral and written presentations at formal and informal events. Thus, as a successful graduate student you will synthesize and create new knowledge in biological or environmental engineering.

You will be working independently on your research project and will be embedded in a team of researchers with similar aspirational goals. You will be supported by a committee of engaged faculty members and will have the opportunity to form a strong bond with your graduate advisor throughout the time in our program. Your graduate time in BEE will be your starting point of forming your professional network that can supportively accompany you for your future career and professional life.

Your progress in our graduate program will be assessed throughout your time in BEE by your faculty committee each semester. During the PhD., A and B exam formal assessment will provide you with written feedback at critical points in your graduate education and assist you in the continuing improvement of your proficiencies as a biological or environmental research engineer.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the chosen area of focus and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making an original and substantial contribution to the discipline in a timely fashion. Doctoral students are assessed on: (1) the overarching goal of finishing their degree in an appropriate timeframe, (2) making an original and substantial contribution to the field, (3) demonstrating advanced research skills, (4) demonstrating a commitment to advance the values of scholarship, (5) demonstrating professional skills.