PhD, MS, and MPS Requirements

Degree Options

The Field of Biological and Environmental Engineering offers programs for the following degrees:

  • Master of Science (M.S.) 
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences (M.P.S.)
  • Master of Engineering (M.Eng.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree options and requirements are listed in the sections below. Graduate School requirements are also described in detail in the Cornell Graduate School’s Guide to Graduate Study.

M.S./Ph.D. and Ph.D.

The focus of this program is on scholarly research. Students who enter the program without an M.S. are admitted into the M.S./Ph.D. program. Students who already have an M.S. degree in Biological Engineering, Environmental Engineering or a related discipline proceed directly into the Ph.D. program. If satisfactory progress is made, a student in the M.S./Ph.D. program may petition the field to waive the M.S. and proceed directly to a Ph.D. before the A-exam during the second year. Alternatively, a student who decides not to pursue a Ph.D may opt to end studies at the M.S. stage.

M.P.S. and M.Eng.  

The Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences (M.P.S.) degree and the Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degee are for professional training and practical problem-solving, with less emphasis on scholarly research, and do not require the declaration of a research concentration.  However, the topics of interest to students pursuing professional degrees closely parallel the research concentrations of the faculty.  The project paper required of both the M.P.S. and M.Eng. typically reflects the special interests of the student.  Additional information on the MEng program can be found here.