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Biological Engineering Program

Kifle Gebremedhin
Professor Kifle Gebremedhin

The Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering offers a bachelor degree program in Biological Engineering. Strong emphasis is placed on mathematics, the physical and biological sciences, and engineering analysis and design. The Biological Engineering program in BEE follows the academic requirements of the Cornell College of Engineering.

The BE program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.  Students may seek engineering professional licensing after graduation.

Program Objectives

The Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) of the Biological Engineering major are to prepare graduates who:

  • Become valued in their work related to Biological Engineering and associated fields and professions;
  • Pursue advanced degrees in engineering and related professional fields, and engage in lifelong learning outside the classroom;
  • Develop and exhibit leadership qualities in their professional engineering work;
  • Contribute to the improvement of their communities, their profession, and the world;
  • Communicate effectively in a range of situations, both inside and outside the biological engineering field;
  • Demonstrate the highest standards of professional, ethical, and civic responsibility in all endeavors, holding paramount the health and safety of the public and the protection of the environment.

These PEOs describe our long-term aspirations for our students as they transition from full time learning into professional practice. PEOs are skills, behaviors and accomplishments for which we seek to prepare our graduates, and towards which we intend them to progress within three to five years after graduation.


Core Topics

Core topics in Biological Engineering program include molecular and cellular principles, chemical and enzyme kinetics, thermodynamics, transport of water and energy, and biomaterials. The science core of the program includes mathematics, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, and introductory and advanced biology. Beyond these there are electives to be chosen from several areas including biomaterials, nanobiotechnology, ecological and microbial systems, modeling and simulation, synthetic biology, molecular and cellular systems, and sustainability. Throughout the curriculum, emphasis is placed on communication and teamwork skills. All students participate in a major design experience near the end of the curriculum.

Opportunities outside the classroom abound. Many students participate in:

  • industry internships and cooperative education
  • research assistantships on campus
  • community service projects
  • design competitions
  • off-campus study, including study abroad