Graduate Studies

Graduate (Masters and Ph.D) training prepares students for academic and industry positions, specializing in power and machinery, process engineering, structures and environment, soil and water engineering, waste management, food engineering, biological and agricultural materials’ properties, or instrumentation and controls. For more information on the graduate program in the Biological Systems Engineering Department, contact Betsy Wood, Graduate Services Coordinator, at 608-262-3310 or via email at

The Biological Systems Engineering Department offers graduate programs leading to the master of science and the doctor of philosophy degrees. For those interested, it is now possible to apply to the University of Wisconsin Graduate School online.

Master of Science

Two options are available for the Master’s degree in BSE: a thesis option and a non-thesis option (i.e., an independent study) program. If your objective is to pursue a Ph.D. degree and/or research-oriented career, you are strongly encouraged to select the thesis option. Graduate research assistantships are generally not awarded to students pursuing the non-thesis option. Students should select course work in consultation with and approval of the major professor.

Doctor of Philosophy

Students in the doctor of philosophy degree program are concerned with advancement of knowledge through “cutting edge research” and scholarly activity. The doctor of philosophy degree normally required a minimum of 42-54 course credits beyond the bachelors degree and the completion of an acceptable dissertation. The doctoral dissertation is expected to be an original and significant contribution to the biological and agricultural engineering profession.