Graduate Catalog
2018-2019
 
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Biological Systems Engineering
College of Engineering
Academics; construction begun 1937; completed 1940. Cost $172,000; 51,000 sq. ft. Once known as Agricultural Engineering Building. Named after Charles Edward Seitz (1890 - 1972) was a Drainage Engineer with the Agricultural Extension Service from 1914 to 1916, an Agricultural Engineer in the Agricultural Extension Service from 1916 to 1920, and Department Head of Agricultural Engineering from 1920 to 1953.
208, Mail Code:0308 Blacksburg VA 24061
Seitz Hall
Degree(s) Offered:
• MS
MS Degree in Biological Systems Engineering
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Blacksburg
• MEng
MEng Degree in Biological Systems Engineering
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Blacksburg
• PhD
PhD Degree in Biological Systems Engineering
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Blacksburg
Email Contact(s):
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
540/231-6800
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Jan 05
Spring: Sep 15
Directions
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The Graduate School
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Seitz Hall

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Department Head : Mary Leigh Wolfe
Graduate Program Director : Chenming Zhang (Graduate Program Director)
Emeriti Faculty: John Cundiff
Professors: Brian Benham; Robert Grisso; William Hession; Saied Mostaghimi; Mary Leigh Wolfe; Chenming Zhang
Associate Professors: Justin Barone; Zachary Easton; Conrad Heatwole; Leigh Anne Krometis; Jactone Ogejo; David Sample (Hampton Roads AREC); Durelle Scott; Ryan Senger; Theresa Thompson
Assistant Professors: Jonathan Czuba; Julie Shortridge; Venkataramana Sridhar
H.E. and Elizabeth F. Alphin Professor: Saied Mostaghimi

Biological Systems Engineering Introduction

Biological Systems Engineering (BSE) is the engineering discipline that applies concepts of biology, chemistry and physics, along with engineering science and design principles, to solve problems in biological systems.

The mission of the Biological Systems Engineering Department is to develop and disseminate engineering knowledge and practices that protect natural resources and improve sustainable production, processing, and utilization of biological materials.

Our faculty and students work in a broad range of biological systems, from natural systems, such as watersheds with a focus on water resources, to built systems, such as bioreactors and bioprocessing facilities. We work from the nanoscale to the macroscale. We seek to improve animal, human, and environmental health through development and design of healthy food products, vaccines, bioenergy, biomaterials, and water quality management practices. We convert biological resources, such as switchgrass, plant proteins, and animal manure, into value-added products, such as biopharmaceuticals, biofuels, and biomaterials, in a sustainable manner.

Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 550.0
    • Computer
      • 213.0
    • iBT
      • 90.0
  • GRE
    • General Test
      • Verbal :
      • Quantitative :
      • Analytical :
Master of Science - Thesis (MS)
The Department offers the MS degree with a thesis option. For a thesis option, the student in the MS program will conduct independent research and will produce a thesis and defend the research findings for fulfilling the requirements of the degree. A minimum of 30 total credits (24 course credits) are required.

Master of Science - Non-thesis (MS)
The Department offers the MS degree, non-thesis option as well. For a non-thesis option, the student will be involved in completing a focused research/design activity and submit a research report and make an oral presentation detailing the research findings. A minimum of 30 total credits (24 course credits) are required.
Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 550.0
    • Computer
      • 213.0
    • iBT
      • 80.0
  • GRE
    • General Test
      • Verbal :
      • Quantitative :
      • Analytical :
Master of Engineering (ME)

The ME degree is a non-thesis course of study designed for those who are interested in broadening their general knowledge of Biological Systems Engineering, rather than specializing in one specific area. Although a thesis is not required for this degree program, the students are required to complete a project report. Thirty credit hours, including 3 to 6 credit hours of Project and Report are required. This degree is not recommended for students who might be interested in pursuing a PhD degree. The students in a ME program are not eligible to receive research assistantships from the Department.
Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 550.0
    • Computer
      • 213.0
    • iBT
      • 80.0
  • GRE
    • General Test
      • Verbal :
      • Quantitative :
      • Analytical :
PhD (post-MS)

This option is for students who already have an MS degree and would like to continue their academic career in order to receive a PhD. The PhD is the highest academic degree awarded by the University and is conferred upon a student who demonstrates outstanding original scholarship during advanced study. It signifies that the student is able to conduct independent research and has both a broad basic knowledge of all areas of the field and a comprehensive knowledge of one area. A student who wishes to qualify for the degree is expected to meet the requirements of both the Graduate School and the Department.

Direct PhD

The Direct Admit to PhD (Direct PhD) program is for exceptional students with research experience who have a BS degree and want to be admitted to the Direct PhD Program without completing an MS degree. These students should have excellent academic records with a minimum grade point average of 3.5 (for the last 60 credit hours) and should be able to provide evidence of research activities to indicate their ability to synthesize information and conduct research experiments. Annual evaluations of the Direct PhD students will be conducted by the Graduate Committee and the student's Advisory Committee. If it is determined that the student does not possess the ability to successfully complete a PhD degree, the Advisory Committee and the Department would consider awarding a non-thesis MS degree, provided that all university requirements for this degree are met by the student. Successful students will proceed with their program and follow all Departmental policies and procedures established for the PhD program.

Biological Systems Engineering Facilities Introduction

Information about the following facilities is available on ourĀ web site:

Facilities

  • B-incubator Laboratory
  • Biomolecular Engineering Laboratory
  • Bionanotechnology Laboratory
  • Bioseparation Laboratory
  • BSE Pilot Laboratory
  • Byproduct Management Laboratory
  • Center for Watershed Studies
  • Ecological Engineering Laboratory
  • Environmental Processes Laboratory
  • Fluvial Processes Laboratory
  • Food Processes Laboratory
  • Hydroecology Laboratory
  • Metabolic Engineering and Renewable Materials Laboratory
  • Mycotoxin Analysis Laboratory
  • Prices Fork Research Facility
  • Sediment Laboratory
  • StREAM Lab
  • Synthetic Enzyme and Pathway Engineering Laboratory
  • Water Microbiology Laboratory
  • Water Quality Laboratory
  • Watershed Assessment Laboratory
  • Watershed Monitoring Laboratory
Resource: Research Facilities (http://www.bse.vt.edu/facilities)
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