Graduate Program Overview

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Our graduate program is one of the premier national programs in biological & agricultural engineering. Over the past few years, our department has had significant growth in nanotechnology, biotechnology, and biomedical engineering concentrations to expand our traditional agricultural and coastal engineering emphasis. The LSU Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering (BAE) is forging the way to the future in these fields.

An increasing number of young and active mid-level professors, winners of major national awards, work to continue to grow significant programs, garner large grants, and author excellent articles and books. Some of the best students in the country join our program; we recently welcomed students with NSF fellowships, Board of Regents fellowships, and Diversity (ETD) fellowships. LSU’s BAE program is an excellent choice for graduate students interested in working with some of the finest scientists and engineers in their fields as well as enjoying the unique culture and cuisine Louisiana has to offer. We invite interested students to come build relationships with our faculty, staff, and students who are changing the world for the better.

The LSU Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering offers graduate programs at the Master and PhD levels. The Master of Science in Biological and Agricultural Engineering and PhD in Biological Engineering are departmental programs, while the department also cooperates with the College of Engineering in offering interdisciplinary Master and PhD degrees in Engineering Science with Biological and Agricultural Engineering as the major area of study. 

Program Objectives

The program educational objectives include producing graduates who

  • have strong fundamental engineering skills, technical knowledge, and professional and personal skills to effectively practice engineering in biological systems (plants, animals, humans, microbes and their environments) with demonstrated proficiency;
  • address current and future challenges in biological engineering through life-long learning, professional and ethical contributions to society, and sustained accomplishment;
  • and obtain graduate and/or professional degrees at notable universities in biological and agricultural engineering, biomedical engineering, medicine, law, business, or other related disciplines.

These program educational objectives are consistent with our departmental mission statement and the College of Engineering mission. 

The Master of Science Degree Program

The Master of Science in Biological and Agricultural Engineering is offered in both thesis and non-thesis options. Eighteen months is the usual time required for completion of the MS degree. Thesis option requires 24 hours of course work beyond the bachelor's and a publishable thesis. Non-thesis option requires 36 hours beyond the bachelor's and a project. A guide for students pursuing master's degrees that describes the detailed requirements and a chronological guide is available.

The Doctor of Philosophy Program

Two options are available for our students, PhD in Biological Engineering and PhD in Engineering Science with Biological and Agricultural Engineering as the major area of study. 

The Biological Engineering PhD program typically requires three years of work beyond the master's degree, including a minimum of 42 hours of approved course work beyond the bachelor's degree, at least half of which must be engineering courses and at least 12 hours in Biological Engineering, and a dissertation based on original research.

The PhD in Engineering Science requires at least 54 credit hours of course work beyond the bachelor’s is required and at least half (27) of those credits must be at the 7000 level. A minimum of 12 credits must be taken in the BE Program and at least half those credits must be at the 7000 level. Doctoral students must pass a general exam per Engineering Science and graduate school guidelines. The final examination is an oral defense of the dissertation.

Visit or contact the graduate coordinator Cristina M. Sabliov for more details and further information on these programs.

Admission Requirements

Unconditional admission to these graduate programs requires

  • a Bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a foreign institution (Consult international degree requirements to see the level of study expected of applicants prior to enrollment at LSU),
  • a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00 (A = 4.0) on all undergraduate work (or in the final 64 credit hours) and any graduate work already completed,
  • a score of 213/550 on the Test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL) for international students, if English is not their native language
  • three letters of recommendation from faculty with whom the prospective student has studied.

Applicants who lack these qualifications may, under special circumstances, be admitted on a provisional or probationary basis.

International student undergraduate records will be evaluated by the graduate school on the same basis as U.S. citizens'. All applicants (international and domestic) to LSU graduate degree programs are strongly encouraged to provide a course-by-course evaluation of all foreign credentials. Foreign credentials refer to transcripts from educational institutions outside the United States. The LSU Graduate School will accept foreign credential evaluations from any current member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) with a course-by-course evaluation and grade point average (GPA) included. For a list of all current members, please visit their website ( Although using a NACES-member organization is not a requirement, applicants should understand that it may take longer to conduct the evaluation if it must be done by LSU staff, which may result in delayed admissions decisions.

The Master of Science program in Biological and Agricultural Engineering require a bachelor's degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program or the equivalent of the required engineering courses in the undergraduate Biological and Agricultural Engineering curriculum. 

The PhD program in Engineering Science will accept qualified students who have a bachelor's or master's degree in any of the engineering disciplines or who have a science degree and have also taken the basic engineering courses. In the latter case, the student must plan appropriate supporting course work with the aid of his or her committee.

Financial Assistance

Research and teaching assistantships are available to qualified students on a competitive basis. Doctoral students may compete for Alumni Association or Board of Regents Graduate Fellowships.


LSU has modern residence halls for graduate students. The University also maintains unfurnished two- and three-bedroom apartments. Additional information and application forms may be obtained from the Office of Residential Housing, 98 Garig Hall, LSU, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, (225) 578-8663.

There are many off-campus apartments near LSU with competitive rental rates. Free bus transportation is provided to campus from the major off-campus student living areas.


More information about BAE Graduate Programs.

Apply to LSU Grad School


Cristina Sabliov Graduate Coordinator