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Major: Biological Engineering (BE)

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Accredited by ABET (see inside front cover)
Offered by: Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering
207 Riley-Robb Hall, 255.2173,

Our Commitment

The educational objectives of the Biological Engineering program are consistent with those of the College of Engineering and Cornell University. We are committed to providing an excellent undergraduate engineering program in a nurturing learning environment where our graduates acquire knowledge and develop skills for professional success. Graduates of our program include a diverse group of leaders and problem solvers who contribute technically, professionally, and personally to our society.

Program Objectives

  • Produce graduates who pursue careers related to Biological Engineering based on a solid educational background in appropriate mathematics, physical and life sciences, liberal studies, and engineering.
  • Produce graduates who pursue advanced degrees in engineering and related professional fields.

Engineering Distributions

  • ENGRD 2020: Mechanics of Solids (required)
  • ENGRD 2XXX: ENGRD 2600: Principles of Biological Engineering (recommended) or
    ENGRD 2510: Engineering for a Sustainable Society

Required Major Courses

Choose two of the following four:

  • BIOMG 1350: Cell and Developmental Biology
  • BIOG 1440: Comparative Physiology
  • BIOG 1445: Comparative Physiology, personalized instruction
  • BIOEE 1610: Ecology and the Environment


  • BIOG 1500: Investigative Biology Laboratory
  • BIOMG 3300 or 3330 or 3350: Principles of Biochemistry, or
    BIOMG 3310 and BIOMG 3320: Principles of Biochemistry
  • BIO XXXX: Biological Science course(s) with a biology prerequisite
  • BEE 2600/ENGRD 2600: Principles of Biological Engineering, or
    BEE 2510/ENGRD 2510: Engineering for a Sustainable Society
  • BEE 3400: Design and Analysis of Biomaterials
  • BEE 3500: Heat and Mass Transfer in Biological Engineering
  • BEE/BME 3600: Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering
  • BEE 4500: Bioinstrumentation
  • BEE 2220: Bioengineering Thermodynamics and Kinetics, or
    ENGRD 2210: Thermodynamics, or
    CHEME 3130: Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics, or
    MSE 3030: Thermodynamics of Condensed Systems
  • CEE 3040: Uncertainty Analysis in Engineering, or
    ENGRD 2700: Basic Engineering Probability and Statistics
  • BEE 3310: Bio-Fluid Mechanics

Focus Area: Five or more courses picked from one or more of the seven focus areas.

Biological Engineering Focus Area electives to complete remaining credits.

Biological Engineering Focus Area Electives

One course must be a BEE Capstone course and one must be a BEE Laboratory Experience course (see department handbook for a current list of approved courses). BE Focus Areas: Molecular and Cellular Systems, Ecological and Microbial Systems, Nanobiotechnology, Systems and Computational Biology, Synthetic Biology, Biomaterials, or Sustainability (see department handbook for a current list of approved Focus Area electives).

One course must satisfy the College of Engineering technical writing requirement.

The requirements for premedical study can be met with an additional 6–9 credits if courses are carefully selected.

 BE Flow Chart

BE Checklist


  • a. Engineering matriculates must enroll in CHEM 2090 (fall, spring); CALS matriculates must enroll in CHEM 2070 (fall). Students in either college may also substitute CHEM 2150 for either CHEM 2090 or 2070.
  • b. CS 111X and ENGRI required of engineering matriculates. BEE 1510 and BEE 1200 required of CALS matriculates.
  • c. The Major program includes nine (9) credits of courses outside the Major. These are satisfied by ENGRD 2020, CEE 3040 or ENGRD 2700, and a non-BEE Major-approved elective.
  • d. In addition to the First-year Writing Seminars, a technical writing course must be taken as an engineering distribution, liberal studies, Advisor-approved elective, or Major course.
  • e. Choose two of the following four biology courses: BIOMG 1350, BIOG 1440, BIOG 1445, or BIOEE/BIOSM 1610, plus BIOG/BIOSM 1500. BIOG/BIOSM 1500 may be taken in spring. All BIO courses must be taken for letter grade.
  • f. Biochemistry is required: BIOMG 3300 or BIOMG 3330 or BIOMG 3350 or BIOMG 3310 plus BIOMG 3320.
  • g. Upper-level Biology: Any biology course at the 2000-level or above which has a biology prerequisite and is taken for a letter grade. This requirement may also be satisfied by an upper-level course in a science department (excluding engineering, fine arts, liberal studies and mathematics) which has a biology (not social science) content of 95% or greater and a biology prerequisite. Students must receive approval for these alternative courses by consulting their BE faculty advisor or the main BE Advising Office, 207 Riley-Robb Hall. One credit seminars may not be used to meet this requirement.
  • h. BE Focus Area Electives must include a BEE capstone design course and a BEE laboratory experience course. See department handbook for a current list of approved courses. In place of one focus area course, you may use up to 4 credits of research, project team, teaching, or independent study taken in an engineering department towards the 36 engineering credits in category 8.
  • i. BEE 2220 or ENGRD 2210 or CHEME 3130 or MSE 3030 and ENGR Stats preferably before semester 6. CEE 3040 is the preferred version of statistics.
  • j. Forty-six of the 51 minimum Required Major Course credits must be Engineering courses (including distribution courses).