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Biosystems Engineering Degrees

Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy – Biosystems Engineering

The biosystems engineering graduate program within the EEES department is designed to prepare graduates for leadership, creative accomplishment and continued professional learning, and to prepare graduates to effectively conduct independent scientific research related to sustainable biological systems design. Graduates from the BE program find employment in biofuels, biopharmaceutical and bioprocessing plants or biorefineries, engineering and environmental consulting firms, sustainable land and water resource management, state and federal government agencies, and academia.

Students from all engineering disciplines are encouraged to apply. Applicants from non-engineering disciplines are welcome, but may be required to take additional undergraduate courses. Each degree program is planned individually to augment the student's previous engineering and science background with adequate breadth in engineering and specialization in an area of biosystems engineering including sustainable bioprocessing and ecological engineering. In addition to biosystems engineering, course work includes mathematics, physics, chemistry, statistics, and biological and engineering sciences.



  • For admission to the M.S. program, an applicant should have a grade point ratio/average (GPR/GPA) of at least 3.0 out of 4.0. Scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for students who were accepted and actually entered the program for the past two years are shown in the table below.

    Accepted Applicants
    Percentile 2012-13 2013-14
    25th V=143.25 Q=157 A=3
    75th V=160.75 Q=163.75 A=4
    Matriculated Students
    25th V=145 Q=156 A=3
    75th V=160 Q=166 A=4.5

    For admissions to Ph.D. program, an applicant should have a grade point ratio/average (GPR/GPA) of at least 3.0 out of 4.0. Ranges of scores for students admitted to the BE program on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) are typically greater than 155 (700)Q, 150 (45) V, 3.5 A and 90 TOEFL. Students with a baccalaureate or masters degree in a related science or engineering field may apply directly to the PhD program. Students with exceptional records and experience in research will be considered for the PhD degree without a Masters degree, while most students admitted to the PhD program will have previously received a Masters degree

    Required documents include:

    1. • Online Application
    2. • Official GRE scores
    3. • Official TOEFL/IELTS scores for International Students
    4. • Official Transcript
    5. • Letters of Recommendation (2 for MS; 3 for PhD)

    Mail all documents to:
    Office of Graduate Admissions
    E-209 Martin Hall
    Clemson, SC 29634

    For admission to the PhD program, the applicant must have a faculty member who has agreed to be the research advisor before final admission. Pursuit of a PhD degree is a significant commitment of time and effort. Applicants should communicate with professors who are engaged in research of interest to the applicant. Finding a research advisor who will guide the PhD student effectively is important within the first semester of study. Visit the web page of each professor and send email to those who are involved in areas of interest. For questions about the process, contact the Graduate Program Coordinator. Students with a baccalaureate or masters degree in a related science or engineering field may apply directly to the PhD program. Students with expceptional records and experience in research will be considered for the PhD degree without a master's degree, while most students admitted to the PhD program will have previously received a Master's degree

    Applicants may apply on the Web. Applications should be received no later that five weeks prior to registration. Every required item in support of the application must be on file by that date. Prospective students are encouraged to complete and submit their applications for admission and financial assistance as early as possible to be considered during the first round of assistantship awards, which are made begineering in Frebruary or March. Applicants whose credential files are not completed until after this first round of assistantship awards will be considered for awards in subsequent rounds after April 15.

  • Students enrolled in the undergraduate BE program at Clemson University can apply for acceptance to BS/MS programs in Biosystems Engineering. This allows students with junior or senior status to count 6 – 8 credits of undergraduate course credits as part of graduate coursework. Requires 155 (700) Q, 155 (500) V, 4.0 A GRE and 3.4 GPA.

  • Course work for the Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in biosystems engineering (BE) can be completed in three semesters (about sixteen months). An oral defense is required for the thesis. Full requirements include:

    1. • 30 total credit hours earned
    2. • A minimum of 24 hours course credits with one-half at 8000 level or above, and 6 credit hours of thesis research
    3. • Three graduate level engineering courses
    4. • Experimental Statistics (EXST 8010)
    5. • Three (3) credits of additional coursework that emphasizes advanced mathematics - may be Mathematics (e.g. MTHS 6340), Engineering (e.g. Finite elements or computational mechanics) or Experimental Statistics (e.g.EXST 8050)
    6. • Newman Seminar (BE 6510)
    7. • Submission of one manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal before advisor signs thesis defense and approval form (Form GS7M)
    8. • Maximum of 3 credits of special topics (regardless of rubric) may be counted toward MS program
    9. • All Clemson Graduate School rules must be followed in a timely sequence including timelines for required GS forms (e.g. GS2, GS7, etc.). Research proposals are due to the graduate committee within the first year of study and a copy must be submitted for EEES records. GS2 form is due to the graduate school by the end of the 2nd semester
  • The Ph.D. in Biosystems Engineering program at Clemson University can be completed in three to five years and is flexible, with each student’s specific program uniquely tailored by the student and the committee. Comprehensive examinations, written and oral, occur after completion of course work and after formulation of the dissertation research proposal, respectively. A dissertation defense is required prior to approval and acceptance of the completed work. If directly acceptance into the Ph.D. program without first obtaining an M.S. degree, then all M.S. requirements must be taken in addition to those listed for Ph.D. accounting for a total of 63 credit hours.

    1. • A minimum of 15 credit hours of graduate courses with one-half at 8000 level or above, and at least 18 credit hours of dissertation research
    2. • Three credits in Experimental Statistics (e.g. EXST 8050)
    3. • Newman seminar (BE 6510)
    4. • Submission of 2 manuscripts to peer-reviewed journals before advisor signs dissertation defense and approval form (Form GS7D)
    5. • Maximum of 3 credits in special topics (regardless of rebric may be counted toward PhD program
    6. • All Clemson Graduate School rules must be followed in a timely sequence including timelines for required GS forms (e.g. GS2, GS7, etc.). Research proposals are due to the graduate committee within the first year of study and a copy must be submitted for EEES records. GS2 form must be completed by the end of the 3rd semester.
  • Students not having an ABET-accredited (or equivalent) degree must take the following remedial courses:

    1. 1. Basic math courses through differential equations (MATH 2080)
    2. 2. Freshmen chemistry and biology courses with lab.
    3. 3. Three of the listed engineering science courses (Statics, Dynamics, Fluids, Mechanics of Materials, Thermodynamics, Circuits – See BE undergraduate curriculum to determine equivalent courses).


For additional information about the programs, please contact the BE graduate program coordinator, Terry Walker, or Barbara Smith.

Application Information

For information on applying to the Graduate School, contact the Clemson Graduate School.

For specific information related to the Biosystems Engineering Graduate Degree, please contact:

Barbara Smith
barbar2@clemson.edu

Or, come visit the Rich Labs and say Hello! to Barbara