Graduate Degree Program

Graduate students in the top-ranked Texas A&M University Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering enjoy small class size and frequent one-to-one contact with professors, even though our department is among the largest of its kind. What’s more, our faculty will be actively involved in helping develop your career, from advising you on the selection of your courses to helping you make contact with our many industrial partners, many of whom are among our more than 2,000 Former Students. The Biological & Agricultural Engineering Department offers these advanced degrees:

*denotes distance education option

Students entering the graduate program in the Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M University may select a research topic from a broad array of fields. The high level of funding support for agriculture and engineering in Texas, the diversity of agriculture, and the breadth of faculty expertise and research interests contribute to a large number of research programs from which to choose. The following major areas of agricultural engineering research are offered:

  • Food Engineering
  • Environmental & Natural Resource Engineering
  • Bioprocess Engineering
  • Biomaterials Science
  • Machine & Energy Systems
  • Systems Analysis
  • Food, Feed & Fiber Processing
  • Bioacoustics

The Master of Agriculture is a non-engineering degree program, primarily for students with a baccalaureate in Agricultural Systems Management, Mechanized Agriculture or a similar degree. All of the other advanced degrees are engineering degrees. An undergraduate engineering degree or its equivalent is a prerequisite for an advanced engineering degree.

If you don’t have an undergraduate engineering degree, but you have to have a strong academic background in mathematics or science, you may still be admitted to a graduate program in engineering. The prerequisite course work required for the successful completion of the Engineering-in-Training exam, identifies by your advisor and approved by the department head, will be taken at the same time as the graduate courses. Otherwise, a second baccalaureate in agricultural engineering is recommended. Full details are contained in the Graduate Handbook.

Master of Science

The Master of Science degree requires you to complete advanced course work and to become skilled in research methodology. You’ll be expected to plan, conduct and analyze a comprehensive research project, and to report the findings in a thesis, a scholarly document of research conducted in accordance with accepted scientific methodology. The department houses two Master of Science programs. One of which is Agricultural Systems Management, while the other is in Biological and Agricultural Engineering. Both degrees are offered in thesis and non-thesis options.

The Master of Science (non-thesis option) in Agricultural Systems Management is also offered via distance education.

Master of Engineering

The Master of Engineering degree is very similar in concept to the Master of Agriculture degree, but is oriented toward problem solving in engineering. You must demonstrate engineering problem-solving capabilities through a professional internship. Three hours of BAEN 684 (internship) are a requirement for a Master of Engineering in Biological and Agricultural Engineering. You’ll write a professional paper, which is a scholarly report of a problem-solving accomplishment, to summarize the experiences of the internship. This degree is non-thesis. Please refer to the Graduate Handbook for more information.

The Master of Engineering in Biological and Agricultural Engineering is also offered via distance education.

Master of Agriculture

The Master of Agriculture degree is designed for students who want professional graduate training in agricultural systems with a management orientation. It is intended to emphasize the problem-solving skills involved in the use of science and technology. The Master of Agriculture degree is not a research degree. You must demonstrate problem-solving capabilities, usually gained through a professional internship that is intended to provide applied, practical experiences. You’ll prepare a professional paper, which is a scholarly report of a problem-solving accomplishment. This degree is non-thesis.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is designed to provide you with a thorough knowledge of your professional field and training in the methods of research. The final basis for granting the degree is your grasp of a broad field of study and a demonstrated capability to do independent research.

In addition, you must have acquired the ability to express thoughts clearly and forcefully in both oral and written communication. You’ll be encouraged to develop teaching skills through formal study of pedagogical methods and supervised classroom teaching experience. A preliminary qualifying examination, covering all fields of study included in your degree program, is required. You’ll prepare a dissertation, an original, scholarly report of independent research.

Doctor of Engineering

The Doctor of Engineering degree is a professional degree with an emphasis on problem solving at the highest levels of the engineering profession. Because these problems frequently have a non-techincal societal impact, and because technological advances are implemented through business and industry, the Doctor of Engineering program seeks to couple an understanding of the characteristics of social and business institutions with competence in solving engineering problems. Each student must pass the Doctor of Engineering Qualifying Examination. After the course work is essentially completed, you must spend a minimum of one year working under the supervision of a practicing engineering in industry, business or government.

The objectives of the internship are to enable you to demonstrate the ability to make an identifiable contribution by applying both knowledge and technical training, and to function in an organizational approach to problem solving. A record of study, normally a report of the internship experience is required.

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