Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Graduate Program

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Iowa State built the nation’s first agricultural engineering program in the 20th century. Now, in the 21st century, we continue to extend the frontiers of knowledge through a strong graduate program in areas of agricultural and biological systems engineering. Join our internationally-renowned faculty in fundamental and applied research in the following areas:

Graduate Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of their graduate degree, all students should have an ability to:

  • Solve problems and think critically about their focus area
  • Analyze and interpret data
  • Communicate effectively

PhD students should also have:

  • An ability to design and conduct independent research that informs decision making
  • A deep and robust understanding of the relevant literature and problems related to their research

Program of Study

We offer master of science, master of engineering, and PhD degrees in agricultural and biosystems engineering.


Get Paid to Learn

The Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department offers research assistantships with competitive stipends. Please read below about contacting faculty with research interests similar to yours.

PhD students receive a full tuition scholarship, and master’s students receive a 50 percent tuition scholarship. Find out more about tuition and fees.

Scholarships and fellowships are also available.

Identifying Faculty

To help ensure the success of our graduate students, the agricultural and biosystems engineering graduate program generally does not offer admission unless funding to support your research is available or anticipated.

You are urged to contact faculty members who conduct research in your anticipated area of specialization to discuss the potential for project funding before you submit your application to Graduate Admissions.

Identify faculty members in agricultural and biosystems engineering with research interests similar to yours.

Once you have identified one or more potential faculty members to contact, send each a brief (1-page maximum) email message with the following summary information:

  • Paragraph indicating your specific area of interest and your reason for selecting this area
  • Summary of your academic degrees, institution granting the degrees, dates of graduation, grade point average for each degree and TOEFL scores (if your native language is not English)
  • Semester and year when you plan to begin your studies
  • Whether you need an assistantship have personal funding to support you during your study


Admission to Graduate Study

The Graduate Admissions Office handles all admissions to Iowa State University graduate programs. An overview of the admissions process is available from on the ABE Admissions page.


To learn more about our department’s graduate programs, email

Or contact Kris Bell,, 515-294-1033.