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:

Degree Programs

The Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE) department offers three graduate degrees in our Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Graduate Program.

  • Master of Engineering in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ME ABE) – course-based
  • Master of Science in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (MS ABE) – thesis-based
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (PhD ABE)



Master’s Degree

Though there is no guarantee of departmental funding or fellowships, many master’s students obtain teaching or graduate assistantships.  Students may also join our graduate program with demonstrated self-support.  The cost of the ABE graduate programs can be found at ISU’s description of tuition and fees.

Doctoral Degree

Our doctoral students are typically supported by fellowships or research assistantships.  The availability of fellowships and research assistantships varies by department opportunities and each faculty. 

Research Assistantships

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

Research projects that fund assistantships change each year, so contact specific faculty to determine opportunities for which you may be qualified.  As there is a wide variety of research in ABE, it is recommended that communications with faculty include a brief statement of how your background and interests prepares you to contribute to a specific project.  Graduate students are also able to bring their own funding though external sources (government funding, Fulbright Scholars, etc.).


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.