Graduate Studies


The Department of Biological Engineering at Utah State University offers the following degrees:

  • MS Biological Engineering
  • PhD Biological Engineering

Our research concentrates on the cellular and sub-cellular level, exploring the engineering of microbes to create new products and industries that are bio-based, sustainable, and non-exploitive. Our areas of focus are health and medicine, the environment and renewable energy.

Our program is at the forefront of biological engineering. We have state-of-the-art laboratories and a nationally recognized faculty. Our faculty members are experts in the fields of:

  • Biophotonics
  • Synthetic Biological Engineering
  • Synthetic Bio-Manufacturing
  • Bio-Nanotechnology
  • Tissue and Cellular Engineering
  • Biology-Inspired Sensors and Biosensors
  • Engineering Ecology
  • Biofuels from Algae and Lignocellulose
  • Metabolic Engineering
  • Bioprocessing
  • Downstream Processing

Graduate Research

Our program offers all graduate students hands on laboratory research opportunities. We have active research projects in these areas:

  • Discovery and development of cancer fighting anti-metastatic agents from microbes using metabolic engineering and bioprocessing
  • Research and development of green fuels such as biodiesel, compressed natural gas, liquid transportation fuels, and jet fuel.
  • Biologically engineered sensors made with DNA that can detect toxins and poisons for medical, environmental, and defense applications
  • Development of anti-microbial biopolymers and bioplastics compatible with the human body for stents, implants, prosthetics and surgical supplies.
  • Genetic engineering of microbes that will use carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (green house gas) to make bioplastics using carbon sequestration.
  • Metabolic engineering of naturally occurring microbes for the development of new pharmaceuticals, neutraceuticals, and probiotics.
  • Simulated lungs lined with human airway cells to study the physiology and response to stress from pollutants in the atmosphere
  • Biological mathematical modeling to simulate and predict biological systems


Employment in the field of biological engineering is projected to grow at greater than 20% per year for the next decade. Biological engineers are needed in industry, academia, medicine, manufacturing, law, marketing, sales, research, and pharmaceutical companies. Careers Page.

Financial Aid

Admission to the graduate program in the Department of Biological Engineering does not guarantee financial support. However, currently over 90% of the Department’s graduate students are supported by research assistantships, fellowships, scholarships, or hourly employment.