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Why Pursue Graduate Studies at UK?

Thank you for exploring opportunities for graduate education with us. The University of Kentucky is a thriving community of scholars, researchers and students dedicated to improving lives through excellence in education, research, leadership, creative work, service and healthcare. We are proud of our reputation for excellence. As you begin making post-graduation plans, strongly consider earning a graduate degree at UK. What do we offer?

  • An unrivaled collaborative environment. UK is one of only eight universities in the country with a major medical center featuring six health sciences colleges and the full spectrum of academic colleges on one contiguous campus.​

  • Opportunities to work side-by-side with internationally recognized faculty members who are conducting ground-breaking research.<

  • Preparation for a high-level career in academia or industry.<

The department has compiled a detailed handbook that outlines the requirements and expectations for undertaking graduate work with the department. View, download, or print the handbook.

In addition to the requirements of The Graduate School, admission to the department's program is also based on:

  • A minimum grade point average of 2.8/4.0 with special emphasis given to courses in the science areas
  • The GRE is used as another factor in assessing student promise. However, we consider all applicants individually and do not publish specific score requirements for our applicants
  • Letters of recommendation (not required by the university)
  • A minimum TOEFL(iBT)/IELTS score of 94/7 respectively or acceptable alternate by the director of undergraduate studies (DGS) or department chair
  • The availability of a major advisor to work with the prospective student

A prospective student's records will be reviewed by the department's graduate committee. The graduate committee forwards its recommendation to the DGS concerning admission.

Students who wish to pursue an advanced degree but are temporarily ineligible for regular graduate admission status may be recommended by the DGS for provisional admission status for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Missing transcripts or other requirements for admission such as letters of recommendation
  • Temporary waiver of the Graduate Record Examination (not to exceed one semester)
  • Deficiencies as determined by the DGS

Deficiencies are often related to requests for admission from students with degrees in areas other than engineering. The basic philosophy of the department is that each graduate student should have the equivalent of a B.S. degree in biosystems and agricultural engineering prior to receiving an advanced degree. The B.S. equivalent is based on the completion of certain basic science and engineering courses including physics, chemistry, calculus, statics, dynamics, strength of materials, thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics and electricity. Other courses pertaining specifically to biosystems and agricultural engineering may also be required. The departmental graduate committee may specify that the applicant be provisionally admitted, contingent on the completion of certain courses at which time the student's record will again be evaluated. This PDF lists the minimum required coursework.

Similarly, students not satisfying the 2.8 GPA requirement may be provisionally admitted if there is sufficient evidence to indicate that the student can successfully complete the degree program. In these cases, the graduate committee may specify that the student obtain a stated minimum grade on certain specified courses during the first semester of study. Provisional status is permitted for a maximum of one full-time semester or up to 12 hours after which the work will be reviewed, and, within 30 days into the following semester, and on recommendation of the DGS, the status will be moved automatically from provisional to regular program status or removed from the provisional status entirely.

Prospective students may also seek to be admitted in a post-baccalaureate status. Admission to this status may be granted to an applicant who demonstrates promise but has not qualified for admission to a degree program. Students may take courses for graduate credit but may not apply more than nine hours of credit with a grade of A or B earned in the post-baccalaureate status to a degree program leading to an advanced degree. All transfers of credit hours to a graduate program must be approved by the DGS and the dean of graduate studies.

An application for admission to The Graduate School as a post-baccalaureate graduate student should be on file in the Admissions Office at least 30 days in advance of the registration date for the term in which the student plans to enroll.

Post-baccalaureate students who wish to apply for a graduate program must have a 3.0 grade point average on all work attempted as post-baccalaureate students. They should write The Graduate School offices indicating they wish to apply and stating the semester for which enrollment in the program is planned. Permission to enter any graduate class as a post-baccalaureate student will be granted only if the student meets the prerequisites and if space is available.

To find out more about UK's requirements, application details, and admission procedures go to the UK Graduate School's "Apply for Admission" page.

The Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering participates in the University Scholars Program.

The undergraduate biosystems and agricultural engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012 - telephone: (410) 347-7700.

Specific financial aid information and more complete information about graduate study in the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department can be obtained from the Director of Graduate Studies.

Prospective students who have a special area of research interest and can identify a faculty member with a similar interest may wish to contact that faculty member directly. Check out the BAE faculty!

Graduate students who pursue a master's degree or doctorate in biosystems and agricultural engineering are eligible, depending on funding and course of study, for assistantships that may include tuition reimbursement and a stipend.

Please contact the Director of Graduate Studies, or your current advisor to learn more.

The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours (excluding residency credits) beyond the M.S. degree or, if a M.S. degree is not pursued, 54 graduate credits beyond the B.S. degree. On petition to the DGS, up to six credit hours of the Ph.D. requirement may be waived with the concurrence of (a) the student’s advisory committee chair/co-chairs, (b) the majority of the student’s advisory committee, (c) the DGS and (d) the department chair. Graduate credit waivers may be approved based on:

  • Scientific papers (e.g. refereed journal articles and book chapters) for which (a) the student is first or second author, (b) the paper is written while the student is enrolled in the department’s Ph.D. program, (c) the paper is based substantially on data collected and/or work performed during enrollment, (d) the paper is submitted to an appropriate, peer-reviewed, professional journal or publisher and (e) the editor has formally accepted the paper for publication. Up to three graduate credits may be waived for each scientific paper.
  • Competitive state or federal grants or fellowships for which (a) the student makes a substantial contribution to the development of the grant (e.g. ideas originate with the student and student develops first draft) and (b) the grant is written and submitted while the student is enrolled in the department’s Ph.D. program. Up to three graduate credits may be waived for each submitted competitive grant or fellowship.
  • Intellectual property, deemed appropriate for provisional patent by the University of Kentucky, for which (a) the student is named an inventor and (b) the intellectual property was developed while the student is enrolled in the department’s Ph.D. program. Up to three graduate credits may be waived for each intellectual property.
  • Non-academic engineering design experience that is (a) relevant to the student’s area of study and (b) consistent with professional standards of competency. Up to three credit hours may be waived for each full-time year of experience.
  • Teaching a semester long three credit hour course for which (a) the student is the primary instructor, (b) is relevant to the student’s area of study, and (c) is taught while the student is enrolled in the department’s Ph.D. program. Up to three graduate credits may waived for each course.

Students may receive credit in more than one area. Petitions for waiver of graduate credit should include all supporting documentation, including the Ph.D. Course Waiver Petition Form, in a single PDF file. The student is responsible for obtaining any necessary approvals if supporting documentation contains proprietary information in any of the petition categories. Please contact the DGS if the petition proposes use of proprietary information. Petitions should be made at least one semester prior to the Ph.D. qualifying examination. The review process will require approximately four weeks.

Approved: November 9, 2016

Course Waiver Petition Form

The process for submitting a thesis or dissertation has undergone changes. Please review the University of Kentucky Thesis and Dissertation Submission Guide

Graduate students who publish papers in peer-reviewed journal articles are eligible to receive a scholarship from the department. The scholarship provides $250 for the first submission,  an additional $250 upon acceptance ($500 total). The scholarship also provides $250 upon publication for each additional paper. Fill out the form here and submit to the Director of Graduate Studies.

Please contact the Director of Graduate Studies, or your current advisor to learn more.

Click here to see a list of recipients.