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Biological Engineering

Undergraduate Degree Program for Biological Engineering

The biological revolution of this century has given rise to a growing demand for engineers who can tackle local, national, and global challenges by combining the power of engineering principles with the constantly evolving science of biology. To solve the daunting problems confronting society today, engineers need strong math and science skills, effective communication abilities, and an appreciation for the scope and complexity of the challenges they are facing.

If you have a strong aptitude for the sciences and math and an interest in solving engineering problems that relate to living systems, biological engineering (BE) at Cornell is definitely worth investigating. The field places you at the intersection of three great challenges facing humanity today:

  • protecting and remediating Earth’s natural resources, including water, soil, air, and energy;
  • ensuring an adequate and safe food supply in an era of expanding world population, and;
  • developing engineering systems that monitor or intervene in the mechanisms of living organisms (micro-organisms, plants, and animals) and ecosystems.

You can focus your studies in biomaterials, nanobiotechnology, ecological and microbial systems, computational biological engineering, synthetic biology, molecular and cellular systems, and/or sustainability. You will take courses in basic and advanced biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, computing, design, engineering applications, and fundamental engineering sciences (fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, thermodynamics, and transport processes).

Depending upon your interests, you will choose advanced BE courses in areas such as biomaterials, bioprocessing, bioinstrumentation, biotechnology applications, engineering ethics, computer-aided design, renewable energy systems, and watershed engineering. You will also select other courses in the College of Engineering that strengthen to your academic focus area or allow you to pursue any of the engineering minors.

Planning to go to medical school? You will find an excellent fit between your required pre-med courses and the BE major. With proper planning, you can complete the biomedical minor at the same time.

The BE major emphasizes developing communication and teamwork skills. As an undergraduate, you may engage in research, work as a teaching assistant, compete as a member of an engineering student-design team, complete an engineering co-op or internship, or study abroad.

Outcomes

Graduates pursue career opportunities in private industry, public agencies, and educational institutions. Recent graduates are working in biotechnology and at companies that focus on food, energy and consumer products, environmental consulting, international projects, public health and the pharmaceutical industry. Roughly one-third of the bachelor-level graduates pursue advanced study in engineering, science, business, or law.

The BE degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology and graduates may become registered professional engineers through formal examination and professional employment.

Master of Engineering Program

The one-year master of engineering (M.Eng.) degree will prepare you to hit the ground running and stand out in the career of your choice.The M.Eng. program in the graduate field of Biological and Environmental Engineering (BEE) is flexible, allowing candidates to select their courses and project area to meet their individual goals.M.Eng. candidates in the field of BEE choose their design project and complete appropriate courses in one of the following areas: bioenergetics and stress factors, biomechanics, controlled-environment agriculture, energy systems engineering, engineering to solve global challenges, food process engineering, metabolic engineering, micro-bioreactors, microbial fuel cells, molecular engineering, nucleic acid engineering, physiological engineering, and soil and water engineering.

Some Areas of Faculty Research

  • biological transport processes
  • biomaterials design
  • bioprocess engineering
  • bioremediation
  • biosensors and instrumentation
  • cellular engineering
  • controlled environment agriculture and aquaculture
  • ecosystem management and pollution control
  • environmental systems analysis
  • food processing engineering
  • international development
  • microbial fuel cells
  • microbial soil dynamics
  • nanoscale bioengineering
  • soil and water engineering
  • sustainable energry systems

Biological Engineering by the Numbers

Biological Engineering undergraduate students: 226

  • College of Engineering: 22
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: 204

Starting salaries of B.S. Biological Engineering graduates (three-year average):

  • Median salary: $55,000
  • High salary: $105,000

Post-graduate plans for biological engineering graduates at the time of graduation (three-year average):

  • Employed 43% 43%
  • Attending Graduate School 50% 50%
  • Seeking Employment 3% 3%
  • Seeking Admission to Graduate School 4% 4%
A photograph of a biomedical engineering student working in a lab

Biomedical Engineering

Undergraduate Degree Program for the Nancy E. and Peter C. Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering

If you have an interest in engineering problems related to issues of human health and performance, biomedical engineering (BME) is a burgeoning field worth considering. An integrated, interdisciplinary endeavor, BME bridges the engineering and medical fields to meet the 21st-century needs of biomedical-related industries focused on medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Biomedical engineers discover and apply engineering principles and methods to a wide array of problems in medicine. They diagnose and determine the biological origins of disease. They also design biocompatible and living materials, prostheses, surgical implants, artificial organs, controlled drug-delivery systems, and regenerative technologies to augment the healing process.

The mission of the B.S. program at the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering is to train students in the practice of design, fabrication, and analysis of biomedical systems, devices, diagnostics, and therapeutics for issues related to human health. Specifically, our vision for biomedical engineering focuses on a quantitative approach to understanding biology across scales—from nanoscale and molecular levels to the whole body. The quantitative nature of our program distinguishes the major from traditional programs in biology, while the focus on human health is distinct from other programs in engineering that include the study of biological systems (e.g. biological, environmental, chemical and biomolecular engineering). Additionally, its focus on multiscale analysis of biological systems is a unique signature of Cornell Biomedical Engineering relative to programs at peer institutions.

As a BME student you will:

  • develop a quantitative approach to understanding biology across length and time scales with a focus on human health;
  • possess an intellectual and technical foundation for innovation confidence;
  • produce robust products and decisions within highly variable, uncertain environments;
  • be a self-directed, life-long learner that readily identifies and applies engineering principles to biological systems;
  • engage your community at the interface of the physical and life sciences as it relates to the human condition.

Opened in 2008, Weill Hall is the home of the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell. This $162-million facility brings together Cornell’s top ranked programs in the life sciences, providing an avenue for building research connections across departments as well as across campuses, thanks to the extensive teleconferencing facilities designed to strengthen our connections with Weill Cornell Medical College, our medical school located in New York City. Cornell’s Veterinary College offers students a local opportunity to connect veterinary medicine and engineering.

As a BME major you will be part of a diverse community of life-long learners who are innovation confident, collaborative across disciplines, and community engaged. You will learn to be an intellectual and technical leader, ready to break the rules to advance human medicine and improve human health.

Outcomes

The BME major prepares you to bridge the engineering and medical fields, resulting in highly-flexible career prospects with opportunities in manufacturing, at universities, hospitals, government regulatory agencies and law firms, as well as the research facilities of companies and educational and medical institutions. Many graduates continue their studies in biomedical engineering in Masters of Engineering (M.Eng.) or Doctoral programs in a specific biomedical engineering concentration. A biomedical engineering major is also excellent preparation for entry into graduate study in medicine.

Master of Engineering Degree Program

Cornell’s M.Eng. degree is a one-year program that builds on your undergraduate foundation, expanding your knowledge and enhancing your career options. The focus of an M.Eng. degree is on engineering practice and design; that is, putting engineering knowledge to work developing new tools to address real-word problems in health science, learning both how to engineer solutions to health science challenges as well as what to engineer in terms of a product’s market viability. Our M.Eng. programs accomplish this through a combination of courses and a design project that ensure each student has broad knowledge as well as focused expertise in a particular area.

SOME AREAS OF FACULTY RESEARCH

  • bioactive materials design
  • body-on-a-chip
  • cellular imaging
  • living tissue engineering
  • micro- and nano-biotechnology
  • multi-scale systems modeling
  • physics of cancer

Biomedical Engineering by the Numbers

Number of Biomedical Engineering undergraduate students: 121

Starting salaries of B.S. biomedical engineering graduates (2020):

  • Median salary: $70,000
  • High salary: $83,200

Post-graduate plans for biomedical engineering graduates at the time of graduation (2020):

  • Employed 50% 50%
  • Attending Graduate School 42% 42%
  • Seeking Admission Employment 4% 4%
  • Other 4% 4%
Photograph of a chemical engineering student in the lab

Chemical Engineering

Undergraduate Degree Program for the Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Chemical engineers work with chemical change and chemical processing. You might develop ways to produce chemicals, or design, build, and operate a chemical production plant. You might search for new sources of energy or work to clean up the environment. Or you might play an important role in new technologies such as semiconductor processing and biotechnology or in the development of new materials such as polymers and ceramics.

Cornell’s undergraduate program in Chemical Engineering (ChemE) offers a sequence of courses beginning in your sophomore year and extending through your senior year. The fundamental analytic tools of chemical engineering—chemical kinetics, chemical thermodynamics, and fluid mechanics—are developed in the second and third years. These tools are used to analyze the units of chemical processes: chemical reactors, bio-reactors, distillation columns, and heat exchangers. As a senior, students design chemical processes by integrating process units with attention to economics, safety, and environmental impact. Concentrations in biomolecular engineering, polymeric materials, and energy are available.

Outcomes

Chemical engineers are involved in producing all kinds of goods, from plastics, textiles, and fertilizers, to processed foods and antibiotics. Chemical engineers also work in new areas of biotechnology, including designing new methods to fight life-threatening diseases and more effective ways to deliver medications. Chemical engineers are in demand in many fields, including, petroleum, chemical, pharmaceutical, electronics, consumer-products, and food-processing industries. Many find professional opportunities in government agencies, research laboratories, and academic institutions, and a good number rise to positions of considerable technical and managerial responsibility.

Master of Engineering Degree Program

The Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degree at Cornell’s Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, enables new as well as practicing, engineers to earn professional degrees while building expertise in related fields. The diverse personal and academic backgrounds of our faculty and students, and Cornell’s vast facilities, make this an exceptional program in which to pursue one of the following areas of specialization:

  • computational informatics;
  • energy economics and engineering;
  • medical and industrial biotechnology;
  • product design

This professional degree gives you the opportunity to:• gain specialized focused knowledge in areas central to chemical engineering; deepen your knowledge of one topical area related to chemical engineering by specializing in an area of study, such as polymers, electronic materials, engineering management, food engineering, etc.;• broaden your skills (e.g., take courses in finance, marketing, language proficiency, entrepreneurship, etc.);• undertake original research in one of the faculty research programs.

Some Areas of Faculty Research

  • battery power, storage, and transmission
  • biochemistry and biophysics of biological systems
  • biological network fragility
  • biomass conversionbiomedical research and biotechnology
  • energy harvesting efficiency of solar cells using photonic crystals
  • geothermal science
  • interfacial science
  • material properties in nanofibers
  • photonic materials and solar energy capture
  • polymer rheology
  • protein conformational studies
  • soft matter
  • surface science of organic and inorganic materials
  • synthetic biology
  • systems biology
  • transport in complex fluids

Chemical Engineering by the Numbers

Number of Chemical Engineering undergraduate students: 153

Starting salaries of B.S. Chemical Engineering graduates (for 2020):

  • Median salary: $75,000
  • High salary: $150,000

Post-graduate plans for chemical engineering graduates at the time of graduation (2020):

  • Employed 60% 60%
  • Attending Graduate School 37% 37%
  • Seeking Admission to Graduate School 2% 2%
A photograph of a student welding

Civil Engineering

Undergraduate Degree Program for Civil Engineering

Civil engineers are innovators, creators, and entrepreneurs. They design and build buildings, bridges, dams, roller coasters, space structures, and sound stages for rock concerts. They devise complex systems, such as transportation and water-supply networks, or information systems for design and management of engineering projects. They also design water treatment and wastewater treatment systems and hazardous waste remediation projects that protect the environment.

If you enjoy science and math and would like an opportunity to serve society by creating, maintaining, and upgrading the infrastructure we all rely on, this is a field you should investigate. Civil engineers know how to evaluate risk and ensure the high reliability of their designs. Any creator of a stadium, suspension bridge, wind farm, or drinking water system will tell you that failure is not an option.

As a civil engineering student at Cornell, you will work with some of the world’s top engineering faculty and fellow students. You will not only learn engineering theory and how to apply it, you will also learn to navigate the ins and outs of today’s complex business and regulatory arenas. Many civil engineering graduates go on to take leadership positions in established companies or start their own firms. You may also decide to continue on for an additional year to participate in Cornell’s graduate-level management program, which is taught by Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) faculty members.

Civil engineers strive for harmony and balance between the constructed human environment and the natural world. At Cornell, you’ll have the opportunity to specialize in one or more areas of civil engineering, including: environmental fluid mechanics; geotechnical engineering; hydrology; structural engineering; transportation engineering; environmental processes; and water resources. If you are most interested in environmental engineering, there is a degree program devoted to that specialty area (see the environmental engineering flyer), or you can work with an advisor to plan a more general civil engineering program that suits your interests.

You will have ample opportunity to participate in community activities by joining the award-winning chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Every year the ASCE chapter participates in national competitions to build and race a concrete canoe and to design and build a steel bridge. The group also sponsors community service projects. In addition, ASCE hosts several intramural teams, organizes social outings, and sets up study sessions for the professional-licensing exam. Students can also participate in the multi-disciplinary program AguaClara, which involves students in the design of sustainable water treatment systems for underdeveloped countries. Systems designed by Cornell students currently provide safe drinking water to more than 50,000 people in Honduras, Nicaragua, and India.

Outcomes

Civil engineers are innovators, creators, and entrepreneurs. They design and build buildings, bridges, dams, and devise complex systems, such as transportation and water-supply networks, or information systems for design and management of engineering projects. They innovate new technologies for natural disaster detection and preparedness, and discover new methods for building technologies that are more sustainable and have greater longevity. Many civil engineering graduates go on to take leadership positions in established companies or start their own firms.

Master of Engineering Degree Program

The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers a master of engineering ( M.Eng.) degree in civil and environmental engineering and in engineering management. The M.Eng. in civil and environmental engineering allows students to deepen their understanding of one of the field’s specialty areas and is excellent preparation for a career with an engineering firm.

Engineering management is for students who seek leadership positions in management of projects, people, and organizations. It combines engineering competency with managerial skills to bring about the efficient development of technology. Engineering managers play a key role in advancing technology through strategic and operational decision-making. They guide the development of technology with high-level expertise and a broad perspective on how technology impacts economies, enhances social structures, and affects the larger global environment.

Some Areas of Faculty Research

  • civil engineering materials
  • contaminant transport, behavior and treatment
  • engineering management
  • geotechnical engineering
  • remote sensing
  • structural engineering
  • structural mechanics
  • transportation engineering and planning
  • transportation systems

Civil Engineering by the Numbers

Number of Civil Engineering undergraduate students: 89

Starting salaries of B.S. Civil Engineering graduates (three-year average):

  • Median salary: $65,000
  • High salary: $75,000

Post-graduate plans for civil engineers graduates at the time of graduation (three-year average):

  • Employed 57% 57%
  • Attending Graduate School 41% 41%
  • Seeking Employment 2% 2%
Photograph of woman at computer

Computer Science

Undergraduate Degree Program for Computer Science

As a Computer Science (CS) major, you will take courses covering algorithms, data structures, logic, programming languages, systems, and theory. You will also choose from electives like artificial intelligence, computer graphics, computer vision, cryptography, databases, networks and scientific computing. Undergraduates also have the option of completing a minor in computer science. The minor provides an excellent opportunity for students to certify that they have accomplished significant depth of study in computer science, without completing the full CS major.

The Department of Computer Science was organized in 1965 and is one of the oldest departments of its kind in the country. The department is affiliated with both the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering. Students in either college may major in computer science, however, the individual college requirements for courses outside of the major will differ. Students interested in the CS major need strong skills in mathematics and the sciences and an interest in computer programming. You will typically enter the major in your third or fourth semester, after attaining programming proficiency and successfully completing CS 2800: Discrete Structures. CS majors will also take courses in algorithms and operating systems. You will complete at least one project course. Working with a faculty advisor, students plan a program that supports both your career objectives and is true to the aims of a liberal education.

Using outside electives, or a specialization in another major, you can explore upper-level course offerings in other disciplines. Some of the more popular outside specializations are cognitive studies, computational biology, economics, electrical engineering, linguistics, mathematics, mechanical engineering, music and operations research.

Cornell University’s Department of Computer Science is a world leader in research; as an undergraduate, you are encouraged to participate. You may find your research niche in self-directed independent study supervised by a faculty member, or you may choose to work in a research group, participating in a faculty member’s research. As a CS major you may also decide to participate in a co-op or internship, which will give you a unique opportunity to apply your knowledge in real-world settings

Outcomes

The program in computer science is broad and rigorous, and structured in a way that supports your in-depth study in other disciplines. Carefully considered course selection can set the stage for graduate study, technical employment, or other professional careers in business, law, or medicine.

Master of Engineering Program

An opportunity to advance your skills in CS is available through our Master of Engineering program (M.Eng.). Through advanced courses in CS and other fields you can work toward more well-defined interests and/or increase your depth and breadth of CS knowledge.

The M.Eng. program is designed to enhance professional skills in practical computer science. As a course and project based degree, the M.Eng. program is particularly suited to students seeking advanced credentials for employment in industry. Typically, an M.Eng. student takes several advanced courses and completes a faculty-supervised project in an area such as artificial intelligence, databases, distributed and cloud computing, graphics, networks, scientific computing, or software engineering.

Cornell undergraduates might also be eligible for the CS Early M.Eng. credit option which allows CU undergrads to begin working on M.Eng. degree credit in their final semester as an undergraduate.

 

Some Areas of Faculty Research

  • algorithms
  • artificial intelligence
  • automated reasoning
  • computational biology
  • database systems
  • distributed systems
  • graphics
  • information retrieval
  • machine learning
  • natural-language processing
  • networking
  • operating systems
  • programming languages
  • robotics
  • security
  • theory of computation

Computer Science by the Numbers

Computer Science undergraduate students: 1,112

  • College of Engineering: 712
  • College of Arts and Sciences: 400

Starting salaries of B.S. Computer Science graduates (2020):

  • Median salary: $118,000
  • High salary: $155,500

Post-graduate plans for computer science graduates at the time of graduation (2020):

  • Employed 76% 76%
  • Attending Graduate School 21% 21%
  • Seeking Acceptance to Graduate School 2% 2%
  • Other 1% 1%
A photograph of students burying a seismograph

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Undergraduate Degree Program for Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Study of the Earth and atmospheric sciences (EAS) has never been more critical to society than it is today. By analyzing the complex relationships between the ocean, solid earth, atmosphere, and biosphere, students can help meet society’s growing demand for energy, minerals, and clean water, as well as contribute to mitigating the negative impacts of global climate change and natural hazards, which threaten our increasingly concentrated populations and complex infrastructure with disaster on unprecedented scales.

The Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences is a global leader in research directed toward understanding the fundamental processes that have shaped our planet. The EAS major provides Cornell students with the earth literacy needed to be informed citizens and wise stewards of the Earth. EAS faculty members and graduate students carry out frontier research on both basic and applied aspects of subjects as diverse as satellite monitoring of volcanic activity; active tectonics; the deep structure of volcanoes, East African Rift, and the Andes Mountains; natural and man-made earthquakes; the nature of the Earth’s ionosphere; controls on global climate; and improved weather prediction.

The (EAS) major is available to students in the Colleges of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and Agriculture and Life Sciences. Students in this program can pursue education and research that prepare them to compete for careers or graduate study at leading institutions in this country and abroad. You may choose to focus on one of a number of disciplinary specialties, such as geophysics or biogeochemistry, or to develop the broad expertise needed to understand the interactions between the diverse elements of Earth and life in the past, present, and future.

The EAS program is intrinsically interdisciplinary, involving many branches of science and engineering. It incorporates the fundamentals of Earth Science with the emergence of a new and more complete approach that encompasses all components of the earth system—air, life, rock, and water—to gain a comprehensive understanding of the world as we know it. It draws on the expertise of several of Cornell Engineering’s schools and departments, including civil and environmental engineering, biological and environmental engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering, and electrical and computer engineering.

Hands-on work is an inherent part of how students achieve complete understanding of the issues raised through the coursework. There are many opportunities for students to engage in geological, oceanographic, and meteorological research in the field, and for national and international travel as well as paid research experiences. EAS students have worked with faculty members in the Andes, the Aleutian Islands, the Rocky Mountains, the Atacama Desert, the Caribbean, Tibet, and Hawaii. Some have conducted research while sailing aboard a research vessel with SEA Semester. Students are also able to probe the ionosphere of Earth and the surface of Mars using remote sensing techniques.

Outcomes

The EAS major provides a strong preparation for graduate school in any one of the earth sciences, such as atmospheric sciences, geologic sciences, geophysics, geochemistry, oceanography, hydrology, biogeochemistry, and environmental geoscience. Students seeking employment with the degree will have many options in a wide variety of careers related to energy, the environment, and critical resources in both the private sector and government. The energy industry, to cite one example, is entering a demographic turnover that will result in large numbers of high paying positions in the near future. Students with the strong science background provided by the EAS major are also highly valued by graduate programs in environmental law, public affairs, economics, and public policy.

Master of Engineering Program

The one-year Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) Program in Geological Sciences provides future professional geoscientists or engineers with the geoscience and engineering background they will need to analyze and solve engineering problems that involve earth system variables and concepts. Individual programs are developed within several established options: geohydrology, remote sensing, hazards, applied and environmental geophysics, ocean science and technology, and atmospheric science.

Some Areas of Faculty Research

  • atmospheric science and climate
  • biogeochemistry and climate interactions
  • climate and paleoclimate
  • Earth system science
  • energy, mineral and water resources
  • geochemistry, petrology and volcanology
  • geophysical fluid dynamics
  • geophysics and seismology
  • meteorology and applied climatology
  • natural hazards
  • ocean sciences
  • paleontology, sedimentary basins and surface processes
  • space and planetary sciences
  • tectonics and structural geology

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences by the Numbers

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences undergraduate students: 47

  • College of Engineering: 10
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: 27
  • The College of Arts and Sciences: 10

Starting salaries of B.S. Earth and Atmospheric Sciences graduates (three-year average):

  • Median salary: $40,669

Post-graduate plans for earth and atmospheric sciences graduates at the time of graduation (three-year average):

  • Employed 33% 33%
  • Attending Graduate School 67% 67%
A photo of an electrical system

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Undergraduate Degree Program for Electrical and Computer Engineering

Prepare for a wide range of potential career paths with an undergraduate degree in electrical and computer engineering (ECE) from Cornell University. Be at the forefront of exciting applications, including cell phones, self-driving cars, neural interfaces, the Internet of Things, and the smart grid. Be a part of new discoveries in areas like computer systems, nanosciences, machine learning, complex networks, clean energy, and robotics. With the broad preparation afforded by an ECE degree, you’ll be ready to tackle any number of engineering challenges and meet your future professional goals, no matter which direction your career may lead.

Start with a strong base in circuits, signals, digital design, programming, and computer organization, including extensive hands-on laboratory experience. Create a foundation in embedded systems, microelectronics, mathematics of signal analysis, probabilistic modeling, and electromagnetics. Ready access to the most advanced equipment supports your coursework in everything from electronics to signal processing to microcontrollers.

With this foundation in hand, focus on your areas of interest with advanced coursework that culminates in major design experiences. ECE is flexible—arrange a program of study that accommodates your career goals and interdisciplinary interests such as bioengineering, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), autonomous vehicles, nanotechnologies, photonics, machine learning, or power and energy systems.

With the broad preparation and unlimited potential of an undergraduate degree in electrical and computer engineering at Cornell, you can meet your immediate career goals and be prepared for a lifetime of new opportunities.

Outcomes

At the same time, broaden your background by studying other fields with electives in diverse areas such as business, computer science, mathematics, music, or synthetic biology. What can you do with an ECE degree? Here are just a few possibilities:

  • Pursue medicine by applying electrical design and analysis to medical systems, including applications of MEMS and electronic imaging, and build a career as a physician, an engineer, or a research scientist in a field such as bioelectronics.
  • Become a computer engineer through studies in digital design, computer architecture,parallel systems, and microcontrollers. You can also choose from among several courses in computer science to strengthen your background in software, algorithms, compilers, and operating systems.
  • Study nanotechnology through coursework coupled with hands-on experience in the world-class Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility.
  • Find yourself in engineering management through courses in business management, engineering decision-making, entrepreneurship, human resources, investment strategies, marketing, and leadership. With a strong background in both engineering and management, many ECE graduates assume management responsibilities within just a few years of graduation.

Master of Engineering Program

Our Electrical and Computer Engineering Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degree program gives you more flexibility than in most other fields, combining a personalized, but rigorous course load with the freedom to pursue your individual interests through interdisciplinary research.

Get a jump-start on your career and apply your knowledge and skills to make a real difference in your workplace—and in the world. At Cornell ECE, you can learn to tackle endless real-world problems, driving the leading edge of existing and emerging technologies, research that pushes the very edge of new, applying theories to immediate problems.

Develop leadership skills in an environment where challenges demand collaborative teamwork, critical thinking, and effective communication. Push the limits of imagination through your professional design project in an unparalleled variety of fields, a project that will help open doors to your future career.

Command a higher starting salary, about 48 percent more than the national average for an ECE bachelor’s degree. Payback on investment is relatively short, and financial benefits will compound throughout your career.

An M.Eng. from Cornell ECE will prepare you for a rewarding career in a wide range of industries, from high-speed silicon hardware to high-power financial software; from undersea fibers to geosynchronous satellites; from national power grids to energy-saving LEDs; from computerized medical instruments that look into the human body to advanced radar systems that look out to the heavens.

Some Areas of Faculty Research

  • biosensors and biomedical devices
  • computer systems and architecture
  • electromagnetics, optics and plasma sciences
  • electronic and photonic devices
  • electronic design automation
  • energy and power systems
  • information theory and communications
  • machine learning
  • microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
  • nanotechnology
  • signals, systems and networks
  • VLSI circuits and system

Electrical and Computer Engineering by the Numbers

Electrical and Computer Engineering undergraduate students: 242

Starting salaries of B.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering graduates (2020):

  • Median salary: $88,000
  • High salary: $130,000

Post-graduate plans for electrical and computer engineering graduates at the time of graduation (2020):

  • Employed 46% 46%
  • Attending Graduate School 52% 52%
  • Seeking Employment 2% 2%
Student working in the Lab of Plasma Studies

Engineering Physics

Undergraduate Degree Program for Engineering Physics

The Engineering Physics (EP) program is oriented towards students who love the challenge of solving technical problems both fundamental and applied. This major offers a broad-based engineering education to prepare you for diverse careers in a rapidly changing technical world. Whether your interest is in basic research or in biotechnology, quantum information sciences, renewable energies, microelectronics, nanotechnology, photonics and optical engineering, software development, or any of the other burgeoning fields of engineering that require outstanding technical background, an engineering physics bachelor’s degree is your key to success.

EP offers you an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of rapidly changing technology through an extensive physics and mathematics program in an engineering context. With electives and laboratory courses, you can easily combine this enhanced knowledge with the practical aspects of conventional engineering disciplines.

The undergraduate EP curriculum at Cornell is designed to prepare you for a career in research or development in pure or applied science, advanced technology, or engineering. It focuses on the fundamentals of physics and mathematics, both experimental and theoretical, that are at the heart of modern engineering and science and have broad applicability. By choosing a particular concentration, you can combine this physics base with a firm background in a conventional area of engineering or applied science. Engineering physics emphasizes the basic physics underlying most engineering developments, and mathematical tools vital to all engineers and scientists. The EP curriculum encourages students to extend themselves and develop broad skills in the physical sciences. Our curriculum fosters mastery in areas of basic physics and related skills that are critically important. Combined with hands-on experience with computers, electronics, and lasers, this is excellent preparation for a broad range of careers. EP students may carry out their own research projects during the junior and senior years. Internationally recognized faculty, coupled with sizable research funding, permits the study (both theoretical and experimental) of many subjects, including integrated-circuit technology, wave-function engineering, electron and ion-beam nanofabrication, lasers and optics, superconducting devices, quantum information, physics of renewable energy, plasma physics, biological physics, materials physics, and x-ray physics. Engineering physics encourages the development of experimental skills to complement formal coursework, offering five experimental courses in the areas of nanoscience, computers, lasers, optics and electronics.

Outcomes

About half of EP graduates take positions in high-technology industries, at starting salaries at the top end of the scale for engineers. The others go to graduate school or to professional programs in engineering, law, medicine, and business administration; the reputation of engineering physics makes graduates extremely attractive candidates for graduate admission and financial support in many different disciplines.

Most engineering physics graduates develop careers in industry as staff engineers or scientists or technical directors; in research and administrative positions in nonprofit and national laboratories; as professors in almost all engineering and scientific disciplines at major universities; as consultants; or as physicians or lawyers.

Master of Engineering Degree Program

Jump start your career with the Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program in applied and engineering physics (AEP). This one-year master’s program offers advanced study and training in applied physics. It provides valuable graduate training and research/design project experience sought after by industry, government, and R&D organizations. The curriculum is tailored to fit the needs of individual students, and the project component offers an opportunity for independent research under the supervision of leading scientists and engineers.

SOME AREAS OF FACULTY RESEARCH

  • atomic, molecular, and chemical physics
  • biophysics and biotechnology
  • condensed matter physics and materials science
  • electron, ion, x-ray, and scanned-probe spectroscopy and microscopy
  • laser development
  • nanoscience and nanobiotechnology
  • optical physics and photonics
  • plasma physics and astrophysics
  • quantum electronics, photonics, and quantum information science
  • renewable energy

Engineering Physics by the Numbers

Number of Engineering Physics undergraduate students: 61

Starting salaries of B.S. Engineering Physics graduates (three-year average):

  • Median salary: $87,000
  • High salary: $160,000

Post graduate plans for engineering physics graduates at the time of graduation (three-year average):

  • Employed 33% 33%
  • Attending Graduate School 57% 57%
  • Seeking Employment 2% 2%
  • Seeking Graduate School Admission 4% 4%
  • Other 4% 4%
A photograph of a faculty memeber and two students working in a lab

Environmental Engineering

Undergraduate Degree Program for Environmental Engineering

Are you interested in environmental engineering? A stream of stories in the news document environmental concerns. Increasingly complex and coupled scientific and social issues call for creative and well-trained environmental engineers.

The world needs people who have a sense of purpose and a first-class engineering education, who are prepared to tackle modern environmental problems and sustainability issues. Whether assessing the threat of pollutants to an ecosystem, or the treatment needed to provide safe water supplies, environmental engineers play a crucial role. And that’s where Cornell’s College of Engineering comes in. We will provide you with an education that will allow you to be a voice of reason and science, so you can take a leading role in the resolution of current and emerging environmental concerns.

Environmental engineers seek ways to mitigate human impacts on the environment, generate energy from renewable resources, and protect public health. They analyze the transport, reactions, and effects of land-, water-, and air-pollutants, design pollution and hazardous waste-control facilities, and oversee the construction and operation of such facilities. They play important roles in city planning, developing water-resource systems, and designing and operating other systems fundamental to preserving our quality of life and the quality of the environment. They are also involved in the development and management of renewable energy sources. Environmental engineers design systems that can turn waste into electricity and other fuels. Environmental engineers design solutions to problems with long-term sustainability and global impacts in mind.

Your Cornell education will address current problems, so you will have the opportunity to act on issues that professional engineers face every day. You will work closely with faculty members—established leaders in the field—who are addressing cutting-edge issues in their research and consulting.

In addition to studying chemistry and physics, as an environmental engineering student you will study biology, microbiology, fluid mechanics, and hydrology. You will learn to employ biological, chemical, and engineering principles to model the effects of human activities on environment quality, or to help you design drinking water-treatment and wastewater-treatment systems. One example is our multi-disciplinary AguaClara program which involves students in the design of sustainable and affordable water treatment systems for underdeveloped areas around the globe. Systems designed by Cornell undergraduate students are currently providing safe drinking water to more than 50,000 people. In laboratories, you will examine current environmental problems, mitigation technologies, and opportunities for energy generation from renewable resources (wind, water and biofuels). Many of those problems are the focus of Cornell faculty research. You will study environmental systems in which mathematical models are used to optimize complex water resource networks or to create designs for environmental remediation.

The environmental engineering (EnvE) major is offered jointly by faculty members in biological and environmental engineering (BEE) and in civil and environmental engineering (CEE).

Outcomes

The world needs people who have a sense of purpose and a first-class engineering education, who are prepared to tackle modern environmental problems and sustainability issues. Students wishing to pursue a master of engineering (M.Eng.) degree in environmental engineering can solve problems that are closely related to either civil engineering or biological engineering. Whether you study biofuels development, sustainable agriculture, soil and water systems, or applied molecular bioengineering, as an M.Eng. graduate, you will be highly sought after by employers in both the public and private sectors.

Master of Engineering Degree Program

Students wishing to pursue a master of engineering (M.Eng.) degree in environmental engineering can solve problems that are closely related to either civil engineering or biological engineering. On the civil engineering side—clean water, efficient transportation systems, urban renewal, rural development—civil and environmental engineers strive for harmony and balance between the constructed human environment and the natural world. Every aspect—including design, development, creation, operation, and renewal—is aimed at protecting the public while preserving the health of the natural environment.

On the biological engineering side—a rapidly growing field where engineering practice meets quantitative biology—engineers work toward practical, sustainable solutions to a wide variety of human health and environmental challenges. Whether you study biofuels development, sustainable agriculture, soil and water systems, or applied molecular bioengineering, as an M.Eng. graduate, you will be highly sought after by employers in both the public and private sectors.

Some Areas of Faculty Research

  • aquatic chemistry
  • application of molecular biology to microbial populations
  • atmospheric chemistry and climate modeling
  • contaminant transport, fate, and remediation
  • environmental systems
  • fluid mechanics and hydrology
  • renewable energy systems
  • sustainable resource management
  • sustainable water treatment processes for developing countries
  • waste conversion to bioenergy
  • water-resource systems
  • watershed modeling

Environmental Engineering by the Numbers

Number of Environmental Engineering undergraduate students: 112

  • College of Engineering: 41
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: 71

Starting salaries of B.S. Environmental Engineering graduates (three-year average):

  • Median salary: $70,000
  • High salary: $108,000

Post-graduate plans for environmental engineering graduates at the time of graduation (three-year average):

  • Employed 48% 48%
  • Attending Graduate School 48% 48%
  • Seeking Employment 4% 4%
Independent Major

Independent Major

The independent major is a special opportunity for students whose educational objectives cannot be met by any of the regular majors. This option allows students to create a specially tailored, inter-disciplinary course of study. The program is developed by the student in consultation with faculty advisors and must be approved by the Independent Major Committee, which is responsible for supervising the student’s work. Please note: due to current enrollment and advising limitations, the independent major cannot accept any students with Computer Science as either their primary or secondary areas of study.

Post-graduate plans for independent majors at the time of graduation (three-year average):

  • Employed 91% 91%
  • Attending Graduate School 9% 9%

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