Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Agricultural and biological engineering applies science and engineering to production systems. These may include agriculture, food, environment, and energy. Other areas are natural resources, environmental protection and control, and related biological systems. This major may be for you if you’re interested in sustainability or renewable fuel sources. You’ll begin this major in the College of ACES. In your junior year, you will enroll in The Grainger College of Engineering to complete the degree. You can choose a concentration in either agricultural engineering or biological engineering.

Career options include agricultural safety & technology, alternative energy systems, biofuels & engines, bioprocess modeling, crop conditioning & processing, environmental controls, food science, government work, hydrology, drainage, & irrigation, and project management.

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Highlights

  • Our agricultural and biological engineering program is ranked #5 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • 91% of students reported having an internship or co-op during their degree program.
  • 89% of students reported securing their first choice destination upon graduation.
  • The average starting salary for an agricultural and biological engineering graduate is $65,519, with a median signing bonus of $6,100.

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Your path to Grainger Engineering starts with connecting your passion and interests with the opportunities available in one of our 15 top-ranked major programs. Explore your options and gather the information you need to take the next step and apply.

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What You'll Study

The agricultural and biological engineering (ABE) undergraduate major is an ABET-accredited engineering program which combines fundamental engineering skills with an understanding and  ability to design complex systems for food, agriculture, energy, and the environment. This major will prepare you to develop and manage technology and systems that will ensure abundant and safe food, water, and energy; sustainable and innovative agriculture; and healthy and sustainable indoor and outdoor environments. ABE allows you to combine a love of fundamental engineering skills with training in the design and analysis of complex systems for food, agriculture, energy, and the environment.

In ABE, you can choose one of two concentrations—either agricultural engineering or biological engineering—and one of seven specializations. ABE allows you to combine fundamental engineering skills with training in the design and analysis of complex systems for food, agriculture, energy, and the environment. You'll learn engineering and scientific skills to design and manage technological solutions to problems in agricultural, food, and other biological systems.

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Minor in Computer Science

The CS Minor is offered for students seeking significant knowledge of digital computing without the more complete treatment of a major in computer science. This minor may be taken by any student except majors in the Computer Science degree programs and in Computer Engineering.

Learn more about the CS Minor

 

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Post-Graduation Success

The agricultural and biological engineering curriculum prepares graduates to become “competitive candidates” in a variety of ways. About thirty-nine percent of our ABE graduates continue their education in graduate school, and about fifty percent take positions in industry. Our graduates of ABE find themselves prepared to enter the fields of civil and environmental engineering, mechanical design, product, agricultural, design, biological engineers, project, test, and reliability.

Common career options for ABE graduates include the following: agricultural safety & technology, alternative energy systems, biofuels and engines, bioprocess modeling, crop conditioning & processing, environmental controls, food science, government work, hydrology, drainage, & irrigation, and project management. The average salary between 2019-20 for ABE grads was reported as $65,519.

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89%
employed or continuing education

50%
employed after graduation

39%
attending graduate school

$65,519
average starting annual income

Sample employer destinations: John Deere, Caterpillar, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers View All

Sample grad school destinations: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Stanford University, The Ohio State University, College of Medicine View All

Upcoming Events

Advising: Meet one-on-one with academic advisor, Anne Marie Boone, and learn about Agricultural & Biological Engineering and Technical Systems Management at the University of Illinois.

Days: Bi-weekly Mondays, Thursdays & Fridays
Times: 2:00 pm (M), 7:00 pm (Th), 4:00 pm (F)

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Tomato greenhouse on Sustainable Student Farm

Your future starts here.

Applying to The Grainger College of Engineering opens the door to your future as a successful engineer. Get started by scheduling a visit, requesting information, or submitting your application.