Biological Engineering Advising FAQ

The most frequently asked questions regarding advising in the Biological Engineering major.

Any questions that you may have can be directed to the Biological Engineering Program Coordinator, Dr. Megan Marshall,, 814-865-3392.

Q: Does Biological Engineering still include Agricultural Engineering?

A: Yes, we offer the Agricultural Engineering Option under the Biological Engineering major. We also offer the Food and Biological Process Engineering Option and the Natural Resource Engineering Option in the BE major.

Q: Who is my adviser?

A: If you are a junior or senior who has declared Biological Engineering as your major, you will be assigned a department adviser. If you aren’t sure who that person is, you can check on your LionPATH account for adviser information, or contact the B E program coordinator.

If you are a freshman or sophomore at University Park, you are officially advised at the Engineering Advising Center, 208 Hammond Building. You can schedule an appointment with a B E adviser at the advising center by phone (814-863-1033), e-mail ( or online.

If you are a freshman or sophomore at a Penn State campus location other than University Park, you will be assigned an adviser at that location.

Q: What do I need to do to get into the Biological Engineering major?

A: You need to complete the entrance to major courses: CHEM 110, MATH 140, MATH 141, MATH 251, PHYS 211, and PHYS 212, with a grade of C or better, and have an overall GPA above 2.0 by the Spring semester of your sophomore year. You need to go through the Entrance to Major (ETM) process to declare the major.

Q: Are there exceptions to the ETM rules for getting into the B E major?

A: Generally speaking, no. However, equivalent courses to those listed above can be taken at other institutions and the credits transferred. Extensions to ETM are handled on a case-by-case basis by the department.

Q: I’m not currently in the College of Engineering, but I want to pursue the B E major. Do I need to change to the College of Engineering?

A: Many B E students start in other colleges (particularly the College of Agricultural Sciences). If you stay in your current college, you will be automatically changed to the College of Engineering if you declare B E through the ETM process (Spring of sophomore year), assuming you have successfully completed the ETM course requirements (see above). However, the disadvantage of not switching to Engineering before that time is that several courses taken during the freshman and sophomore year (e.g. E MCH, M E 300) require that you be listed as ENGR to enroll. Otherwise, you will need to contact the department offering the course, explain the situation, and have them enroll you in the course.