2022-23 Academic Catalog

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Department Head: Dr. Alex Thomasson
Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Steve Elder

150 Agricultural Engineering Building
Box 9632
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Telephone: 662-325-3282
E-mail: abe_head@abe.msstate.edu

Graduate study is offered in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering leading to the degree of Master of Science in Agriculture with a concentration in Engineering Technology or a Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Sciences with a concentration in Engineering Technology. A Precision Agriculture Certificate is also offered.

Precision Agriculture Certificate

There is a need to train students in the broad array of precision agriculture technologies. This certificate program complements majors taught across College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) departments. This certificate features emerging technologies in decision-based agricultural planning and implementation. The certificate requires a minimum of 16 hours with at least 10 credit hours specific to Precision Agriculture coursework and 6 additional hours of electives or optional courses. Graduate requirements: PSS/ABE 2543 may be required as a leveling course and graduates may need a combination of Option 1 and Option 3 (below) to meet graduate credit requirements.

To obtain a Precision Agriculture Certificate, students are required to complete the following 16 hours.
PSS 2543Precision Agriculture I3
or ABE 2543 Precision Agriculture I
PSS 4543Precision Agriculture II (or PSS 6543 or ABE 4543/6543)3
ECE 4411Remote Sensing Seminar (or ECE 6411 or FO 4411/6411 or GR 4411/6411 or PSS 4411/6411)1
ABE 4000Directed Individual Study in Agricultural and Biological Engineering (or ABE 7000 or PSS 4000/7000)3
Option 1: Choose from the following.6-8
Introduction to Remote Sensing Technologies
Introduction to Remote Sensing Technologies
Introduction to Remote Sensing Technologies
The Global Positional System and Geographic Information Systems in Agriculture and Engineering
FO 4471/6471
(and GIS for Natural Resource Management)
FO 4472/6472
Geospatial Agronomic Management
Principles of GIS
Survey of Geospatial Technologies
Option 2 (Community/Junior College AGT courses) : Any TWO transfer courses from the following in a Precision Agriculture Technology Concentration with the Postsecondary Agriculture Business and Management Technology program6-8
AGT 1163 Introduction to Spatial Information Systems
AGT 2154 Geographic Information Systems I
AGT 1254 GPS Data Collection
AGT 2164 Variable Rate Technology
AGT 1354 Remote Sensing
AGT 2474 Site Specific Pest Management
OR Completion of the UAV Training Program courseork at Hinds Community College
Option 3: Discipline Specific Electives6-8
Bioinstrumentation I
Agricultural and Off-Road Machinery Management
Machinery Management for Agro-Ecosystems
Soil and Water Management
ABE 4844/6844
Bioinstrumentation II
Introduction to Food Marketing
Economics of Food and Fiber Production
Agribusiness Firm Management
Analysis of Food Markets and Prices
Advanced Farm Management
General Plant Physiology
Forest Pest Management
Plant Disease Management
Diseases of Crops
Field Crop Insects
Principles of Insect Pest Management
Financial Management
Soils Laboratory
Soils
Introduction to Weed Science
Agricultural Crop Physiology
Soil Fertilizers
Soil Conservation and Land Use
Controlled Environment Agriculture
Herbicide Technology
Turfgrass Weed Management

Admission Criteria

Prerequisites for admission into the graduate program include all the general requirements of the Graduate School and identification of a departmental professor who is willing to serve as research director for the master’s or Ph.D. project. International students must obtain a TOEFL score of 550 PBT (79 iBT) or an IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems) score of 6.5 or higher. Exceptions to these requirements are considered on a case-by-case basis and require approval of the Department Chair.

Provisional Admission

An applicant who has not fully met the GPA requirement stipulated by the University may be admitted on a provisional basis. The provisionally-admitted student is eligible for a change to regular status after receiving a 3.00 GPA on the first 9 hours of graduate courses at Mississippi State University (with no grade lower than a C). The first 9 hours of graduate courses must be within the student's program of study. Courses with an S grade, transfer credits, or credits earned while in Unclassified status cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.  If a 3.00 is not attained, the provisional student shall be dismissed from the graduate program. Academic departments may set higher standards for students to fulfill provisional requirements; a student admitted with provisional status should contact the graduate coordinator for the program’s specific requirements. While in the provisional status, a student is not eligible to hold a graduate assistantship.

Academic Performance

Unsatisfactory performance in the graduate program in Agricultural and Biological Engineering is defined as any of the following:

  • Failure to maintain a 3.00 average GPA in attempted graduate courses after admission to the program
  • A grade of U, D, I, or F in any one course
  • More than two courses not exceeding 8 credit hours with a grade of C
  • Failure of the research defense
  • Unsatisfactory evaluation of a thesis
  • Or failure of a required component of the program of study

Any one of these, or a combination of these, will constitute the basis for review for possible dismissal. The graduate coordinator will review the record, along with the student’s graduate committee, and take a final course of action which will be immediate dismissal or the establishment of a probationary period in which corrective action must take place. Appeal of dismissal can be made by submitting a written appeal statement to the department head. If the dismissal is upheld by the department upon the student’s appeal, the student can then submit a written appeal to the dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering also offers the Master of Science degree in Biological Engineering and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Engineering; both programs are housed in the College of Engineering. See program information in the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering section of this publication.

Accelerated Program

The goal of the accelerated B.S./M.S. Program in the Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering (ABE) is to enable highly qualified students to earn up to 12 hours of graduate course credit during their final year of undergraduate studies. Students will complete graduate level courses (6000-level) and receive dual credit for the equivalent undergraduate course (4000-level). Students must apply and be admitted to an accelerated program prior to enrolling in the graduate level classes. Interested students must consult with the Graduate Coordinator to ensure graduate credit could be applied to a program of study for the graduate degree.

For admission, the student must:
1.) Be enrolled at Mississippi State University in Biological or Biomedical Engineering.
2.) Have completed a minimum of 90 credit hours of undergraduate coursework
3.) Have an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher for all undergraduate work

Students interested in applying to the Accelerated Program should contact their academic advisors or undergraduate coordinator.

Master of Science in Agriculture with Engineering Technology Concentration - Thesis

ST 8114Statistical Methods4
Select one of the following:1
Agricultural and Biological Engineering Seminar I
Agricultural and Biological Engineering Seminar II
ABE 8XXXMinimum of 12 hours in 8000-level or higher courses12
Graduate-level coursework7
ABE 8000Thesis Research/ Thesis in Agricultural and Biological Engineering6
Total Hours30

The Master of Science degree in Agriculture with a concentration in Engineering Technology requires a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework beyond the baccalaureate degree. A thesis and an oral comprehensive examination in defense of the thesis are required. Once the student’s research plan has been established, the student is required to present his/her research plan to the faculty in the form of a departmental seminar.

Master of Science in Agriculture with Engineering Technology Concentration - Non-Thesis

ST 8114Statistical Methods4
Select one of the following:1
Agricultural and Biological Engineering Seminar I
Agricultural and Biological Engineering Seminar II
Graduate-level coursework25
Total Hours30

The non-thesis option for the Master of Science in Agriculture with a concentration in Engineering Technology requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework with at least 15 hours at the 8000-level. The major professor and graduate committee will determine specific course requirements for the student’s program. The student must submit a research paper.

Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Sciences with Engineering Technology Concentration

Beyond the Baccalaureate Degree
MA XXXX Graduate Mathematics Course3
One of the following Seminars taken twice for 2 hours credit:2
Agricultural and Biological Engineering Seminar I
Agricultural and Biological Engineering Seminar II
Graduate Level Coursework as approved by committee33
ABE 9000Dissertation Research/ Dissertation in Agricultural and Biological Engineering20
8000 Level Coursework as approved by the committee10
Minimum Hours68 Beyond B.S.
Beyond the Master's Degree (any discipline of Engineering)
MA XXXX Graduate Mathematics Class3
Select two of the following
ABE 8911 Agricultural and Biological Engineering I1
ABE 8921 Agricultural and Biological Engineering Seminar II1
Graduate Level Coursework as approved by the committee19
Research/Dissertation20
Minimum Hours 44 Beyond M.S.

A preliminary examination, a dissertation, and an oral defense of the dissertation are required. Doctoral students are required to take or have credit in a graduate level Math course, complete a minimum of 48 hours credit hours of coursework beyond the baccalaureate degree or a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework beyond the master's degree, and complete 20-32 hours of dissertation research.

ABE 6163 Machinery Management for Agro-Ecosystems: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: ABE 2173 or consent of instructor). Two hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Selection, sizing and operation machine systems using cost analysis and systems techniques. Emphasis on agricultural machines used in farming; tillage, planting, harvesting, and conveying agricultural materials

ABE 6263 Soil and Water Management: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: ABE 2873 or Consent of Instructor). Two hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Introduction to soil and water management principles; elementary hydrology, erosion control, irrigation, best management practices, and water quality

ABE 6383 Building Construction: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: EG 1143, junior standing.) Three hours lecture. An introduction to building terms, construction materials, structural components, construction methods, and mechanical systems pertaining to residential and commercial structures

ABE 6423 Bioinstrumentation II: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: ABE 3413 or graduate standing). Two hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Theory; application of automated measuring and control systems in biological sciences. Includes design/use of transducer interfaces; electronic signal conditioning; data logging; microprocessor based systems

ABE 6443 Spectroscopic Sensing in Biosystems: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior or graduate standing or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. A comprehensive introduction to spectroscopic techniques and analysis in biosystems. Discuss the electromagnetic spectrum and its interaction with matter, UV-Vis-IR spectroscopy, other spectroscopic techniques, Agricultural and Biomedical applications of spectroscopy, and spectroscopic data analysis

ABE 6463 Introduction to Imaging in Biological Systems: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: senior or graduate standing in an engineering discipline, or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Comprehensive introduction to imaging modalities and image processing and analysis methods in biosystems contexts. Imaging applications in precision agriculture, plant phenotyping, postharvest food inspection, and biomedical diagnosis

ABE 6473 Electrical Applications for Agriculture: 3 hours.

Two hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Fundamental electricity, wiring, and control of agricultural operations. Includes use of computer tools, instruments, safety, and hardware

ABE 6483 Introduction to Remote Sensing Technologies: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Senior or graduate standing, or consent or instructor). Three hours lecture. Electromagnetic interactions, passive sensors, multispectral and hyperspectral optical sensors, active sensors, imaging radar, SAR Lidar, digital image processing, natural resource applications. (Same as ECE 4423/6423 and PSS 4483/6483)

ABE 6523 Biomedical Materials: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: One of the following: ABE 3813, CHE 3413, or ME 3403). Three hours lecture. Emphasis is on applications, composition, testing, and biocompatibility of biomedical materials used in implant devices. This course may be used for honors credit

ABE 6543 Precision Agriculture II: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: PSS/ABE 2543 and Junior Standing). Two hours lecture. Two hours lab. Site-specific management techniques are examined. Continuous decision-making processes of farm production are integrated using a whole-system, geospatial approach. (Same as PSS 4543/6543)

ABE 6613 Biomechanics: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: EM 2413 and EM 2433). Three hours lecture. Force, motion, and deformation analysis of organisms and biological structures. Mechanical modeling techniques unique to biological materials

ABE 6624 Experimental Methods in Materials Research: 4 hours.

(Prerequisites:CHE 3413 or ABE 3813 or ME 3403 or permission of instructors).Three hours lecture. Three hours laboratory. An introduction to research methodologies commonly used in the evaluation of treatments, and mechanical testing. ( Same as CHE 4624/6624 and ME 4624/6624)

ABE 6723 Tissue Engineering and Regeneration: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite:ABE 3813) . Three hours lecture. A comprehensive course covering the fundamental concepts, multidisciplinary approaches, and clinical applications of tissue engineering/regeneration

ABE 6803 Biosystems Simulation: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Spring semester. Application of engineering analysis, modeling and simulation to biological systems

ABE 6843 Sustainable Communities: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Theory and practices that minimize resource use and pollutant production in the human landscape (same as LA 4843/6843)

ABE 6990 Special Topics in Agricultural and Biological Engineering: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

ABE 7000 Directed Individual Study in Agricultural and Biological Engineering: 1-6 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

ABE 8000 Thesis Research/ Thesis in Agricultural and Biological Engineering: 1-13 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

ABE 8511 Journal Reviews in Biomedical Engineering: 1 hour.

One hour lecture. Current journal articles relevant to Biomedical Engineering topics are read and reviewed

ABE 8621 Methods of Biomedical Engineering Research: 1 hour.

One hour lecture. No prerequisites. Introduction to biomedical engineering research including literature review, experimental design, laboratory practices, presentation, and ethics

ABE 8723 Cellular and Tissue Biomechanics: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Fundamental concepts, experimental and theoretical approaches of biomechanics and their applications in modern biomedical engineering (e.g. mechanotransduction,tissue engineering/regeneration, surgical intervention)

ABE 8801 Clinical Experience for Biomedical Engineering: 1 hour.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing in the Biomedical Program and permission of the instructor. Three hours experiential learning. This course will provide graduate students with exposure, understanding, and insight into the clinical environment and/or treatment modalities of clinical (human and/or animal) patients

ABE 8911 Agricultural and Biological Engineering Seminar I: 1 hour.

One hour lecture. Discussion of research needs, review of literature, and development of research work plans

ABE 8921 Agricultural and Biological Engineering Seminar II: 1 hour.

One hour lecture. Discussion of research needs, review of literature, and development of research work plans

ABE 8990 Special Topics in Agricultural and Biological Engineering: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

ABE 9000 Dissertation Research/ Dissertation in Agricultural and Biological Engineering: 1-13 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged