University of Illinois ranked No. 4 in agricultural and biological engineering, moving up three spots

Professor interacts with students on the South Quad.
Professor Paul Davidson (right) instructs students on the South Quad.

URBANA, Ill. —  The agricultural and biological engineering graduate program at the University of Illinois is ranked No. 4 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, moving up three spots according to the go-to source for higher education rankings. The program’s recent ascent reflects dedicated efforts to enhance opportunities for graduate students in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE).  

“We have been actively focused on building stronger graduate programs,” said ABE department head and professor Ronaldo Maghirang. “Our graduate students choose Illinois because of our renowned faculty, cutting-edge facilities and resources, comprehensive curriculum, and collaborative culture.” 

ABE — part of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) as well as The Grainger College of Engineering — has long been a premier destination for students. 

“Both the undergraduate and graduate programs have consistently ranked among the top 10 nationwide with multiple instances of securing the No. 1 rankings,” Maghirang said. “Currently, the undergraduate program is ranked No. 3, further highlighting the department’s exceptional quality and reputation.”

Cross-college ties provide students with scholarships, resources, and support from both ACES and Grainger Engineering, both renowned in their disciplines. ABE students can select courses from each college to specialize in areas such as computer science, climate change, health, and safety. 

“We find that students are able to tailor their education at Illinois,” Maghirang said. “Our programs provide learning opportunities that cannot be found elsewhere. We have graduate degree programs and faculty experts to suit every student’s unique needs, interests, and goals.” 

Graduate degrees offered include: 

At Illinois, students gain valuable, hands-on experiences through collaborations with the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory, the Center for Digital Agriculture, the South Farms’ “living laboratory,” and more. The campus is home to interdisciplinary research institutes that make interesting collaborations and cutting-edge technologies readily available.

The department is committed to supporting doctoral students and provides a five-year funding guarantee, allowing them to fully focus on their studies and research. Students work alongside faculty who specialize in a number of research areas, including synthetic biology, digital precision agriculture, bioprocessing and industrial biotechnology, sustainable ecological and environmental systems engineering, soil and water resources engineering, and agricultural safety and health, among others. 

“We are committed to student success, which is reflected not only in this ranking but in our retention and graduation rates,” Maghirang said. “Ultimately, we provide students with the technical experience and problem-solving skills required to thrive in our fast-paced industry.”   

Learn more about agricultural and biological engineering graduate programs at Illinois.

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