Biological Systems Engineering is an engineering major that uses biology as its main scientific base. With rapid advances in biology and biotechnology, engineers are needed to work side by side with life scientists to bring laboratory developments into commercial production or field application. Industries in bioenergy, bioprocessing, biotechnology, food processing, aquaculture, agriculture, plant production, animal production, and forest production all need engineers with strong training in biology. The heightened concern for environmental resources and their preservation generates many engineering opportunities as society strives to maintain balance within the biosphere.
In the freshman and sophomore years, the Biological Systems Engineering major requires sequences of courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering science, and humanities, similar to all accredited engineering programs. In addition to these course sequences, the Biological Systems Engineering major also requires courses in the biological sciences. In the junior and senior years, students take courses that involve the integration of engineering with the life sciences, forming the core of the biological engineering discipline. Depending on your interests, you may choose elective courses in three general areas of specialization (biotechnology, agriculture and natural resources, or food) or you may pursue your own specialization interests in consultation with an advisor. The program culminates in the senior year with a design project done in your area of specialization.
Biological Systems Engineering graduates take jobs in the biotech, food, and medical industries; work for state and federal agencies; or pursue graduate work. Students also can use the program as a pathway to professional schools in medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, or business.