Biological Systems Engineering Curriculum

133 total credit hours are required for graduation with a B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering. For more detail on the department courses listed below, consult the on-line version of the Undergraduate Bulletin. BSEN course specifics.

Although the curriculum can be completed in eight semesters, many students take longer in order to participate in internships and co-op assignments with companies, international exchange studies, and part-time research projects in the department. These opportunities give BSEN students practical, hands-on experience to learn about careers in engineering.


 First Year

  Semester 1


Credit hours

  BSEN 100
Introduction to Biological Systems Engineering  and Agriculture Engineering


  CHEM 113 General Chemistry I 4
    Chem 109 may be substituted with permission of adviser.

  ENGR 10

Freshman Engineering Seminar


  MATH 106

Analytic Geometry and Calculus I

  Electives ACE 6
    Choose one course from not yet satisfied ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9  
      16 total

 Semester 2

  BSEN 112

Computer-Aided Problem-Solving


  CHEM 114
Fundamental Chemistry II


    Chem 110 may be substituted with permission of adviser.

  MATH 107

Analytic Geometry & Calculus II


  PHYS 211

General Physics I

  Elective Organizational Skills 3
    Choose from a list of 40+ courses available from adviser  
      16 total

 Second Year

 Semester 3

  BSEN 225

Engineering Properties of Biological Materials


  CHEM 251/253
or 255/257
or 261/263

Organic Chemistry & Lab 4
  ENGR 20

Sophomore Engineering Seminar


  JGEN 200

Technical Communication I


  MATH 208

Analytic Geometry and Calculus III


  MECH 223

Engineering Statics


      17 total

 Semester 4

  BSEN 130

Computer-Aided Design
  BSEN 244

Thermodynamics of Living Systems


  LIFE 120/120L

Fundamentals of Biology I and Lab


  MATH 221

Differential Equations


  MECH 373

Engineering Dynamics


  Elective Computer Programming 1
    Choose from: BSEN 212a, BSEN 212b, or BSEN 212e  
      16 total

 Third Year

 Semester 5

  LIFE 121/121L

Fundamentals of Biology II and Lab 4
  CIVE 310
or MECH 310
or CHME 332

Fluid Mechanics

  ELEC 211

Elements of Electrical Engineering I


  IMSE 321
MATH 380

Engineering Statistics & Data Analysis
Statistics & Applications
  BSEN Elective* Emphasis area 3
      16 total

 Semester 6

  BSEN 344

Biological & Environmental Transport Processes

  BSEN Elective*

Emphasis area 3
  BIOC 321 or BIOC 431

Elements of Biochemistry
Biomolecules and Metabolism
  Elective Oral Communication 3
    Choose from: ALEC 102; COMM 209, COMM 210, COMM 283, or COMM 286; GERM 303; JAPN 202; JGEN 300; RUSS 304; SPAN 303

Engineering or Science emphasis


  Electives ACE 3
    Choose one course from not yet satisfied ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9  
      18 total

 Fourth Year

 Semester 7

  BSEN 460

Instrumentation & Controls


  BSEN 470

Design I in Agriculture and Biological Systems Engineering

  BSEN 206

Engineering Economics 3
  BSEN Elective*

Emphasis area 3
  Elective ACE 3
    Choose one course from not yet satisfied ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9


Engineering or Science emphasis


      16 total

 Semester 8

  BSEN 480

Design II in Agriculture or Biological Systems Engineering

  ENGR 400

Professional Ethics & Social Responsibilities


  BSEN Elective*

Emphasis area 3
  Elective ACE
    Choose one course from not yet satisfied ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9


Engineering emphasis


  Elective Biological Science 5
    BIOS 203 is not acceptable; a minimum of two BIOS, BIOC or equivalent laboratory courses, or two courses with laboratories, is required within the 16 hrs of biological sciences and biochemistry courses  
      18 total

Total credit hours required for graduation:


 *BSEN Emphasis Courses

Bioenergy and Food

  BSEN 303

Principles of Process Engineering 3
  BSEN 444/446 Biomass and Bioenergy Engineering
Unit Operations of Biological Processing

Biomedical Engineering

  BSEN 311

Biomedical Signal and System Analysis
  BSEN 317

Intro to Biomedical Engineering
  BSEN 414
or 416
or 418
Medical Imaging Systems
Intro to Biomaterials
Tissue Engineering

Water and Environment Engineering

  BSEN 326

Intro to Environmental Engineering 3
  BSEN 350

Soil and Water Resources Engineering 3
  BSEN 441
or 453
or 455
or 458
Animal Waste Management
Irrigation & Drainage Systems Engineering
Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Engineering
Groundwater Engineering


Tracks/Options/Concentrations/Emphases Requirements

    An emphasis area requires a student to take 21 hours of engineering and science-based courses. A minimum of 15 hours must be selected from courses offered by the College of Engineering. Within the 15 hours, a minimum of 12 hours must be BSEN courses or engineering courses crosslisted with BSEN. Of the BSEN or BSEN crosslisted courses, one must be a 300-level course of a primary emphasis area, one must be a 300-level course of a secondary emphasis area and one must be a 400-level course of a primary emphasis area. Water and Environment emphasis requires both BSEN 326 and BSEN 350, Bioenergy and Food emphasis requires BSEN 303, and Biomedical emphasis requires BSEN 317 as primary emphasis area courses,

Grade and Bulletin Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for all Biological Systems Engineering required courses and electives that are to count toward graduation, with the exception of ACE 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 electives. In addition to the “Bulletin Rule” of the College of Engineering, students transferring into the Department of Biological Systems Engineering must follow the bulletin in effect at the time of their transfer into the department.

University Honors Program

Several BSEN classes are available as honors-designated courses or on a “contract basis.” Honors thesis research is fulfilled by completion of a minimum of 3 credits of BSEN 499H (Honors Thesis) under the auspices of a department faculty member. Honors design projects (BSEN 480H) also satisfy University Honors Program requirements with the approval of department faculty.