Academic Programs Catalog

College of Engineering

Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

Darrell W. Donahue, Chairperson

The mission of the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering is to improve quality of life by integrating and applying principles of engineering and biology to systems involving food, environment, energy, and health. The Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering is administered jointly by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the College of Engineering.  

 


Undergraduate Program

The department offers a Bachelor of Science degree program with a major in biosystems engineering through the College of Engineering. That program is described below.

The department also offers a Minor in Technology Systems Management through the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.  For information about that program, refer to the statement on the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources section of this catalog.

Students who are enrolled in the Bachelor of Science degree program with a major in biosystems engineering may elect a Minor in Plant, Animal and Microbial Biotechnology.  For additional information, refer to the Minor in Plant, Animal and Microbial Biotechnology statement in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources section of this catalog.


Biosystems Engineering

Bachelor of Science

Biosystems engineers design solutions to technical problems that involve a critical biological component. They apply quantitative skills to create products, processes, and systems that improve human existence. Working at the interface of engineering and biology, biosystems engineers are engaged in the most important challenges of our time.

There are a wide variety of job functions and application areas for our graduates, including ecosystems protection, food safety, bioenergy, biosecurity, and human health. Biosystems engineers may, for example, design sterilization and pasteurization processes to eliminate microbial pathogens and maximize the nutritional value of our food. Other graduates may design constructed wetlands, which utilize biological systems to capture pollutants and protect our precious fresh water resources. Biosystems engineers are sought after by a wide variety of employers including food manufacturers, environmental consulting firms, health industries, and government agencies who need creative individuals to integrate principles of engineering and biology successfully.

The Bachelor of Science Degree program in Biosystems Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in  Biosystems Engineering

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 128 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Biosystems Engineering.
    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Biosystems Engineering major is met by completing Biosystems Engineering 487.  That course is referenced in item 3. a below.

    Students who are enrolled in the College of Engineering may complete the alternative track to Integrative Studies in Biological and Physical Sciences that is described in item 1. under the heading Graduation Requirements for All Majors in the College statement.  Certain courses referenced in requirement 3. below may be used to satisfy the alternative track.
  2. The requirements of the College of Engineering for the Bachelor of Science degree.

    The credits earned in certain courses referenced in requirement 3. below may be counted toward College requirements as appropriate.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
    a. All of the following courses (47 credits):
    BE 101 Introduction to Biosystems Engineering 1
    BE 230 Engineering Analysis of Biological Systems 3
    BE 332 Engineering Properties of Biological Materials 3
    BE 334 Biosystems Engineering Laboratory Practice 3
    BE 350 Heat and Mass Transfer in Biosystems 3
    BE 351 Thermodynamics for Biological Engineering 3
    BE 360 Microbial Systems Engineering 3
    BE 385 Engineering Design and Optimization for Biological Systems 3
    BE 485 Biosystems Design Techniques 3
    BE 487 Biosystems Design Project (W) 3
    BS 161 Cell and Molecular Biology 3
    BS 162 Organismal and Population Biology 3
    CE 221 Statics 3
    CE 274 Graphics for Civil and Environmental Engineers 1
    CE 321 Introduction to Fluid Mechanics 4
    CEM 143 Survey of Organic Chemistry 4
    CEM 161 Chemistry Laboratory I 1
    b. One of the following courses (2 credits):
    BS 171 Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory 2
    BS 172 Organismal and Population Biology Laboratory 2
    c. One of the following courses (3 or 4 credits):
    IBIO 341 Fundamental Genetics 4
    IBIO 355 Ecology 3
    MMG 301 Introductory Microbiology 3
    PLB 301 Introductory Plant Physiology 3
    PSL 250 Introductory Physiology 4
    d. One of the following courses (3 or 4 credits):
    BLD 450 Eukaryotic Pathogens   3
    CSS 442 Agricultural Ecology 3
    CSS 451 Biotechnology Applications for Plant Breeding and Genetics 3
    FOR 406 Applied Forest Ecology: Silviculture 3
    FSC 440 Food Microbiology 3
    MMG 425 Microbial Ecology 3
    MMG 445 Microbial Biotechnology (W) 3
    PLB 402 Biology of Fungi 4
    PLB 424 Algal Biology 4
    PSL 425 Physiological Biophysics 3
    e. Four of the following courses (12 credits):
    BE 444 Biosensors for Medical Diagnostics  3
    BE 449 Human Health Risk Analysis for Engineering Controls 3
    BE 456 Electric Power and Control 3
    BE 469 Sustainable Bioenergy Systems 3
    BE 477 Food Engineering: Fluids  3
    BE 478 Food Engineering: Solids  3
    BE 481 Water Resources Systems Analysis and Modeling 3
    BE 482 Diffuse-Source Pollution Engineering 3
    CHE 468 Biomass Conversion Engineering 3

Concentrations in Biosystems Engineering

The department offers concentrations for students who wish to focus on a specific application area in the discipline. The concentrations are available to, but not required of, any student enrolled in the Bachelor of Science degree program in Biosystems Engineering. Courses completed to satisfy requirement 3. above may also be used to satisfy the requirements of a concentration. The concentration will be noted on the students transcript.

Bioenergy and Bioproduct Engineering
To earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Biosystems Engineering with a bioenergy and bioproduct engineering concentration, students must complete degree requirements 1., 2., and 3. above and the following:

1. All of the following courses (9 credits):
BE 469 Sustainable Bioenergy Systems 3
CHE 468 Biomass Conversion Engineering 3
CSS 467 Bioenergy Feedstock Production 3
2. Two of the following courses (6 to 8 credits):
BE 457 Bioenergy Feedstock Systems Analysis 3
CHE 481 Biochemical Engineering 3
CHE 882 Advanced Biochemical Engineering 3
CHE 883 Multidisciplinary Bioprocessing Laboratory 3
CSS 451 Biotechnology Applications for Plant Breeding and Genetics 3
FOR 406 Applied Forest Ecology: Silviculture 3
GLG 471 Applied Geophysics 4
MC 450 International Environmental Law and Policy 3
ME 417 Design of Alternative Energy Systems 3
ME 422 Introduction to Combustion 3
MMG 445 Microbial Biotechnology (W) 3
PLB 402 Biology of Fungi 4
PLB 424 Algal Biology 4

Biomedical Engineering
To earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Biosystems Engineering with a biomedical engineering concentration, students must complete degree requirements 1., 2., and 3. above and the following:

1. Both of the following courses (6 credits):
BE 444 Biosensors for Medical Diagnostics  3
BE 449 Human Health Risk Analysis for Engineering Controls 3
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):
BLD 450 Eukaryotic Pathogens 3
PSL 425 Physiological Biophysics 3
3. Two of the following courses (5 or 6 credits):
BLD 204 Mechanisms of Disease 3
BLD 430 Molecular Laboratory Diagnostics 2
BLD 434 Clinical Immunology 3
BLD 450 Eukaryotic Pathogens    3
ECE 445 Biomedical Instrumentation 3
ME 494 Biofluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer 3
MSE 425 Biomaterials and Biocompatability 3
PLB 400 Introduction to Bioinformatics   3
PSL 425 Physiological Biophysics 3
Courses used to fulfill requirement 2. in this concentration may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Ecosystems Engineering
To earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Biosystems Engineering with a ecosystems engineering concentration, students must complete degree requirements 1., 2., and 3. above and the following:

1. All of the following courses (9 credits):
BE 481 Water Resources Systems Analysis and Modeling 3
BE 482 Diffuse-Source Pollution Engineering 3
MMG 425 Microbial Ecology 3
2. Two of the following courses (5 or 6 credits):
CE 422 Applied Hydraulics 3
CSS 210 Fundamentals of Soil Science 3
CSS 330 Soil Chemistry 2
CSS 360 Soil Biology 3
CSS 442 Agricultural Ecology 3
CSS 455 Environmental Pollutants in Soil and Water 3
FOR 404 Forest Ecology 3
FW 417 Wetland Ecology and Management 3
FW 420 Stream Ecology 3
FW 443 Restoration Ecology 3

Food Engineering
To earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Biosystems Engineering with a food engineering concentration, students must complete degree requirements 1., 2., and 3. above and the following:

1. All of the following courses (9 credits):
BE 477 Food Engineering: Fluids 3
BE 478 Food Engineering: Solids 3
FSC 440 Food Microbiology 3
2. Two of the following courses, one of which must be at the 400-level (6 or 7 credits):
BMB 200 Introduction to Biochemistry 4
FSC 211 Principles of Food Science 3
FSC 401 Food Chemistry 3
FSC 430 Food Processing: Fruits and Vegetables  3
FSC 431 Food Processing: Cereals 3
FSC 432 Food Processing: Dairy Foods   3
FSC 433 Food Processing: Muscle Foods   3


 


Linked Bachelor's-Master's Degree in Biosystems Engineering

Bachelor of Science Degree in Biosystems Engineering
Master of Science Degree in Biosystems Engineering

The department welcomes applications from  Michigan State University Biosystems Engineering undergraduate students in their junior and senior year.  Admission applications must be made during the prior spring semester for an anticipated spring graduation or the prior fall semester for an anticipated fall graduation to allow admission before the final semester as a Biosystems Engineering undergraduate.  Admission to the program requires a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.5 and an approved program of study for the Master of Science degree in Biosystems Engineering at the time of admission. Admission to the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s program allows the application of up to 9 credits toward the master’s program for qualifying 400-level and above course work taken at the undergraduate level at Michigan State University or another postsecondary accredited institution of comparable academic quality. The number of approved credits, not to exceed 9, are applied toward the credit requirement of the master’s degree. Credits applied to the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s program are not eligible to be applied to any other graduate degree program.

 


Graduate Study

The department offers Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy programs in biosystems engineering through the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.  For information about those programs, refer to the statement on the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources section of this catalog.

Students who are enrolled in Master of Science degree programs in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering may elect a Specialization in Food Safety.  For additional information, refer to the statement on the specialization in the College of Veterinary Medicine section of this catalog.