Excerpt from the official Academic Programs Catalog.
Listed below are the approved requirements for the program from the official Academic Programs Catalog.
Students must consult their advisors to learn which specific requirements apply to their degree programs.
Requirements as represented in Degree Navigator are not available for this program.
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Graduate Study Biosystems Engineering - Master of Science
Biosystems engineers apply the basic sciences, mathematics, engineering sciences, and technology to design sustainable solutions to problems with a critical biological component. Biosystems engineers work to ensure an adequate and safe food supply while efficiently utilizing natural resources and protecting the environment. Specific application areas include food and biomass production systems, food processing systems, processing systems for utilization and conversion of biological products, water and waste management systems, natural resource and environmental protection, and a range of other biological challenges that require engineering expertise.
The department offers both Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs with majors in biosystems engineering.
Master of Science
The Master of Science degree program in biosystems engineering is designed to prepare graduates for advanced career opportunities that require disciplinary expertise beyond that available in the Bachelor of Science degree. The program is available under Plan A (thesis) and Plan B (without thesis). Plan A introduces the student to research methods, and the student is expected to execute, analyze, and publish an original research project under the guidance of an advisor. Plan B is suited for those who do not plan a research-related career, but desire additional skills and knowledge obtained through advanced course work.
In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, students must meet the requirements specified below.
To be considered for admission to the Master of Science degree program in biosystems engineering, an applicant must take the Graduate Record Examination General Test and have the scores sent to the department.
Regular Status. Admission to the master's degree program in biosystems engineering with regular status may be granted by the department, subject to the availability of resources and to the approval of the dean, upon consideration of the likelihood that the applicant will be able to complete a master's degree program successfully. To be admitted to the master's program in biosystems engineering, an applicant must have:
A grade–point average not lower than 3.00 for the final two years of the undergraduate program, or standing in the upper quarter of the graduating class in the student's major.
A bachelor’s degree, either:
from an accredited program in engineering, or
from a related science-oriented program in which the applicant has shown very high academic achievement, as certified by the department.
An applicant without an engineering degree must demonstrate the abilities and experience necessary to succeed in the core courses, Biosystems Engineering 815, 825, and 835. The student must complete, previously, or within the master’s program, a significant engineering design experience.
Provisional Status. Admission to the master's degree program in biosystems engineering with provisional status may be granted by the department, subject to the approval of the dean:
To an applicant qualified for regular admission except that collateral courses are deemed necessary, or
To an applicant whose record is incomplete.
If collateral courses are required, the minimum acceptable grades and the semesters by which those courses must be completed will be specified on the admission form. Biosystems Engineering 490 and 890 may not be used to satisfy collateral course requirements.
The provisional status will be changed to regular status when the conditions specified on the admission form have been met, as certified by the department and approved by the dean.
Registration as a Professional Engineer
Students who wish to satisfy the requirements of the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers should consult with the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering.
The student's program of study must be approved before the student completes 6 credits of graduate work in order for the student to continue to enroll in the master's degree program.
The subject matter and instructor must be specified for every independent study, special problems, or selected topics course that is included in the student's approved program of study.
Modification of Program
After the Plan A or Plan B option has been selected by the student and approved, the student may not pursue the other option without approval of the department.
The following changes are not permitted in a student's approved program of study:
Adding or deleting a course for which a grade has already been assigned under any of the three grading systems (numerical, Pass–No Grade, or Credit–No Credit).
Adding or deleting a course for which grading was postponed by the use of the DF–Deferred marker.
Adding or deleting a course which the student dropped after the middle of the semester and for which “W” or “N” or “0.0" was designated.
Adding or deleting a course during the final semester of enrollment in the master's degree program.
Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Biosystems Engineering
The program is available under both Plan A (with thesis) and Plan B (without thesis). The student's program of study must be developed in consultation with the major professor, must be approved by the department, and must meet the requirements specified below:
Requirements for Both Plan A and Plan B:
The student must complete:
A total of 30 credits in 400–, 800–, and 900–level courses. At least 20 of the 30 credits must be in 800–900 level courses. Not more than 4 credits of Biosystems Engineering 890 may be counted toward the requirements for the degree under Plan A. Not more than 6 credits of Biosystems Engineering 890 may be counted toward the requirements for the degree under Plan B.
All of the following courses:
Experimentation and Instrumentation in Biosystems Engineering
Research Methods in Biosystems Engineering
Modeling Methods in Biosystems Engineering
Biosystems Engineering Seminar
Additional Requirements for Plan A:
The student must:
Complete the following course:
Master's Thesis Research
Not more than 8 credits of Biosystems Engineering 899 may be counted toward the requirements for the degree under Plan A.
Pass a final oral examination over the written thesis administered by the department and conducted by three regular university faculty members, at least two of which must be Biosystems Engineering faculty.
Provide to the major professor and to the department a hard–bound copy of the thesis made from the original unbound manuscript submitted to the Office of The Graduate School. Arrangement for delivery of the copies shall be made when the original manuscript is submitted to the Office of The Graduate School.
Additional Requirements for Plan B:
The student must:
Pass the final examination administered by the department over the course work in the student's approved program of study. The examination may include both a written and an oral component. It is the student's responsibility to obtain detailed information about this examination from the department.
Grades. The student must earn a grade of 2.0 or higher in each course in the approved program of study. The student must repeat any course in the approved program for which the grade earned was below 2.0.
Cumulative Grade–Point Average. The student must maintain a cumulative grade–point average of at least 3.00 in the courses in the approved program of study.
Probational Status. A student is placed on probational status if the student's cumulative grade–point average for the courses in the approved program of study is below 3.00. A student in probational status is not allowed to carry more than 7 credits per semester or to enroll in any course the primary focus of which is independent study.
Retention In and Dismissal From the Program.
Cumulative Grade–Point Average. Should a student's cumulative grade–point average fall below 3.00 after having completed 16 or more credits in courses in the approved program of study, the student may be enrolled in probational status in the master's degree program for one additional semester. If at the end of the additional semester the student's cumulative grade–point average is 3.00 or higher, the student may continue to enroll in the master's degree program. If at the end of the additional semester the student's cumulative grade–point average is still below 3.00, the student will be dismissed from the program.
Academic Progress and Professional Potential. Each student's academic progress and professional potential are evaluated by March 15 of each year. A student who in the judgment of the faculty is making satisfactory academic progress and has professional potential may continue to enroll in the master's degree program. A student who in the judgment of the faculty is not making satisfactory academic progress or lacks professional potential will be dismissed from the program.
As a member of the Michigan Coalition for Engineering Education (MCEE), Michigan State University will accept up to one less than half of the course credits required for the Master of Science degree program in Biosystems Engineering in transfer from other MCEE member institutions provided that (1) the student earned a grade of at least 3.0, or the equivalent, in the related courses; (2) the credits were not earned in research or thesis courses; and (3) the related courses are acceptable to the department.
For information about transfer credits from institutions that are not members of the MCEE, refer to the statement on MASTER'S PROGRAMS, Transfer Credits, in the Graduate Education section of this catalog.