Apr 19, 2024  
2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog 
2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biosystems Engineering Major, BS in Biosystems Engineering

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Ayers, Freeland, Hart, Hayes, Wilkerson, Womac, Yoder

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, in cooperation with the College of Engineering, offers a four-year curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Science in Biosystems Engineering. The curriculum is accredited by the Engineering Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Overall goals of the program are emphasized in the educational objectives and program outcomes statements listed below. Program details are given in the showcase curricula and the individual course descriptions.

Career opportunities for graduates include the design, development, or management of practices that produce biofuels, minimize soil erosion and conserve water resources; biological waste treatment systems; safer machinery systems with lower environmental impact and improved food and bio-processing systems. Employment opportunities are available in a wide variety of industries, government agencies, research and testing organizations, and educational and non-profit institutions.

The mathematics requirement for freshman admission to the biosystems engineering program is 3½ units, including trigonometry and geometry. Otherwise, the general admission requirements of the university apply.

The curriculum provides instruction in the analytical and design skills needed to solve engineering problems related to biological and agricultural systems. Comprehensive design of systems and their components is emphasized in the senior year. In addition to the standard biosystems engineering curriculum, a pre-professional concentration is available. The degree program has provisions for elective courses to be taken in specified subject areas. Proper scheduling of courses is very important since prerequisite requirements must be met. Students must consult with their advisors each semester to review their scheduling plan.

Students majoring in biosystems engineering are eligible to participate in the Engineering Cooperative Scholarship Program and other student activities in the College of Engineering. Biosystems engineering majors interested in the Engineering Cooperative Scholarship Program should consult with their faculty advisor or the head of the Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science Department, (865) 974-7266; e-mail bess@utk.edu.

The biosystems engineering program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has specific educational objectives that follow the objectives of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. In order to meet the Institute’s objectives, program graduates will receive the educational tools necessary to perform as entrylevel engineering professionals. Recent graduates are to be

  • Competitive in seeking employment or graduate placement at the regional and national levels.
  • Aware of meeting their own and societal needs consistent with the goals of life-long learning, professional ethics, and leadership.
  • Performing as entry-level engineers or graduate students in a manner that positively reflects on the overall program’s reputation.

Program Outcomes

To achieve the educational objectives listed above, a series of program outcomes have been adopted. These program outcomes provide specific measures to determine the degree of success in meeting each of the educational objectives. These outcomes are as follows.

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
  • An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs.
  • An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams.
  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
  • An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
  • An ability to communicate effectively.
  • The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.
  • A recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in, life-long learning.
  • A knowledge of contemporary issues.
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
  • An understanding of the complexity of biological systems and the ability to apply engineering principles to those systems.

One of the primary tools engineers bring to the solution of many problems is a mastery of mathematics, so mathematical competence is a critical component of an engineering education. In order to graduate with a major in biosystems engineering, students must display this competence by achieving an average GPA of at least 2.0 in the required mathematics courses. It is the student’s responsibility to work with their academic advisor in assuring that they meet this requirement.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Biosystems Engineering • Biosystems Engineering Major


First Year

Hours Credit

BSE 104  1
EF 105 , EF 151 , EF 152  9
ME 202  2
1CHEM 120 * 4
1, 2MATH 141 *, MATH 142 * 8
1ENGL 101 *, ENGL 102 * 6
3Cultures and Civilizations Elective* 3

Second Year

BSE 201 , BSE 221 , BSE 231 , BSE 321  10
ME 231 , ME 321 , ME 331  9
MATH 231 , MATH 241  7
MICR 210 * 3
ESS 210  4

Third Year

BSE 411 , BSE 416 , BSE 431 , BSE 451  13
STAT 251  3
ECE 301  3
MATH 200  1
4Technical Elective 3
ENGL 360 * 3
 * or  * 3

Fourth Year

BSE 401 *, BSE 402 , BSE 404 , BSE 444  14
4Technical Elective 3
ECON 201  (Social Sciences Elective)* 4
3Social Sciences Elective* 3
3Arts and Humanities Elective* 3
3Cultures and Civilizations Elective* 3

Total 128

* Meets University General Education Requirement .
1 Or equivalent honors course.
2 If mathematics placement test does not indicate placement into at least MATH 141 , discuss mathematics options with advisor.
3 Select from the corresponding University General Education list  after consultation with advisor.

4 Note that some electives have required prerequisites. See individual course descriptions for specific information. BSET 412 , BSET 414 , BSET 432 , BSET 434 , BSET 452 , BSET 462 , BSET 474 ; CE 485 , CE 486 , CE 490 ; CHEM 230 , CHEM 310 , CHEM 350 , CHEM 360 ; ECE 206 ; ESS 334 , ESS 434 , ESS 442 , ESS 444 , ESS 454 ; GEOG 410 , GEOG 411 ; GEOL 485 ; IE 304 ; MATH 403 , MATH 405 , MATH 411 , MATH 431 ; ME 363 , ME 365 , ME 366 , ME 391 , ME 405 , ME 451 , ME 466 ; PHYS 232 .


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