Jul 14, 2024  
2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog 
2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biosystems Engineering Major, BS in Biosystems Engineering

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Hayes, Tyner, 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 Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.orgOverall 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 and manage stormwater; 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 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 program educational objectives that follow the objectives of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. In order to meet the objectives of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, program graduates will receive the educational tools necessary to perform as entry-level engineering professionals or to be successful in graduate or professional schools. Recent graduates are prepared to:

  • be successful in securing employment in the profession or a position in graduate or professional school,
  • continue developing as professionals,
  • demonstrate success in their chosen career paths,
  • perform in a manner that reflects positively on the program and institution’s reputation.

Student Outcomes

To achieve the program educational objectives listed above, a series of student outcomes have been adopted. These student 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.

In order to provide students with the best advice concerning course selection, general academic success, and career choices, the programs within the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science require that all undergraduate students meet with their academic advisors every semester before registering for classes.

In keeping with the general College of Engineering requirement, all Biosystems Engineering undergraduate students are expected to have their own laptop computer. Please see the minimum computer requirements described at http://www.engr.utk.edu/futurestudents/computers.html.

Requirements for Admission, Readmission, and Transfer to the Program

Because the biosystems engineering program is accredited through the College of Engineering, students entering, being readmitted to, or transferring into the program must meet the conditions specified in the College of Engineering requirements found at http://catalog.utk.edu/content.php?catoid=11&navoid=988 under the titles of College Admission Requirements, Readmission, and Transfer Students.

uTrack Requirements (for students entering Fall 2013 or later)

Universal Tracking (uTrack) is an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester known as milestones. Milestones include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA. uTrack requirements only affect full-time, degree-seeking students who first entered Fall 2013 or later. uTrack does not apply to transfer students who enter prior to Fall 2015.

Progression Policies and Requirements

Progression of students to departmental upper-division courses is competitive and is based on the space available in the department. Factors considered include overall grade point average, performance in selected lower-division courses and evidence of satisfactory and orderly progress through the prescribed curriculum.

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

Term 1 Hours Milestone Notes
CHEM 120 * or CHEM 128 * 4 MATH 130  or higher or one Arts and Humanities*, Cultures and Civilizations*, or Social Sciences* Elective
EF 105   1  
EF 151 * or EF 157 * 4  
ENGL 101 * or ENGL 118 * 3  
MATH 141 * or MATH 147 * 4  
Term 2
BSE 104   1 MATH 130  or higher
1Cultures and Civilizations Elective * 3  
EF 152 * or EF 158 * 4  
ENGL 102 * 3  
MATH 142 * or MATH 148 * 4  
ME 202   2  
Term 3
BSE 201 , BSE 221 , BSE 231   7 EF 151 * or PHYS 135 *
MATH 241  or MATH 247   4  
ME 231 , ME 331   6  
Term 4
BIOL 160 * or BIOL 168 * 3 EF 152 * or EF 158 * or PHYS 136 *
BSE 321   3  
ESS 210   4  
MATH 231   3  
ME 321   3  
Term 5
AE 341  or AE 347   3 CBE 201  or COSC 102 * or ME 202  or MSE 201  
ECE 301   3  
ENGL 360 * 3  
MATH 200   1  
PHIL 244 * 3  
STAT 251   3  
Term 6
BSE 411 , BSE 416 , BSE 431 , BSE 451   13 No milestones
2Technical Elective 3  
Term 7
AREC 201 * or ECON 201 * or ECON 207 * 4 Apply to graduate3
BSE 401 *, BSE 404 , BSE 444   8  
2Technical Elective 3  
Term 8
1Arts and Humanities Elective * 3 No milestones
BSE 402   6  
1Cultures and Civilizations Elective * 3  
1Social Sciences Elective * 3  
TOTAL 128  
* Meets University General Education Requirement .
1 Chosen from the University General Education list  after consultation with advisor.
2 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 ; CHEM 230 , CHEM 310 , CHEM 350 , CHEM 360 ; ESS 334 , ESS 434 , ESS 442 , ESS 444 , ESS 454 ; 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 *.
3 Graduation requirements: a) achieve at least a 2.0 GPA in all BSE courses; b) only one BSE course with a grade of D+ or D may be used towards graduation; c) no BSE course with a grade of D- or F may be used for graduation; d) achieve at least a 2.0 GPA in the required math courses.

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