Biosystems Engineering (B.S.)

The Biosystems Engineering program combines biology with engineering to ensure there is safe and plentiful food, clean water, renewable energy and a healthy environment.

Students will learn how to design resourceful solutions to technical problems involving biological components including bioenergy, ecosystems protection, food safety and biosecurity and human health. They may also learn about systems to transform biological waste into energy solutions and processes to detect or eliminate human pathogens from food products.

This is a joint program between the College of Engineering and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and it is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

The MSU Biosystems Engineering undergrad program was ranked #5 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

Some specific Biosystems Engineering scholarships are available.

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BioSystemsEng-3-by-2

Core areas of study include:

  • Engineering analysis/design of biological systems.
  • Microbial systems.
  • Cell and molecular biology.
  • Fluid mechanics.

In addition to core areas of study, students select a concentration to customize the program based on individual interests.

Concentrations include:

  • Bioenergy and Bioproduct Engineering.
  • Biomedical Engineering.
  • Ecosystems Engineering.
  • Food Engineering.

Learn more about requirements and courses in Biosystems Engineering.

Learn more about Biosystems Engineering and the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering.

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Biosystems Engineering Graduates

See career outcomes for MSU biosystems engineering graduates, including salaries, top employers and employment locations.


Career Opportunities

Graduates with a degree in Biosystems Engineering enter a broad range of challenging and rewarding careers in engineering, energy, medical, health, environmental and food industries.

Careers include:

  • Food safety engineers.
  • Biosecurity technicians.
  • Biosystems engineers.
  • Governmental aides.
  • Ecosystem engineers.

Advisors and faculty members in the colleges of Engineering and Agriculture and Natural Resources maintain close relationships with organizations and companies across multiple industries, which can help with internships, scholarships and employment in different fields.

Students can participate in the annual Biosystems Engineering Showcase as part of their senior design coursework.

Faculty also conduct research in bioenergy, biomedical, ecosystems and food safety areas.


In April 2019, Gary McDowell, director of Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, visited Michigan State University for an update on the mobile food processing labs development and the on-campus fruit and vegetable lab renovations. McDowell (center) reviewed the mobile lab design concepts plans with students Lauren Kitada (left) and Katie Church at the meeting.

Michigan State University students design plans for mobile food labs

June 3, 2019

Mobile food labs designed by MSU students will travel to different locations in Michigan as part of a new food processing certificate program developed to meet the state’s workforce needs.

MSU researchers Evangelyn Alocilja, Jade Mitchell and Ilce Medina Meza are advancing global health through disease detection and prevention.

Michigan State University women making a difference in global health

February 11, 2020

Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering faculty prepare the next generation of biosystems engineers while advancing human health through disease detection and prevention.

Biosystems Engineering Advisor

Schedule advising appointments online. (More details: MSU Student Information System resources.)

See BE Academic Advising for more information.


Student Life

In addition to student jobs and internships, there are BAE education abroad programs and undergraduate research opportunities.

There are also a variety of student clubs and organizations including:

  • Biosystems Engineering (BE) Club.
  • American Society of Agricultural Biological Engineers.
  • Food Science Club.
  • Institute of Food Technologists.
  • Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences.

Apply to Michigan State University!


Agriculture Majors

  • Agribusiness Management (B.S.)

    Agribusiness management is the application of business skills in areas such as marketing, finance, economics and management to the agricultural industry.

  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education (B.S.)

    This program prepares students for careers as school-based agriculture, food and natural resources teachers at the secondary level, careers in education fields, or professional or graduate school program.

  • Animal Science (B.S.)

    Animal science encompasses livestock production marketing, public affairs, transportation, research, companion animal management and many more allied specialties.

  • Biosystems Engineering (B.S.)

    The Biosystems Engineering program combines biology with engineering to ensure there is safe and plentiful food, clean water, renewable energy and a healthy environment.

  • Crop and Soil Sciences (B.S.)

    This undergraduate curriculum is designed to train students as professional crop scientists, soil scientists, turfgrass scientists and environmentalists.

  • Entomology (B.S.)

    Courses are designed to give the student an understanding of the structure, classification, identification, function, biology, ecology, and management of beneficial and harmful arthropods, and the communities and ecosystems where insects occur.

  • Horticulture (B.S.)

    The Horticulture program prepares students to make new discoveries in the plant sciences, promote the use of plants and food for improved human health, and manage and develop landscape design projects.

Human Health Majors

  • Biosystems Engineering (B.S.)

    The Biosystems Engineering program combines biology with engineering to ensure there is safe and plentiful food, clean water, renewable energy and a healthy environment.

  • Dietetics (B.S.)

    The dietetics program helps students develop expertise in nutritional assessment and care, as well as food service management systems.

  • Food Industry Management (B.S.)

    The Food Industry Management program provides a system-wide perspective of managerial problems confronting firms in the food industry, recognizes the increasing interdependence among such firms and focuses on creating consumer value.

  • Food Science (B.S.)

    Food Science is a multidisciplinary field applying chemistry, microbiology, engineering and nutrition to develop new food products and design processes to improve the safety and quality of foods.

  • Nutritional Sciences (B.S.)

    Nutritional Sciences focuses on the biological and physical sciences of nutrition and its relationships to human health with concentrations in biomedical and molecular nutrition, global nutrition and health and public health nutrition.

  • Packaging (B.S.)

    Packaging is a multidisciplinary program focused on all aspects of the industry from materials and processes through systems development and testing.