Jul 12, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biosystems Engineering: Ecological Engineering Emphasis Area, BS

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Program Requirements

Biosystems engineering is the field of engineering most closely allied with advances in biology. Biosystems engineers apply engineering design and analysis to biological systems and incorporate fundamental biological principles to engineering designs to achieve ecological balance.

The Biosystems engineering program emphasizes two main areas - sustainable bioprocess engineering, with its basis in microbiology, and ecological engineering, with its basis in ecology. Bioprocess engineering focuses on the sustainable production of biorefinery compounds - biofuels, nutraceuticals, bioactive molecules, and biomaterials - using metabolic pathways found in nature and green processing technologies. Ecological engineering focuses on the design of sustainable communities utilizing low-impact development strategies such as bioretention basins, rainwater harvesting, and bioswales for stormwater retention, treatment, and management. Both emphasis areas interface with ecologically-sound food and energycrop and feedstock production systems.

Biosystems engineers lead teams to:

  • Design bioprocesses and systems for biofuels (biodiesel, hydrogen, ethanol), biopharmaceutical, bioplastics, and food processing industries
  • Develop ecological designs (permeable pavement, bioswales, green infrastructure) to integrate stormwater management into the landscape
  • Integrate biological sustainability into energy, water and food systems
  • Provide engineering expertise for agriculture, food processing, and manufacturing industries.

Biosystems engineering graduates are highly qualified to pursue graduate studies in biosystems engineering, biomedical engineering or ecological engineering fields, or medical or veterinary school.

Students are urged to complete a minor and participate in the Cooperative Education, Biosystems Engineering Intern, and/or Study Abroad Programs. Those interested in medical school can fulfill requirements with the Biosystems Engineering BS degree.

Additional information is available from the departmental offices or at: http://www.clemson.edu/majors/biosystems-engineering.

Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s Program

Under this plan, students may reduce the time necessary to earn both degrees by applying graduate credits to both undergraduate and graduate program requirements.

Undergraduate students in Biosystems Engineering may begin a Master of Science or a Master of Engineering Degree in Environmental Engineering and Science or Master of Science Degree in Bioengineering while completing the BS degree.

Students are encouraged to obtain the specific requirements for the dual degree from the academic departments involved as early as possible in their undergraduate program. See Academic Regulations  in this catalog for enrollment guidelines and procedures.

Freshman Year

First Semester

Credit Hours: 16

Credit Hours: 16

Sophomore Year

Junior Year


Senior Year

First Semester

Credit Hours: 16

Second Semester

  • 3 Credits

  • Arts and Humanities Requirement 6 Credits 2 or
  • Social Science Requirement 6 Credits 2

  • Engineering Requirement 3 Credits 7
  • Global Sustainability Requirement 3 Credits 8
Credit Hours: 15

Total Semester Hours: 126

1 ENGR 1050  and ENGR 1060  may be substituted for ENGR 1020  

2 Students should choose courses to fulfill General Education  requirements including Humanities, Social Science, Cross-Cultural Awareness and Science and Technology in society components. See Undergraduate Announcements and academic advisor for details.

3 ENGR 1050 , ENGR 1060  and ENGR 1070  may be substituted for ENGR 1410  

4 ME 2010  may be substituted for CE 2010  and CE 2080  

5 BIOL 1030 /BIOL 1050  or BIOL 1100  

6 Select from 3000- or 4000-level courses in BIOL, FOR, HORT, MICR, PES, or WFB

7 Select from BE 3140 , BE 4080 , BE 4140 , BE 4170 , BE 4220 BE 4400 , BE 4640 , BE 4730 , BE 4840 CE 3210 , CE 3520 , CE 4020 , CE 4060 , CE 4820 , EES 4010 , EES 4020 , EES 4100 , EES 4300 , EES 4800 EES 4840 , EES 4850 , EES 4860 , GEOL 4210 , IE 3840 , or any 3000- or 4000-level ENGR course.

8 Select any course from the Sustainability Minor  course list


  1. The following courses must be completed with C or better: CE 2010 , CE 2080 , CE 3410 , MATH 2060 , MATH 2080 , ME 3100 , PHYS 2210  
  2. Biosystems Engineering students are encouraged to complete a minor, a cooperative education program, an internship (BE 3700 ) and/or a study abroad program.
  3. Departmental Honors Thesis (BE 3000 /BE 3010 /BE 4000 ) is available for qualifying junior and senior students.

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