University of Kentucky College of Agriculture College of Engineering



Academics Overview

Biosystems engineers  
  • Devise practical, efficient solutions for producing, storing, transporting, processing, and packaging biological and agricultural products.
  • Solve problems related to systems, processes, and machines that interact with humans, plants, animals, microorganisms, and biological materials.
  • Develop solutions for responsible, alternative uses of biological products, byproducts and wastes and of our natural resources - soil, water, air, and energy.

As an undergraduate biosystems engineering student, you can tailor a program of study based on your individual interests and career goals. Fundamental courses in engineering and biology provide the background necessary to apply engineering principles to biological systems. You will learn to design and manage systems that efficiently and ecologically produce and process biological, food, and agricultural products.

Bioenvironmental Engineering - prepares engineers to work in natural resource conservation and environmental quality enhancement. Engineers in this area study: surface water hydrology, groundwater hydrology, sediment transport, water quality, chemical rate and transport, waste management, reclamation of disturbed lands, site remediation, irrigation, and drainage.

Machine Systems Automation Engineering - prepares engineers to conceive and design power units, tillage, planting, and harvesting systems, materials handling equipment, and processing equipment. Production and processing of biological products relies heavily on the use of automated machinery. Engineers in this area work with fundamental concepts including: system dynamics, kinetics, automated controls, machine design, kinematics, fluid power, soil dynamics, plant-machine interactions, and digital electronics.

Controlled Environment Systems - involves the development and design of heating, cooling and ventilation systems for the control of indoor environments. Environmental control is an essential component of total confinement animal housing, greenhouse production, aquaculture, and human housing. Engineers in this option study: heat and mass transfer, physics of plant and animal environments, biometeorology, structural design, air quality, and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning design.

Food and Bioprocess Engineering - involves the development of equipment and methods for efficient and ecologically sound manufacturing of food products (from the farm to the grocery) and biological commodities (such as proteins, enzymes, biofuels). Engineers in this area receive extensive training in: microbiology, biochemical engineering, heat and mass transfer, enzyme kinetics and fermentation, storage of biological products, and materials handling.

Pre-Biomedical Engineering - allows students to complete an undergraduate degree in Biosystems Engineering that has been approved by the Center for Biomedical Engineering (CBME) at the University of Kentucky, which only offers graduate-level degrees. Undergraduates who have completed this option and are in good academic standing are encouraged by the CBME to apply for the Biomedical Engineering graduate program at UK.

Pre-Veterinary Medicine - an approved pre-vet curriculum in which the student may obtain a Biosystems Engineering degree and simultaneously fulfill the requirements for admission to veterinary school.

Prospective undergraduate student information flyer (PDF).

 B.S. in Biosystems Engineering

The following six undergraduate specializations are supported by this department:

The following graduate programs are supported by this department:

M.S. in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

Ph.D. in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

Click here to see some of the places our graduates are working today.


The undergraduate Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012 - telephone: (410) 347-7700.