Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Major

Engineering for a sustainable world

A degree in Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering prepares students to address society's growing material, food, and energy demands using renewable resources, and develop engineering solutions to protect and enhance our environment.

The BBE degree has commonalities with chemical engineering and environmental engineering, with the same scientific foundations as these and other engineering disciplines. BBE diverges from chemical engineering with a singular focus on renewable resources (algae, wood, organic waste, etc.) to produce renewable energy, and bio- based materials and chemicals. BBE differs from environmental engineering by having a stronger focus on the protection and enhancement of natural systems such as rivers, lakes, and wetlands.


Bioproducts engineering specialization
Developing sustainable products and manufacturing processes to meet the world's growing material, chemical, and energy demands.

Environmental and ecological engineering specialization
Explore, develop, and implement effective systems and solutions to reduce human impact on our natural environment.

Food engineering specialization

Design systems and processes to create affordable, nutritious, and safe food.

Download the bioproducts and biosystems engineering major overview PDF brochure by clicking here!


The Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET),

Collegiate Affiliation

The Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering degree program is offered by the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering (CSE) in collaboration with the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). Students can apply for admission through either college. Degrees are conferred by the CSE.

BBE Honors Experience

To learn more about the university and department requirements to graduate with Latin Honors please visit this page

Contact us

If you have questions, would like to meet faculty, or tour our labs, please e-mail [email protected].

Get a tour of the University of Minnesota by scheduling a campus visit.


Is BBE for you?  

BBE may be for you if you're interested in the following areas:

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Chemical engineering

We use biology in addition to other basic sciences as the scientific foundation of our engineering solutions. We emphasize the use of biological resources, biological systems, and processes from molecular to the ecosystem scale. As in chemical engineering, you will use biology and chemistry in various bio-based manufacturing processes including fermentation, filtration, chromatography, membrane separation, etc. You will learn to apply your skills to biomaterials, biochemicals, bioenergy, food processing, biopharmaceuticals, waste treatment, and utilization.

Environmental engineering

We focus on solutions involving biological systems, resources, materials, and processes from the molecular to the ecosystem scale. Unlike environmental engineering, we emphasize integrating basic engineering principles, science, and design, with the principles of biology and ecology. You will learn to take a more natural, ecological approach to address environmental issues and develop sustainable solutions. You will also learn how to address engineering problems using a systems approach. Examples of application areas include water quality and water resources, land use management, climate change and air quality, biosystems—both agricultural and natural resource systems.

Mechanical engineering

We emphasize the use of advanced mechanical systems, manufacturing, and their applications to biological systems, processes, resources and bio-based solutions. Examples of applications include agricultural- and natural resource-based production systems. You can apply your interest in robotics to solve problems related to agricultural, water, land, and air systems.

Health-related fields

Similar to other programs, given the emphasis on biology in addition to other basic sciences, you can pursue further education in medicine and other health-related fields.

Major Coordinator(s)

Professor Ulrike Tschirner

204 Kaufert Laboratory

2004 Folwell Ave

St. Paul, MN 55108

[email protected]

+1 612 624 8798