BBE Major At A Glance
Question: I am an incoming freshman to the program, and I received a scholarship award from the department. How can I use this money to help pay for my education?
Answer: When you accept admission into the Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering (BBE) program the scholarship will automatically be deposited into your student account.
Question: What makes the Bioproducts Engineering specialization in the Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering major different from Chemical Engineering?
Answer: We study and use the same processes that are common in chemical engineering, but our focus is on renewable materials. Meaning, we make energy, chemicals, and materials from wood, algae, soybean oil, and other renewable materials. Also, we have a strong focus on sustainable processes, such as green chemistry or energy savings.
Question: How is the Environmental and Ecological Engineering (EEE) specialization in the Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering major different from the Environmental Engineering program in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering?
Answer: Our Environmental and Ecological Engineering (EEE) specialization is more focused on natural systems, such as rivers and lakes. The Environmental Engineering program focuses more on sanitation engineering, such as municipal treatment plants. Also, EEE teaches students how to use natural means (plants, bio-filters, and algae) to address environmental issues. More information about the differences between these two programs can be found here.
Question: What are some examples of jobs that I could get after graduating with a major in BBE?
- If you graduate with a Bioproducts Engineering specialization, then you could work as a process or product engineer for a biodiesel company (Renewable Energy Group), a compostable plastics company (Natureworks), a paper company (Domtar), or a food company (Land O'Lakes). You can find examples of the many other companies that commonly employ our graduates here.
- If you graduate with a EEE specialization, then you could work as an engineering consultant or in a government agency as a water resource engineer, environmental engineer, or air quality engineer. You can find examples of the many other companies that commonly employ our graduates here.
- If you graduate with a Food Engineering specialization, then you could work as a food engineer, process engineer, or product engineer for food companies, like Hormel, Land O’ Lakes, or TetraPak. You can find examples of the many other companies that commonly employ our graduates here.
Question: This is a smaller, not as well-known major. Do students in your major have a more difficult time finding jobs?
Answer: Students who graduate with a BBE major do not find it difficult to find a job. Around 93-97% of our students find a job or begin graduate school within six months of graduating. Our graduates have starting salaries of around 55,000-75,000, which is similar to other majors in the College of Science and Engineering.
Question: What is the difference between entering the major through the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Sciences (CFANS) or the College of Science and Engineering (CSE)?
Answer: When you enter the major through CFANS you are a Pre-Major or Pre-BBE student. At the end of your sophomore year, you will transfer to CSE directly into Upper Division BBE (the actual major). If you enter the major through CSE, you will be in Lower Division and will apply for admission to Upper Division (the actual major) at the end of your sophomore year. All students take the same classes, and all degrees are awarded by CSE, no matter if the student enters the major through CFANS or CSE.
Question: How do I find a research opportunity?
Answer: Go to the research section of our website. Send emails to faculty that work in the areas in which you are interested. Schedule an appointment to meet with them and inquire to see if they have any opportunities for you. You can ask if they have funding, you can volunteer your time, or you can make use of the University-sponsored Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP).
Question: How do I find internships or co-ops in this major?
Answer: There are several large career fairs on the Minneapolis campus and the St.Paul campus. We also have companies that come directly to BBE to recruit. We will communicate these opportunities to students. Also, you are encouraged to do your own research and monitor the job boards of any companies that you are very interested in working for.
If you are interested in learning more about this major, please contact Erik Joerres.