Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Major

Engineering for a sustainable world

A degree in Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering prepares students to address society's growing demands for material, food, and energy using renewable resources. Develop engineering solutions that not only protect, but also enhance our environment.

The BBE degree has commonalities with chemical engineering and environmental engineering with the same scientific foundations, but BBE diverges from chemical engineering with a singular focus on renewable resources, like algae, wood, organic waste, etc.. Discover new technologies exploring 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, like rivers, lakes, and wetlands. 


Bioproducts Engineering Specialization
Develop 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 to reduce human impact on our planet.

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

Download the Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Major overview PDF !

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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

Contact Us

If you have questions, would like to meet faculty, or tour our labs, please contact our Student and Program Support Specialist, Erik Joerres - email: [email protected] or phone: +1 612 624 9603

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.

Other related fields

Given the strong scientific and engineering background, students and graduates can pursue further education in related fields including: medicine, law, business and many other industries.

Major Coordinator(s)

Professor Ulrike Tschirner
204 Kaufert Laboratory
2004 Folwell Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108
[email protected]
+1 612 624 8798

Academic Advisor(s)

View your advisor's name and contact information on MyU

You may schedule an appointment in one of three ways:

Contacting the Director of the Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering undergraduate program can also be helpful in answering your BBE major-specific questions.