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Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Why BSE?

Biological systems engineers develop the techniques and processes to work with living systems, including microbes, plants and animals. They provide input to produce and process food, fiber, energy, chemical feedstock and pharmaceuticals. Emphasis is placed on the protection and conservation of our natural resources including efficient use of soil and water, environmental protection of air and water quality and bio-based remediation of contaminated soils.

What differences do biological systems engineers make in a global society?
Biological systems engineers are dedicated to the Earth’s sustainability and health and well-being of mankind. Many focus on increasing the productivity of food and  fiber systems while conserving limited natural resources. Others address environmental air and water quality issues on human health or the sustainability of local communities. Graduates are also making a global impact through successfully completing advanced degrees in medical and veterinary fields of study or medical engineering.

What are the career paths in biological systems engineering? 

  • Biological Focus: Biological Systems Engineers with a biological focus work with biological systems in areas such as bio-remediation, bio-materials, bio-based energy, bio-instrumentation or processing. The biological option fulfills the requirements of an engineering degree while providing students the flexibility to place emphasis on biological solutions to global issues.

  • Machinery Focus: Many BSE graduates design, test and evaluate machines used in agriculture, construction and related off-highway industries. The machinery option provides graduates with the analytical tools necessary to develop machines that reduce the cost of production in food and fiber systems with an understanding of environmental and energy constraints.

  • Environmental Focus: The environmental option focuses on design and management of systems that use or affect natural resources. Biological Systems Engineers work at the interface between biology and  engineering and utilize this knowledge base to address water quality issues in streams and lakes, soil and water conservation, effective utilization of water resources and air quality issues.

Why a biological systems engineering degree from K-State?


  • Only program in Kansas with emphasis on biological systems engineering
  • Nearly 25 % of BS graduates continue their education by seeking a Master or Doctorate degree


  • Extracurricular activities enhance decision-making abilities and classroom knowledge
  • Summer internships and research opportunities provide links to career paths


  • Students are encouraged to participate in travel and study abroad opportunities
  • Students from over 90 countries and all 50 states attend K-State providing multicultural experiences


  • More than 150 students and student-lead teams have been recognized at regional and national competitive events since 1976
  • Each year about 8 % of our engineering students are university premier scholars
  • BSE students have received Goldwater, Truman and Udall Scholarships


  • Students are able to explore new frontiers through research laboratories and design experiences
  • Design concepts early in the curriculum  enable students to apply creative thinking skills

What career opportunities are available with a biological systems engineering degree?

  • Human Health and Medicine
  • Medical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Bioprocessing
  • Food Engineering
  • Consulting Engineering
  • Environmental Engineer
  • State and Federal Agencies
  • Biological Production Systems
  • Off-Road Equipment Design and Testing
  • Patent Law
  • Design Food Processing Equipment
  • Entrepreneurs and Business Managers
  • Academics
  • International Consulting