Machinery systems engineering is what many students initially perceive biological systems engineering to be. These engineers are trained to design machines for production agriculture and construction. Concepts covered in this field include power transmission, traction, hydraulic power, and crop handling, such as planting and harvesting.

Over the past 50 years, machines have improved production efficiency in all aspects of life. Machinery systems engineers have played a key role in moving society from the highly manual culture of the early 20th century to the highly technical culture of the late 20th century. Even with these advances, the job of the machinery systems engineer is not complete. Concern for our natural environment and worker safety, and the constant desire to reduce costs and energy consumption while improving production efficiency, will continue to challenge machinery systems engineers.

Major Requirements
Common Requirements53
Specialization & Technical Electives43
Total Credits101

Common Requirements

See Major Requirements.

Machinery Systems Engineering Specialization

This is a named option that will appear on the student's transcript upon completion.

BSE/M E 475 Engineering Principles of Agricultural Machinery3
BSE/M E 476 Engineering Principles of Off-Road Vehicles3
E M A 202 Dynamics3
or M E 240 Dynamics
M E 306 Mechanics of Materials3
or E M A 303 Mechanics of Materials
E M A/M E 307 Mechanics of Materials Lab1
M E 231 Introductory Engineering Graphics2
M E 313 Manufacturing Processes3
M E 340 Introduction to Dynamic Systems3
M E 342 Design of Machine Elements3
M E 361 Thermodynamics3
M E 363 Fluid Dynamics3
Select one of the following BSE breadth courses:2-3
Renewable Energy Systems
On-Site Waste Water Treatment and Dispersal
Rheology of Foods and Biomaterials
Biorefining: Energy and Products from Renewable Resources
Food and Bioprocessing Operations
Sediment and Bio-Nutrient Engineering and Management
Irrigation and Drainage Systems Design
Small Watershed Engineering
Food and Pharmaceutical Separations
Total Credits32-33

Technical Electives

Select courses from one or more of the following four technical elective categories to bring the total number of credits in the General Program Area or in the selected specialization area to 43. See the BSE Undergraduate Student Handbook for a list of recommended technical electives for various areas of specialization.

A. Introduction to Engineering Courses (freshmen only)

INTEREGR 101 Contemporary Issues in the Engineering Profession2
INTEREGR 102 Introduction to Society's Engineering Grand Challenges2
INTEREGR 110 Introduction to Engineering1
INTEREGR 111 Introduction to the Engineering Design Process and Profession2
INTEREGR 160 Introduction to Engineering Design3
INTEREGR 170 Design Practicum3

B. Independent Study/Instruction Courses

CALS or CoE courses with a 001, 299, 399, or 699 course number.  No more than 3 credits of coursework in this category can be used to meet technical elective requirements.

C. Upper-Level Courses

Part 1. Upper-Level Engineering Courses

This includes BSE courses not taken to meet other curricular requirements. This does not include independent study/instruction courses.

Any Engineering course numbered 300 or above
E M A 202 Dynamics3
or M E 240 Dynamics

Part 2. Upper-Level Science Courses

This includes BSE courses not taken to meet other curricular requirements. This does not include independent study/instruction courses.

Advanced biological, natural, and physical science courses (i.e., courses with a B, N, or P designation)
CHEM 341 Elementary Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 342 Elementary Organic Chemistry Laboratory1
CHEM 343 Introductory Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 344 Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 345 Intermediate Organic Chemistry3
CHEM/​M S & E  421 Polymeric Materials3
AGRONOMY/ATM OCN/SOIL SCI 532 Environmental Biophysics3

D. Lower-Level Science and Engineering Courses, Breadth Courses

Elementary and intermediate biological, natural and physical science courses except elementary and intermediate math courses; College of Engineering courses with a 100 or 200 level designation; College of Agricultural and Life Sciences courses, Institute of Environmental Studies courses, and/or School of Business courses. Independent study/instruction courses cannot be counted in this category. No more than 12 credits of coursework in this category can be used to meet technical elective requirements.


BSE 508 Biological Systems Engineering Design Practicum I2
BSE 509 Biological Systems Engineering Design Practicum II 13
Fundamentals of Engineering Exam 1

Sample Biological Systems Engineering Four-Year Plan—Machinery Systems Engineering Specialization

MATH 2215MATH 2224
CHEM 10915PHYSICS 2025
General Education Course3INTEREGR 170 or 1102
E P D 1552M E 2312
 COMP SCI 3103
 15 16
Total Credits 31
MATH 2344M E 3613
General Education Course3M E 3063
E M A 2013M E/​E M A  3071
Biological Science Course3STAT 3243
BSE 2493BSE 3493
 E M A 2023
 BSE 3081
 16 17
Total Credits 33
BSE/​M E  4753M E 3403
MATH 3203BSE/​M E  4763
M E 3633E P D 3973
I SY E 3133M E 3133
BSE 2703BSE 5082
 BSE 3653
 15 17
Total Credits 32
BSE 5093General Education Courses6
BSE Breadth Requirement3Technical Electives9
Technical Elective5 
M E 3423 
 14 15
Total Credits 29