Natural resources and environmental engineers work with all kinds of natural resources, like water, soil, plants, and air. For example, they could be responsible for the design of livestock or wildlife watering stations in a natural forest or the design of a recycling waste management system on a dairy farm. Graduates find challenging and rewarding work with engineering and environmental consultants, with government agencies like the Forest Service, and with companies such as Valmont Irrigation and Creative Habitat.

Conserving soil and water resources is critical to our future. Expanding populations and increasing needs for food, goods, and services are placing an ever growing demand upon our precious soil and water resources. Natural resources and environmental engineers are finding ways to manage and conserve our resources today so that we can meet the demands of the future.

Major Requirements
Common Requirements53
Specialization & Technical Electives43
Total Credits101

Common Requirements

See Major Requirements.

Natural Resources and Environment Specialization

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

BSE/CIV ENGR/SOIL SCI 372 On-Site Waste Water Treatment and Dispersal2
BSE 472 Sediment and Bio-Nutrient Engineering and Management3
BSE 473 Irrigation and Drainage Systems Design2
BSE 571 Small Watershed Engineering3
M E 361 Thermodynamics3
CIV ENGR 310 Fluid Mechanics3
or M E 363 Fluid Dynamics
BSE 201 Land Surveying Fundamentals1
E M A 303 Mechanics of Materials3
or M E 306 Mechanics of Materials
ENVIR ST/GEOG/SOIL SCI 230 Soil: Ecosystem and Resource3
or SOIL SCI 301 General Soil Science
Select one of the following BSE breadth courses:2-3
Renewable Energy Systems
Rheology of Foods and Biomaterials
Biorefining: Energy and Products from Renewable Resources
Food and Bioprocessing Operations
Engineering Principles of Agricultural Machinery
Engineering Principles of Off-Road Vehicles
Food and Pharmaceutical Separations
Total Credits25-26

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—Natural Resources and Environment Specialization

MATH 2215MATH 2224
E P D 1552SOIL SCI 301 or 2303-4
CHEM 10915COMP SCI 3103
General Education Course3INTEREGR 170 or 1102
 Biological Sciences Course3
 15 15-16
Total Credits 30-31
E M A 2013STAT 3243
MATH 2344BSE 3493
BSE 2493PHYSICS 2025
BSE 2703BSE 4723
BSE 2011BSE 3081
General Education Course3 
 17 15
Total Credits 32
MATH 3203E P D 3973
BSE 4732E M A 3033
CIV ENGR 3103BSE 5082
I SY E 3133General Education Courses3
Technical Elective3BSE 3653
 16 17
Total Credits 33
BSE 5093Technical Electives6
M E 3613General Education Courses6
Technical Elective3Free Elective Course3
BSE Breadth Requirement3 
General Education Course3 
 15 15
Total Credits 30