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Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering - Biosystems Option

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Major

The Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABEN) program prepares men and women for careers requiring application of physical, biological, and engineering sciences to develop solutions relating to: the design and production of machine systems; the production and handling of biological materials; processing of food, feed, fiber, and fuel; and the preservation of natural resources and environmental quality. A major in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering can serve a broad range of career interests and can provide excellent career opportunities for men and women from diverse backgrounds.

The program educational objectives of this major are to educate and produce graduates who will become engineers who:

  1. have the ability to use their technical knowledge and design and problem solving skills throughout their careers,
  2. have the interpersonal and collaborative skills and the capacity necessary for productive careers, and
  3. can use their disciplinary knowledge and educational depth and breadth to deal with changing career opportunities in agricultural and related industries.

These objectives support the department mission of developing and extending knowledge through engineering and technology that advances the productivity of agricultural production, the processing and utilization of biological materials, and the management of environmental resources.

Agricultural and biosystems engineering integrates engineering topics, engineering design, and biological sciences in a single program with two concentrations: agricultural engineering and biosystems engineering. While there is considerable overlap between the agricultural engineering (AGEN) and the biosystems engineering (BSEN) concentrations, the BSEN concentration includes a heavier emphasis on fundamental biological and chemical sciences. The AGEN concentration includes a heavier emphasis in the physical sciences. A wide range of electives in related disciplines can be used to compliment the disciplinary course work and to prepare for specific career interests. Although not required by the curriculum, students are encouraged to take advantage of Cooperative Education experiences or the opportunity of paid internships where they gain hands-on experience in engineering.

Biosystems Engineering Option

Graduates in biosystems engineering integrate engineering, biology, and chemistry in a variety of applications. Graduates may work in careers with the following goals: develop innovative green products and industries; convert bio-based resources to food, fuel, and other renewable products; design new generations of devices or systems for biological systems; and control biological systems for natural resource protection, waste remediation, and ecosystem restoration. Graduates may work with industries to create new and improved processes through the innovative use of microorganisms, plant and animal cells, and enzymes or they may develop sensors, control systems and computer models to monitor and control biological processes occurring in industry or the environment. Graduates with a biosystems engineering concentration may also pursue a professional or graduate degree in engineering, medicine, veterinary medicine, management, or law.

The faculty assist with career planning and job placement of graduates. Students interested in careers involving production, delivery, management, and technical support of systems for food, agricultural, or closely related industries rather than engineering or design should consider the Agricultural Systems Management major offered by the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources.

Major Requirements

Major: Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering
Option: Biosystems

Degree Type: B.S.A.B.En
Minimum Degree Credits to Graduate: 133

General Education Requirements for Baccalaureate Degree

  • A dynamic list of approved general education courses offered by term is available on the NDSU General Education Requirements website.
  • General education courses may be used to satisfy requirements for both general education and the major, minor, and program emphases, where applicable. Students should carefully review the major, minor, and program emphases requirements for minimum grade restrictions, if applicable.
First Year Experience (F)1
Skills For Academic Success (Also offered with the following prefixes: ABEN, AGRI, BUSN, HD&E, ME, NURS, PHRM)
Communication (C)12
College Composition I
College Composition II
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Upper Division Writing
Quantitative Reasoning (R) 3
Science and Technology (S) 10
Humanities and Fine Arts (A) 6
Social and Behavioral Sciences (B) 6
Wellness (W) 2
Cultural Diversity (D) *†
Global Perspectives (G) *†
Total Credits40

Major Requirements - Biosystems Option

ABEN Core Requirements:
ABEN 110Introduction to Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering3
ABEN 255Computer Aided Analysis & Design3
ABEN 263Biological Materials Processing3
ABEN 444Transport Processes3
ABEN 482Instrumentation & Measurements3
ABEN 486Design Project I2
ABEN 487Design Project II2
ABEN 491Seminar1
ABEN 496Field Experience1
ABEN 300-400 Electives: Select 9 credits form the following:9
Electric Energy Application in Agriculture
Numerical Modeling in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Bioprocess Engineering
Bioenvironmental Systems Design
Biobased Energy
Process Engineering for Food, Biofuels and Bioproducts
Resource Conservation and Irrigation Engineering
Agricultural Power
Machinery Analysis & Design
Fluid Power Systems Design
Drainage and Wetland Engineering
MATH 128Introduction to Linear Algebra1
MATH 165Calculus I (May satisfy general education category R)4
MATH 166Calculus II4
MATH 259Multivariate Calculus3
MATH 266Introduction to Differential Equations3
ME 221Engineering Mechanics I3
ME 222Engineering Mechanics II3
ME 350Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer3
BIOL 150General Biology I3
CHEM 121
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory (May satisfy general education category S)
CHEM 122
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory (May satisfy general education category S)
CHEM 240Survey of Organic Chemistry3
CE 309Fluid Mechanics3
Select one from the following:3
Writing in the Technical Professions
Writing in the Sciences
Researching and Writing Grants and Proposal
ENGR 402Engineering Ethics and Social Responsibility1
IME 440Engineering Economy2
IME 460Evaluation of Engineering Data3
or STAT 330 Introductory Statistics
PHYS 252
University Physics II
and University Physics II Laboratory (May satisfy general education category S)
Program Electives: Select the following program electives in each category from courses listed in the Program Electives Tab. The minimum credit in each category will apply.24
Engineering ElectivesSelect a minimum of 9 credits from the Program Electives Tab.
Chemistry/Biological Science ElectivesSelect a minimum of 6 credits from the Program Electives Tab.
Technical ElectivesSelect a minimum of 6 elective courses from the Program Electives Tab.
Computer ElectiveSelect a minimum of 3 credits from the Program Electives Tab.
Total Credits109

Degree Requirements and Notes

A student must complete at least 60 semester credits of professional level course work in his/her program while in residence and enrolled in the college.  Students transferring into the college from programs with professional accreditation are exempt from this residency requirement but are subject to the residency requirement of NDSU.

Program Electives for ABEN:

Biosystems Option - Program Electives

Engineering Electives: Select 9 credits from the following:9
Fluid Mechanics Laboratory
Introduction to Environmental Engineering
Environmental Engineering Laboratory
Electrical Engineering I
Mechanics of Materials
Materials Science and Engineering
Chemistry/Biological Science Electives: Select 6 credits from the following:6
Animal Genetics
Physiology of Reproduction
Foundations of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I
Foundations of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II
General Biology I Laboratory
General Biology II
General Biology II Laboratory
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
Genetics Laboratory
General Ecology
BOT 314
Plant Physiology
Plant Ecology
CHEM 260
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
Organic Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry II Laboratory
Introductory Microbiology
Introductory Microbiology Lab
General Microbiology
General Microbiology Lab
General Microbiology II
General Microbiology Lab II
Microbial Ecology
Cell Biology
Technical Electives: Select 6 credits from the following or from additional courses:6
Methods of Biochemical Research
Methods of Recombinant DNA Technology
Introduction to Food Science and Technology
Food Processing I
Cereal Technology
Computer Elective: Select 3 credits from the following:3
Civil Engineering Graphic Communications
Visual BASIC
Computer Science I
Introduction to Computing
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
CAD/CAM for Manufacturing
Fundamentals of Visual Communication for Engineers
Modeling of Engineering Systems
Total Credits24
ABEN 1103ABEN 496 (Ag Tech Expo)1
ABEN 1891ME 2213
CHEM 1213CHEM 1223
CHEM 121L1CHEM 122L1
ENGL 1103ENGL 1203
MATH 1654MATH 1664
BIOL 1503Computer Elective3
 18 18
ABEN 2553ABEN 2633
CHEM 2403PHYS 2524
COMM 1103PHYS 252L1
MATH 1281MATH 2663
MATH 2593Gen Ed Elective3
ME 2223CHEM/BIO Elective3
 16 17
CE 3093ABEN 4443
IME 4402ABEN 4823
IME 4603ME 3503
ENGL 321, 324, or 4593ABEN Elective3
ENGR Elective3Gen Ed Elective5
CHEM/BIO Elective3 
 17 17
ABEN 4862ABEN 4872
ABEN 4911ABEN Elective3
ENGR 4021ENGR Elective3
ABEN Elective3Gen Ed Elective3
Gen Ed Elective3Tech Elective3
ENGR Elective3 
Tech Elective3 
 16 14
Total Credits: 133