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Biosystems Engineering Undergraduate Program

UK is the only university in Kentucky that offers biosystems engineering as an undergraduate major. Further, the biosystems engineering program includes more specialty areas than other similar departments across the country. This flexibility in the curriculum allows for students to customize their technical electives to their future career goals. Undergraduate certificates are also available in power and energy as well as distillation, wine and brewing studies. Below are our areas of study:


Prepares engineers to work in natural resource conservation and environmental quality enhancement. Engineers in this area study surface water hydrology, groundwater hydrology, sediment transport, water quality, chemical rate and transport, waste management, reclamation of disturbed lands, site remediation, irrigation and drainage. Download the Bioenvironmental Curriculum here.

Machine Systems

Prepares engineers to conceive and design power units, tillage, planting and harvesting systems, materials handling equipment and processing equipment. Production and processing of biological products relies heavily on the use of automated machinery. Engineers in this area work with fundamental concepts including system dynamics, kinetics, automated controls, machine design, kinematics, fluid power, soil dynamics, plant-machine interactions and digital electronics. Download Machine Systems Curriculum here.

Controlled Environment

Involves the development and design of heating, cooling and ventilation systems for the control of indoor environments. Environmental control is an essential component of total confinement animal housing, greenhouse production, aquaculture and human housing. Engineers in this option study heat and mass transfer, physics of plant and animal environments, biometeorology, structural design, air quality, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning design. Download the Controlled Environment Curriculum here.

Food and Bioprocessing

Involves the development of equipment and methods for efficient and ecologically sound manufacturing of food products (from the farm to the grocery) and biological commodities (such as proteins, enzymes, biofuels). Engineers in this area receive extensive training in microbiology, biochemical engineering, heat and mass transfer, enzyme kinetics and fermentation, storage of biological products and materials handling. Download the Food and Bioprocessing Curriculum here.


Allows students to complete an undergraduate degree in biosystems engineering that has been approved by the F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Kentucky, which only offers graduate-level degrees. Undergraduates who have completed this option and are in good academic standing are encouraged to apply to the biomedical engineering graduate program at UK. For more information contact: Joseph Dvorak, Ph.D., P.E. Phone: (859) 257-5658; email: Download the Pre-Biomedical Curriculum here.


An approved pre-vet curriculum in which the student may obtain a biosystems engineering degree and simultaneously fulfill the requirements for admission to veterinary school. For more information contact: Joseph Dvorak, Ph.D., P.E. Phone: (859) 257-5658; email: Download the Pre-Med/Pre-Vet Curriculum here.

Timeline & Requirements

The undergraduate biosystems engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012 - telephone: (410) 347-7700.

Click here to learn more about the curriculum and apply to our program.