Biological Engineering (BS)

To see more about what you will learn in this program, visit the Learning Outcomes website!

The BE curriculum is jointly administered by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering and combines the fields of engineering, biology, chemistry, and agriculture. The Biological Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org. BE graduates are qualified to become registered professional engineers by passing the appropriate examinations and upon completing the engineering experience requirements. Specific curriculum requirements are available online.

BAE faculty, in concert with program constituencies, has developed the following undergraduate program educational objectives (PEOs). Within the first five years following graduation, NC State's Biological Engineering graduates will:

  • Excel in their careers by applying their engineering knowledge, critical-thinking skills, systematic approach to problem solving, and innovation to improve biological and agricultural systems;
  • Work effectively both independently and as part of professional teams and demonstrate leadership potential in project management;
  • Display professionalism, ethics, equity, and inclusivity in the practice of engineering to safeguard life, health, and public welfare;
  • Communicate effectively in a professional environment; and
  • Be engaged in life-long learning and professional development.

Plan Requirements

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterHours
CH 101 Chemistry - A Molecular Science 1 3
CH 102 General Chemistry Laboratory 1 1
E 101 Introduction to Engineering & Problem Solving 2 1
E 115 Introduction to Computing Environments 1
ENG 101 Academic Writing and Research 2 4
MA 141 Calculus I 1 4
 Hours14
Spring Semester
Select one of the following: 4
Chemistry - A Quantitative Science
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory
 
Introductory Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
 
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
 
MA 241 Calculus II 1 4
PY 205
PY 206
Physics for Engineers and Scientists I
and Physics for Engineers and Scientists I Laboratory 1
4
Select one of the following: 3
Introduction to Agricultural & Resource Economics  
Introduction to Agricultural & Resource Economics  
Principles of Microeconomics  
Fundamentals of Economics  
 Hours15
Second Year
Fall Semester
BAE 200 Computer Methods in Biological Engineering 2
CE 214
Engineering Mechanics-Statics 2
or Engineering Statics
3
MA 242 Calculus III 4
PY 208
PY 209
Physics for Engineers and Scientists II
and Physics for Engineers and Scientists II Laboratory
4
BIO 181
Introductory Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity
or Introductory Biology: Cellular and Molecular Biology
4
 Hours17
Spring Semester
Select one of the following: 4
Introduction to Biological and Agricultural Engineering Methods  
Introduction to AutoCAD Civil 3D for Environmental & Ecological Engineers
and Introduction to Environmental and Ecological Engineering
 
CE 215
Engineering Mechanics-Dynamics 2
or Engineering Dynamics
3
MA 341 Applied Differential Equations I 3
MAE 201 Engineering Thermodynamics I 3
Biological Science/Chemistry Elective 3
 Hours16
Third Year
Fall Semester
BAE 302 Transport Phenomena 3
Select one of the following: 3
Introduction to Food Process Engineering  
Analytical Methods in Engineering Design  
Fundamentals of Hydrology for Engineers  
Structures & Environment  
CE 282
Hydraulics
or Fluid Mechanics
 
BAE 305 Biological Engineering Circuits 4
ENG 331
Communication for Engineering and Technology
or Communication for Science and Research
3
 Hours13
Spring Semester
Select one of the following: 3
Introduction to Food Process Engineering  
Analytical Methods in Engineering Design  
Fundamentals of Hydrology for Engineers  
Structures & Environment  
CE 225
Mechanics of Solids
or Solid Mechanics
 
ST 370 Probability and Statistics for Engineers 3
BAE 401 Sensors and Controls 3
Advanced Biology Elective 3
 Hours12
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
Select one of the following: 3
Introduction to Food Process Engineering  
Analytical Methods in Engineering Design  
Fundamentals of Hydrology for Engineers  
Structures & Environment  
BAE 451 Engineering Design I 2
Engineering Elective 3
Engineering Elective 3
Select one of the following: 3
Environmental Ethics  
Science and Civilization  
Ethical Dimensions of Progress  
 Hours14
Spring Semester
BAE 452 Engineering Design II 2
Select one of the following: 3
Industrial Microbiology and Bioprocessing  
Principles and Applications of Ecological Engineering  
Postharvest Engineering  
Industrial Microbiology and Bioprocessing  
 Hours5
 Total Hours106

GEP Courses 

GEP Humanities6
GEP Social Sciences3
GEP Health and Exercise Studies2
GEP Additional Breadth (Humanities/Social Sciences/Visual and Performing Arts)3
GEP Interdisciplinary Perspectives2
GEP U.S. Diversity (verify requirement)
GEP Global Knowledge (verify requirement)
Foreign Language Proficiency (verify requirement)
Total Hours16

Biological Science/Chemistry Electives

AEC 360Ecology4
BIO 361Developmental Biology3
BIO 414Cell Biology3
CH 201Chemistry - A Quantitative Science3
CH 202Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory1
CH 220Introductory Organic Chemistry3
CH 221Organic Chemistry I3
CH 222Organic Chemistry I Lab1
FS 462Postharvest Physiology3
FS 562Postharvest Physiology3
GN 311Principles of Genetics4
HS 462Postharvest Physiology3
HS 562Postharvest Physiology3
MB 351General Microbiology3
PB 321Introduction to Whole Plant Physiology3
PB 360Ecology4
SSC 200Soil Science3
SSC 332Environmental Soil Microbiology3

Advanced Biology Elective

AEC 360Ecology4
BIO 361Developmental Biology3
BIO 414Cell Biology3
FS 462Postharvest Physiology3
FS 562Postharvest Physiology3
GN 311Principles of Genetics4
HS 462Postharvest Physiology3
HS 562Postharvest Physiology3
MB 351General Microbiology3
PB 321Introduction to Whole Plant Physiology3
PB 360Ecology4
SSC 332Environmental Soil Microbiology3

Engineering Electives

BAE 322Introduction to Food Process Engineering3
BAE 361Analytical Methods in Engineering Design3
BAE 371Fundamentals of Hydrology for Engineers3
BAE 425Industrial Microbiology and Bioprocessing3
BAE 462Machinery Design and Applications3
BAE 472Irrigation and Drainage3
BAE 473Introduction to Hydrologic and Water Quality Modeling3
BAE 474Principles and Applications of Ecological Engineering3
BAE 481Structures & Environment3
BAE 525Industrial Microbiology and Bioprocessing3
BAE 528Biomass to Renewable Energy Processes3
BAE 572Irrigation and Drainage3
BAE 573Introduction to Hydrologic and Water Quality Modeling3
CHE 435Process Systems Analysis and Control3
ISE 311Engineering Economic Analysis3
SSC 473Introduction to Hydrologic and Water Quality Modeling3
SSC 573Introduction to Hydrologic and Water Quality Modeling3
TE 435Process Systems Analysis and Control3

Semester Sequence

To see more about what you will learn in this program, visit the Learning Outcomes website!

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterHours
CH 101 Chemistry - A Molecular Science 1 3
CH 102 General Chemistry Laboratory 1 1
E 101 Introduction to Engineering & Problem Solving 1 1
E 115 Introduction to Computing Environments 1
ENG 101 Academic Writing and Research 1 4
MA 141 Calculus I 1 4
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
 Hours15
Spring Semester
Select one of the following: 4
Chemistry - A Quantitative Science
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory
 
Introductory Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
 
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
 
MA 241 Calculus II 1 4
PY 205 Physics for Engineers and Scientists I 1 3
PY 206 Physics for Engineers and Scientists I Laboratory 1 1
Select one of the following: 3
Fundamentals of Economics  
Introduction to Agricultural & Resource Economics  
Principles of Microeconomics  
 Hours15
Second Year
Fall Semester
BAE 200 Computer Methods in Biological Engineering 2
MAE 206
Engineering Statics 1
or Engineering Mechanics-Statics
3
MA 242 Calculus III 4
PY 208 Physics for Engineers and Scientists II 3
PY 209 Physics for Engineers and Scientists II Laboratory 1
BIO 181
Introductory Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity
or Introductory Biology: Cellular and Molecular Biology
4
 Hours17
Spring Semester
Select one of the following: 4
Introduction to Biological and Agricultural Engineering Methods  
Introduction to AutoCAD Civil 3D for Environmental & Ecological Engineers
and Introduction to Environmental and Ecological Engineering
 
MAE 208 Engineering Dynamics 3
MA 341 Applied Differential Equations I 3
MAE 201 Engineering Thermodynamics I 3
Biological Science/Chemistry Elective 3
 Hours16
Third Year
Fall Semester
BAE 302 Transport Phenomena 3
Select one of the following: 3
Analytical Methods in Engineering Design  
Introduction to Food Process Engineering  
Fundamentals of Hydrology for Engineers  
Structures & Environment  
MAE 308
Fluid Mechanics 1
or Hydraulics
3
ENG 331
Communication for Engineering and Technology
or Communication for Science and Research
3
BAE 305 Biological Engineering Circuits 4
 Hours16
Spring Semester
Select one of the following: 3
Analytical Methods in Engineering Design  
Introduction to Food Process Engineering  
Fundamentals of Hydrology for Engineers  
Structures & Environment  
MAE 214
Solid Mechanics 1
or Mechanics of Solids
3
ST 370 Probability and Statistics for Engineers 3
BAE 401 Sensors and Controls 3
Advanced Biology Elective 3
 Hours15
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
BAE 451 Engineering Design I 2
Engineering Electives 6
Select one of the following: 3
Analytical Methods in Engineering Design  
Introduction to Food Process Engineering  
Fundamentals of Hydrology for Engineers  
Structures & Environment  
Select one of the following: 3
Environmental Ethics  
Contemporary Science, Technology and Human Values  
Ethical Dimensions of Progress  
GEP Humanities 3
 Hours17
Spring Semester
BAE 452 Engineering Design II 2
Select one of the following: 3
Industrial Microbiology and Bioprocessing  
Principles and Applications of Ecological Engineering  
Postharvest Engineering  
GEP Social Sciences 3
GEP Interdisciplinary Perspectives 2
GEP Additional Breadth 3
GEP Humanities 3
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
 Hours17
 Total Hours128

Career Opportunities

BE students learn to solve a wide variety of engineering problems and will have opportunities for specialization though selection of a specific concentration. Scientific and engineering principles are applied: to conserve and manage air, energy, soil and water resources; to manage, protect and restore natural ecosystems; to understand and utilize biological, chemical and physical processes for the production and conversion of biomass to bio energy; to analyze, understand and utilize mechanical properties of biological materials; to design and develop machinery systems for all phases of agricultural and food production; to design and evaluate structures and environmental control systems for housing animals, plant growth, and biological product storage; to develop improved systems for processing and marketing food and agricultural products; and to design sensor-based instrumentation and control systems for biological and agricultural applications.

Graduates of the BE curriculum receive a Bachelor’s of Engineering in Biological Engineering, qualifying them for positions in design, development, and research in industry, government and public institutions. The curriculum also prepares students for post-graduate work leading to advanced degrees. Typical positions filled by recent BE graduates include: stream and wetlands restoration project manager; product design; development and testing engineer; plant engineering and management; engineering analysis and inspection for federal and state agencies; engineering consultant and research engineer. Entry-level salary ranges for BE graduates are similar to those of Civil, Industrial, and Mechanical Engineering graduates.

The BAET curriculum provides graduates opportunities in technical analysis, application and evaluation of agricultural production systems and environmental systems. The curriculum’s flexibility enables students to specialize technologically in agriculture, the environment, or business management. Careers include technical jobs in production agriculture, environmental systems, agribusiness sales and service, and agricultural extension.