unl biosystems engineering

Last Updated on July 31, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

If you are interested in learning about unl biosystems engineering for the first time, you may find the subject overwhelming to those who have never researched the subject before, but you will become fascinated at first glance with the details you learn. 

Find out more about biological systems engineering masters, biological systems engineering, civil engineering unl requirements, and biological systems engineering salary. See also articles related to biomedical engineering unl on collegelearners.


Website: http://bsen.unl.edu/

Biological systems engineering (BSEN) is one of two engineering degree programs offered in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering. Biological systems engineers need to understand biological phenomena and apply engineering principles to solve challenges faced by society. To solve complex problems, a biological systems engineer needs not only to develop expertise in a specific discipline but also be prepared to work across disciplinary boundaries in diverse professional communities. As such, BSEN students develop both depth through engineering coursework in one of three emphasis areas (biomedical engineering, food and bioprocess engineering, or environmental and water resources engineering) and breadth through purposefully selected coursework in the other areas. Biological systems engineers with an emphasis in biomedical engineering might work on systems to micropropagate tissue culture, design devices for monitoring and correcting heart arrhythmias, or develop biological sensors and imaging devices for detecting diseases in humans. Biological systems engineers with an emphasis in food and bioprocess engineering might advance products and manufacturing practices through the design of equipment and processes for producing foods and biofuels. Biological systems engineers with an emphasis in environmental and water resources engineering might restore streams, lakes and wetlands; manage ecosystems; minimize nonpoint source pollution; or design systems for animal waste management.

By two to six years after graduation, BSEN alumni will share the attribute of improving the organization for which they work and the community and country in which they live. They will do this whether they are involved in biomedical engineering, environmental and water resources engineering, food and bioprocess engineering, or other professional endeavors such as business, law, or medicine. In doing so, they will:

  • Provide innovative and effective solutions to problems in a variety of work environments through the use of their unique background in biological systems engineering and the biological sciences.
  • Look beyond components in isolation thereby providing holistic solutions to complex issues involving (for example) interactions at the ecosystem, organism, organ, cellular or subcellular level.
  • Think logically using appropriate elements of mathematics, science, and engineering to develop, manage, and interpret data, to correctly interpret new research findings, and to design new systems for the benefit of society.
  • Successfully integrate technical knowledge with organizational, listening, communication, and interpersonal skills to lead and work effectively in teams, and to respectfully articulate the role of engineering decisions in the workplace, community, and world.
  • Responsibly address issues such as health and safety, personal and professional ethics, cultural diversity, as well as the social, environmental, and global impacts of their work.
  • Continue their personal growth, professional development, and professional and community service through various opportunities provided by institutions, professional organizations and other venues.

The Department of Biological Systems Engineering is located in Chase Hall on East Campus. BSEN students participate in classes and laboratories on both East and City Campuses. BSEN courses are offered on East Campus. Basic courses in math, chemistry, physics, engineering sciences, computers, and electives in mechanical, civil, electrical, and chemical engineering are taken on City Campus. Convenient bus transportation is available between campuses.

Students benefit from small classes and personal acquaintances with faculty. In consultation with their advisor, students select electives that permit specialization in an emphasis area applicable to their career aspirations. Many students work part-time on departmental research projects, gaining valuable experience for employment in industry and for graduate or professional studies. Students also benefit from summer jobs, internships and co-op programs. These opportunities give students practical experience to learn about careers in engineering. Students also gain valuable experience through participation in professional organizations such as the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, the Water and Environmental Federation, the Soil and Water Resources Club, the Biomedical Engineering Society, the Nebraska Society of Professional Engineers and the Society for Women Engineers.

Major Department Admission

Pre-professionally admitted College of Engineering (COE) students majoring in biological systems engineering (BSEN) have their records examined for advancement to professionally-admitted status during the fall, spring, and summer immediately following the term in which:

  • They have completed 43 credit hours applicable to the degree including 6 hours of BSEN subject coursework.
  • Are enrolled in or have completed MECH 223.
  • Have removed all admissions deficiencies, except they may be currently completing the last class to remove the foreign language deficiency.

Students must be professionally admitted in order to enroll in some upper-division courses including AGEN 470/BSEN 470 Design I in Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering.

To be professionally admitted to BSEN, the student must meet the general professional admission criteria of the College of Engineering and not already have been denied admission by two other engineering majors or twice by the BSEN program, and have removed all admissions deficiencies within the first 30 hours of enrollment at Nebraska, except for the foreign language deficiency which must be completed within the first 60 hours of enrollment at Nebraska. 

  • Students who meet the above criteria with a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or greater will be professionally admitted without further review.
  • Students with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 but less than 2.8 will have their record reviewed by Department faculty for a decision of professional admission, conditional professional admission, or denial of professional admission.
  • Students with a cumulative GPA less than 2.5 will be denied professional admission to the BSEN program.

Students who have been denied professional admission to the BSEN program once and not also been denied professional admission to another engineering program may continue taking courses in the BSEN program and will be reconsidered for professional admission again the next term. Students who have twice been denied professional admission to the BSEN program are not allowed to continue in the program.

The Department faculty may recommend conditional admission and specify deficiencies and performance criteria required to transition out of conditional status. If a student has not met the professional admission criteria and has not, in the opinion of the Department faculty, demonstrated a minimum standard of good professional judgment in the pursuit of their academic program as expected of degreed engineers, they may be denied professional admission to the degree program. The student may appeal this decision to the biological systems engineering department head and then, if necessary, to the College of Engineering Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee.

ACE Requirements

All students must fulfill the Achievement-Centered Education (ACE) requirements. Information about the ACE program may be viewed at ace.unl.edu.

The minimum requirements of the BSEN program include courses involving ACE outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, and 10. Students should work with their advisor to select courses that satisfy ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, and 9.


College Admission

College Entrance Requirements

Students must have high school credit for (one unit is equal to one high school year):

  1. Mathematics – 4 units: 2 of algebra, 1 of geometry, and 1 of precalculus and trigonometry
  2. English – 4 units
  3. Natural sciences – 3 units that must include 1 unit of physics and 1 unit of chemistry (chemistry requirement waived for students in construction management)
  4. Foreign language – 2 units of a single foreign language
  5. Social studies – 3 units
  6. Students having a composite ACT score of 28 or greater (or equivalent SAT score) will be admitted to the College of Engineering even if they lack any one of the following: trigonometry, chemistry, or physics.
  7. Students having an ACT score of 19 or less in English (or equivalent SAT score) must take ENGL 150 Writing and Inquiry or ENGL 151 Writing and Argument.

A total of 16 units is required for admission.

Students must have an ACT (enhanced) score of 24 or greater (or equivalent SAT). Students who lack entrance requirements may be admitted based on ACT scores, high school rank and credits, or may be admitted to pre-engineering status in the Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center. Pre-engineering students are advised within the Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center.

Students for whom English is not their language of nurture must meet the minimum English proficiency requirements of the University.

Students who lack entrance units may complete precollege training by Independent Study through the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Office of On-line and Distance Education, in summer courses, or as a part of their first or second semester course loads while in the Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center or other Colleges at Nebraska.

Students should consult their advisor, their department chair, or Engineering Student Services if they have questions on current policies.

Other Admission Requirements

Students who transfer to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln from other accredited colleges or universities and wish to be admitted to the College of Engineering (COE) must meet COE freshman entrance requirements and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 and be calculus-ready. Students not meeting either of these requirements must enroll in the Explore Center or another University college until they meet COE admission requirements. Students transferring from UNO, UNL, or UNK to the College of Engineering must be in good academic standing with their institution.

The COE accepts courses for transfer for which a C or better grade was received. Although the University of Nebraska–Lincoln accepts D grades from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and at Omaha, not all majors in the COE accept such low grades. Students must conform to the requirements of their intended major and, in any case, are strongly encouraged to repeat courses with a grade of C- or less.

All transfer students must adopt the curricular requirements of the undergraduate catalog current at the time of transfer to the COE—not that in use when they entered the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Upon admission to Nebraska, students wishing to pursue degree programs in the COE will be classified and subject to the policies defined in the subsequent section.

Students who were previously admitted to COE and are returning to the College of Engineering must demonstrate a cumulative GPA of 2.5 in order to be readmitted to COE.


Grade Rules

Grade Appeals

In the event of a dispute involving any college policies or grades, the student should appeal to his/her instructor and appropriate department chair or school director (in that order). If a satisfactory solution is not achieved, the student may appeal his/her case through the College Academic Appeals Committee on his/her campus.


Students must fulfill the requirements stated in the catalog for the academic year in which they are first admitted at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. In consultation with advisors, a student may choose to follow a subsequent catalog for any academic year in which they are admitted to and enrolled as a degree-seeking student at Nebraska in the College of Engineering. Students must complete all degree requirements from a single catalog year. The catalog which a student follows for degree requirements may not be more than 10 years old at the time of graduation.


Graduates of the biological systems engineering program will have:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

The above student outcomes have been approved by the ABET Engineering Area Delegation for use beginning with the 2019-20 academic year, and have been adopted by the faculty of the Department of ­­­­­­­­Biological Systems Engineering.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *