Biological Engineering - B.S.B.E.

General Information

Degree & Major: Biological Engineering - B.S.B.E.
College Name: College of Engineering
Department Name: Chemical, Materials, and Biomedical Engineering
Dr. James N. Warnock
Founding Chair and Professor
(706) 542-0870
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Degree Requirements

College-wide Requirements

University-wide Requirements

Description: The goals of this program are to provide a fundamental understanding of biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and engineering and to apply this understanding to design devices and processes related to biosystems. Graduates have an excellent understanding of the complementary aspects of biology and engineering and work as professionals capable of implementing new ideas and technologies in complex biologically based industries.

The program meets critically important needs for engineering systems in the rapidly advancing field of biotechnology. Recent discoveries in biological sciences are providing new ways to beneficially manipulate biological systems ranging from individual cells to entire ecosystems. Engineers with expertise in biological systems 1) are involved in the development, design and manufacture of products for the medical healthcare industry, 2) understand and use techniques to modify and control biological systems needed in the chemical and biochemical industries including food production, pharmaceuticals and environmental protection and 3) design processes and products that prevent pollution formation or remediate polluted environments.

This four-year professional engineering program provides the student with a balance of basic sciences, humanities, social sciences, engineering sciences, biological sciences, and courses in engineering design and analysis. All students complete biological science courses in biology, organic chemistry, microbiology, and biochemistry with an option to select additional courses in genetics, cell biology, zoology, or botany. Engineering science courses required are statics, fluid mechanics, strength of materials, electrical circuits, heat transfer, and thermodynamics.

The development of both technical and communication skills is stressed throughout the program. Students are encouraged to participate in professional activities through local and national organizations.

The B.S.B.E. degree program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, 415 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201 - telephone: (410)347-7700. Graduating fourth-year students from the B.S.B.E. degree program must complete the Fundamentals of Engineering examination prior to graduation. Successful completion of this exam qualifies the student for Engineer in Training registration which is a prerequisite for the Professional Engineer registration.

The program educational objectives describe what graduates are expected to attain within a few years after graduation. Within a few years of graduation, graduates from the B.S. Biological Engineering program will have:

1. Achieved a high level of technical expertise and critical thinking to recognize, define and innovate design solutions for complex biological and healthcare-related problems that require integration of scientific and social knowledge.

2. Established themselves as effective team players who synthesize knowledge across disciplines in order to understand the societal impacts and ethical implications of decisions.

3. Proven themselves to be proficient communicators of complex technical information in written and oral formats with a wide variety of audiences.

4. Pursued self-directed and lifelong learning, such as graduate work or other continuing education.

Course work in the B.S.B.E. program is selected to assure that graduates develop the desired competencies in a wide range of engineering topics. The engineering design experience is integrated throughout the B.S.B.E. curriculum. All students are required to take a first-year course in Introduction to Engineering Design, a second-year course in Engineering Design Methodology, and a fourth-year capstone course in Engineering Design. The capstone course draws upon previous course work and includes a major engineering design team project which focuses on professional practice in the student's area of emphasis. The engineering design experience is structured to fulfill the above objectives.

Career Opportunities: Employment demand for engineers remains among the most favorable of all the professions. A particularly rapid increase in demand has occurred in the food, environmental, and therapeutic drug industries due to the recent development of processes and tools in biotechnology. Biological engineers will be essential to the solution of many process-development needs if the results from the efforts of life scientists are to be successfully transferred to full-scale production. Solving problems in biocatalysis, heat and mass transfer, efficient energy conversion and product recovery in biological processes requires an integration of the engineering and biological science disciplines.

The estimated number of job openings for biological engineers is about 2,500 per year for the next ten years. These positions include industrial fermentation, cell culture process engineering, filtration engineering, environmental consulting and regulation, and others. A B.S. in Biological Engineering will meet the educational qualifications for each of these positions. Graduates will also be highly qualified for employment in more traditional engineering positions.

Job Placement Service:
We receive numerous requests for engineering graduates from potential employers. We pass these along to senior engineering students; however, the UGA Career Center acts in the role of job placement.
of Transfer Students:
Transfer students must have a 2.7 overall GPA.

Special Requirements: All students must earn a grade of C or better in all required Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics courses and in the following engineering courses: ENGR 1120, 2110, 2120, 2140, 2170, 3140, 3150 and 3160. Except for those ENGR courses requiring a grade of C or better, a maximum of two ENGR courses with grades of D may be used to satisfy graduation requirements. Competency in a computer programming language is expected and may be satisfied with ENGR 1140.

Scholarships: The following scholarships are available for biological engineering majors in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department: Bruce E. Dixson Scholarship; Georgia Section ASAE Scholarship; Rudie Driftmier Scholarship; Goodloe Yancey Scholarships; B. Derrell McLendon Scholarship; Robert H. Brown Scholarship. In addition, many scholarships are available at the College and University levels.

For more information about scholarships offered by the College of Engineering, please visit the College of Engineering website or contact Patsy Adams (
Cooperative Education: The School offers its students an opportunity to integrate academic instruction and real-life applications through a cooperative plan of education. Usually beginning after the first year, the plan allows for alternating semesters of full-time, off-campus professional work experience in designated industries, agencies and laboratories arranged by the College. The student is considered by the University to be in an uninterrupted program of study since the student is enrolled for academic credit while on work-experience semesters. While co-op placement does not imply permanent employment of the student upon graduation, it does provide an extended period for mutual evaluation by the student and the cooperating industry enhancing the possibility of permanent employment.
Other Learning Opportunities: Undergraduate certificate programs in Informatics, Sustainability, and Coastal and Geographic Engineering are available to B.S.B.E. students. These certificates are jointly offered by the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Physics and Astronomy.