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Twin Cities Campus

Bioproducts and Biosystems Science, Engineering and Management Ph.D.

Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Building, 1390 Eckles Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108 (612-625-7733; fax: 612-624-3005)
Email: bbe@umn.edu
  • Program Type: Doctorate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2017
  • Length of program in credits: 69
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The PhD offered by the bioproducts and biosystems science engineering and management (BBSEM) graduate program provides a strong foundation in the basic sciences, engineering, and management in support of the renewable bio-resources utilization, environmental quality, and national security while improving our global competitiveness. The areas of specialization include bioproducts science and engineering, biosystems science and engineering, and bioproducts marketing and management. Bioproducts science and engineering specialization focuses on the fundamental science and engineering of the various manufacturing processes used in the sustainable conversion of biomass into bio-based industrial and consumer products and their effective end-use applications. Bioproducts include "green" materials, chemicals and energy derived from bio-resources, including biofuels, bioenergy, biocomposites, bio-based plastics, adhesives, pulp and paper, building materials, and more. Biosystems science and engineering specialization is designed for students who seek to develop a strong foundation in physical sciences and engineering principles, which are applied to important problems involving biological systems. Potential areas of interest include water and soil management and protection; livestock environment; food engineering and value-added processing; machinery systems design; grain quality; safety, health, and risk management; renewable energy systems; and waste management. Bioproducts marketing and management specialization is designed for graduate students who seek to build on a strong, diverse background encompassing liberal arts, basic sciences, communications and product development, and marketing and management of bioproducts.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.20.
Students seeking the PhD should have a bachelor's degree in engineering, mathematics, the physical or biological sciences, or a related field from a recognized U.S. or international university.
Special Application Requirements:
Students seeking the PhD should also have a master's degree in engineering, mathematics, the physical or biological sciences, or a related field from a recognized U.S. or international university. Applicants should have a performance level on previous academic work required for a degree of at least a 3.2 GPA (on a 4.0 grading scale). Students expecting to pursue a PhD normally complete a master of science Plan A degree before starting their PhD programs. Exceptional students who want to go straight to the PhD from the bachelor's level may be admitted subject to conditions agreed upon by the advisor, the director of graduate studies, and the graduate program coordinator.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
  • IELTS
    • Total Score: 6.5
  • MELAB
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
36 credits are required in the major.
9 credits are required outside the major.
24 thesis credits are required.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 3 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
All doctoral level students must take BBE 8001, Seminar I (1 cr), and BBE 8002, Seminar II (1 cr), and BBE 8013, Parameter Estimation (3 cr), unless they can demonstrate to the BBE 8013 instructor that they have already mastered the course material, or have justified the selection of a suitable alternative. BBE 8001, BBE 8002, and BBE 8013, if taken at the master's level, count toward the PhD and do not have to be retaken. The PhD in bioproducts and biosystems science engineering and management requires extended study and intense intellectual effort, conducting cutting-edge research and advancing the forefront of knowledge in the subject matter area. Students develop skills that enable them to define problems or research questions, plan research, conduct independent research and/or lead research efforts, analyze data, and effectively communicate research results to a variety of audiences. All PhD degree programs must include a minimum of 45 graduate course credits beyond the B.S. degree, and a minimum of 24 doctoral thesis credits (BBE 8888). PhD degree programs should contain a minimum of 9 course credits in a concentrated area of scientific or theoretical development that is related to the student's research, and may contain up to 3 credits of enrichment courses.
Required Courses
BBE 8001 - Seminar I (1.0 cr)
BBE 8002 - Seminar II (1.0 cr)
BBE 8013 - Parameter Estimation in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (3.0 cr)
31 Credits in Major Area of Study
31 credits in major area of study selected with advisor, and approved by the director of Graduate Studies. The student is encouraged to take up to 3 credits of enrichment courses, which are included in the 31-credit requirement.
9 Credits of Scientific or Mathematical Theoretical Development
9 credits of scientific or mathematical theoretical development that is related to the student's research, selected with advisor and approved by the director of Graduate Studies.
24 Thesis Credits
BBE 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral (1.0-24.0 cr)
 
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BBE 8001 - Seminar I
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Presentation/discussions on current research topics, research philosophy/principles, proposal writing, professional presentations.
BBE 8002 - Seminar II
Credits: 1.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Organization/critique of seminars on new developments in biosystems and agricultural engineering. prereq: 8001 or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 8001 or equiv
BBE 8013 - Parameter Estimation in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Procedures for estimating parameter values and parameter uncertainty from experimental data. Values and interpretation of linear and nonlinear models using ordinary and weighted least-square methods. Design of experiments. Application to biosystems and agricultural engineering problems. prereq: Stat 3021 or equiv, computer programming course
BBE 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral
Credits: 1.0 -24.0 [max 100.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
(No description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 24 cr required