The Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science (BESS) offers three bachelor’s degrees with various concentrations and study options: 

BIOSYSTEMS ENGINEERING (which leads to a BS in biosystems engineering) 

CONSTRUCTION SCIENCE AND AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS STUDY OPTIONS (which leads to a BS in construction science and agricultural systems)

  • Agricultural Systems Technology Concentration
  • Construction Science Concentration
  • Off-road Vehicle Technology Concentration

ENVIRONMENTAL and SOIL SCIENCES STUDY OPTIONS (which leads to a BS in environmental and soil sciences)

  • Environmental Science Concentration
  • Soil Science Concentration
  • Conservation Agriculture and Environmental Sustainability Concentration

These three BS degrees prepare you to work with environmental, ecological, biological, or agricultural systems.  Below are broad stroke definitions of these technical areas. Please navigate our site for more in-depth information. 

Environmental and Soil Science

Three distinct options are offered in this science-based area of study. Environmental scientists use modern technologies such as geographical information systems, global positioning systems, and computer applications in managing natural resources. Their knowledge of basic natural sciences, ecology and soil sciences combined with an understanding of the societal issues related to the environment are useful tools. Soil scientists learn to evaluate soil characteristics in the field and lab, using industry-standard tests and techniques. They learn to survey, identify, classify, and map soils, and to predict the suitability of a soil for specific uses. Graduates from the conservation agriculture and environmental sustainability concentration will have the skills to work as agronomic consultants, agribusiness managers, agricultural production, and other employment within the agricultural value chain.

Construction Science and Agricultural Systems

These science and technology-based curricula offer three options for students interested in agricultural systems technology, construction science, and off-road vehicle technology. 

Biosystems Engineering

Biosystems engineers work with natural systems and integrate knowledge of engineering, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics to conserve natural resources, protect the environment, and efficiently produce and process safe, plentiful, high-quality food and fiber. We also have a pre-professional concentration for students interested in pursuing law, medicine, pharmacy, etc. 

In sum, any of these degree programs will prepare you for a professionally rewarding career in which you can apply engineering or scientific principles to real world problems. If you enjoy science, math, and solving problems, a degree in biosystems engineering, environmental and soil sciences, or construction science and agricultural systems will prepare you for an exciting, rewarding and satisfying career. 

For more information, send us an email at bess@utk.edu or give us a call at 865-974-7266. We can arrange for a tour of our facilities and meeting with professors and students.  We look forward to hearing from you.     

Danielle Julie Carrier
Professor and Head