Bachelor Of Science With A Major In Bioresource Science And Engineering

BSE Program Brochure
BSE Program Educational Objectives
Suggested BSE course sequencing
Engineering topics list
Expanded engineering topics sheet

The BSE program applies natural products chemistry, process engineering, and material science to the sustainable production of fuels, chemicals, and fiber products from biomass resources. The BSE program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,  Principal BSE faculty are in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, but the program also has supporting faculty from the College of Engineering’s Chemical Engineering Department. BSE students are provided the technical skills, knowledge, and problem solving tools to become leaders in the paper and emerging bioresource industries. Students benefit from small classes and leading-edge faculty research and gain experience through internships, resulting in excellent career opportunities. Program scholarships are available through the Washington Pulp and Paper Foundation.

In the 2013-14 school year, the BSE program granted 25 degrees. The enrollment for Autumn 2014 was 59 students.

The following are the Bioresource Science and Engineering Program Educational Objectives and the Student Outcomes that support the Educational Objectives:
  • Objective #I Engineering excellence: Our graduates will engage in successful careers demonstrating engineering excellence.
    • Outcome #I.1: Students will have the ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
    • Outcome #I.2: Students will have the ability to apply knowledge of fiber and paper physics, chemistry, and chemical engineering as it pertains to the bioresource, paper, and allied industries.
    • Outcome #I.3: Students will have the ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to statistically analyze and interpret data.
    • Outcome #I.4: Students will have the ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.
    • Outcome #I.5: Students will have the ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
    • Outcome #I.6: Students will have the ability to communicate effectively, orally and written.
  • Objective #II Industry leaders: Our graduates will be leaders in identifying and creatively resolving - using sound professional judgment - significant bioresource issues.
    • Outcome #II.1: Students will be able to pose well-defined, solvable problems from complicated and loosely defined scenarios similar to those found in the bioresource and paper industries.
    • Outcome #II.2: Students will be able to apply scientific and engineering principles in open-ended projects, such as designing processes or solving product and production problems.
    • Outcome #II.3: Students will be able to generate alternative solutions and designs, and then use sound professional judgment to choose between alternatives in open-ended projects.
    • Outcome #II.4: Students will be able to evaluate and communicate the results of completed tasks in open-ended projects.
  • Objective #III Intellectual maturity: Our graduates will develop the intellectual maturity to serve their profession and community.
    • Outcome #III.1: Students will have an ability to function on and lead multidisciplinary teams.
    • Outcome #III.2: Students will have an understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities.
    • Outcome #III.3: Students will have the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.
    • Outcome #III.4: Students will have knowledge of contemporary issues relevant to the bioresource, paper, and allied industries.
    • Outcome #III.5: Students will have the knowledge that life-long learning is a necessity for maintenance of professional competency, and will have the capabilities to engage in life-long learning.

Additional details can be found in the BSE Program Educational Objectives document.

BSE’s mission is to lead nationally and internationally in the preparation of undergraduate and graduate students for the pulp and paper and bioresources segment of the world economy. The paper industry is one of the 10 largest in the U.S. Its products are essential to every citizen, with uses ranging from high tech packaging systems to non-woven medical applications. The industry is also a leader in developing products that do not harm the environment. Paper is the most recyclable material used in modern economies, and pulp mills are becoming important suppliers of biofuels and green energy, as well as fiber products. About 2,000 new graduates every year — nearly 300 from paper science and engineering programs including the BSE program at the University of Washington — are employed in exciting and challenging careers in the paper and allied industries. BSE graduates find jobs in areas such as engineering, production, research, management, and marketing. Positions include process engineer, product development engineer, sales engineer, research scientist, computer and environmental scientist or engineer, production supervisor, and many specialists. BSE graduates have highly competitive starting salaries and are located across the U.S. and internationally.

See the BSE Satisfactory Progress Policy document for information on criteria and policy regarding satisfactory progress.
How to Apply to the BSE Program:
  • Incoming Freshman Applicants:
    University of Washington INCOMING freshmen applicants interested in BSE may seek direct admission through the Washington Pulp and Paper Foundation. The deadline for freshman applicants is December 1st.
  • Current UW and Transfer Student Applicants:
    Current UW and transfer students may apply ONLY through the College of Engineering website* at

    *Note: the online application is opened in early to mid-June for autumn application and early to mid-January for spring application.
For more information, contact:
Office of Student and Academic Services
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
University of Washington
Box 352100
Seattle, WA 98195-2100
email; FAX 206-685-0790; Phone 206-543-3077