BioRenewable Systems Major

The perfect storm of sustainability, technology, science, and business.

The BioRenewable Systems Major is a hands-on education in the technology, materials, best practices, and systems of the explosive-growth worlds of biorenewables and agricultural industries. Grads take leadership roles in the bio economy for renewable product companies, entrepreneurial startups, and government agencies, or continue studying at graduate school.

The right tools for the future.

American manufacturing is trending biorenewable. Wood, cotton, hemp and other agricultural commodities will be the building blocks of tomorrow. This major offers the science, business, process and entrepreneurial skills to grab this industry by the horns and make an immediate impact.

Jobs await

According to the USDA, scientists, engineers, managers, sales representatives, and marketing specialists will account for 73 percent of the total annual U.S. employment openings for new college graduates with expertise in the agricultural and food sciences.

One major. Two options. Infinite destinations.

BioRenewable graduates can work with research and development engineers, process and industrial managers.

Ag Systems Option

Take a deeper look at the science, technology, and business of agricultural production. Graduates of this option apply their technology and management training to the diverse areas of food and fiber production.

Example courses

  • Bioproducts Marketing and Sales (technical sales)
  • Power Transmission in Agriculture
  • Principles of Off-Road Machines (hydraulics)
  • Safety and Health in Agricultural and Biorenewable Industries
  • Selection of Agricultural Machinery (precision ag)
The BioProducts option focuses on the properties, uses, and production of sustainable materials.

Bioproducts option

Focus on the science, business, and engineering technology that leads to the development of new bio-based products. Career tracks are broad, ranging from traditional forest products companies to emerging sectors, including bioenergy co-products.

Example courses

  • Biobased Fiber Science
  • Deterioration and Protection of Bioproducts
  • Energy Analysis in Biorenewable Systems
  • Foundations of Sustainable Business
  • Processing and Manufacturing Systems for Bioproducts

Ag Journeys

"I discovered that ag is about farming—and a whole world more."

–Nelson DiBiase

The curriculum is just the beginning.

Learning BioRenewable Systems outside the syllabus has a huge impact, too. Our clubs are a great place to make friends and have fun. More important, they’re a place to link up with like-minded students, returning alumni, and industry professionals who bring invaluable career insights.

Same goes with our internship opportunities. Companies compete to bring Penn Staters onboard for the summer, and many students return to campus with a summer of practical experience and a job offer waiting in the wings. There are research opportunities, foreign travel opportunities, and more to gain experience and academic credit.

Craft your experience.

Related clubs and teams

  • Biorenewable Systems Club
  • Penn State Pullers
  • American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), Penn State Student Branch
  • Environmental Resource Management Society
  • Student Farm
  • Sustainable Agriculture Club
  • See all clubs and teams

Internships 

  • Crop Harvest Field Test Product Validation
  • Quality Assurance
  • Research

Popular study abroad 

  • Bioproducts in Germany
  • Dairy Production in Austria and Switzerland
  • Natural Resources in Chile/Patagonia
  • The University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland
BioRenewable Systems major comes with exciting study abroad and foreign travel opportunities. BioRenewable Systems grads hiking in Patagonia.

A practical, workforce-ready degree—and a college experience you’ll love.

Penn State BioRenewable Systems grads are in the boardroom, in the lab, out on the job, in the halls of government, in the front of the classroom, all over the globe, right now.

Our alumni out in the world

  • Bioproduct research and development
  • Energy companies
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Wood manufacturers
  • Construction firms
  • Conservation districts
  • Government agencies
  • and more!

BioRenewable Systems Career Options

A Penn State BioRenewable Systems degree paves the way to a career you want in agriculture, business, and more. Here's food for thought—a few jobs our alumni work in now:

Field Operations Manager

A field operations manager oversees the technical testing and evaluation of equipment.

What will I do?

  • Test off-road equipment performance in field operations, such as agricultural or construction settings
  • Evaluate the test results to help determine points of concern and to optimize equipment performance
  • Work with engineers for design modifications based on the outcomes
  • Train and supervise technical staff for assisting with evaluations

Regional Sales Specialist

A biorenewable regional sales specialist coordinates sales of biorenewable products.

What will I do?

  • Stay current on the cutting edge of biorenewable development in order to effectively educate customers and drive your company’s production
  • Create effective marketing strategies and materials that showcase biorenewable benefits
  • Create and follow sales leads and nurture relationships with existing customers

Technical Risk Appraiser

A technical risk appraiser for a biorenewable company assesses computer equipment, software, training, and processes with an eye on greater efficiency, profitability, and sustainability.

What will I do?

  • Conduct audits of company tech infrastructure as it relates to machinery and procedures for producing biorenewable products
  • Compare audits to desired outcomes and available technologies
  • Make recommendations for improvements and changes