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Why Major in BRS?

In Penn State's BioRenewable Systems major, there is no need to choose between sustainability, technology, science, and business--we give you the opportunity to see how they work together.

BRS is engaging and challenging

  • Active participation in the learning process is expected in the classroom.  Your faculty members and classmates will know you, and you will know them.
  • Most BRS courses have lab components to give you hands-on experience with how things work. We put your knowledge to use.
  • BRS prerequisites include calculus, physics, chemistry, and biology. Building on this foundation, you will solve problems and build complex systems.

BRS is practical

  • BRS graduates take a systems approach to problem solving and can work with research and development engineers, process and industrial managers, politicians, scientists, and business professionals.
  • Enhancing communication skills is an important aspect of our program: our graduates must be able to successfully communicate with people in various industries, with various backgrounds.

BRS is flexible

  • Students in this major can complete one of over 20 minors, yet average 16 credits per semester.  Many students even choose to complete more than one minor to enhance their specialization areas.

BRS has a balance of sustainability, business, science, and engineering technology coursework

  • Sustainability is a pillar of our curriculum; you will have the opportunity to take several courses focused on management practices that encourage sustainability.
  • Business classes include micro and macroeconomics, accounting, business law, marketing and sales (and you choose more).
  • Science is integrated into BRS classes (and you can include more, such as courses in plant, soil, or material science).
  • Engineering technology classes include energy analysis, wood or agricultural processing, electronics, safety, and optimization (you could also take courses in off road equipment, power transmission and natural resource management).

BRS prepares you to make a difference in sustainable industries

  • With increasing population demands, the efficient production and utilization of food and biorenewable materials is paramount to society today. In this major, you will be informed about the pros and cons of sustainably produced agricultural and forest-based materials, and how they compare to traditional materials. You will be positioned to educate others, and advocate for sustainable material production and use. You may also opt to study the engineering fundamentals to improve the efficient operation of harvesting and processing equipment, saving money and energy.

Our graduates are employable

  • Although BRS is a new major (2013), we expect strong demand for our graduates.  Historically, the demand for our related majors (Agricultural Systems Management and Wood Products) has been very strong, with job opportunities typically exceeding the number of graduates. BRS graduates may find employment in small, medium, and large companies located in urban, suburban, and rural settings. For more information about careers go to our Potential Career Paths page.