Within the undergraduate BSE program, there are two different levels: Pre-Biological Systems Engineers and Full Admission. In order to graduate and receive a degree, you must achieve the full admission status, which is given once a student has met the minimum requirements, listed under “ABE Requirements” below.
Information for Incoming Freshmen
When you enter our program as a freshman, you are a pre-BSE student. Entry into the program as a freshman is controlled by the UW-Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment; the BSE Department is not involved in, nor does it have any control over this process.
When planning courses for enrollment and four year plans, it’s helpful to remember that four years is plenty of time to complete a BSE degree. The recommended course load is between 15 and 17 credits, as this leaves room for retaking classes should the need arise. A freshman’s primary goals should be to do well in the introductory science classes and achieve full admission as soon as possible.
Information for Transfer Students
Many students transfer into our program after beginning their studies elsewhere. Students transfer into the BSE program as pre-biological systems engineering students. There are no minimum requirements to transfer in. If you meet all requirements for full admission, your status can be changed mid-semester.
Students at other UW System institutions planning to transfer to UW-Madison to obtain a BSE degree should work with the UW-Madison BSE Department to ensure that the courses they are taking will meet BSE degree requirements. If possible, such students should be enrolled in the Connections Program, which offers select Wisconsin residents the opportunity to start at one of 21 partner institutions and finish their bachelor’s degree at UW-Madison—and hold a distinctive UW-Madison student status from the beginning. In other words, students are essentially simultaneously enrolled at both institutions. This means that students can lock into an official UW-Madison BSE curriculum at the time they start their studies at another institution.
The curriculum for the BSE major is updated on an annual or biennial basis. Students who plan on obtaining a BSE degree, but begin working on BSE degree requirements prior to officially transferring into the program should be aware of this since they will be required to meet the requirements of the curriculum in effect on the date of their official transfer into the program. Once enrolled in the program, they may (like all other enrolled students) elect to use a more newer curriculum, but then must complete all requirements of the newer curriculum.