The new research-based interdisciplinary Bioenergy Minor provides an introduction to bioenergy concepts and issues, and a significant research experience

  • Open to students in ANY OSU MAJOR, including but not limited to agricultural sciences, engineering, forestry, environmental sciences, business, education, and social science majors. 
  • Scholarships and research/internship funding available.

Why minor in Bioenergy?

  • Contribute to long-term environmental and economic sustainability
  • Obtain research/internships experience and professional skills
  • Graduate with excellent employment prospects

What courses do I need for the Bioenergy Minor?

BRR 350 Introduction to Regional Bioenergy 2
BRR 450 Interdisciplinary Research: Bioenergy focus 2
WSE 473 Bioenergy and Environmental Impact 3
Bioenergy Electives: Choose one course from each category (Technical; Environmental; Social/Economic/Policy).
  Technical 2-4
  Environmental 2-4
  Social/Economic/Policy 2-4
BRR 401  Research  10
BRR 403 Thesis 3
BRR 406  Projects - Data Presentation 1
BRR 407 Seminar 1
  28-34 credits

Link to List of Electives

What scholarships are available?

  • The new Bioenergy Minor has scholarships ranging from $1000 to $4000/year scholarships (application)
  • The College of Agricultural Sciences has over 100 scholarships available that require one single application (application).

What kinds of research projects will Bioenergy Minor students do? 

Each student will be paired with a mentor whose research is interesting to the student. Mentors will suggest a project, or help the student develop one. Some examples of projects that faculty have suggested:


  • Bioplastics from forestry waste and agricultural residue
  • Applications of biochar in farming and water treatment
  • Life cycle and energy analysis to evaluate sustainability of cellulosic ethanol
  • Algal-based biofuels: processing feedstocks into fuels and chemicals
  • Fungal transformation of biomass
  • Production of methane from wastewater treatment plant anaerobic digesters: sustainable water use
  • Microbial fuel cells: application to the brewing industry


  • Genetic traits that determine lignin and cellulose levels in trees used for biofuels
  • Zinc-finger nuclease (ZFN) mutagenesis of floral genes: Tools for preventing invasiveness of exotic biomass species
  • Models for woody biomass collection, transport and processing
  • Design of cooking devices that utilizes renewable energy


  • Public Policy and New Business Development in the Bioenergy Sector
  • What is Distinctive about a Bioenergy Firm?  Implications for Managing Newness in "Green" Technologies

Agricultural Sciences: 

  • Breeding and genetic assessment of Meadowfoam, an oilseed crop with unique potential in the bioproducts market
  • The effect of bioenergy production on plant diversity: a case study


  • Economic analysis of biofuel production systems
  • Energy policies of ethanol and other bio-fuels

If you would like more information about minoring in Bioenergy, having your own research project, setting up an interview, or meeting with Bioenergy students, please contact us.

Bioenergy Minor
137 Strand Agriculture Hall
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-7304
(541) 737-2999