Sustainable Bioproducts Bachelor's Degree

Understand bio-based resources. Decrease reliance on finite resources. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance the role of renewable resources that create an environmentally sustainable world.

A Bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Bioproducts from Michigan Technological University provides you with the tools to contribute to solving important environmental challenges for our planet and its inhabitants. Tomorrow needs Sustainable Bioproducts Professionals who can rise to the challenge. Are you ready? 

What is Sustainable Bioproducts?

Sustainable Bioproducts is the study of using renewable resources to create alternatives to materials that can only be used for a short period of time, are difficult to dispose of, or otherwise present hazards to the environment. Bioproducts come from trees, plants, or other natural resources. Bioproducts can be managed ethically and sustainably to replace items made of plastic, petroleum or other fossil fuels, and materials with limited use, availability, or life spans.

For your Sustainable Bioproducts degree, you will learn a combination of wood product innovation, engineering, business, and forestry. You'll know all about bio-based resources, what it means to put sustainable concepts into action, and how to use your passion for a clean future to help advance the circular bioeconomy.

What Will I Study?

The sustainable bioproducts program at Michigan Tech provides you with hands-on experience in applying renewable resource technology to create a global sustainability movement. Apply biology, chemistry, and math to understand nature and application of wood and lignocellulosic materials. Apply engineering, product design, process technology, project management, and leadership skills. Utilize business practices, sustainability, and the role of the circular bioeconomy in the development of a sustainable society. 


There are three concentrations available to guide you in choosing the direction of your career. Pick the area that you care about most. You can specialize in Bioproducts Business, Circular Economy, or Sustainable Structures. 

Bioproducts Business

Take classes that help you develop business models that are critical to the advancement and success in the industry. Become a leader in bio-based business and sustain the balance between natural resources, human needs, and economic aspirations

Circular Economy

Complete courses that help you contribute to a more eco-friendly industrial model. Gain a deep understanding of the balance of limited resources and economic activity and life cycle analysis. Understand the current industrial organization, supply chain, and tools for sustainability assessment.

Sustainable Structures

Study wood product innovation. Prepare yourself to create sustainable and innovative structures and buildings that can bring climate solutions like zero-carbon impact to fruition. Get hands-on and construct materials. 

Be a Leader and a Teammate

HotForest Logo green and off white

At Michigan Tech you can get hands-on experience through the Enterprise program. Enterprise is a collaborative environment with a business-like feel in which students work on real projects with real clients. There are 26 teams to choose from. The main enterprise that sustainable bioproducts students are involved in is HOTFOREST. HOTFOREST is a circular bioeconomy-based enterprise. 

“HotForest’s mission is to promote sustainability by innovating technologies and services that advance the circular economy. We will accomplish this by collaboration between students and industry leaders and community members.”

Be Career Ready

Graduates find opportunities in the bioproducts industry and government organizations such as the United States Department of Agriculture.

Each year, the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science hosts its own Natural Resource Career Fair. ~20 companies from across the US travel to the college in late fall to educate and recruit employees.

Career Opportunities for Sustainable Bioproducts

  • Production Manager
  • Sustainability Manager
  • Product Designer or Developer
  • Marketer
  • Industrial Engineer or Technologist
  • Project Leader
  • Furniture Designer/Producer
  • Environmental Public Educator
  • Field Engineer
  • Ecological Engineer
  • Resource Conservation Engineer
  • Natural Resources Engineer

Michigan Tech Sustainable Bioproducts Majors Have Been Hired By

  • Kimberly-Clark Corporation
  • Georgia-Pacific Corporation
  • Great Lakes Veneer
  • Louisiana-Pacific Corporation
  • Sauder
  • Shaw Floors
  • Stora Enso
  • Weyerhaeuser

Ready to take the next step?

Learn more about studying sustainable bioproducts at Michigan's flagship technological university.

  • 8:1
    student-to-faculty ratio
  • 25
    typical lab size
  • 3.5K
    acres to explore at our residential field camp

Stronger, cleaner, and less expensive than concrete or steel.

Learn from researchers like Munkaila Musah who create and test sustainable alternative construction materials from the abundant biomaterials forests—including the world’s first cross-laminated timber, made from sugar maple. Imagine an environmentally friendly skyline that stores carbon instead of emitting it. Imagine the ways you’ll learn to make tomorrow better—at Michigan Tech.

Student Learning Goals

Students in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science can expect to achieve the following learning goals—which also align with the University's Undergraduate Student Learning Goals:

  1. At the completion of this degree students will be able to: 
    Explain wood anatomy along with the physical and chemical properties of lignocellulosic plants relevant to bio-based materials, energy production and engineered solid wood products. (USLG 1,2,7)
  2. Apply knowledge in biology, chemistry, statistics, and math, needed to understand the nature and application of wood and other lignocellulosic materials. (USLG 2,4,7)
  3. Apply developed project management and leadership skills gained from experiential learning through the MTU Enterprise program. (USLG 4,5,6)
  4. Utilize business practices and communicate effectively. (USLG 4,5,8)
  5. Infer the relevant contexts of sustainability and the role of the circular bioeconomy, in the development of a sustainable society. (USLG 3,4,6,8) 

Concentration specific learning goals

Bioproducts Business

Implement business knowledge and proficiency to work as entrepreneurs, or in corporate management.

Sustainable Construction

Contrast and explain sustainable building techniques, and the use of engineered wood in buildings such as mass timber.

Circular Economy

Evaluate and apply concepts of circular economy concepts and constituents by learning about sustainable manufacturing, creativity and design, 3D printing, economics, and life cycle analysis. 

Diverse Ecosystem of Environmental Stewardship

If you have a love for the woods, and a desire to sustain resources for the future, you will feel at home in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (CFRES). Our College is a community on a first-name basis, connected by a shared passion for study, research, and work centered on forest health and ecosystem integrity. Similar to Keweenaw’s biodiverse ecosystems, CFRES is a community of undergraduates, graduates, faculty, staff, and alumni who learn, lead, and thrive in the unique environment the college has to offer. You’ll notice flags from countries around the world when you step into the door of our atrium. We are a safe space for all who love natural resources, with a commitment to a sense of belonging

Why Research Matters

Person with protective clothing on cutting wood on a circular saw

Our strong passion for research creates professionals who have the hands-on experience needed to build innovative, sustainable solutions. From wood life-cycle analysis to the glue holding cross-laminated Timber (CTL) together - there is a research topic that is sure to help you find your passions.

Tomorrow Needs Sustainable Solutions

Join a community that believes in renewable resources, sustainability, and multiple use forests in a sustainably-driven society at a flagship public research university powered by science, technology, sustainability, and passion. Graduate with a foundation of knowledge and real-world experience in natural resource management.

Undergraduate Majors

Build eco-friendly skyrises. Sustainably harvest timber. Innovate new designs to replace plastics. Research biofuels. Come up with carbon storage solutions. Create climate solutions. Un-change the climate.

Or, start with our General Forestry option and give yourself time to decide.

"I originally came to MTU for Business. After a semester of not quite feeling like I fit in, I picked up a minor in the Business of Forestry. I took my first class the next semester, learned about Bioproducts Business and the Sustainable Bioproducts degree and fell in love. I finally feel confident I found a passion that fits me and I enjoy."Emily Costigan, sustainable bioproducts