Biological Physics Concentration

Many new biological and medical sciences discoveries now require an understanding of biological systems from a physical point of view. In particular, physics, mathematics, and computer science are becoming more essential to biological and medical science than ever before.

Contemporary research areas in biological physics include phenomena at different levels of the organization from molecular, cellualar, network and system levels. Examples:

  • protein conformational dynamics and folding
  • structure and dynamics of viruses
  • DNA conformational dynamics
  • kinetics of genetic expression
  • single molecule dynamics such as molecular motors
  • cell mechanics
  • information transfer in biological systems
  • membrane biophysics
  • multi-cellular phenomena
  • biological networks
  • evolutionary dynamics
  • neuroscience

The biological physics concentration is designed to supplement the background usually provided in a standard biology, chemistry, or physics majors.

Requirements for the Biological Physics Concentration

Prerequisite Coursework

  • CHEM 110 Chemical Composition and Structure with Lab
  • CHEM 120 Chemical Reactivity with Lab
  • MATH 112 Calculus I
  • MATH 113 Calculus II
  • PHYS 150 Introductory Physics I with Lab
  • PHYS 152 Introductory Physics II with Lab

Required Courses

  • BIOL 112 Evolution and Genetics with Lab
  • BIOL 246 Cell and Molecular Biology with Lab
  • CHEM 210 Organic Chemistry I with Lab
  • CHEM 310 Physical Chemistry I with Lab
  • Two units from:
    • COMP/PSYC 415 Computational Neuroscience
    • IDSY/PHYS 215 Introduction to Complex Systems
    • MATH/PHYS 270 Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos
    • PHYS 205 Biophysics

In accordance with College policy, concentrators in Biological Physics must pass the required courses with a C- or better.

Departmental Student Advisor (DSA):

Department Student Advisors (DSA’s) are senior majors who are nominated by the departments and make themselves available to students to answer questions about the department. They know firsthand what it’s like to be in the major. They are available via email and at special campus events to answer your questions.

Check out the Advising website for more information about the Biological Physics DSA.