Division of Biology and Medicine
Biology Undergraduate Education

Biophysics ScB

Biophysics ScB (20 courses)

Biophysics is a quantitative science at the intersection of the life and physical sciences.  It requires a significant level of competence in physics, chemistry, biology and math as reflected in the concentration requirements.  Students should work with their concentration advisor to develop a focused academic plan that complements the required research component of the concentration and allows students to develop analytical and quantitative skills.  Students are expected to take courses that will count toward the concentration for a grade (ABC/NC).  

Student Goals:
Students in this concentration will:

  • Explore the relationship between biological and physical principles by successfully completing foundational courses in biology, physics, math and chemistry
  • Gain an in-depth knowledge of the interdisciplinary nature of life and physical sciences by selecting and successfully completing advanced courses in biology, physics, math, chemistry or related fields 
  • Develop skills to identify and analyze critical questions central to biophysics
  • Apply quantitative methods to problems at the interface of life and physical sciences 
  • Complete a research project with a faculty advisor that focuses on a particular theme or problem in the field of biophysics where students apply knowledge gained throughout the curriculum.

Concentration Requirements



Physics (3)

  • PHYS 0030/0040* or PHYS 0050/0060 or PHYS 0070/0160
  • PHYS 0470

Note: PHYS 0050/0060 or 0070/0160 sequences are preferable to PHYS 0030/0040

Chemistry (3)

  • CHEM 0330
  • CHEM 0350
  • Choose 1 other advanced chemistry course

Mathematics (3)

  • MATH 0090 or equivalent
  • MATH 0100 or equivalent
  • MATH 0180 or equivalent

Biology (5)

  • BIOL 0200 or equivalent
  • 4 additional courses in biology or neuroscience chosen with advisor approval

Directed Research (2)

  • Directed Research in Biology (BIOL 1950/1960),  Chemistry Undergraduate Research (CHEM 0970/0980),  or Physics (PHYS 1980), or an independent study in a related STEM discipline if relevant to the student’s learning goals.
  • A COEX Course
  • A summer research experience equivalent in scope and scale to an independent study, but this would not count as course credit toward the concentration.

Electives (4)

  • 4 electives, at least 2 must be above the introductory level.

Note: Please see the separate document containing a list of example courses.  This list is not comprehensive and students should work closely with their concentration advisor for final approval of elective courses.

Related Files and Resources