Requirements for the Biophysics Major

Please click on one of the following links to find out about course requirements by degree:

The more demanding B.S. degree is a good choice for students who plan to do research and who may apply to a graduate program (or MD/PhD) in fields such as biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, biophysics, neurobiology, and physiology. The less demanding B.A. degree is a good choice for students who may prefer not to do research and who might be considering a career in clinical medicine, business, law, or consulting. But students interested in physics graduate school will be better off majoring in physics, the minimum requirements of the biophysics BS degree will not make you competitive for top physics graduate programs.

Double Majors

In some cases, a biophysics major may choose to double major, with a major for example in physics, biology, chemistry, or some other area. In this case some courses can be counted for both majors:

  • If physics is the other major, no more than three physics courses may count toward both majors.
  • If biology is the other major, nor more than two biology courses may be counted.
  • If chemistry is the other major, no more than three chemistry courses may be counted.

Other Considerations

Juniors and seniors are strongly encouraged to pursue an independent study related to biophysics. There are ample faculty in biology, physics, chemistry, the medical school, and biomedical engineering to oversee an independent study.

All biophysics majors should learn how to write computer programs at the level of a course like Computer Science 6 or Engineering 53. Although a computer programming course is not currently a graduation requirement, knowing how to program is an essential research skill and will also greatly increase the possibilities for undergraduate research projects.