Physics and Astronomy

Biophysics Minor


The cutting edge of biological research is increasingly intertwined with the approaches and ideas of physics. In the 21st century physicists are contributing perspectives as well as tools. The modern biologist must have a deep understanding of highly quantitative methods and theoretical models based on ideas from physics. For instance, research in cell biology is relying more and more on biomechanical and rheological models for the cytoskeleton and cellular locomotion, on statistical physics models of regulatory networks, and on very sophisticated models of molecular transport that go well beyond classic diffusion approaches.

A Biophysics Minor is an excellent way to get advanced training in the techniques and concepts of the physical sciences as applied to biology, to serve as a foundation for careers and graduate study at the interface of the physical and biological sciences.

The courses one needs to take

(For a description of the contents of these courses see the Catalog listings.)

Course Number Course Name Units
PHY 1510/L + 1520/L Calculus-based freshman physics series 8 units total
OR PHY 1210/L + 1220/L Freshman physics series for Life Sciences majors
BIO 1210/L + 1220/L Foundations of Biology series 8 units total
MAT 1140 +1150 + 2140 Calculus I + II + III 12 units total
MAT 2250 Linear Algebra with Applications to Differential Equations 4 units
PHY 2530/A Introduction to EM Radiation and Special Relativity 3 units
PHY 2540/A Introduction to Thermal and Quantum Physics 3 units
CHM 3040, CHM 3050, CHM 3110, CHM 3120, CHM 4160, CHM 4170, PHY 3440/A, BIO/PHY 4100, PHY/BIO 4610+4620 Elements of Physical Chemistry I, II, Classical Physical Chemistry, Quantum Physical Chemistry, Macromolecular Modeling, Computational Biochemistry, Applied Optics, Biophysics, Senior Project At least 6 units from this list
BIO 3220, BIO 4240, BIO 4380/L, BIO 5810/L Cell and Molecular Biology, Neuromuscular Physiology, Bioinformatics/Laboratory, Transport Across Cell Membranes/Laboratory At least 3 units from this list

For more information on signing up for a Biophysics minor, contact Prof. Nina Abramzon.