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Curriculum

Biophysics is an interdisciplinary science that combines biological knowledge, fundamental principles of physics and chemistry with experimental exploration, mathematical analysis and computer modeling to explain the structures and processes underlying life. Biophysics majors enjoy a flexible curriculum that combines coursework from physics, chemistry, and biochemistry; along with specially designed biophysics courses. 

Beginning Fall 2016, students will have a choice to pursue one of two tracks within the Biophysics major.

Please refer to the LSA Bulletin Academics & Requirements for more information.

Biological Physics Track

Prerequisites to Concentration:

Math 115 and 116
Math 215 and 216; or Chem 262
Chem 210/211 and 215
Physics 135/136 and 235/236 or 140/141 and 240/241
Bio 171 or 172 or 174 or 195

NOTE: students with Math AP credit are advised to take the Math 215, 216 sequence

 

Core:

Biophysics 290 (Physics of the Body & Mind)
Biophysics 370 (Physical and Chemical Principles behind Biology and Medicine)
Biophysics 417 (Dynamical Processes in Biophysics)
Biophysics 454 (Macromolecular Structure and Function)
Biophysics 450 (Biophysics Laboratory)
Biophysics 495 (Senior Seminar in Biophysics)


Outside Core:

Chemistry 351 (Fundamentals of Biochemistry)
Biology 305 (Genetics)


Electives:

One of the following:

Biophysics 430 (Medical Physics)
Biophysics 433 (Biocomplexity)
Biophysics 435 (Biophysical Modeling)
Biophysics 440 (Biophysics of Diseases)
Biophysics 463 (Mathematical Modeling in Biology)
MCDB 411 (Protein Structure and Function)
Note: Other 400-level Physics, Chemistry, or Biology courses may be accepted, per approval of the Undergraduate Chair


Cognate:

One of the following:

Math 404 (Intermediate Differential Equations)
Math 471 (Intro to Numerical Methods)
Physics 406 (Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics)
Physics 453 (Quantum Mechanics)
Chemistry 451 (Biochemistry I)
MCDB 427 (Molecular Biology)
MCDB 428 (Cell Biology)
Note: Other 400-level Physics, Chemistry, or Biology courses may be accepted, per approval of the Undergraduate Chair


Research:

At least two credits of Biophysics 399. Students wishing to conduct research in a laboratory outside of the Program must identify a Biophysics co-sponsor.

Structural Biology Track

Prerequisites to Concentration:

Math 115 and 116
Chem 262
Chem 210/211 and 215
Physics 135/136 and 235/236 or 140/141 and 240/241
Bio 171; and 172 or 174 or 195

 


Core:

Biophysics 370 (Physical and Chemical Principles behind Biology and Medicine)
Biophysics 420 (Structural Biology I)
Biophysics 421 (Structural Biology II)
Biophysics 450 (Biophysics Laboratory)
Biophysics 495 (Senior Seminar in Biophysics)


Outside Core:

Chemistry 351 (Fundamentals of Biochemistry) or
MCDB 310 (Introductory Biochemistry) or
Biological Chemistry 415 (Introductory Biochemistry) or
Biology 305 (Genetics)


Electives:

One of the following:

Biophysics 430 (Medical Physics)
Biophysics 435 (Biophysical Modeling)
Biophysics 440 (Biophysics of Diseases)
Biophysics 454 (Biophysical Chemistry II)
Biophysics 463 (Mathematical Modeling in Biology)
Biophysics 520 (Theory & Methods of Biological Chemistry)
Biophysics 521 (Techniques in Biophysical Chemistry)
MCDB 411 (Protein Structure and Function)
Note: Other 400-level Physics, Chemistry, or Biology courses may be accepted, per approval of the Undergraduate Chair


Cognate:

One of the following:

Chemistry 451 (Biochemistry I)
MCDB 427 (Molecular Biology)
MCDB 428 (Cell Biology)
Biological Chemistry 530 (Protein Protein or Protein-Ligand Interactions by NMR)
Biological Chemistry 550 (Macromolecular Structure and Function)
Note: Other 400-level Physics, Chemistry, or Biology courses may be accepted, per approval of the Undergraduate Chair


Research:

At least two credits of Biophysics 399. Students wishing to conduct research in a laboratory outside of the Program must identify a Biophysics co-sponsor.

Biophysics Minor

Physics 340 (Heat and Waves) or Chem 210 (Organic Chemistry)*
-and-
Bio 305 (Genetics) or Chem 351* or MCDB 310 (Biochemistry)
-and-
Biophysics 290 (Physics of the Body & Mind) or
Biophysics 430 (Medical Physics) or
Biophysics 440 (Biophysics of Diseases)
-and-
Biophysics 370 (Phys and Chem Principles Behind Biology and Medicine) or 
Biophysics 417 (Dynamic Processes in Biophysics)
-and-
Biophysics 450 (Lab Techniques in Biophysics)

Standard LSA double-counting rules apply (only ONE COURSE is allowed). The minimum total number of credits students must take for the Biophysics minor are 15 (including the double-counted course). For more information about double-counting rules, please refer to the LSA website or speak with an advisor.

Honors Concentration

Honors Concentration:

In addition to completing all the Biophysics concentration requirements (in either track), a concentration GPA of at least 3.4 and the completion of an honors thesis (Biophysics 499) and a second Biophysics elective are required. Approved honors electives are all Biophysics and cognate electives listed above, plus Biophysics 440, Chemistry 453, MCDB 422 and Physics 402.

The honors thesis should be at least 25 pages long and formatted as follows:

Cover Page
Abstract (no more than 1 page)
Chapters
Introduction
Data Analysis/Methodology
Discussion/Results
References/Bibliography