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Biophysics Major

Effective Winter 2020

Advising

The Program in Biophysics currently offers a B.S. degree in Biophysics and a minor in Biophysics. Students interested in either option are strongly encouraged to schedule an advising appointment by contacting Student Services at biophysics@umich.edu.

Grade Policies

The Biophysics department strongly recommends that a student earn a grade of at least C– in all BIOPHYS courses and mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology courses that are prerequisite for subsequent elections. A major program grade point average of at least 2.0 is required; this includes biophysics courses, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and biology prerequisites, and advanced electives that are part of a major plan.

Prerequisites

See specific prerequisites listed under Biological Physics Track or Structural Biology Track.

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 26

The Biophysics Major consists of two tracks:

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the BIOPHYSICS subject areas may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

In addition to completing all the Biophysics requirements for the major, a GPA in the major of at least 3.4 and the completion of an Honors thesis (BIOPHYS 499) with a grade of B or better, and a second Biophysics elective are required.

Approved Honors electives are all biophysics and cognate electives above, and BIOPHYS 440 or CHEM 440, CHEM 453, MCDB 422, MCDB 428, PHYSICS 402, and PHYSICS 453.Students double majoring in Biophysics and any major in the Department of Physics cannot use PHYSICS 402, 406, or 453 to satisfy the Biophysics cognate or Honors elective requirement.

Biophysics Major (Winter 2016-Summer 2016)

Effective Winter 2016-Summer 2016

May be elected as a departmental major

Constraints:  Students double majoring in Biophysics and any major in the Department of Physics cannot use PHYSICS 402, 406 or 453 to satisfy the Biophysics cognate or Honors elective requirement.

The biophysics major is designed for students with a strong interest in the natural sciences who intend to embark on a career as a biophysical or medical scientist. It is intended to satisfy the admission requirements of most combined MD/Ph.D. programs and provide a strong foundation for quantitative interdisciplinary work in the biophysical or biomedical sciences or related fields, such as biomedical engineering.

The major requires introductory courses in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, followed by specialized biophysics courses. In addition, participation in research is required, which allows students to explore cutting-edge biophysical research and gain valuable experience for a future career.

Gateway Courses

 Recommended but not required: One or two of BIOPHYS 115, 116, 120.

Prerequisites to the Major

  • MATH 115 and 116
  • MATH 215 and 216; or CHEM 262
  • CHEM 210 / 211, 215;
  • PHYSICS 135 / 136 and 235 / 236 (or 140/141 and 240/241);
  • BIOLOGY 171, 172, 174 or 195.

Requirements for the Major

A major in biophysics must include 32 credits:

  1. Core: BIOPHYS 290, 370, 417, 450, 454, 495
  2. Outside Core: BIOLOGY 305 and CHEM 351
  3. Electives: One of BIOPHYS 430, 433, 435, 440, 463, MCDB 411. Other electives may be approved by a department advisor.
  4. Cognate: One cognate course from PHYSICS 406, PHYSICS 453, CHEM 451 or BIOLCHEM 451, MCDB 427, MCDB 428, MATH 404, MATH 471, .
  5. Research: At least two credits of BIOPHYS 399. Students wishing to do research in a laboratory outside the Biophysics Program must identify a co-sponsor.

Honors Plan

In addition to completing all the Biophysics requirements for the major, a GPA in the major of at least 3.4 and the completion of an Honors thesis (BIOPHYS 499) with a grade of B or better, and a second Biophysics elective are required.

Approved Honors electives are all biophysics and cognate electives above, and BIOPHYS 440 or CHEM 440, CHEM 453, MCDB 422, MCDB 428, PHYSICS 402 and PHYSICS 453.

Biophysics Major (Fall 2014-Fall 2015)

Effective Fall 2014-Fall 2015

May be elected as a departmental major

Constraints:  Students double majoring in Biophysics and any major in the Department of Physics cannot use PHYSICS 402, 406 or 453 to satisfy the Biophysics cognate or Honors elective requirement.

The biophysics major is designed for students with a strong interest in the natural sciences who intend to embark on a career as a biophysical or medical scientist. It is intended to satisfy the admission requirements of most combined MD/Ph.D. programs and provide a strong foundation for quantitative interdisciplinary work in the biophysical or biomedical sciences or related fields, such as biomedical engineering.

The major requires introductory courses in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, followed by specialized biophysics courses. In addition, participation in research is required, which allows students to explore cutting-edge biophysical research and gain valuable experience for a future career.

Gateway Courses

 Recommended but not required: One or two of BIOPHYS 115, 116, 120.

Prerequisites to the Major

  • MATH 115, 116, 215, 216;
  • CHEM 210 / 211, 215;
  • PHYSICS 135 / 136 and 235 / 236 (or 140/141 and 240/241);
  • BIOLOGY 162 or 171 or 172.

Requirements for the Major

A major in biophysics must include 32 credits:

  1. Core: BIOPHYS 290, 370, 417, 450, 454, 495
  2. Outside Core: BIOLOGY 305 and CHEM 351
  3. Electives: One of BIOPHYS 430, 433, 435, 440, 463, MCDB 411. Other electives may be approved by a department advisor.
  4. Cognate: One cognate course from PHYSICS 406, PHYSICS 453, CHEM 451 or BIOLCHEM 451, MCDB 427, MCDB 428, MATH 404, MATH 471, .
  5. Research: At least two credits of BIOPHYS 399. Students wishing to do research in a laboratory outside the Biophysics Program must identify a co-sponsor.

Honors Plan

In addition to completing all the Biophysics requirements for the major, a GPA in the major of at least 3.4 and the completion of an Honors thesis (BIOPHYS 499) with a grade of B or better, and a second Biophysics elective are required.

Approved Honors electives are all biophysics and cognate electives above, and BIOPHYS 440 or CHEM 440, CHEM 453, MCDB 422, MCDB 428, PHYSICS 402 and PHYSICS 453.

Biophysics Major (Fall 2011-Summer 2014)

Effective Fall 2011-Summer 2014

May be elected as a departmental major

Gateway Courses

Recommended but not required: BIOPHYS 120.

Prerequisites to the Major

  • MATH 115, 116, 215, 216;
  • CHEM 210 / 211, 215;
  • PHYSICS 135/136, and 235/236;
  • BIOLOGY 162 or 171 or 172.

Program of study in a major

A plan for the major in biophysics must include 32 credits:

  1. Core: BIOPHYS 290, 370, 417, 450, 454, 495
  2. Outside Core: BIOLOGY 305 and CHEM 351
  3. Electives: One elective such as BIOPHYS 430, 433, 435, MCDB 411 and MATH 463. Other electives may be approved by a major counselor.
  4. Cognate: One cognate course from PHYSICS 406, CHEM 451 or BIOLCHEM 451, MCDB 427.
  5. Research: At least two credits of BIOPHYS 399. Students wishing to do research in a laboratory outside the Biophysics Program must identify a co-sponsor.

Honors Program

In addition to completing all the Biophysics requirements for the major, a major GPA of at least 3.4 and the completion of an Honors thesis (BIOPHYS 499), and a second Biophysics elective are required.