The minor in biophysics enables students with primary
interests in biology, chemistry, health sciences, mathematics, anthropology,
psychology, or other disciplines to explore the deep connections between
fundamental physical processes and the functions and development of life. Using
mathematical and computational models as well as precise experimental
measurements and advanced instrumentation, biophysics explores living processes
within a framework that builds upon fundamental physics concepts of mechanics,
electrodynamics, statistical physics, and quantum physics. Students taking a
minor in biophysics will be able to synthesize some or all of these areas of
physics at a mature level of understanding into their primary field(s) of
study, bringing an enriched array of intellectual and experimental tools to the
pursuit of their professional goals.
A minor requries a total of 16 credit hours, in which students must maintain a 2.0 minimum GPA, with at least 12 hours of the
required sequence at grade C or higher. There is a 9 hour minimum residency
requirement. Additional biophysics-related
physics special topics or elective courses may be approved by the department
advisor. Such courses include topics such as Radiation Physics in Biomedicine,
Computational Modeling in Biophysics, Nonlinear Dynamics in Biomedicine, and
specialized courses in biophysics-related instrumentation.
Requirements are (with
individual course semester hours in parentheses):
and Lab Sequence 10
- PHYSICS 2010 (4), 2030 (1)(lab) , 2020 (4), and 2040 (1)(lab) (algebra-based)
- PHYSICS 2311 (4), 2321
(1)(lab), 2331 (4), and 2341 (1)(lab)
(calculus-based - recommended)
electives drawn from the biophysics sequence 6
semester hours minimum
(Short summaries are provided: please see the course catalog
for more complete descriptions.)
PHYS 3151 (1) Biophysics Outlook I
PHYS 3161 (1) Biophysics Outlook II
- 1-credit explorations of the connections of physics to
topics of the two semesters of general biology, usually within a theme such as
“origins of life”, “dynamics in biological systems”, etc.
PHYS 3251 (4) Biophysics of the Body
- A synthesis of mechanics with understanding body structure,
motion, and physiology.
PHYS 3451 (4) Biophysics of the Cell
- A synthesis of thermal and statistical physics with
understanding the fundamental processes of cells.
PHYS 4351 (4)
- A synthesis of electromagnetism with understanding
electrophysiological processes of cells, tissues, and organs as well as the use
of electric and magnetic fields in medical diagnostics.
PHYS 4840 (1-3) Independent
Study – approved project connected with ongoing biophysics research.
- Note: No more than 3 credits of
independent study may apply to the minor.
strongly encouraged to consult with the biophysics advisor, meet physics
faculty engaged in biophysics research, attend departmental biophysics-related
seminars, and explore ways that biophysics relates to research undertaken by
faculty in other disciplines – including both fundamental science and clinical
medicine. Opportunities also arise to connect biophysics studies to outreach
into regional high schools so that pre-college students can benefit from
undergraduates sharing their experiences with connecting studies across
For more information, contact:
Randall Tagg (biophysics advisor)
Office: North Classroom 3111E