Biophysics, BA

Bridging the biological sciences and the physical sciences, Biophysics is concerned with physical and chemical explanations of living processes, especially at the cellular and molecular levels. Detailed molecular descriptions are emerging for genetic elements and the mechanisms that control their propagation and expression. Biophysical studies include the investigation of protein structure, nucleic acid structure, enzyme mechanisms, the phenomena underlying cellular behavior, excitable phenomena in nerve, muscle and visual cells, and integrative neural phenomena.

The minimum total course units for graduation in this major is 36. Double majors may entail more course units.

Note: Though not a requirement of the major, participation in an independent research project is strongly encouraged.

For information about the General Education requirements, please visit the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum page.

College General Education Requirements and Free Electives
Foundational Approaches + Sectors1 + Free Electives16
Major Requirements
Cell Biology and Biochemistry
BIOL 2810Biochemistry1
or CHEM 2510 Principles of Biological Chemistry
BIOL 2010Cell Biology1
PHYS 2280Physical Models of Biological Systems1
or BCHE 2280 Physical Models of Biological Systems
Select 1 course unit or two .5 course units of electives1
CHEM 1011Introduction to General Chemistry I1
or CHEM 1012 General Chemistry I
or CHEM 1151 Honors Chemistry I
CHEM 1021Introduction to General Chemistry II1
or CHEM 1022 General Chemistry II
or CHEM 1161 Honors Chemistry II
CHEM 2411Principles of Organic Chemistry I with Laboratory1.5
CHEM 2421Principles of Organic Chemistry II with Laboratory1.5
or CHEM 2425 Organic Chemistry II: Principles of Organic Chemistry with applications in Chemical Biology
Select one of the following:2
Physical Chemistry I
and Physical Chemistry II
Principles of Physics III: Thermal Physics and Waves
and Principles of Physics IV: Modern Physics (without laboratory)
Principles of Physics IV: Modern Physics
MATH 1400Calculus, Part I1
Select one of the following:1
Calculus, Part II
Calculus, Part II with Probability and Matrices
Honors Calculus
MATH 2400Calculus, Part III1
or MATH 2600 Honors Calculus, Part II
MATH 2410Calculus, Part IV1
PHYS 0150Principles of Physics I: Mechanics and Wave Motion1.5
or PHYS 0170 Honors Physics I: Mechanics and Wave Motion
Select one of the following:1.5
Principles of Physics II: Electromagnetism and Radiation
Honors Physics II: Electromagnetism and Radiation
PHYS 3361Electromagnetism I: Electricity and Potential Theory1
or PHYS 5561 Electromagnetism I
PHYS 3362Electromagnetism II: Magnetism, Maxwell's Equations, and Electromagnetic Waves1
or PHYS 5562 Electromagnetism II: Magnetism, Maxwell's Equations, and Electromagnetic Waves
Total Course Units36

You may count no more than one course toward both a Major and a Sector requirement. For Exceptions, check the Policy Statement.


Applicant must have a minimum GPA of 3.3 in the major. Thesis required.


The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.