You're logged in as |


Biophysics is a quantitative science that requires a significant level of competence in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and biology. These areas therefore form the required background coursework for this program, and serve as a springboard to an advanced focus, developed in consultation with a concentration advisor. Advanced foci may include structure-function relations of macromolecules, biomechanics of cell cytoskeleton, biotechnology for drug and gene delivery, molecular mechanisms of membrane transport, sensory signal transduction, for examples. The program also requires a capstone research project that reflects this focus and may be drawn from collaborative research opportunities offered by faculty in biology, chemistry, or physics departments. 

Additional detailed information about the field of Biophysics may be found at: .

Standard program for the Sc.B. degree


Select one of the following Series:2
Foundations of Mechanics
and Foundations of Electromagnetism and Modern Physics
Analytical Mechanics
and Introduction to Relativity, Waves and Quantum Physics
PHYS 0470Electricity and Magnetism1
CHEM 0330Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure1
CHEM 0350Organic Chemistry1
CHEM 0360Organic Chemistry1
Select one of the following:1
Biophysical and Bioinorganic Chemistry
Physical Chemistry: Quantum Chemistry
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
Biological Physics
MATH 0100Introductory Calculus, Part II (or equivalent)1
MATH 0180Intermediate Calculus (or equivalent)1
BIOL 0200The Foundation of Living Systems1
Select two additional biology courses chosen with approval of the advisor. Examples include courses in:2
Cell Biology
Cell and Molecular Biology
Biology of the Eukaryotic Cell
Protein Biophysics and Structure
Principles of Physiology
Cell Physiology and Biophysics
Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity
Principles of Neurobiology
Physiological Pharmacology
Polymer Science for Biomaterials
Tissue Engineering
Select six additional intermediate or advanced level courses, chosen from biology (e.g., biochemistry, genetics, physiology, physics, chemistry, and/or computer sciences and mathematics). Examples include:6
Principles of Physiology
Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity
Advanced Classical Mechanics
Experiments in Modern Physics
Quantum Mechanics A
Quantum Mechanics B
Biological Physics
Linear Algebra
Applied Mathematics
Methods of Applied Mathematics I
Methods of Applied Mathematics II
Applied Ordinary Differential Equations
Applied Partial Differential Equations I
Chemical Biology
Advanced Organic Chemistry
A course from the CHEM 1560 series
Directed Research: Students must take one semester (two recommended) which may be satisfied by any of the opportunities listed below:1
Directed Research in Biology (BIOL 1950/BIOL 1960), Chemistry Undergraduate Research (CHEM 0970/CHEM 0980), Physics Senior Conference Course (PHYS 1990), or Independent study course in a related discipline (i.e. STEM disciplines, ENVS, PHP, etc.) if the project is relevant to the student’s learning goals in the concentration
A summer research experience equivalent in scope and scale to work the student would pursue in an independent study course. Examples include UTRAs, LINK awards, approved research programs at other institutions, etc. These experiences do not count as a course in total course requirement, but they can be used to satisfy the one semester of the research requirement. Advisors will work with students to review these experiences - drawing on a range of potential materials including a written summary of the experience, formal work plans, materials produced (i.e. presentations/papers), and in some cases a letter from the supporting advisor.
The following COEX courses: BIOL 0190R, BIOL 0190S, BIOL 0285, BIOL 0440, BIOL 0600, BIOL 0940G, BIOL 1515, BIOL 1555; NEUR 1630, or CLPS 1195. New COEX courses will be considered as they are developed and offered at Brown, and as relevant to the concentration.
Other equivalent opportunities not listed - with approval from the concentration advisor and Dean Smith
Total Credits19