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.

Requirements are (with individual course semester hours in parentheses):

Introductory Lecture and Lab Sequence                                       10 semester hours

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)

Upper division electives                                                                  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 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.

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.

To qualify for the minor, 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.

Students must consult with the physics 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 disciplines.

For more information, contact:

Clyde Zaidins (Physics advisor)

Office: North Classroom 3123B