Biophysics Major Requirements 

(See also Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree.)

Chemistry
AS.030.101
AS.030.105
Introductory Chemistry I
and Introductory Chemistry Laboratory I
4
AS.030.102
AS.030.106
Introductory Chemistry II
and Introductory Chemistry Laboratory II
4
or AS.030.103 Applied Chemical Equilibrium and Reactivity w/lab
AS.030.205Introductory Organic Chemistry I4
AS.030.206Organic Chemistry II4
or AS.030.212 Honors Organic Chemistry II with Applications in Biochemistry and Medicine
Physics
AS.171.101General Physics: Physical Science Major I4
or AS.171.103 General Physics I for Biological Science Majors
or AS.171.105 Classical Mechanics I
or AS.171.107 General Physics for Physical Sciences Majors (AL)
AS.173.111General Physics Laboratory I1
or AS.173.115 Classical Mechanics Laboratory
AS.171.102General Physics: Physical Science Major II4
or AS.171.104 General Physics/Biology Majors II
or AS.171.106 Electricity and Magnetism I
or AS.171.108 General Physics for Physical Science Majors (AL)
AS.173.112General Physics Laboratory II1
or AS.173.116 Electricity and Magnetism Laboratory
Mathematics
AS.110.108Calculus I (Physical Sciences & Engineering)4
AS.110.109Calculus II (For Physical Sciences and Engineering)4
or AS.110.113 Honors Single Variable Calculus
AS.110.202Calculus III4
or AS.110.211 Honors Multivariable Calculus
One additional Math elective is required. See "Math List" below.4
Biophysics
AS.250.205Introduction to Computing3
or AS.250.206 Practical Programming: UNIX and PYTHON
AS.250.315Biochemistry I3
AS.250.372Biophysical Chemistry4
AS.250.381Spectroscopy and Its Application in Biophysical Reactions3
AS.250.383Molecular Biophysics Laboratory (Writing Intensive)3
Research (6 credits required) 1
AS.250.520Introduction to Biophysics Research6
Major Electives
Three Courses from List #19-12
Three Courses from List #29-12
One Course from the Advanced Seminar List3
Total Credits85-91
Math List (Select one from this list as required Math Elective)
AS.110.201Linear Algebra4
AS.110.212Honors Linear Algebra4
EN.553.211Probability and Statistics for the Life Sciences4
or EN.553.310 Probability & Statistics for the Physical Sciences & Engineering
or EN.553.311 Probability and Statistics for the Biological Sciences and Engineering
EN.553.291Linear Algebra and Differential Equations4
Any 300 level course or higher with approval of faculty advisor
List #1 (Select 3 from this list as Major Electives)
AS.250.253Protein Engineering and Biochemistry Lab3-4
or AS.250.254 Protein Biochemistry and Engineering Laboratory
AS.250.316Biochemistry II3
AS.171.201Special Relativity/Waves4
or AS.171.309 Wave Phenomena with Biophysical Application
AS.171.202Modern Physics4
or AS.171.310 Biological Physics
EN.601.226Data Structures 14
EN.601.220Intermediate Programming4
List #2 (Select 3 from this list as Major Electives)
AS.250.253Protein Engineering and Biochemistry Lab3-4
or AS.250.254 Protein Biochemistry and Engineering Laboratory
AS.250.302Modeling the Living Cell4
AS.250.313Molecular and Cellular System Biology4
AS.250.316Biochemistry II3
AS.250.320Macromolecular Binding3
AS.250.403Bioenergetics: Origins, Evolution and Logic of Living Systems3
AS.171.201Special Relativity/Waves4
or AS.171.309 Wave Phenomena with Biophysical Application
AS.171.202Modern Physics4
or AS.171.310 Biological Physics
Any course 300-level or higher in Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics, or Computer Science that is 3 credits or more.3
Advanced Seminar List (Select one from this list as Advanced Seminar Requirement)
AS.250.335Single Molecule & Cell Biophysics3
AS.250.403Bioenergetics: Origins, Evolution and Logic of Living Systems3
AS.250.411Advanced Seminar in Structural Biology of Chromatin3
AS.250.421Advanced Seminar in Membrane Protein Structure, Function & Pharmacology3
Advanced Seminar in Structural and Physical Virology AS.250.401 will be offered in Spring 2020

Scheduling conflicts occasionally arise due to schedule changes in the departments of Physics, Biology, and Chemistry. Prospective biophysics majors should consult with the departmental undergraduate advisor to determine how the conflicts can be resolved.

Sample Program of Study

First Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.030.1013AS.030.1023
AS.030.1051AS.030.1061
AS.110.1084AS.110.1094
AS.250.2053AS.250.131 (optional)1
 11 9
Second Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.030.2054AS.030.2064
AS.110.2024AS.171.1044
AS.171.1034AS.173.1121
AS.173.1111Required Math Elective4
 13 13
Third Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.250.2533AS.250.3813
AS.250.3153Elective from List #13-4
AS.250.3724Elective from List #23-4
AS.250.5203AS.250.5203
 13 12-14
Fourth Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.250.521 (optional)3AS.250.3833
Elective from List #13-4Elective from List #13-4
Elective from List #23-4Elective from List #23-4
Required Advanced Seminar Course3 
 12-14 9-11
Total Credits 92-98
A Note on Writing Courses

The Krieger School of Arts & Sciences requires 12 credits of writing-intensive coursework. Although many humanities and social science courses have a writing designation, a few courses within the major also fulfill the requirement. Current examples include:

AS.250.335Single Molecule & Cell Biophysics3.0
AS.250.383Molecular Biophysics Laboratory3.0
AS.250.401 (Advanced Seminar in Structural and Physical Virology)3.0
AS.250.403Bioenergetics: Origins, Evolution and Logic of Living Systems3.0
AS.250.411Advanced Seminar in Structural Biology of Chromatin3.0
AS.250.421Advanced Seminar in Membrane Protein Structure, Function & Pharmacology3.0

Fulfilling some of the writing requirement with one or more biophysics courses requires advanced planning because not all of these courses are offered every year.

Honors in Biophysics

The Jenkins Biophysics department offers outstanding students the opportunity to earn departmental honors in Biophysics. This honors distinction appears on the student’s transcript upon graduation. If the honors requirements are approved prior to early April, an “Honors” distinction will additionally appear in the commencement program.

The requirements for departmental honors in biophysics are two-fold:

  • The student must maintain an overall GPA of 3.5 or greater

  • The student must write and receive approval of an Honors paper that is based on their 6 credits of required research.

Generally, the Honors paper must be submitted no later than March 1 of the senior year to meet the commencement deadline. Details on the format of the Honors paper can be found on the departmental website. Schedule a meeting with your Jenkins faculty adviser if you are interested in seeking departmental honors.

Ete Z. Szüts Undergraduate Research Travel Award

This award, named in honor of a Ph.D. graduate student from this department, will provide funds for up to 80 percent of the transportation costs of undergraduate research students in biophysics to attend a scholarly meeting. Recipients must be sponsored by a member of the departmental faculty who will be at the same meeting. Schedule a meeting with your Jenkins faculty adviser if you are interested in the Szuts Travel Award.

H. Keffer Hartline Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research in Biophysics

This award honors a senior Biophysics Major for excellence in undergraduate research in Biophysics. Recipients are selected by Biophysics Faculty.

Detlev W. Bronk Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Biophysics

This award honors a senior Biophysics major for outstanding academic achievement in Biophysics. Recipients are selected by Biophysics Faculty.