Standard program for the Sc.B. degree

A defining characteristic of Biophysics is that it 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.

Because of this breadth of subject matter, the Biophysics concentration at Brown prepares students for careers in many fields, including academic or industrial research, health careers, teaching and patent law.

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


1. PHYS 0050, 0060 (or 0070, 0160) and 0470.

2. CHEM 0330, 0350, 0360 and one of the following: CHEM 0400, 1140; PHYS 1530 or 1610.

3. MATH 0100 and 0180 (or equivalents).

4. BIOL 0200, and two additional biology courses chosen with approval of the advisor. Examples include courses in cell biology (BIOL 0500, 1050, 1200), physiology (BIOL 0800, 1100, 1190, NEUR 1020), pharmacology (BIOL 1260), and biotechnology (BIOL 1090, 1120, or 1140).

5. 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 biology (BIOL 0280, 0470, 0800, 1190), physics (PHYS 0500, 0560, 1410, 1420 and 1610), mathematics (MATH 0520), applied mathematics (APMA 0330, 0340; or 0350, 0360), and chemistry (CHEM 1230, 1450 and 1560).

6. At least one semester (two are recommended) of Directed Research in biology (BIOL 1950/1960), chemistry (CHEM 0970/0980) or physics (PHYS 1990).

Page last updated in February, 2011.

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