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. 

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Develop problem solving facility across a wide range of biologically-pertinent physical and mathematical domains
  • Have a foundation in evolutionary biology, genetics, cell biology, physiology, and other biological science areas
  • Create a focus area around a particular theme or category
  • Collaborate with a faculty member on a research project


Click here for a list of requirements.

Honors and Capstones

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Each student pursuing an Sc.B. in Biophysics must complete at least one semester (two are recommended) of Directed Research in biology (BIOL 1950/1960), chemistry (CHEM 0970/0980), or physics (PHYS 1990). Students seeking Honors in Biophysics must complete a thesis project representing the culmination of substantial research activity spanning two or more semesters. An oral presentation is also required. Upon completion of the research, the faculty advisor and a second reader provide an evaluation in which the student’s work must be assessed as satisfactory or better in order for Honors to be awarded. Quality grades (A, B, and/or S with distinction) within the concentration are also required for Honors. Honors in the Biophysics program is handled via the Biology Honors process, with application and details described here.

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Collaborate fully
  • Engage with your community
  • Develop a facility with symbolic languages
  • Experience scientific inquiry

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors

Alumni Pathways

The Biophysics concentration prepares students for careers in many fields, including academic or industrial research, health careers, teaching and patent law.

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.