Biological Physics Program

Recommended Course Sequence

Students should plan on entering the program as soon as possible. Here are some possible course sequences based on one's path into the program.
A student starting the biological physics major in the first year, with no advanced placement, should follow the recommended sequence:

Year 1: MATH 10a,b; PHYS 15 a,b; PHYS 19a,b

Year 2: CHEM 15a,b (or 11a,b); CHEM 19a,b (or 18a,b); PHYS 20a, PHYS 40a

Year 3: BIOL 18a,b; BIOL 22a,b; PHYS 39a, PHYS 105**

Year 4: PHYS 31a (formerly PHYS 30b); PHYS 105**, two electives

A student with advanced preparation in math, physics, and chemistry who wants to emphasize biochemistry might take the following program:

Year 1: MATH 15a; MATH 20b; PHYS 19b; PHYS 20a; PHYS 40a

Year 2: BIOL 18a,b; BIOL 22a,b; CHEM 25a,b; CHEM 29a,b

Year 3: BCHM 100a; PHYS 39a, PHYS 105**, one elective

Year 4: PHYS 30a; PHYS 31a (formerly PHYS 30b); PHYS 105**, one elective

Students with advanced preparation might choose additional courses in other areas rather than organic chemistry and biochemistry.

A student who has started in a biology or premed track, then switched to biological physics might have the following program:

Year 1: CHEM 15a,b (or 11a,b); CHEM 19a,b (or 18a,b); MATH 10a,b

Year 2: BIOL 18a; BIOL 22a; PHYS 11a,b or PHYS 15a,b; PHYS 19a,b

Year 3: BIOL 18b; BIOL 22b; PHYS 40a; PHYS 105**, one elective

Year 4: PHYS 31a (formerly PHYS 30b); PHYS 39a; PHYS 105**, one elective

In addition to the required courses, students are urged to learn the necessary topics in organic chemistry as preparation for biochemistry. This opens up additional options for undergraduate research and graduate programs in the life sciences. For medical school, a year of organic chemistry with laboratory, in addition to the required courses for biological physics, will complete the premed program requirements.

An important component of the program is the opportunity for students to participate in research. Opportunities exist for research in the laboratories of physics, chemistry, neuroscience, biochemistry, and biology faculty.

**Note that PHYS 105 is currently offered only every other year, so should be taken in junior or senior year depending on when it is offered.