The department has developed a flexible program that provides a broad, advanced education and at the same time gives students the opportunity to focus on their specialized interests. This program consists of graduate courses, apprenticeship in research, teaching experience, and thesis research.
Entering graduate students are required to have a sound knowledge of undergraduate physics, including junior/senior level courses in classical mechanics and electricity/magnetism, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and quantum physics, and to have taken upper-division laboratory courses.
Students specializing in Biophysics take courses in biology and chemistry during the first two years and complete the departmental course requirements and examinations by the end of their third year of graduate study. There is no foreign language requirement.
Research in Biophysics is being actively pursued in the departments of Physics, Biology and Chemistry, which all offer courses relevant to or specifically in biophysics. Graduate students specializing in the area of biophysics within the Department of Physics receive the Ph.D. in Physics (Biophysics).
Master's Degree: Students may choose to pursue a Master's degree en route to the Ph.D. or may choose to leave with a terminal M.S. Requirements for the M.S. degree can be met according to Plan I (Master's thesis) or Plan II (comprehensive examination). The comprehensive examination is an oral exam. See Graduate Division's website for more information on Master's degree requirements.
Diagnostic Exam: Entering students must take an entrance diagnostic exam on Undergraduate Physics. The exam will cover mechanics, electricity & magnetism, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, & math methods. Students who are found to have serious weaknesses in preparation will be directed to enroll in appropriate undergraduate upper division courses.