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Bachelor of Science Option in Biological and Medical Physics

This interdisciplinary program is designed for students who are adept at the mathematical problem solving and conceptual aspects of physics, and who are interested in careers in medicine, biology or biological physics, or medical physics. Premedical students interested in cardiology, neurology, ophthalmology, and radiology should find the program particularly attractive.

Sophisticated biophysical technologies are increasingly employed in medicine and other health professions. The brain scans illustrated above are from a clinically depressed patient. The images originate from the mutual annihilation of an electron and a positron (the antiparticle of an electron.) When the two particles annihilate, they create a pair of high energy photons (light particles) which are detected and analyzed. Images like these are revolutionizing medicine; other examples include ultrasound, computed tomography (CAT scans), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), fiber-optic endoscopy, and laser surgery.

The rapidly advancing knowledge in the biomedical fields depends upon biophysical concepts and methods. There is a need for health care professionals and life scientists with ample training in the physical as well as biological sciences.

Sample Courses by Year

The following is the normal course sequence leading to the B. S. degree (biological and medical physics option). The sequence and variations meet the general prerequisites for medical school admission established by the Association of American Medical Colleges (http://www.aamc.org/). Formally, the B. S. degree is awarded by petition to the physics faculty based on the program developed by you and your advisor.

Courses shown with an asterisk (*) are minimum requirements for medical school admission; the requirements of individual medical schools and in some cases for the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) can exceed these.

Bio Medical Degree Program

 

Fall

Spring

Physics Credits Per Year

Freshman

PHY 215 (or 211) † (3) *
PHY 221 † (1) *

MAT 295 ‡ *
CHE 106 ‡ *
CHE 107 ‡ *

PHY 216 (or 212) † (3) *
PHY 222 † (1) *

MAT 296 ‡ *
CHE 116 ‡ *
CHE 117 ‡ *

8 credits

Sophomore

BIO 121 ‡ *
CHE 275 ‡ *
CHE 276 ‡ *

MAT 397

PHY 250 (1)
BIO 123 ‡ *
BIO 124 ‡ *
CHE 325 ‡ *
CHE 326 ‡ *

1 credit

Junior

PHY 360 # (3)
CHE 474 #
BIO 326 or 327 #
+electives (see below)

PHY 344 (4) #
PHY 361 (3) #
PHY 315 (3) #
+electives (see below)

13 credits

Senior

PHY 424 or ELE 324 # (3)
PHY 531 # (3)
+electives (see below)

MAT 485 #

+electives (see below)

6 credits

Total PHY Credits:

 13 credits  15 credits

28 credits

Key: † Required Physics Courses, ‡ Required Courses outside Physics, # Recommended Courses

Seven or more credits should be selected from the following courses:

  • PHY 425 (3) Electromagnetics II
  • PHY 444 (3) Soft Matter
  • PHY 462 (4) Experimental Physics II
  • PHY 523 (3) Advanced Mechanics
  • PHY 567 (4) Introduction to Quantum Mechanics I
  • PHY 576 (3) Introduction to Solid-State Physics
  • BCM 475 (3) Biochemistry I
  • BCM 476 (3) Biochemistry II
  • BCM 477 (3) Preparation and Analysis of Proteins and Nucleic Acids
  • BIO 475 (4) Biochemistry Laboratory
  • ELE 524 (3) Introduction to Applied Optics
  • MAT 517 (2) Partial Differential Equations and Fourier Series