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Physics Ph.D.—Biophysics Track


[Note: for information on pursuing the Biophysics Track, please be sure to read this page.]

Students who wish to take this degree track will be in residence in the Department of Physics and subject to the requirements for the Ph.D. in Physics [More Info], with the following modifications.

(1) In the first year of study, students in Biophysics are expected to take: P521 (Classical Mechanics); P506 (Electricity and Magnetism I); P556 (Thermodynamics/Statistical Physics I); P575 (Introduction to Biophysics); P581 (Modeling and Computation in Biophysics); and one course selected from Z620 (Introduction to Genomics), L585 (Molecular Genetics) L586 (Cell Biology), L587 (Developmental Biology), P582 (Biological and Artificial Neural Networks).

(2) In the second year of study, students are expected to take P511 (Quantum Mechanics I); P609(Computational Physics I); P676 (Selected Topics in Biophysics); one course selected from L529 (Bioinformatics in Molecular Biology and Genetics), P526 (Psychology – Neurobiology of Learning and Memory), P615 (Psychology – Developmental Psychology I), Q540 (Philosophical Foundations of the Cognitive and information Sciences), Q551 (The Brain and Cognition), P583 (Signal Processing and Information Theory); and two courses selected from L585 (Molecular Genetics) L586 (Cell Biology), L587 (Developmental Biology), P582 (Biological and Artificial Neural Networks), P507 (Electricity and Magnetism II), P512 (Quantum Mechanics II), Q580 (Introduction to Dynamic Systems in Cognitive Science).

(3) In rare cases, exceptions to the requirements (1) and (2) may be made to accommodate a student’s particular research interest.

(4) The major and minor requirements are met by the above courses.

(5) The Qualifying Examination consists of two parts: (a) a specially designated part (normally the first day) of the Physics Qualifying Examination, covering theoretical mechanics, electromagnetism and statistical physics at the level of P506, P521, P556; and (b) a separate examination in Biophysics, covering topics in basic biophysics and mathematical biology. Part (a) must be taken for the first time at the end of the first year of study, in August. A second attempt is allowed at the end of the second year. With advance approval of the Graduate Advisor, a student may be granted permission to attempt part (a) before undertaking the first year of courses; such an attempt will count as one of the two allowed attempts.

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