Physiology and Biophysics


Education & Training

Master of Science Program in Biophysics

Program Objectives
The graduate program leading to the M.S. degree in Biophysical Sciences is intended to provide a sound scientific foundation for those planning to pursue a career in research, teaching, or applied biophysics. In order to promote the achievement of this objective, the following program requirements have been adopted:

Structure of the Program

Admission requirements:
A total of at least 36 credit hours are required for the M.S. degree. Of this total, at least 22 credit hours (for a Thesis Master's) or 28 credit hours (project Master's) must be earned in formal didactic coursework, including no more than 2 credit hours in Seminar and excluding credits for Research and Thesis Guidance,. Where appropriate, didactic course credits not exceeding 6 hours may be transferred from other graduate programs.


Required Courses
The following courses must be successfully completed with the achievement of a grade of B or better:

Course # Course Credits
BPH 601 Seminar (2 semesters) 2 *
BPH 505 Cellular and Molecular Biophysics I 4
BPH 510 Quantitative Biology and Systems Biophysics II 3
BPH 511/512 Biophysical Techniques 4 *

* 1 per semester
* 2 per semester

Qualified students may petition for waiver of the requirement for any specific course upon the basis of the completion of an equivalent course with a grade of B or higher.


Master’s students are required to register for Seminar credit for at least 2 semesters; in addition, attendance at the Departmental seminar series is expected of all students throughout the duration of their graduate programs.


Completion of the Master’s degree requires either a) submission of a thesis based upon a research program completed by the candidate; or b) completion of a project exploring an area or technique of biophysics in some depth.

The thesis research is conducted by the graduate student under the tutelage of his/her Major Professor and Thesis Advisory Committee. A Major Professor and a minimum of two members of the Department’s Graduate Faculty and a third member from outside of the Department shall form the Thesis Advisory Committee. All should hold the rank of Assistant Professor or above in the University faculty.

The research will culminate in a written thesis dissertation, which is an original contribution, written in English. Thesis preparation is critically monitored and supervised by the Major Professor and the Thesis Advisory Committee, both of whom must approve the thesis prior to the oral defense. The oral defense of thesis is scheduled after the candidate’s Thesis Advisory Committee and the Department have approved the thesis. The thesis is presented to the University Graduate Faculty in a seminar followed by an oral defense.

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