Biological Physics

Degree

Bachelor of Science | College of Arts and Science

What is Biological Physics?

Biological Physics is a science investigating the physical behavior of biological and biologically inspired systems, applying physical techniques to solve problems in physics, biology, and medicine. The Biological Physics program is multidisciplinary, drawing from coursework in physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, and other related disciplines. The program combines a broad science curriculum with physical and mathematical rigor in preparation for careers in biological physics and biophysics, medical physics, medicine, and biomedical engineering.

What are the features of Miami’s program?

Small class sizes

Classes within the department are typically small, even in introductory courses. The smaller instructor-to-student ratio allows for a close working relationship between physics faculty and students. Faculty are widely available for individual assistance.

Faculty-mentored research

Students are encouraged to work directly with faculty on original and timely research problems in areas like nano-biotechnology and bio-optical sensing. The majority of our students become involved in faculty-mentored projects, and students often present at scientific conferences and publish in leading journals. Regardless of whether a student is planning a research career, involvement is valuable because the research process fosters critical thinking and independent learning.

Internship and summer research opportunities

Many faculty have summer research positions available. Additionally, there are university-wide programs to which a student, sponsored by a faculty mentor, can apply. Students also apply to programs at other universities and national laboratories, including the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Argonne National Laboratory. Miami physics students have a strong record in being awarded these opportunities.

Research and instructional facilities

The department has modern research laboratories where students work with faculty on research projects. A computational physics laboratory is available to students for both research and coursework. A supervised machine shop is also available to students as well as laboratory facilities designed for courses in electronics, materials physics, optics, and laser physics, and spectroscopy.

What are the special admission requirements, if any?

There are no additional admission requirements for this program.

What courses would I take?

The Biological Physics program combines a broad science curriculum with physical and mathematical rigor. In addition to courses in physics (classical and contemporary physics, electronics and instrumentation, computational physics), core coursework includes biophysics, molecular and cellular biology, general and organic chemistry, calculus, and applied statistics.

Advanced electives draw from course offerings in physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, engineering, and kinesiology, and are flexible enough to serve students pursuing a wide range of career options, including biological physics and biophysics, medical physics, medicine, and biomedical engineering.

Because the program supports a range of career paths, students are strongly encouraged to develop a curriculum in consultation with a department academic adviser.

What can I do with this major?

About 60 percent of our physics graduates attend graduate or professional school for careers in biological physics and biophysics, medical physics, medicine, and biomedical engineering. Students also continue with studies in business, law, education, or public health.

Those students not continuing their formal education find employment in a variety of scientific and technical fields. Teaching, military service, or technical sales and services are some of these options. A biological physics degree can also provide entry into other fields, such as marketing or business operations with technical companies.

Who can I contact for more information?

Department of Physics
133 Culler Hall
Oxford, OH 45056
513-529-5625