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College of the Sciences

Physics BS with Biophysics Specialization

Biophysics is the application of the principles and tools of physics to the study of biological systems. Biophysicists contribute to the understanding of a wide range of interdisciplinary scientific subfields including biotechnology, quantitative molecular and cellular biology, medical physics, neuroscience, and biomechanics. The goal of the Physics B.S. with Biophysics specialization is to prepare graduates to be competitive in applications for entry into graduate degree programs in biophysics, physics, and related fields; jobs in government research labs; and private sector employment in areas such as biotechnology. Depending on math preparation, students should be able to complete the Bachelor of Science degree, with Biophysics specialization, in four years at CWU.

Required Courses:

Introductory Physics:
PHYS 121 - Introductory Physics for Life Sciences I
PHYS 122 - Introductory Physics for Life Sciences II
PHYS 123 - Introductory Physics for Life Sciences III
PHYS 181 - General Physics I with Laboratory
PHYS 182 - General Physics II with Laboratory
PHYS 183 - General Physics III with Laboratory

Introductory Chemistry:
CHEM 181 - General Chemistry I
CHEM 181LAB - General Chemistry Laboratory I
CHEM 182 - General Chemistry II
CHEM 182LAB - General Chemistry Laboratory II

MATH 172 - Calculus I
MATH 173 - Calculus II
MATH 265 - Linear Algebra I
MATH 272 - Multivariable Calculus I
MATH 273 - Multivariable Calculus II
MATH 265 - Linear Algebra I
MATH 272 - Multivariable Calculus I
MATH 273 - Multivariable Calculus II
MATH 376 - Differential Equations I

Physics Courses:
PHYS 317 - Modern Physics I
PHYS 318 - Modern Physics II
PHYS 331 - Laboratory Practices and Techniques
PHYS 333 - Experimental Physics I
PHYS 342 - Thermodynamics
PHYS 351 - Analytical Mechanics I
PHYS 363 - Optics
PHYS 489 - Senior Assessment
PHYS 498 - Special Topics Credits (Must be taken for at least 1 credit)
PHYS 495 - At least 4 credits of Undergraduate Research

Biology and Biophysics Courses:
BIOL 181 - General Biology I
BIOL 182 - General Biology II
BIOL 183 - General Biology III
PHYS 322 - Molecular Biophysics
PHYS 323 - Experimental Biophysics

Students must take an additional 5 credits of department approved electives.

See physics course descriptions here.


Sample Course Schedule (click to download pdf):


Advice to Prospective and Current Students:

Students should plan to complete their undergraduate research credits (PHYS 495) as early as possible. Motivated students can start taking PHYS 495 as early as their sophomore year.  Most students will be prepared to do research during their junior year.

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