BS in Physics with Emphasis in Biological Physics

Degree Program Description

Physics is the science that studies the structure and properties of matter and transformations of energy. With math as the language and experimental verification as a guide, physical study has established the fundamental laws of nature that are the foundation of all natural science and technology. The study of physics includes learning the general principles and the phenomena that have been discovered and developing the skills that enable such knowledge to be advanced through research. Biological physics is an interdisciplinary area that employs and develops theories and methods of the physical sciences for the investigation of biological systems. There is a long history of the quantitative tools and techniques originally developed within the physics community finding critical applications in biology. Examples range from the first visualization of the DNA double helix via X-ray diffraction to the widespread use of magnetic resonance imaging in hospitals throughout the world.  Currently, biological physics is one of the fastest growing physics research areas that is vital for many other fields, including medicine, bioengineering, and biology. Students specializing in this area have career opportunities in medical centers, research institutes and biotechnology industries, as well as the more traditional academic venues.

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Major Program Requirements

Students interested in biological physics may choose to pursue a BS in Physics with an Emphasis in Biological Physics. For this option, students must take the same required courses as the students pursuing a regular BS degree, take PHYSCS 4520 Introduction to Biophysics, and three additional physics electives (3 courses) from the list below:

PHYSCS 4190Physics and Chemistry of Materials3
PHYSCS 4310Physics in Cell and Developmental Biology3
PHYSCS 4410Analysis of Biological Macromolecules and Biomaterials3
PHYSCS 4420Introduction to Biomedical Imaging3
PHYSCS 4500Computational Biological Physics3
PHYSCS 4510Single Molecule Biophysics3
PHYSCS 4520Introduction to Biophysics3
PHYSCS 4950Undergraduate Research in Physics1-3
PHYSCS 4960Senior Thesis in Physics3

Only courses with a grade of C- or above will be counted toward the emphasis area.

Required Courses
PHYSCS 2800Undergraduate Seminar in Physics2
PHYSCS 2750
PHYSCS 2760
University Physics I
and University Physics II
10
PHYSCS 3150Introduction to Modern Physics3
PHYSCS 4060Advanced Physics Laboratory I3
PHYSCS 4100Electricity and Magnetism I3
PHYSCS 4120Introduction to Thermodynamics3
PHYSCS 4140Mechanics3
PHYSCS 4800Introduction to Quantum Mechanics I3
One Physics Elective3
Choose 4 electives:
PHYSCS 4190Physics and Chemistry of Materials3
PHYSCS 4310Physics in Cell and Developmental Biology3
PHYSCS 4410Analysis of Biological Macromolecules and Biomaterials3
PHYSCS 4420Introduction to Biomedical Imaging3
PHYSCS 4500Computational Biological Physics3
PHYSCS 4510Single Molecule Biophysics3
PHYSCS 4520Introduction to Biophysics3
PHYSCS 4950Undergraduate Research in Physics (with approval)1-3
PHYSCS 4960Senior Thesis in Physics (with approval)3

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Semester Plan

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 15005MATH 1700^5
General Education*3PHYSCS 2750^5
ENGLSH 1000*3General Education*3
PHYSCS 28002 
CHEM 13204 
 17 13
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 2300^3MATH 4100^3
General Education*3PHYSCS 4140^3
General Education*3General Education*3
PHYSCS 2760^5Specialized/Foreign Language3
 PHYSCS 3150^3
 14 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PHYSCS 4100^3PHYSCS 41203
PHYSCS 46203MATH Elective^3
MATH 4500^3General Education*3
PHYSCS 4060^3Specialized/Foreign Language*3
Specialized/Foreign Language*3PHYSCS Elective^3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PHYSCS 4800^3PHYSCS 4810^3
PHYSCS Elective^3PHYSCS 4985^3
PHYSCS Elective^3PHYSCS Elective^3
Specialized/Foreign Language*3Electives/Research3
 12 12
Total Credits: 113
^

Course meets degree program requirements.

*

Course meets University General Education and/or campus graduation requirements.

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students who have attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by logging in to myZou and navigating to Self Service, then Student Center, and clicking on “Request Degree Audit.” The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.

MU students who have NOT attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to http://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

For newly admitted or prospective students, MU degree audits can be created at http://www.transfer.org. Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to http://registrar.missouri.edu/degree-audits/index.php.

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center in the lower level of the Student Success Center.  No appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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