Physics and Astronomy

Biophysics BS

The goal of the Biophysics major is to provide students with the undergraduate background to enable them to enter very good graduate programs in biophysics, molecular biology, and physics. As the molecular biophysics field emerges as an important and rapidly developing area of scientific research and knowledge, the major is designed to provide both the scientific/technical training and the immersion in physics and molecular biology necessary to enable students to understand and integrate these fields intellectually and to have the opportunity to become leaders in bringing the analytic and experimental techniques of both fields to bear on the complicated behavior of microbiological macromolecular systems.

Learning Outcomes

The Biophysics major has the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrated mastery of fundamental principles and applications of classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and thermodynamics
  • Demonstrated mastery of necessary mathematical skills in differential equations, analysis, and linear algebra
  • Mastery of knowledge in basic biological science
  • Demonstrated proficiency in basic laboratory skills, including understanding and use of modern instrumentation and computers
  • Development of critical scientific thinking
  • Ability to retrieve and organize scientific information
  • Ability to apply scientific methodology to qualitative and quantitative analysis of physical phenomena
  • Ability to present clear written and oral accounts of scientific results

Preparation for the Major

Required: Physics 1A or 1AH, 1B or 1BH, 1C or 1CH, 4AL, 4BL, 17; Chemistry and Biochemistry 20A, 20B, 30A, 30B; Life Sciences 7A, 7B, 7C; Mathematics 31A, 31B, 32A, 32B, 33A, 33B. Recommended: Physics 18L.

Transfer Students

Transfer applicants to the Biophysics major with 90 or more units must have completed the following introductory courses prior to admission to UCLA: two years of calculus, one and one half years of calculus-based physics with laboratory for majors, one year of general biology with laboratory for majors, and one year of general chemistry with laboratory for majors.

Refer to the UCLA transfer admission guide for up-to-date information regarding transfer selection for admission.

The Major

Required: Physics 105A, 110A, 110B, 112, 115A, 115B, 131, M180G, C187A, C187B; either course 144 or C186; Chemistry and Biochemistry 153A, 153L; Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology 100 or M140 or 165A. Recommended: Life Sciences 107, Physics 108, 117, Chemistry and Biochemistry CM160A, and guided research in chemistry and biochemistry, molecular, cell, and developmental biology, or physics. An overall 2.0 grade-point average in all upper-division courses is required.