Yes

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2016-2017, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on October 1, 2016. Access the catalog of record at http://catalogs.sandiego.edu.

The Biophysics Major

Preparation for the Major (38 units)

Preparation for the biophysics major is designed to give the student a broad background in biology, chemistry and physics. In order to successfully navigate these diverse fields, a strong background in math is also required.

MATH 150Calculus I4
MATH 151Calculus II4
MATH 250Calculus III4
Select one of the following sequences of introductory physics courses with lab:8
General Physics I
and General Physics I Lab
and General Physics II
and General Physics II Lab
OR
Introduction to Mechanics
and Mechanics Lab
and Introduction to Electricity and Magnetism
and Introduction to Electricity and Magnetism Lab
PHYS 272
272L
Introduction to Modern Physics
and Introduction to Modern Physics Lab
4
CHEM 151
151L
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
4
CHEM 152
152L
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
4
BIOL 190Introduction to Evolution3
BIOL 225Introduction to Cell Processes3

Major Requirements (33 units)

Courses required for the Biophysics Major also reflect the integration of the sciences, with upper division courses from each of biology, chemistry and physics required. Students are urged to work with their biophysics academic advisor to work out a schedule of courses and electives that best fits their career goals and aspirations.

PHYS 340Biological Physics3
PHYS 481WExperimental Biophysics4
PHYS 493Seminar I: the Craft of Scientific Presentation1
PHYS 495Seminar II: Frontiers of Physics1
PHYS 496Research1-3
PHYS 330Quantum Mechanics3-4
 CHEM 311 Physical Chemistry I
CHEM 301
301L
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
4
CHEM 331Biochemistry3
CHEM 302
302L
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry II Laboratory
4
BIOL 300Genetics3
Two Upper-Division Electives from BIOL, PHYS, BCHEM or EOSC (subject to advisor approval)6

Suggested Upper-Division Electives include:

PHYS 301Energy and the Environment3
PHYS 319Thermal and Statistical Physics3
PHYS 324Electromagnetism3
BIOL 342Microbiology4
BIOL 432Electron Microscopy4
BIOL 480Cell Physiology3
BIOL 482Molecular Biology3
CHEM 311Physical Chemistry I3-4
CHEM 335Biochemistry Laboratory3
CHEM 427Biophysical Chemistry3
EOSC 452Marine Geochemistry4
EOSC 478Boundary Layer Flow3
EOSC 473Climatology4

Recommended Program of Study, Biophysics 

Freshman Year
Semester IHours
MATH 150Calculus I4
CHEM 151
151L
General Chemistry I4
BIOL 190Introduction to Evolution3
CC or electives3-6
Semester II
PHYS 270
270L
Introduction to Mechanics4
MATH 151Calculus II4
CHEM 152
152L
General Chemistry II4
CC or electives3
Sophomore Year
Semester I
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to Electricity and Magnetism 
General Physics II 
MATH 250Calculus III4
CC or electives4-7
Semester II
PHYS 272
272L
Introduction to Modern Physics4
BIOL 225Introduction to Cell Processes3
CC or electives5-8
Junior Year
Semester I
BIOL 300Genetics3
CHEM 301
301L
Organic Chemistry I4
PHYS 496Research1
CC or electives4-7
Semester II
PHYS 340Biological Physics3
PHYS 496Research1
CHEM 302
302L
Organic Chemistry II4
CC or electives4-7
Senior Year
Semester I
PHYS 330 CHEM 311Quantum Mechanics
Physical Chemistry I
3
PHYS 493Seminar I: the Craft of Scientific Presentation1
CHEM 331Biochemistry3
CC or electives5
Semester II
PHYS 495Seminar II: Frontiers of Physics1
PHYS 496Research2
CC or electives6-9

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2016-2017, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on October 1, 2016. Access the catalog of record at http://catalogs.sandiego.edu.

PHYS 101, PHYS 105, PHYS 107, PHYS 117, PHYS 136, PHYS 136L, PHYS 137, PHYS 137L, PHYS 270, PHYS 270L, PHYS 271, PHYS 271L, PHYS 272, PHYS 272L, PHYS 301, PHYS 307, PHYS 314, PHYS 319, PHYS 324, PHYS 330, PHYS 331, PHYS 340, PHYS 477, PHYS 477L, PHYS 480W, PHYS 481W, PHYS 487, PHYS 493, PHYS 494, PHYS 495, PHYS 496, PHYS 499

PHYS 101 | PHYSICS AND SOCIETY

Units: 3

A discussion of the concepts which unify our experience with the physical world. Topics are presented at an introductory level for the student with little or no background in physical science. Science related topics of special interest are discussed. Examples include: alternatives for energy production and conservation; radiation, its effect and applications; and ethical decisions in the application of new scientific discoveries. Weekly lectures include demonstrations and discussions. Every semester.

PHYS 105 | PHYSICAL SCIENCES FOR K-8 TEACHERS

Units: 3

A laboratory/lecture/discussion class designed to lead students toward an understanding of selected topics in chemistry and physics. The course topics are selected to satisfy the Physical Science specifications of the Science Content Standards for California Public Schools (K-12). Enrollment is limited to liberal studies majors. Two two-hour laboratory sessions per week. This course is cross-listed with Chemistry 105. Fall semester.

PHYS 107 | ASTRONOMY

Units: 3

A survey of astronomy covering astronomical history, planetology, stellar birth/life/death, large-scale structures, and cosmology. No formal laboratory. No science prerequisites.

PHYS 117 | ASTRONOMY WITH LAB

Units: 3

A survey of astronomy covering astronomical history, descriptive astronomy, planetology, stellar birth/life/death, and cosmology. This course satisfies the core curriculum physical science requirement with laboratory. Two lectures and one laboratory weekly. No science prerequisites. Fall semester.

PHYS 136 | GENERAL PHYSICS I

Units: 3

Prerequisites: (MATH 130 or MATH 150)

Corequisites: PHYS 136L

A study of the fundamental principles of mechanics and wave motion, sound, and heat. The course is mildly calculus-based. Three lectures and one laboratory weekly.

PHYS 136L | GENERAL PHYSICS I LAB

Units: 1

Prerequisites: PHYS 136 (Can be taken Concurrently)

A laboratory course which introduces the concepts and techniques of experimental physics. Laboratory periods meet every week.

PHYS 137 | GENERAL PHYSICS II

Units: 3

Prerequisites: PHYS 136 and PHYS 136L

Corequisites: PHYS 137L

A study of the fundamental principles of electricity and magnetism, light, and modern physics. Three lectures and one laboratory weekly.

PHYS 137L | GENERAL PHYSICS II LAB

Units: 1

Prerequisites: PHYS 137 (Can be taken Concurrently)

A laboratory course which introduces the concepts and techniques of experimental physics. Laboratory periods meet every week.

PHYS 270 | INTRODUCTION TO MECHANICS

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Prerequisites: MATH 150 (Can be taken Concurrently) or MATH 151 (Can be taken Concurrently)

Corequisites: PHYS 270L

A study of the fundamental principles of mechanics, kinematics, Newton’s Laws, the conservation laws, including oscillations, waves, fluids, and some thermodynamics and wave motion. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory weekly.

PHYS 270L | MECHANICS LAB

Units: 1

A laboratory course which introduces the concepts and techniques of experimental physics. Laboratory periods meet every week.

PHYS 271 | INTRODUCTION TO ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM

Units: 3

Prerequisites: (PHYS 270 and PHYS 270L) or (PHYS 136 and PHYS 136L) and MATH 151 (Can be taken Concurrently) and PHYS 271L (Can be taken Concurrently)

A study of the fundamental principles of classical electricity and magnetism including optics. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory weekly. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory weekly.

PHYS 271L | INTRODUCTION TO ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM LAB

Units: 1

Prerequisites: PHYS 271 (Can be taken Concurrently)

A laboratory course which introduces the concepts and techniques of experimental physics. Laboratory periods meet every week.

PHYS 272 | INTRODUCTION TO MODERN PHYSICS

Units: 3

Prerequisites: MATH 151 and (PHYS 271 and PHYS 271L) or (PHYS 136 and PHYS 136L)

An introduction to modern physics including quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics, and special relativity. Principles and applications are studied. This course is required of all physics majors, minors, and Biophysics majors (including associated lab), and is accepted for engineering students. Three hours of lecture per week, Spring semester.

PHYS 272L | INTRODUCTION TO MODERN PHYSICS LAB

Units: 1

Corequisites: PHYS 272

Laboratory experiments to illustrate the topics presented in the lecture course: Introduction to Modern Physics (PHYS 272).

PHYS 301 | ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Units: 3

Prerequisites: (PHYS 137 and PHYS 137L) or (PHYS 271 and PHYS 271L)

Energy is the lifeblood of civilization, but its use entails substantial environmental costs. This course examines the physics and technology of energy production, distribution and use, as well as its environmental consequences. It is suitable for students having completed lower division introductory physics.

PHYS 307 | ASTROPHYSICS

Units: 3

Prerequisites: (PHYS 271 and PHYS 271L) or (PHYS 137 and PHYS 137L) and MATH 151

A study of the fundamental principles of Astrophysics including topics such as Stellar Evolution, Special and General Relativity, Cosmology, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life.

PHYS 314 | ANALYTICAL MECHANICS

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Prerequisites: PHYS 271 and PHYS 271L and MATH 250

Statics and dynamics are developed using vector analysis, the Hamiltonian and Lagrangian formulations. Orbit theory and chaos are among the special topics treated.

PHYS 319 | THERMAL AND STATISTICAL PHYSICS

Units: 3

Prerequisites: PHYS 272

This course employs techniques from statistical mechanics to explore topics in thermodynamics. Topics include ideal gases, phase transitions, chemical equilibrium, kinetic theory, and paramagnetism.

PHYS 324 | ELECTROMAGNETISM

Units: 3

Prerequisites: MATH 250 (Can be taken Concurrently) and PHYS 271 and PHYS 271L

A development of Maxwell’s equations using vector calculus. The electrical and magnetic properties of matter and the solution of boundary value problems are also developed. Three lectures per week.

PHYS 330 | QUANTUM MECHANICS

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Prerequisites: PHYS 272 and PHYS 272L

Introduction to the fundamental properties of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics, including the Schrödinger equation in 1-3 dimensions, the mathematical formalism (involving linear algebra and partial differential equations) of quantum theory, the solution of the Hydrogen atom, and elementary perturbation theory. Entanglement, Bell’s theorem, laser physics, high resolution optical spectroscopy, and history of physics are among the special topics discussed.

PHYS 331 | ADVANCED TOPICS IN QUANTUM PHYSICS

Units: 3

Prerequisites: PHYS 330

Applications of Quantum Theory in areas such as atomic, nuclear, solid state, and elementary particle physics.

PHYS 340 | BIOLOGICAL PHYSICS

Units: 3

Prerequisites: MATH 250 and PHYS 272 and PHYS 272L

Biological physics introduces the interface between the two classic sciences. Physics principles and techniques are applied to questions and problems in biology with a focus on molecular and cellular biology. Topics will be introduced systematically, building on the fundamentals of thermodynamics and building to current cutting edge research topics such as protein folding, molecular machines and brain function. Specific topics may include single-molecule biophysics, optical trapping, molecular and cellular self-assembly, gene regulation, biomaterials and biomedical imaging.

PHYS 477 | INTRODUCTION TO FLUIDS

Units: 3

Prerequisites: MATH 250 or (PHYS 271 and PHYS 271L)

Corequisites: PHYS 477L

An introduction to the basic principles of fluids. This course will serve as an introduction to concepts used in physical oceanography, atmospheric science, and other disciplines in which fluids are studied or utilized. Examples of applications to a broad range of disciplines (physics, engineering, earth sciences, astrophysics, and biology) will be developed.

PHYS 477L | FLUIDS LABORATORY

Units: 1

Corequisites: PHYS 477

Laboratory work to accompany PHYS 477.

PHYS 480W | EXPERIMENTAL MODERN PHYSICS

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

Prerequisites: PHYS 330

A laboratory-based course focused on the introduction to principles of research techniques with an emphasis on modern physics. Experiments illustrate physical phenomena pertaining to core areas of physics: quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics, laser physics and plasma physics. Analog and digital data acquisition instrumentation, high-resolution optical and laser technology, and phase sensitive detection technology will be explored. This course is the writing intensive course.

PHYS 481W | EXPERIMENTAL BIOPHYSICS

Units: 4

Prerequisites: PHYS 272 and PHYS 272L and MATH 250

A laboratory-based course focused on the introduction to principles of biophysics research techniques. Instrumentation development and experimental research will explore topics of fluorescence and force spectroscopy, molecular diffusion, fluctuation-dissipation theory and viscoelasticity related to molecular and cellular biophysical systems. Students will also be trained in general wet-lab techniques and computational data acquisition and analysis using Labview and Matlab. This course is the primary upper division laboratory requirement for the biophysics major and fulfills the upper division core writing requirement. Students will write and edit research reports on their experimental results at a level suitable for journal publication. The writing process will also include literature search techniques and an introduction to the peer review process.

PHYS 487 | TECHNIQUES IN PHYSICS

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

Training and practice in those areas of physics of practical importance to the technician, teacher, and researcher. To include, but not limited to, technical methodology, preparation and technique in the teaching laboratory, and routines supportive of research. May be repeated up to a maximum of four units of credit.

PHYS 493 | SEMINAR I: THE CRAFT OF SCIENTIFIC PRESENTATION

Units: 1

The first semester of the seminar series is devoted to instruction on scientific presentations in physics. Students will give short presentations on topics of interest, and will prepare to give a lengthy presentation on their research work. Stress is laid on the preparation, execution, and the critique of effective scientific presentations. Meets one hour per week. Fall semester.

PHYS 494 | SPECIAL TOPICS

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

Prerequisites: PHYS 271 and PHYS 271L

Topics chosen by the instructor in areas such as: thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, solid state, hydrodynamics, quantum mechanics, plasma physics, nuclear physics, elementary particle physics, and advanced physics laboratory. May be repeated for credit if the course material is different.

PHYS 495 | SEMINAR II: FRONTIERS OF PHYSICS

Units: 1

The second semester of the seminar series focuses on exposure to current physics research in the form of informal and formal presentations, lab tours, and scientific articles on a wide range of current research fields. Students will attend physics seminars at UCSD and will meet with physicists in fields related to the seminar beforehand. To prepare for the seminars and meetings, students will read journal articles on the topic. Students will learn about a wide range of cutting-edge physics research topics such as: dark matter, global warming and alternative energy sources, biomechanics, string theory, neutrinos, etc. Meets 2-4 hours every other Thursday. Spring semester.

PHYS 496 | RESEARCH

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

An undergraduate research problem in experimental or theoretical physics. A written report is required. Problem to be selected after consultation with department faculty.

PHYS 499 | INDEPENDENT STUDY

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)