Biophysics program

Biophysics Co-ordinator:
S.K. Bose, Department of Physics

Edward Sternin, Department of Physics
Arthur van der Est, Department of Chemistry and Physics

General Information

Biophysics is the physics of life, of all living systems and their interaction with the surroundings, natural and artificial. It is a relatively new, but rapidly advancing field encompassing a wide variety of areas in natural and life sciences and uses all methods of scientific inquiry: theory, experiment and large scale computer simulation to understand living systems at the molecular level. Biophysics also forms the basis of many aspects of Medical Physics, another rapidly developing field in much demand at the current time. Brock's biophysics program will provide the students with a superb learning environment and exciting research opportunities. Extended research opportunities are available through Brock's participation in the Interdepartmental Biophysics Group (BIG) based at the University of Guelph.

The interdisciplinary nature of the Biophysics program offers an opportunity to modify the sequence of courses to be taken, to reflect better the interests of the individual students. However, this places a greater onus on the students to make sure that the prerequisites are satisfied, and that a sufficient number of credits at each level is included. Biophysics students are strongly encouraged to contact the Program Co-ordinator no later than year 2 of their studies, to ensure that their chosen sequence of courses satisfies all academic constraints. In view of the vastness of the field of Biophysics and the enormous diversity among its various subfields, the program offers a high degree of flexibility to its students at the 4th year level in terms of choice of PHYS, CHEM, BIOL, BTEC , PSYC/NEUR and PEKN courses.

Eligibility to continue in the program is based on the student's major average. To continue, a student must maintain a minimum of 70% major average. All courses required for the program, excluding the electives, will be considered for the major average.

Biophysics is an honours-only program. If a student's major average falls below the required 70% average by year three, they are advised to seek a three-year B.Sc. Degree in General Studies. Students should note that such a degree requires a minimum of five credits in one subject.

Program Notes

  1. Students enrolled in the Biophysics program are encouraged to include MATH 2F05, CHEM 3P40, 4P17, 4P18, and PHYS 3P92 among their electives.
  2. BPHY 4F90/4F91 projects should be approved by the Program Co-ordinator. Projects under the supervision of faculty members outside the Faculty of Mathematics and Science are possible, but may require cosupervision by a member from the Faculty of Mathematics and Science, in addition to being approved by the Program Co-ordinator. BPHY 4F90/4F91 may, under special circumstances, be started in the summer months following year 3.
  3. Students are advised to consult a program adviser in the Fall term of year 3 if their major average is below 70%.

Year 1

  • PHYS 1P91, one of PHYS 1P92, 1P93 (recommended)
  • BIOL 1F90
  • CHEM 1F92
  • MATH 1P01 and 1P02
  • one Humanities context credit or one Social Sciences context credit

Year 2

  • PHYS 2P02, 2P50, 2P51
  • MATH 1P12
  • BIOL 2F01
  • CHEM 2P20
  • One half credit from BIOL 2P92, 2P94, 2P97, 2P98
  • the Humanities context credit or Social Science context credit not taken in year 1

Year 3

  • PHYS 2P31, 3P41, 3P70, 3P91
  • CHEM 2P63
  • BIOL 3P34
  • One credit from CHEM 2P12, BIOL 3P35, 3P50, 3P90, 3P91
  • One elective credit (see program note 1)

Year 4

  • PHYS 3P02, 3P35
  • One credit from BIOL 4P03, 4P34, 4P84, BTEC 4P67
  • BPHY 4F90, 4F91 (see program note 2) or two credits from PSYC/NEUR 3F81, PEKN 4P10,
  • PHYS 3P36, 3(alpha)90 or above, BIOL 3(alpha)90 or above, CHEM3(alpha)90 or above, not taken in year 3 or 4 (see program note 1)
  • One elective credit (see program note 1)

Description of Courses

BPHY 4F90: Research Project I
A small research project to be carried out under the supervision of a faculty member from the departments of Physics, Chemistry or Biology.
BPHY4F91: Research Project II
A small research project to be carried out under the supervision of a faculty member from the departments of Physics, Chemistry or Biology.
See relevant calendar entry for all other course descriptions.