Medical Biophysics Courses and Degrees

Medical biophysics uses interdisciplinary research in biology, chemistry and physics. Find out about degree levels available as well as career and specialization options. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Medical biophysics degrees are available at the master's and doctoral degree level. These programs generally require previous education in a scientific field. Specializations within the field of medical biophysics are available once you reach the doctoral level of your education, allowing you to prepare for the career you want upon graduation.

Degrees Master's and doctoral degrees are available
Courses Genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, radiobiology, mathematical biophysics, medical imaging, enzyme chemistry, biochemical genetics, membrane biophysics, molecular pharmacology and quantum mechanics
Future Career Options Research, teaching, or employment within the government, military, drug companies or medical equipment manufacturers

What Kind of Degree Can I Earn in Medical Biophysics?

Degree programs specifically in medical biophysics generally begin at the graduate level. Several schools offer master's and doctoral programs in this field, as well as combined Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) programs. Training in this discipline sometimes is combined with other specialties, such as physiology or biomolecular imaging. A bachelor's degree in chemistry, biology or life sciences from an accredited university generally is required for admission to a graduate program in medical biophysics. Master's degrees can be earned in roughly two years, while completion of doctoral studies and a dissertation usually takes 5-7 years.

What Will I Learn in a Master's Degree Program?

Master's programs in medical biophysics are designed to train you in research methods at the cellular and molecular levels. You can pursue research in areas such as membrane biophysics and macromolecules. Programs coupled with other disciplines also might include instruction in different medical imaging procedures and may segue into doctoral studies. You'll usually take courses in genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology, as well as perform extensive laboratory research. These courses might be covered in a Master of Science in Medical Biophysics degree program:

  • Physical methods in biochemistry
  • Cell biology
  • Quantum chemistry
  • Physical biology
  • Quantum mechanics

What Topics Will I Study in a Doctoral Program?

Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics programs usually include multiple disciplines in natural, life and medical sciences. You can specialize your coursework and research to suit your career interests, completing projects and studies in radiobiology, mathematical biophysics or medical imaging. Lecture and seminar topics could include enzyme chemistry, biochemical genetics, membrane biophysics, molecular pharmacology and quantum mechanics.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

During your academic training, you can begin working toward your career goal by participating in department and faculty-led research projects. This experience might prove beneficial if you decide to apply for a postgraduate fellowship in your area of interest, though you'll find more of these at the postdoctoral level. The two main career avenues include research and academia; however, these options can be combined. Teaching at a medical research university offers you the tools and resources to advance your work in the field. You also could work for the U.S. military or a government agency or in private industry, such as a drug company or medical equipment manufacturer.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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