Biophysics

Biophysics is an interdisciplinary science that utilizes physical principles to analyze and investigate biological systems of all scales. Read on to learn more about this field of science, including employment opportunities and degree options.

Is Biophysics For Me?

Career Summary

The field of biophysics seeks to understand living organisms through different principles of physical science. Biophysics researchers study the flow of energy through different living organisms, muscle function and other life processes. As a biophysicist, you may conduct research related to anything from understanding plant photosynthesis to finding a cure for cancer. Working as a physicist, meanwhile, you may spend time studying the forces of nature, including the laws of energy and motion. Some physicists also design research equipment such as microscopes, which are often used in the biophysics field.

Salary and Employment Outlook

If you're interested in pursuing a career in biophysics, you can expect solid job prospects over the next several years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for biophysicists and biochemists is expected to grow by 19% over the 2012-2022 decade, which is faster than average (www.bls.gov). During the same period, physicists are expected to see a 10% growth in employment. The BLS also reported that as of 2012, biophysicists made an average salary of $89,470.

How Can I Work in Biophysics?

Education Programs

Biophysics degree programs exist at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and emphasize intensive study of mathematics and sciences, as well as independent research. Biophysics students learn how to apply scientific principles, computer modeling and mathematical analysis to study the structure and function of living organisms. It is an interdisciplinary science that analyzes and evaluates all levels of biological classification from the molecular level to entire ecosystems.

While a bachelor's degree can qualify you for positions as a research assistant or technician, a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is required for independent research positions. A Ph.D. program in biophysics will require you to complete some coursework and seminars on topics such as enzyme kinetics, molecular assemblies and molecular genetics. You'll also be required to complete at least a semester of teaching and a qualifying oral examination before moving onto researching and writing your doctoral dissertation.

Topics of Study

Undergraduate students take foundational courses in math, chemistry, computer science, physics and biology before taking specialized classes in biophysics. Graduate students choose an area of focus, such as molecular biophysics or developmental biophysics, and base their courses and research on their interests. As a biophysics student, you may take specific courses such as mechanics, electromagnetics, physics with calculus and the biological environment.

Related Articles for Biophysics

  • Biophysics Salary and Career Facts

    Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in biophysics. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary, education and other career requirements.
  • Biophysics Degree Programs

    Biophysics involves using mathematical, chemistry and physics principles to improve human health, and biophysicists work in many occupations. Get information on the undergraduate and graduate degrees in this field, and learn about courses in these...
  • 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.
  • Jobs with a Master's in Microbiology

    Individuals with master's degrees in microbiology have many career fields from which to choose, including teaching, management, biophysics, biochemistry, environmental science, and public health. Learn more details about these careers, such as...

View More Articles

Related Videos

  • How Do I Become a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)? - Video

    Among the important professionals employed in the medical industry are nurse assistants. In high demand throughout the country, these health professionals assist nurses and other medical staff in overseeing the health of patients in hospitals, assisted living centers, private homes and other care settings. Certified Nurse Assistant programs can prepare students for these rewarding careers.
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Trident University

    Trident University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Fortis College

    Fortis College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Alabama: Birmingham
    • New Jersey: Birmingham, Wayne
    • Tennessee: Birmingham, Wayne, Cookeville, Nashville
  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • University of Pennsylvania

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford
  • University of Notre Dame

    Campus Locations:

    • Indiana: Notre Dame