College of Arts and Sciences


Program Option

Physics and Astronomy department web site

The information on this page pertains to program requirements for students who matriculated in the 2023-2024 academic year.  View requirements for previous catalog years here.

Program Overview

This concentration is addressed to physics and astronomy students but also students in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, psychology, pharmacy, health sciences, and generally any student interested in applications of physics to biological systems.  It provides a good background for further studies in biophysics, biomechanics, and medical fields and can lead to careers in these areas.

Biophysics Concentration

Course Credits
PHY 001 (with lab and discussion) - Intro to Physics 1, or
PHY 011 (with lab and discussion) - General Physics I
PHY 002 (with lab and discussion) - Intro to Physics 2, or
PHY 012 (with lab and discussion) - General Physics II
PHY 003 - Contemporary Topics in Physics and Astronomy Seminar 1
CHEM 001 and 003 - General Chemistry I, or
CHEM 097 and 098 - Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 002 and 004 - General Chemistry II, or
CHEM 108 and 110 - Organic Chemistry II
BIO 165 - Cell Biology, or
BIO 186 and 187 - Molecular Biology, or
equivalent course from Pharmacy (with lab and discussion)
PHY 132 - Medical Biophysics 3
PHY 189 - Medical and Sports Biomechanics 2
Electives - choose at least one from 3-4
CHEM 161 - Biophysical Chemistry 4
BIO 188 - Structural Biology 3
BIO/CS 116 - Bioinformatics 3
PHY 197/198 - Research I/II (Senior Capstone)* 3

Requirements for the program also include prerequisite/co-requisite courses in mathematics.  Depending on the student’s career goals, the academic advisor may recommend other courses chosen from electives.

Grade Requirements for Graduation

3.0 minimum (B) average is required in all biophysics-credit courses.

* Research Participation (Capstone):  At least 3 cr of PHY 197 and/or PHY 198 at Drake and/or at least one REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates).  A paper and an oral presentation are required.  The topic must be related to biophysics and be approved by the student’s advisor in advance.

The information in this catalog does not constitute a contract between the university and the student. The university reserves the right to make changes in curricula, admission policies and processes, tuition and financial aid, academic standards and guidelines, student services and any other regulations or policies set forth in this catalog without giving prior notice.