Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree with a Major in Physics and a Major Concentration in Biological Physics

Program Learning Outcomes for the BS Degree with a Major in Physics and a Major Concentration in Biological Physics 

Upon completing the BS degree with a major in Physics and a major concentration in Biological Physics, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a solid foundation of knowledge in physics and deeper knowledge of subdivisions of the field related to their interests.
  2. Identify, formulate, and solve challenging scientific and technical problems as encountered in physics.
  3. Read basic scientific literature and communicate scientific results orally and in writing with scientists and the general public.
  4. Conduct directed research.

Requirements for the BS Degree with a Major in Physics and a Major Concentration in Biological Physics 

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BS degree with a major in Physics and a major concentration in Biological Physics must complete:

  • A minimum of 75 credit hours to satisfy major requirements. 
  • A minimum of 135 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements. 
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours outside of major requirements. 
  • A minimum of 32 credit hours taken at the 300-level or above.
  • Core courses common to all major concentrations. 
  • The requirements for the major concentration in Biological Physics. When students declare the major in Physics, students must additionally identify and declare one of the major concentrations, either in:

Because of the common core requirements, it is possible for students to change their major concentration, even after initially declaring the major. To do so, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Students may obtain credit for some courses by advanced placement, and the department's undergraduate committee can modify requirements to meet the needs of students with special backgrounds. 

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the department's undergraduate committee for input into Degree Works by the major's official certifier. Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary 

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Physics and a Major Concentration in Biological Physics 75
Total Credit Hours Required for the BS Degree with a Major in Physics and a Major Concentration in Biological Physics135

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
Select 1 from the following:4
MECHANICS (WITH LAB)
and MECHANICS DISCUSSION
HONORS MECHANICS (WITH LAB)
Select 1 from the following:4
ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (WITH LAB)
and ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM DISCUSSION
HONORS ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (WITH LAB)
PHYS 201WAVES, LIGHT, AND HEAT3
PHYS 202MODERN PHYSICS3
PHYS 231ELEMENTARY PHYSICS LAB1
PHYS 301INTERMEDIATE MECHANICS4
PHYS 311INTRODUCTION TO QUANTUM PHYSICS I3
PHYS 491
PHYS 493
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
and UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SEMINAR 1
3
PHYS 492
PHYS 494
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
and UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SEMINAR 2
3
MATH 101SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS I3
MATH 102SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS II3
MATH 211ORDINARY DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS AND LINEAR ALGEBRA3
or MATH 221 HONORS CALCULUS III
MATH 212MULTIVARIABLE CALCULUS3
or MATH 222 HONORS CALCULUS IV
Major Concentration in Biological Physics 3
PHYS 302INTERMEDIATE ELECTRODYNAMICS4
PHYS 312INTRODUCTION TO QUANTUM PHYSICS II3
PHYS 355INTRODUCTION TO BIOLOGICAL PHYSICS3
PHYS 425STATISTICAL & THERMAL PHYSICS3
BIOC 201INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY3
BIOC 211INTERMEDIATE EXPERIMENTAL BIOSCIENCES2
BIOC 301BIOCHEMISTRY I3
or BIOC 341 CELL BIOLOGY
CHEM 121
CHEM 123
GENERAL CHEMISTRY I
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY I 4
4
CHEM 122
CHEM 124
GENERAL CHEMISTRY II
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY II 4
4
CHEM 211
CHEM 213
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I
and ORGANIC CHEMISTRY DISCUSSION
3
MATH 381INTRODUCTION TO PARTIAL DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS3
or CAAM 336 DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Physics and a Major Concentration in Biological Physics 75
University Graduation Requirements *60
Total Credit Hours135

Footnotes and Additional Information  

Policies for the BS Degree with a Major in Physics and a Major Concentration in Biological Physics 

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: http://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in Physics should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis.

For additional information, please see the Physics and Astronomy website: http://physics.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the BS Degree with a Major in Physics and a Major Concentration in Biological Physics 

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Research in the Department of Physics and Astronomy

The Physics and Astronomy Department encourages undergraduate participation in research, both within the department and through extramural programs. For current opportunities, please visit the Department's website and click on the Undergraduate Study link, at: http://www.physics.rice.edu/.

For additional information, please see the Physics and Astronomy website: http://physics.rice.edu/