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Faculty of Science (SC) – Biophysics

Location: 128 Petrie, Tel.: 416-736-5249
Director: M. L. McCall

Biophysics is an interdisciplinary frontier of science in which the principles and techniques of physics are applied to study living things and how they work. Interest in biophysics is exploding as a result of a realization that biological phenomena can be better understood via insight into the basic physical principles underlying them. Students who study biophysics can have the satisfaction of becoming players in a real frontier of modern science with a vast potential for breakthroughs. What makes biophysics especially exciting is the diversity of applications: medical sciences, nanotechnology, design of new materials inspired by nature, etc.

York University offers a comprehensive four-year Specialized Honours degree program in biophysics. The program is strong in both physics and biology, is focused by courses dedicated to biophysics, and is sufficiently broad in scope to expose students to knowledge and techniques applicable not only to humans but to all of the kingdoms of life.

Students acquire a theoretical and practical understanding of biology, physics and biophysics through both lecture-based and lab-based courses. Practical skills in mathematics and computing are developed by promoting applications to physical and biophysical problems. Powers of lateral thinking are enhanced through the mixing of physics and biology courses and the unification of material through biophysics courses. In the end, students learn to recognize biological problems which could benefit from physical insights as well as physical principles which might productively confront biological challenges. Most important, students gain the ability to think critically and to analyze and solve complex problems, talents which are in high demand in both the private and public sectors.