Skip to main content Skip to local navigation
Home » Biophysics


Visit the Biology Department site, or Physics & Astronomy Department site.

Includes: Mechanics, Electromagnetics, Genetics, Quantum Physics, Laser Physics, Cell Biology, Professional School Preparation

Biophysics is an exciting interdisciplinary frontier of science in which the principles and techniques of physics are used to study living things and how they work. For instance, biophysicists have applied laser physics to map cells in three dimensions and reveal bacteria in drinking water, and have developed or improved techniques for analyzing organisms such as EM (Electron Microscopy), CT (Computer-aided Tomography), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and X-ray crystallography. Studies of biological systems can also find applications to problems in physics. For example, the DNA of salmon has been found to improve the performance of light emitting diodes, and areas of nanotechnology are founded upon the unique mechanical and electrical properties of DNA. Biophysicists study organisms at all levels of biological organization from the macroscopic (e.g. movement, muscle contractions, breathing) to the microscopic (e.g. cell division, molecular motors, energy generation and conversion, cellular reactions to physical stimuli).

York’s Biophysics program is strong in both physics and biology, with uniquely interdisciplinary courses highlighting their interfaces. The program has a scope sufficiently broad 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 supporting fields through both lecture- and lab-based courses.

Typical First-Year Courses

  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Calculus
  • Linear Algebra
  • Computer Use

12U Requirements

  • English
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Advanced Functions
  • Calculus & Vectors
  • Chemistry (recommended)

Career Options

  • Medical Science
  • Forensic Science
  • Radiation Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Science
  • Agricultural Science
  • Computational Biology
  • Applied Health Sciences
  • Professional Schools – Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry, Pharmacy, etc
  • Education – elementary, high school, college, university
  • Postgraduate Studies/Academic Career