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Concentrations 101: Medical and Biological Physics

What is medical and biological physics?

In 2nd year, courses build on crucial background physics/math knowledge.  As such, it is fairly easy to switch between this concentration and the Physics concentration during second year. 3rd and 4th year courses start moving towards a more specific focus on radiation/biophysics topics. It may be difficult to finish in four years due to a high number of the mandatory courses, but it’s super interesting and well worth it!


Medical Physics focuses on radiation and imaging. Biophysics focuses  on small forces in biological situations (think forces/fluid flow in blood vessels) and properties of biological compounds.

How long does it typically take to complete this concentration?

This concentration can be done in 4 years, however, it could take up to 5 years based on 

lab course scheduling.

Why some upper years chose this concentration:

“After RP4 Cancer, I became interested in medical physics as a way to administer radiation to cancer patients. I was also attracted to the integration of physics and biology (but note: the beginning prerequisite courses are more focused on physics/math).”


“I love the merging of biology and physics, the applications to medicine meshing with physics’ problem solving. I think radiation science will be super interesting!”

What courses are required?


Note: Please take ample time planning courses for the remaining years of your undergrad, since there are some Level II courses that will only fit into you schedule during 3rd year.

Have more questions? Upper year contacts:

Chris Simon (Class of 2020)

Aanshi Gandhi (Class of 2020)

Lindsey Wong (Class of 2020)