This program introduces graduate students to the field of biophysics, its methodologies and the state-of-the-art biophysical research efforts being carried out in diverse laboratories and departments on the CU Boulder campus. It creates interdepartmental connections that provide the breadth of training needed to develop biophysical scholars.

Students must be admitted through the regular admissions process to a PhD program in one of the following departments:

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Physics

They must satisfy all of their home department's requirements to receive a PhD as well as the additional requirements of the certificate program. For more information, visit the program's Molecular Biophysics Training Program: Certificate Option webpage.


  • Participation in one to three laboratory rotations outside the thesis lab, which provide experience with a range of biophysical methods. Subsequently the student joins one of the member laboratories of the training program for thesis work.
  • Completion of two courses chosen from the list of approved courses below.
  • Annual meeting with a faculty advisory committee that provides helpful feedback on the thesis research.
  • Students are expected to take part in a seminar series, which presents internationally renowned speakers and their research. They also are required to participate in supergroup meetings and symposia, which provide forums for them to present their own research in front of their colleagues and advisory committee.

Approved Course List

APPM 5390Modeling in Mathematical Biology3
APPM 5720Open Topics in Applied Mathematics1-3
BCHM 5491Modern Biophysical Methods3
BCHM 5776Scientific Ethics and Responsible Conduct in Research1
BCHM 5801Advanced Signal Transduction and Cell Cycle Regulation3
BCHM 5811Advanced Methods in Protein Sequencing and Analysis3
BCHM 6601Biochemistry Seminar1
BCHM 6711Advanced Topics in Biochemistry3-6
CHEM 5321Advanced Physical Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 5331Advanced Spectroscopic Techniques in Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 5531Statistical Mechanics3
CHEM 5541Chemical Dynamics3
CHEM 5591Advanced Molecular Spectroscopy3
CHEN 5150Biomolecular Kinetics, Transport, and Thermodynamics3
CHEN 5210Transport Phenomena4
CHEN 5805Biological Interactions to Biomaterials3
CHEN 5900Pharmaceutical Biotechnology3
CHEN 6820Biochemical Engineering Fundamentals3
ECEN 5126Computational Optical Imaging3
MATH 5030Intermediate Mathematical Physics 13
MCDB 5312Quantitative Optical Imaging3-4
MCDB 5350Microbial Diversity and the Biosphere3
MCDB 5520Bioinformatics and Genomics3
MCDB 5550Cells, Molecules and Tissues: A Biophysical Approach3
MCDB 5560Introduction to Biophysics3
MCDB 5776Scientific Ethics and Responsible Conduct in Research1
PHYS 5030Intermediate Mathematical Physics 13
PHYS 5040Intermediate Mathematical Physics 23
PHYS 5250Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 13
PHYS 5260Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 23
PHYS 5550Cells, Molecules and Tissues: A Biophysical Approach3
PHYS 5560Introduction to Biophysics3
PHYS 7810Special Topics in Physics1-3