Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Physics
The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biomedical Physics is an interdisciplinary degree offered in concert with the School of Medicine. It combines classes in physics, biology, chemistry and the medical sciences. This exciting program is research-heavy, with ample opportunities to collaborate across colleges at Wayne State University.
To further promote a holistic education, students choose a biophysics, medical physics or pre-medical concentration. Biomedical physics classes are tight-knit, meaning you have the added advantage of getting to know fellow students and professors who are active in the field. Each component of the program works collectively to ensure you're well-equipped for graduate study or immediate employment.
Why Wayne State's biomedical physics major?
- Learn from professors actively in the field of biomedical physics.
- Gain a wide range of knowledge in medical equipment.
- Engage in hands-on experience with electronics and optics to pave the way for advanced, cutting-edge research.
- Understand the physical properties in the body from the cellular to the molecular level.
- Develop the skills to enter medical school, health careers, technological careers or graduate school in sciences and engineering.
What is biomedical physics?
Biomedical physics is a booming field of science at the junction between medical sciences, physics and biology. Beyond the development and applications of medical technologies, the field is concerned with the development of a foundational understanding of living systems through:
- Instance measurements
- Modeling of psychological processes
- Development and production of new pharmaceutical technology for the production and delivery of advanced medicines
The Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Physics program ensures that you:
- Learn to use quantitative, physical science-inspired approaches to problems of the life sciences.
- Can apply your math, science and physics skills to the field of medicine and biology.
- Are equipped to pursue employment in biophysics, biomedical research, biotechnology or medicine.
Biomedical physics program requirements and curriculum
The biomedical physics degree requires students to satisfy the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences group requirements, the university general education requirements and the overall biomedical physics program requirements.
- Biophysics: Emphasizes training in biophysical methods and techniques.
- Medical physics: Prepares for entry into professional medical physics programs.
- Premedical: Incorporates premed requirements to minimize required credits.
As a biomedical physics major, you engage in subjects such as biological physics, calculus, physics for the life sciences and applied computational methods.
Your learning incorporates the following topics:
- Biomedical research methods
- Cellular and molecular biophysics
- Computational modeling
- Modern medical technology
- Scientific communication
The Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Physics with honors curriculum challenges highly motivated students through their outstanding scholastic achievement and develops interest in research and scholarly activity by providing students with an opportunity to work with faculty members. Additional coursework is required to graduate with honors.
Select the honors option in three of the following (9 to 12 credits). The choice of three courses must include at least one of these courses: PHY 4700, 5750 or 6710; and, at least one course at the 5000 or 6000 level.
- Total number of honors credits required (including seminar and thesis): 24 credits.
- Minimum GPA required: 3.30 overall, and 3.50 in biomedical physics courses (see list below).
Course Title Cr. PHY 2140 or 2180 General Physics II 4 PHY 3700 Mathematics for Biomedical Physics 4 PHY 4700 Introduction to Biomedical Physics 4 PHY 5340/5341 Optics 5 PHY 5620/5621 Electronics 5 PHY 5750 Biological Physics 4 PHY/RAD 6710 Physics in Medicine 3 PHY 6780 Research Methods in Biomedical Physics (WI) 3 PHY 6750 Applied Computational Methods 2
In addition to the above, the following is also required:
Course Title Cr. PHY 5990
Independent Research and Thesis
Two semesters of research with a faculty member. A written thesis and an oral presentation of the thesis are required. The thesis plan must be approved by the BMPprogram director before conducting the research. Ask the Dept undergraduate advisor for more information.
3 HON 4200 4280 Honors Seminar 3 HON xxxx Six to nine additional honors credits in any department, as needed, for a total of 24 honors credits to satisfy the biomedical physics honors program requirement. 6-9
Undergraduate research opportunities
Research is a vital component of the B.S. in Biomedical Engineering program at Wayne State, with funding provided by agencies such as the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
To prepare students for growth and development in this highly interdisciplinary field, we offer the following research programs:
- Kelly Laboratory for Nanoscale Optics and Membrane Biophysics: Employs experimental and computational methods to study the nanoscale properties of membranes.
- Sakamoto Laboratory: Encourages varied studies ranging from 2D/3D imaging at the nanometer level to researching the cytoskeleton organization of deafness and cancer.
- Richard Barber Interdisciplinary Research Program: Promotes the collaboration of faculty and students across several colleges within Wayne State University.
- YM Huang Laboratory for Computational Biophysics: Computational molecular modeling group that researches the development and application of computational methods to address biologically and medically pertinent problems.
Learn more about biomedical physics research.
An accelerated path to your master's in biomedical engineering
For students seeking their bachelor's and master's degrees, the Department of Physics and Astronomy offers an MS-BME path through our Accelerated Graduate Enrollment (AGRADE) program.
This program requires one additional year of study beyond the B.S. in Biomedical Physics degree program, allowing you to earn your B.S. in Biomedical Physics and your M.S. in Biomedical Engineering in five years.
- Students must apply for the program during the semester that they earn 90 credits toward their undergraduate degree (typically during junior year).
- Hold a GPA of at least 3.6 in major courses.
- Hold a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5.
Students interested in the AGRADE program should contact the Biomedical Engineering Academic Advisor, Namrata Murthy.
Learn more about the accelerated path to earning your Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (MS-BME).
Biomedical physics bachelor's career outlook
With the growth of technology across medicine, the field of biomedical physics is rapidly expanding. To meet this demand, institutions seek professionals with a combined physics, math and sciences background who understand the mechanisms behind biological and physiological systems.
These individuals may build instruments that can track the progression of Alzheimer's, create tools that quickly streamline diagnostic processes or develop software for medical instruments.
Biomedical physics majors work in the following diverse settings:
- Biotechnology companies
- Engineering companies
- Medical centers
- Research labs
Scholarships, financial aid and tuition
To support students along their journey at WSU, the Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a range of scholarships. Explore physics scholarships for undergraduate students:
- Undergraduate Biomedical Physics Scholarship (for biomedical physics majors only)
- Henry Bohm and Melbourne Stewart Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship
- Robert L. and Sandra E. Thomas Endowed Scholarship
- Undergraduate Physics and Astronomy Scholarship
Utilize our net price calculator to estimate the cost and financial aid you can receive for your biomedical physics degree.
Learn more about Wayne State University's B.S. in Biomedical Physics
Lead innovation in the healthcare industry by creating new software for medical equipment or developing diagnostic tools that detect aggressive forms of cancer. When you enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Physics program at WSU, you take the first step toward a progressive, rewarding career that combines the best of physics, biology and the medical sciences.
- Do you give overrides if I don't have pre-requisites?
No. Classes build on each other and become progressively more challenging. You are therefore not well served if you take classes prematurely. Please the BMP advisor to plan out your courses and avoid complications.
- Do you offer classes in the summer?
The great advantage of this major is that you will be learning in a small class environment ( once you are past introductory physics). Classes, from PHY 3700 onward, comprise 10 to 25 students. Small classes offer a great advantage as you will get to know your professors well and your fellow students.
However, because classes are this small, we can only offer them once a year (either in fall or winter), as listed in the suggested course sequence. Make sure to plan your degree accordingly. However, the required introductory physics, mathematics, biology, and chemistry classes are typically offered in the summer, so you can certainly utilize summers to catch up.
- I am a sophomore, junior or senior, and just found out about the program. Can I finish in a shorter time?
We recommend taking the classes in the order listed. However, if you come with a number of introductory physics, math (calculus), biology, and chemistry classes already completed, there are possibilities to finish the degree within two years. This requires us to review your transcript. Please make an appointment with the advisor to see how we can accommodate your needs.
- Is this a difficult major?
This is a major for students who like to be challenged and pursue careers at the cutting edge of science and engineering. The vast majority of our students have joined us with excellent preparation and have done very well in the program. If you enjoy science and math and want to apply it to medicine and biology, this is the program for you.
- What are the admission requirements?
You can declare BMP as a major from day one. However, to stay in the program, we require a 3.0 GPA average in PHY 2130/31, PHY 2140/41, MAT 2010 and MAT 2020 (or equivalent courses). We also require that you maintain a 2.5 GPA in all required science and mathematics classes. In general, if you do not have at least a 3.0 in introductory physics and calculus, you may have a tough time with the upper-level classes.
- What can I do with a BMP degree?
Our graduates have gone into a variety of careers. Some have decided to start their careers right out of receiving a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Physics. These students work in medical research, medical imaging, software development and biotechnology programs. Other students have continued to graduate or professional schools.
Some have pursued graduate studies in biomedical engineering, for which we have the only cross-college, interdisciplinary AGRADE program at Wayne State. A large number (> 40 %) of our graduates have been admitted to medical school. Others are pursuing graduate studies in physics or dental or physician assistant school. Other possible avenues include pharmacy, veterinary science, biophysics, materials science, etc.
- What is biomedical physics (BMP)?
Biomedical Physics (BMP) is an interdisciplinary program which combines physics, biology, chemistry, and engineering (electronics, optics). It is designed to train students for cutting edge careers in biomedical research, medicine, biophysics, and biotechnology.
This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.