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Adviced needed. A final year physics student want to pursue study in biological side

  1. Mar 8, 2010 #1
    Hi everyone, I'm a final year student majoring in physics in china, but I feel very confusing about my future. since I have not applied for any master or PhD program this year, I plan to work for a year before I make any decision regarding my study next year.

    Personally I am interested in the physics of biological systems (my favourite subjects in my sixth form were physics and biology, but I chose physics that time), but my school does not have professors working in this field, nor offer any courses on the subject. I have visited website of schools that provide a graduate program in biological physics, but most of them require quite a lot of chemistry courses but since here we adopt a 3-year system, I really do not get time to study biology or chemistry courses in the bachelor degree, although I have studied them in my sixth form. Am I out of the game?

    I would like to get some advices here. Am I eligible for any programs? and to which sorts of school I should apply? I am not that kind of brilliant student (though I expect a first class honour) so the programs from top schools I have to exclude. and also I do not mind the place, no matter it's in US, canada, UK, europe or asia. and where I can search for more complete information since when I search in Google, mainly I got results from the US. Thank you!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2010 #2
    Re: Adviced needed. A final year physics student want to pursue study in biological s

    It can be hard to find good biophysics programs, but there are a wide range of options in North America that I am aware of. In my immediate area is The University of British Columbia which has a good biophysics graduate program as well as a CAMPEP accredited medical physics program at the graduate level. The University of Victoria where I attend also has a medical physics program.

    There a number of them around and I'm mildly suprised that you have a hard time finding them. Here is a link with a whole host of programs you can check out.

    http://www.biophysics.org/CareerCenter/CareerResources/GraduateProgramsFellowships/tabid/115/Default.aspx" [Broken]

    If I have to recommend anything, its that you just make sure you enter into a program your interested in and try to communicate with and investigate potential advisors before you accept an offer at any university.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Mar 9, 2010 #3
    Re: Adviced needed. A final year physics student want to pursue study in biological s

    Thank you very much for your information. But my problem is I don't have sufficient "training" in the biological side (just at the sixth form level) since I am a physics major. So I want to consider a MSc or M.Phil degree first, to ensure I am really interested in the field (if I have any chance being admitted)
    So I think north america does not provide master programs (either MSc or M.Phil), my choice is much narrower I believe. Is there any schools offering master program instead, maybe in europe or asia. Thanks again.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Mar 9, 2010 #4
    Re: Adviced needed. A final year physics student want to pursue study in biological s

    For Most of the masters programs I have seen in bio-physics it is perfectly normal to enter with a standard physics bachelors degree and most schools do offer a masters degree option. The biology side of most of these programs are provided through graduate level courses and self directed learning.

    I'm also not very familiar with your education system as you describe it but if your 3 year program is comparable to the north american 4 year program in physics then you should not have to much of an issue transferring into a graduate program.

    As for european or asian universities I am unable to help you. I am interested in attending or visiting a european university for biophysics or medical physics but at this point I have not done much research on the matter.
  6. Mar 9, 2010 #5
    Re: Adviced needed. A final year physics student want to pursue study in biological s

    Thanks. The 3-year program here I believe is equivalent to 4-year one in north america, because we have sixth form (like Grade 12-13 in US?) so 3 years time is enough to get a BSc degree.

    For example, from the link you provided, http://www.binf.gmu.edu/admissions.html
    is very typical admission requirement as I browsed through a number of programs:
    I have 3.6 GPA in physics, I think that's not the major problem...
    Higher level programming language: I don't know whether C/C++ count
    Two semesters each of integral calculus, chemistry, and physics: haven't taken any chemistry courses
    One semester of statistics: did not formally take any stat course, but learnt some here and there
    And I don't have background in mol bio, biochemistry or physical chemistry

    So I am not sure whether I'm eligible even to apply...Anyway, you're also interested in biological physics? did you do any biology in your undergrad?

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