Biophysics

Biophysics

Looking to excel in the basics of biophysics and make a positive difference for yourself, your community and the planet? You've come to the right page!

About

Biophysics is an interdisciplinary science in which the principles and techniques of physics are applied to the study of living things and how they work.

Why Biophysics is in Demand:

  • The aging of the baby-boom population will likely drive demand for biophysicists involved in biomedical research. (Source: NIH, Office of Science Education)
  • This rapidly growing employment area calls for an advanced degree for the highest-paying positions, but the payoff is opportunity topped with a better-than-average salary expectation.
  • The median annual wage for biochemists and biophysicists was $82,180 (2016) median pay. (Source: United States Department of Labor Statistics)

Is it for me?

Do You

  • Feel curious about living organisms?
  • Enjoy problem solving?
  • Like to design experiments or work with computers?

Five Reasons to Choose Scranton for Biophysics

1.
Active learning.   Hands-on, project-based learning and research experiences. Students use software and equipment in labs that undergraduates rarely get to use.
2.
Be a name not a number.    Small classes capped at 25-30 students. Undergraduate studies are our focus. Faculty know you on an individual basis and are generous with their time and attention inside and outside of class.
3.
Jump into research early.    Optional faculty-mentored research opportunities. Examples include: haptic research, heart rate variability, prosthetic devices, eldercare, protein folding, biophysics of hearing and transdermal drug delivery.
4.
Interdisciplinary opportunities.    Ability to collaborate with faculty and collaborate with students in other departments including chemistry, biology, psychology, physical therapy, occupational therapy and nursing.
5.
Strong sense of community.   Numerous departmental activities including clubs, associations, and honor societies where you will enrich your learning experience while being supported by faculty, staff and peers.
  • Preparing You For Personal & Professional Successplus or minus

    You will:

    • Learn to think critically, analyze and solve complex problems to understand biological processes
    • Develop technical writing and oral presentation skills
    • Grow in confidence
    • Learn time management
    • Gain an awareness of professional ethical issues concerning the impact of technology on society and the environment
  • What You'll Learnplus or minus

    Curriculum

    In your first two years, you’ll follow a course of study in physics, biology, mathematics, chemistry and computer science.

    In your final two years, an advisor will help you select major electives from the natural sciences that are tailored to your interests and goals. You have the option to pick up an extra major or minor.

    Biophysics classes are held in the Loyola Science Center, offering dedicated spaces for informal gatherings, student group work, student research, mediated classrooms and labs with state-of-the-art equipment.

    Click here to see the curriculum.

    Research Projects

    Students collaborate with faculty and conduct research on everything from modeling cardiac valve dysfunction to developing an electronic nose to aid in the detection of gastroesophageal reflex disease (GERD). Recent students have obtained paid summer research experiences at Purdue University of South Florida and Rutgers University. Here are some specific examples:

    • A biophysics student developed a mechanical analog of the eardrum to allow deaf students to visualize sound production and generate a hearing sensitivity graph of their own, based on movements of this mechanical eardrum.
    • A student did a project to monitor sign language gestures that were translated into actual speech to help her hearing impaired sister.
    • Several students worked on projects to design non-invasive sensors that monitored everyday activities to aid in keeping the elderly safely in their homes while preserving their independence, dignity and privacy.
    • Several students worked on a project to develop an intelligent prosthetic arm to significantly reduce or eliminate the acclimation period for its use.
  • Pursue Your Passion and Make a Differenceplus or minus

    The big problems facing society today, such as global warming and depleting water supplies, require interdisciplinary solutions. The study of biophysics, one of the most established interdisciplinary fields, will prepare you to tackle these and the other significant issues we face. 

    Closer to home, we offer significant service-learning opportunities in our local community. As a Jesuit institution, we encourage students to develop a sense of responsibility for themselves and their community.

    Our students have built a device to convert sign language gestures into speech and developed technologies to extend the time that the elderly are able to live safely in their own homes. Our students also participated in a STEM robotics project at a local elementary school.  

Careers

Where will Biophysics Take Me?

The majority of our biophysics majors continue on to graduate school, studying topics such as biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, medical physics, chemistry, medicine, optometry, and atmospheric/oceanic science.  Other graduates go straight into the industry or secondary education.

Here is some examples of jobs depending on your interests:

  • Scientist in a university or corporate research lab
  • Teacher in high school physics
  • Doctor or optometrist 
  • Engineer in a biotech firm

Top Graduate Schools

Just some of the prestigious graduate schools which have admitted recent graduates:

  • Columbia University – Secondary Education, Physics/Deaf Education
  • Carnegie Mellon University - Doctorate Program in Biomedical Engineering
  • Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
  • John Hopkins University - Doctorate Program in Electrical Engineering
  • New York Medical College
  • Salus University, Pennsylvania College of Optometry – Doctorate of Optometry Program
  • Temple University – Pharmacy
  • The University of Pennsylvania – Master’s of Medical Physics Program

Leading Employers

You’ll find Scranton graduates working in a wide range of companies and organizations including:

  • The Commonwealth Medical College
  • Goddard Earth Sciences Technology & Research (GESTAR) 
  • Penn Medicine Valley Forge 
  • Roberts Eyecare in New York
  • Self-employed – General Surgeon
  • Thorlabs, Inc.

How Scranton Gives You a Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge

One of the many things students tell us they love about Scranton is that our faculty are very active in helping them achieve their career goals.  As you walk across campus, you’ll often see students chatting with faculty and bouncing ideas back and forth over coffee. 

Whether it’s advising or providing letters of references for a competitive graduate school or that dream job, faculty make it their priority to get to know each student on an individual level.  That deep level of understanding means that our faculty are not only dedicated teachers and strong researchers but advocates for you and your professional development. 

Take the Next Step

For More Information

Office of Admissions
The Estate
Scranton, PA 18510
Tel: 1-888-SCRANTON or (570) 941-7540
Fax: 570-941-7572
admissions@scranton.edu

Physics Department
Andrew Berger, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Physics/Electrical Engineering
(570) 941-4056
wandrew.berger@scranton.edu