To ensure that each of its students receives the necessary formal training and research experience to develop a successful career, the Biophysics Group created an academic program that is tailored to meet the needs of each student individually. This involves evaluating each student’s background and providing individual academic counseling to recommend appropriate coursework, and offering a wide choice of research opportunities in the laboratories of Group faculty. To provide the greatest possible breadth and flexibility, students, with the aid of their academic advisor, can tailor their coursework to come from any department in the university.


  • Biophys 293A/B is the only specific course required of all graduate students. Student and faculty advising panels, as well as the thesis mentor, may suggest courses as well. There are no departmental unit requirements for the PhD program.
  • Four semesters of academic residency as required by the Graduate Division. Students must be registered for a minimum of 4 semesters to obtain a degree. Domestic non-resident students are required to gain California residency by the end of the first year.
  • Students should be a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) for at least one semester.
  • In the 4th semester, students must take and pass a three hour oral Qualifying Examination (QE) on fields specified by their QE Committee. One re-take is possible.
  • After passing the QE, students choose a thesis committee and advance to candidacy within 6 months. Yearly meetings with the thesis committee are required.
  • PhD candidates must write a dissertation based on original and independent research carried out by the student.