at UBC's

Vancouver Campus

Study life at every level, from atoms and molecules to cells, organisms, and environments, while you look for and analyze patterns. You’ll also gain an understanding of the basic concepts and quantitative skills of physics. This program will prepare you for graduate studies in biological sciences or physics, work as a medical professional, or a career in fields such as pharmaceuticals.

Why this program?

  • Study at one of the top physics departments in Canada with an outstanding international reputation.
  • Biophysics has a prestigious, tight-knit honours program, and small class sizes in upper-years that ensure individualized attention.
  • Prepare yourself for graduate studies in biological sciences or physics.
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Program information

  • Campus: Vancouver
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science
  • Length 4 yrs
  • Co-op Yes
    You can combine your studies with full-time, paid work at top local and international organizations.
  • Honours Yes
    You can study intense specialization in a single field.

Biophysics is a cross-disciplinary field that incorporates concepts from physical and mathematical sciences with the study of biological systems. The honours Biophysics program aims to give students a strong foundational knowledge of one of the subfields in biological sciences at the senior undergraduate level – molecular and cell biology, macrobiology, or applied biology.

This specialization is specifically geared towards students intending to pursue graduate studies in the biological sciences (including medical, dental, pharmacy, or veterinary school) or physics.

Please note that Biophysics is available only as an honours degree.

Campus features

The Applied Biophysics research laboratory specializes in the development of novel tools and methods for the analysis and manipulation of biomolecules. The lab draws on specializations in Engineering, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology.

Life at UBC's Vancouver campus

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is housed in the historic Hennings Building, which opened in 1947. Laboratories are generally hosted in the teaching and demo rooms of the Hebb Building and Theatre, which recently underwent renovations.

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Your future

Graduates of the honours Biophysics program almost always enter graduate programs in physics or biological sciences. The rigorous, cross-disciplinary nature of the specialization makes it an ideal pathway for entry into professional schools such as medicine, pharmacy, or dental.

Program graduates

  • PhD candidate in Physics, Princeton University
  • Resident physician, Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Medical physics resident, Stanford Hospital & Clinics
  • Clinical medical biophysicist, UBC Faculty of Dentistry
  • Medical student, University of British Columbia
  • PhD candidate in Structural Biology, City University of New York

Program requirements

English-language requirements

English is the language of instruction at UBC. All prospective students must demonstrate English-language competency prior to admission. There are numerous ways to meet the English Language Admission Standard.

General admission requirements

IB Diploma Programme

  • Completed IB Diploma, including at least three Higher Level courses.

IB Certificate Courses

  • IB Certificate courses (Standard and Higher Level) may be used in an admissions average if you are graduating from a recognized high school curriculum that can be used as your basis of admission.
  • IB Math Applications and Interpretations SL, or IB Math Studies, do not satisfy the math requirement for admission to UBC’s science-based programs, the Faculty of Management, the UBC Sauder School of Business, or the Vancouver School of Economics.

Degree-specific requirements: Science

  • IB Math Analysis and Approaches SL or HL, or IB Math Applications and Interpretations HL (IB Math Applications and Interpretations SL, or IB Math Studies, are not acceptable)
  • One of IB Biology, IB Chemistry, or IB Physics
  • Grade 11 or equivalent Chemistry, and
  • Grade 11 or equivalent Physics (may be waived with grades of 5 in IB Chemistry and in your IB Mathematics course)

Note: Grade 11 Chemistry and Physics requirements listed are only relevant to students who are not completing the equivalent IB Diploma Chemistry and/or Physics courses.

For students studying outside of Canada, some examples of courses that may be accepted as Grade 11 equivalents are junior-level courses for American students, and IGCSE and O Level for those following British-patterned curricula.

Related courses

The following subject categories are particularly relevant for this degree. Consider taking courses in these areas in your junior year and senior year.

  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics and Computation
  • Sciences
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