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GS Biophysics Major - Requirements

A grade of C- or better must be earned and revealed on your transcript for any course -- including the first semester -- to be counted towards the major or concentration requirements. The grade of P is not acceptable, but a course that was taken P/D/F may be counted if and only if the P is uncovered by the Registrar's deadline.

Any exceptions must be approved in advance by an Advisor and you must receive an email notification of that approval. 

Students may substitute Barnard College courses only with prior permission from an Advisor.

I. Required Biology Courses

  1. Three biology lecture courses:
    • C2005 - Introductory Biology I: Biochemistry, Genetics & Molecular Biology
    • C2006 - Introductory Biology II: Cell Biology, Development & Physiology
    • C3032 or W3031 - Genetics or W3004 - Neurobiology I: Cellular & Molecular Neurobiology or W3005 - Neurobiology II: Development & Systems or W3022 - Developmental biology
  2. One of the following biology lab courses:
    • W3050 - Project laboratory in protein biochemistry
    • W3058 - Project laboratory in microbiology
    • C3052 - Project laboratory in molecular genetics
    • W3500- Independent study (taken for at least 4 points) + 1 semester of W3600 (recommended)
  3. One of the following biochemistry courses (listed in bulletin as biol-chem not biochem):

II. Required Physics Courses

  1. One of the following sequences of physics courses (completed by the end of the sophomore year)
    • C1401, C1402, C1403, and accompanying laboratory (C1494).

    • C1601, C1602, C2601 and accompanying laboratory (C2699).

    • C2801 - C2802 and the recommended laboratory (W3081). Recommended for those with AP calculus and/or a strong background in physics.
  2. Any two physics courses at 3000-level or above, chosen in consultation with the advisor.

III. Required Math and Other Science Courses

  1. Math:The following math courses
    • Calculus I - IV (V1101, V1102, V1201, V1202) or Honors Math I - IV (V1107, V1108, V1207, V1208) or the equivalent
      Students with AP or high school Calculus should consult the math section of the bulletin for proper placement.
    • V3027 - Ordinary differential equations

  2. Chemistry: One of the following three groups of chemistry courses is required:
    • Option 1: General chemistry-C1403-C1404 or W1403-W1404 and lab-W1500
      Organic chemistry-C3443 -C3444 or W3443-W3444 and lab C3543 or W3543 
    • Option2: For students who qualify for intensive chemistry
      Second Semester General Chemistry (Intensive) and Intensive lab - C1604-W2507
      Organic Chemistry C3443-C3444 or W3443-W3444 and Lab C3543 or W3543
    • Option 3: For students who qualify for 1st year organic chemistry
      Intensive general chemistry Lab - W2507
      Organic chemistry for first years and lab - C3045-C3046 and lab C3543, W3543, C3545, W3545

IV. Additional Course Requirements

  • One additional 3000- or 4000-level course from physics or biology, chosen in consultation with the advisor.

    Note: SCNC & HPSC courses do not count towards the Major even if listed under Biology courses on Bio web site.
    BIOT courses will not be counted towards the Major.

For transfer students, at least 4 biology or biochemistry courses and at least 18 credits of the total (biology, biochemistry, math, physics and chemistry) must be taken at Columbia. Barnard courses may not be substituted for the required Columbia courses without advance permission from the advisor.