Wayne State University

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Biomedical Physics


What is Biomedical Physics?

Biomedical Physics (BMP) is an interdisciplinary program which combines physics, biology, chemistry and engineering (electronics, optics). It is designed to train students for cutting edge careers in biomedical research, medicine, biophysics and biotechnology.

What can I do with a BMP degree?

Our graduates have gone into a variety of careers. Some have decided to start their careers right out of receiving a BS in Biomedical Physics. These students work in medical research, medical imaging, software development and biotechnology programs. Other students have continued to graduate or professional schools. Some have pursued graduate studies in biomedical engineering, for which we have the only cross-college, interdisciplinary AGRADE program at Wayne State (see website for more info). A large number (>40%) of our graduates have been admitted to Medical School. Others are pursuing graduate studies in physics or dental or physician assistant school. Other possible avenues include pharmacy, veterinary science, biophysics, materials science etc.

Is this a difficult major?

This is a major for students who like to be challenged and pursue careers at the cutting edge of science and engineering. The vast majority of our students have joined us with excellent preparation and have done very well in the program. If you enjoy science and math, and want to apply it to medicine and biology, this is the program for you.

What are the admission requirements?

You can declare BMP as a major from day one. However, to stay in the program, we require a 3.0 GPA average in PHY 2130/31, PHY 2140/41, MAT 2010 and MAT 2020 (or equivalent courses). We also require that you maintain a 2.5 in all required science and mathematics classes. In general, if you do not have at least a 3.0 in introductory physics and calculus, you may have a tough time with the upper level classes.

Do you offer classes in the summer?

The great advantage of this major is that you will be learning in a small class environment, once you are past introductory physics. Classes, from PHY 3700 onward, comprise 10-25 students. Small classes offer a great advantage, as you will get to know your professors well, as well as your fellow students. However, because classes are this small, we can only offer them once a year (either in Fall or Winter), as listed in the suggested course sequence. Make sure to plan your degree accordingly. However, the required introductory physics, mathematics, biology and chemistry classes are typically offered in the summer, so you can certainly utilize summers to catch up.

Do you give overrides if I don't have pre-requisites?

Short answer: No. We have found that doing "favors" for students by letting them into classes they are not prepared for, is not doing them any favor at all. Classes build on each other and are getting progressively more challenging. You are therefore not well served if you take classes prematurely. See the BMP advisor to plan out your courses to avoid any problems.

I am a sophomore, junior or senior, and just found out about the program. Can I finish in a shorter time?

We recommend taking the classes in the order listed. However, if you come with a number of introductory physics, math (calculus), biology and chemistry classes already completed, there are possibilities to finish the degree within two years. This requires us to have a look at your transcript. Please come and make an appointment with the advisor, and we will see how we can accommodate your needs.