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The Biophysics Track is for students in the BCB PhD curriculum who wish to pursue the Certificate in Biophysics (CiB) offered by the Molecular and Cellular Biophysics Program (MCBP). This track is often used by students who are planning to pursue biophysics-related research in the lab of a faculty who is a member of both BCB and MCBP. Because both the CiB and BCB require a substantial amount of course work in the first year, BCB makes certain accommodations for students on the Biophysics Track, namely:

  • Students are allowed to substitute up to two BCB 1-credit core modules for quantitative courses of a similar or greater credit-level required by the CiB.
  • CiB-required quantitative courses that are not used to substitute BCB core modules, are automatically counted towards elective credits (as they would anyway).
  • Students are allowed to substitute BCB 870 Grant Writing with the corresponding grant writing course in CiB, BIOC 712.

BCB students on the Biophysics Track, like those on the standard track, must take the BCB Written Qualifying Exam, ideally at the end of the first year. However, because of the BCB and CiB fall schedules, it can be challenging to select a suitable set of fall courses that simultaneously i) ensures coverage of sufficient material for the exam, ii) meets the CiB requirements in the first year, and iii) stays under the UNC-imposed graduate student limit of 16 credits per semester. We therefore recommend students consider the following fall course choices:

Fall (2022 onwards)

  • First Year Groups and other required BBSP credits
  • BCB 710 Bioinformatics Colloquium: structured interaction & faculty seminars (1 credit)
  • Two of of the following:
    • BCB 715 Mathematical Modeling (1 credit)
    • BCB 716 Sequence Analysis (1 credit)
    • BCB 722 Topics in Population Genetics (1 credit)
  • BCB 720 Introduction to Statistical Modeling (3 credits)
  • BIOC 650 Principles of Molecular Thermodynamics (1 credit)
  • BIOC 651 Macromolecular Interactions and Forces (1 credit)
  • BIOC 652 Macromolecular Dynamics (1 credit)

These selections fulfill the CiB fall requirement and, when BCB 717 is taken in the spring, cover enough material that students should be able to answer at least the required 5 questions from the 4-section, 8-question Qualifying Exam.