Program Requirements
This program may be completed in 81 or 82 credits.
The B.Sc.; Major in Physics; Biological Physics program keeps a strong core of foundational physics and specializes in biology, mathematics, physiology, computer science, and chemistry. Complementary courses provide background in molecular and cell biology, computer science, and organic chemistry, whereas introductory and advanced biophysics courses offered by the Physics Department as integrative courses
Required Courses (63 credits)
BioPhysical Science Core

BIOL 219 Introduction to Physical
Molecular and Cell Biology (4 credits)
Overview
Biology (Sci) : An introduction to molecular and cell biology from a physical perspective. Techniques and methodologies, both experimental and computational, are included in the presentation of each thematic module.
Terms: Fall 2024
Instructors: Weber, Stephanie; Watt, Alanna; Reyes Lamothe, Rodrigo; Hendricks, Adam (Fall)
Prerequisite(s): BIOL 112; CHEM 110 and CHEM 120; MATH 140, MATH 141 and MATH 133; PHYS 131 and PHYS 142; or the equivalents of these courses.
Corequisite(s): MATH 222 or equivalent
Restriction(s): Not open to students who have taken or are taking ANAT 212, BIOC 212, BIOL 200, and BIOL 201, or BIEN 219. Only open to students in Bioengineering, Computer ScienceBiology, BiologyMathematics, BiologyQuantitative Biology, ChemistryBiophysical Chemistry, and PhysicsBiological Physics Options.
This course is meant to prepare students for related 300level courses in Biology, Chemistry, Engineering and Physics.

BIOL 395 Quantitative Biology Seminar (1 credit)
Overview
Biology (Sci) : Overview of concepts and current research in quantitative biology; theoretical ecology and evolution, computational biology, and physical biology.
Terms: Fall 2024
Instructors: Fussmann, Gregor; Hendry, Andrew; Guichard, Frederic; Schmidt, Alexandra; Oeffinger, Marlene; Hendricks, Michael; Bui, Khanh Huy; Weber, Stephanie; Hayer, Arnold; Gerhold, Abigail (Fall)
Fall
Prerequisites: BIOL 219; or BIOL 200 plus BIOL 201 or ANAT 212 or BIOC 212; CHEM 212; COMP 202 or COMP 204 or COMP 250; MATH 222; or permission of instructor.
Restriction: Only open to U2 students in the following programs: B.Sc.; Major and Honours in Biology; Quantitative Biology, B.Sc.; Major and Honours Computer Science and Biology, B.Sc.; Major Biology and Mathematics, B.Sc.; Major Physiology and Mathematics, B.Sc.; Major Physiology and Physics, B.Sc.; Major and Honours Chemistry; Biophysical Chemistry, and B.Sc.; Major and Honours Physics; Biological Physics.

CHEM 212 Introductory Organic Chemistry 1 (4 credits) *
Overview
Chemistry : A fundamental study of aliphatic compounds and saturated functional groups including modern concepts of bonding, reaction mechanisms, conformational analysis, spectroscopy, and stereochemistry.
Terms: Fall 2024
Instructors: Vlaho, Danielle; Huot, Mitchell; Sirjoosingh, Pallavi; Tsantrizos, Youla S; Pavelka, Laura; Luedtke, Nathan (Fall)
Fall, Summer
Restriction: Not open to students registered in Chemistry or Biochemistry. Not open to students who have taken or are taking CHEM 211, CHEM 242, or equivalent.
Each lab section is limited enrolment
Note: Some CEGEP programs provide equivalency for this course. For more information, please see the Department of Chemistry's Web page (http://www.chemistry.mcgill.ca/advising/outside/equivalent.htm).

MATH 222 Calculus 3 (3 credits) *
Overview
Mathematics & Statistics (Sci) : Taylor series, Taylor's theorem in one and several variables. Review of vector geometry. Partial differentiation, directional derivative. Extreme of functions of 2 or 3 variables. Parametric curves and arc length. Polar and spherical coordinates. Multiple integrals.
Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025
Instructors: Pym, Brent; Tageddine, Damien (Fall)

MATH 223 Linear Algebra (3 credits)
Overview
Mathematics & Statistics (Sci) : Review of matrix algebra, determinants and systems of linear equations. Vector spaces, linear operators and their matrix representations, orthogonality. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors, diagonalization of Hermitian matrices. Applications.
Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025
Instructors: Elaidi, Shereen; Bellemare, Hugues (Fall) Macdonald, Jeremy (Winter)

MATH 315 Ordinary Differential Equations (3 credits)
Overview
Mathematics & Statistics (Sci) : First order ordinary differential equations including elementary numerical methods. Linear differential equations. Laplace transforms. Series solutions.
Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025
Instructors: Paquette, Courtney (Fall) Kamran, Niky (Winter)

MATH 323 Probability (3 credits)
Overview
Mathematics & Statistics (Sci) : Sample space, events, conditional probability, independence of events, Bayes' Theorem. Basic combinatorial probability, random variables, discrete and continuous univariate and multivariate distributions. Independence of random variables. Inequalities, weak law of large numbers, central limit theorem.
Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025
Instructors: Sajjad, Alia (Fall) Nadarajah, Tharshanna (Winter)

PHYS 319 Introduction to Biophysics (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : Emerging physical approaches and quantitative measurement techniques are providing new insights into longstanding biological questions. This course will present underlying physical theory, quantitative measurement techniques, and significant findings in molecular and cellular biophysics. Principles covered include Brownian motion, low Reynoldsnumber environments, forces relevant to cells and molecules, chemical potentials, and free energies. These principles are applied to enzymes as molecular machines, membranes, DNA, and RNA.
Terms: Winter 2025
Instructors: Reisner, Walter (Winter)

PHYS 329 Statistical Physics with Biophysical Applications (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : This interdisciplinary course introduces Statistical Physics illustrated with modern biophysical applications. Principles covered include partition functions, Boltzmann distribution, bosons, fermions, Bose Einstein condensates, Ferni gases, chemical potential, thermodynamical forces, biochemical kinetics, and an introduction to noise and phase transitions in biology.
Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 20242025 academic year.
Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 20242025 academic year.
* Students who have taken the equivalent of CHEM 212 or MATH 222 can make up the credits with complementary 3 or 4 credits courses in consultation wit the program adviser.
Biology and Mathematics

BIOL 202 Basic Genetics (3 credits)
Overview
Biology (Sci) : Introduction to basic principles, and to modern advances, problems and applications in the genetics of higher and lower organisms with examples representative of the biological sciences.
Terms: Winter 2025
Instructors: Moon, Nam Sung; Nilson, Laura; Schoen, Daniel J; Hipfner, David; Champetier, Serge (Winter)

MATH 314 Advanced Calculus (3 credits)
Overview
Mathematics & Statistics (Sci) : Derivative as a matrix. Chain rule. Implicit functions. Constrained maxima and minima. Jacobians. Multiple integration. Line and surface integrals. Theorems of Green, Stokes and Gauss. Fourier series with applications.
Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025
Instructors: Martine, Gabriel (Fall)
Physics

PHYS 230 Dynamics of Simple Systems (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : Translational motion under Newton's laws; forces, momentum, work/energy theorem. Special relativity; Lorentz transforms, relativistic mechanics, mass/energy equivalence. Topics in rotational dynamics. Noninertial frames.
Terms: Fall 2024
Instructors: Guo, Hong (Fall)

PHYS 232 Heat and Waves (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : The laws of thermodynamics and their consequences. Thermodynamics of PVT systems and simple heat engines. Free, driven, and damped harmonic oscillators. Coupled systems and normal modes. Fourier methods. Wave motion and dispersion. The wave equation.
Terms: Winter 2025
Instructors: Hilke, Michael (Winter)

PHYS 241 Signal Processing (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : Linear circuit elements, resonance, network theorems, diodes, transistors, amplifiers, feedback, integrated circuits.
Terms: Winter 2025
Instructors: Hessels, Jason (Winter)
Winter
2 hours lectures; 3 hours laboratory alternate weeks
Prerequisite: CEGEP physics or PHYS 142.

PHYS 257 Experimental Methods 1 (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : Introductory laboratory work and data analysis as related to mechanics, optics and thermodynamics. Introduction to computers as they are employed for laboratory work, for data analysis and for numerical computation. Previous experience with computers is an asset, but is not required.
Terms: Fall 2024
Instructors: Vachon, Brigitte (Fall)

PHYS 258 Experimental Methods 2 (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : Advanced laboratory work and data analysis as related to mechanics, optics and thermodynamics. Computers will be employed routinely for data analysis and for numerical computation, and, particularly, to facilitate the use of Fourier methods.
Terms: Winter 2025
Instructors: Cooke, David (Winter)
Winter
6 hours of laboratory and classroom work
Prerequisite: PHYS 257

PHYS 340 Majors Electricity and Magnetism (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : The electrostatic field and scalar potential. Dielectric properties of matter. Energy in the electrostatic field. Methods for solving problems in electrostatics. The magnetic field. Induction and inductance. Energy in the magnetic field. Magnetic properties of matter. Maxwell's equations. The dipole approximation.
Terms: Fall 2024
Instructors: Liu, Adrian (Fall)

PHYS 342 Majors Electromagnetic Waves (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : Maxwell's equations. The wave equation. The electromagnetic wave, reflection, refraction, polarization. Guided waves. Transmission lines and wave guides. Vector potential. Radiation. The elemental dipole; the halfwave dipole; vertical dipole; folded dipoles; Yagi antennas. Accelerating charged particles.
Terms: Winter 2025
Instructors: Gervais, Guillaume (Winter)

PHYS 346 Majors Quantum Physics (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : De Broglie waves, Bohr atom. Schroedinger equation, wave functions, observables. One dimensional potentials. Schroedinger equation in three dimensions. Angular momentum, hydrogen atom. Spin, experimental consequences.
Terms: Fall 2024
Instructors: Vachon, Brigitte (Fall)

PHYS 449 Majors Research Project (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : A supervised research project.
Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025
Instructors: Siwick, Bradley (Fall) Siwick, Bradley (Winter)
Winter or Summer
6 hours
Restrictions: U2 or U3 students in a Physics program, or permission of the instructor.

PHYS 519 Advanced Biophysics (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : An advanced biophysics course, with a special emphasis on stochastic and out of equilibrium physical processes in living matter.
Terms: Winter 2025
Instructors: Wiseman, Paul (Winter)
Complementary Courses
(1819 credits)
3 credits selected from:

COMP 202 Foundations of Programming (3 credits)
Overview
Computer Science (Sci) : Introduction to computer programming in a high level language: variables, expressions, primitive types, methods, conditionals, loops. Introduction to algorithms, data structures (arrays, strings), modular software design, libraries, file input/output, debugging, exception handling. Selected topics.
Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025
Instructors: M'hiri, Faten (Fall) M'hiri, Faten (Winter)
3 hours
Restrictions: Not open to students who have taken or are taking COMP 204, COMP 208, or GEOG 333; not open to students who have taken or are taking COMP 206 or COMP 250.
COMP 202 is intended as a general introductory course, while COMP 204 is intended for students in life sciences, and COMP 208 is intended for students in physical sciences and engineering.
To take COMP 202, students should have a solid understanding of precalculus fundamentals such as polynomial, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions.

COMP 250 Introduction to Computer Science (3 credits)
Overview
Computer Science (Sci) : Mathematical tools (binary numbers, induction,recurrence relations, asymptotic complexity,establishing correctness of programs). Datastructures (arrays, stacks, queues, linked lists,trees, binary trees, binary search trees, heaps,hash tables). Recursive and nonrecursivealgorithms (searching and sorting, tree andgraph traversal). Abstract data types. Objectoriented programming in Java (classes andobjects, interfaces, inheritance). Selected topics.
Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025
Instructors: Alberini, Giulia (Fall) Alberini, Giulia (Winter)
3 credits selected from:

PHYS 328 Electronics (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : Semiconductor devices, basic transistor circuits, operational amplifiers, combinatorial and sequential logic, integrated circuits, analogue to digital converters. The laboratory component covers design, construction and testing of basic electronic circuits.
Terms: Fall 2024
Instructors: Chiang, Hsin Cynthia (Fall)
Fall
2 hours lectures; 3 hours laboratory
Prerequisite: PHYS 241 or permission of instructor

PHYS 331 Topics in Classical Mechanics (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : Forced and damped oscillators, Newtonian mechanics in three dimensions, rotational motion, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, small vibrations, normal modes. Nonlinear dynamics and chaos.
Terms: Winter 2025
Instructors: Gervais, Guillaume (Winter)
3 credits selected from:

PHYS 339 Measurements Laboratory in General Physics (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : Introduction to modern techniques of measurement. The use of computers in performing and analysing experiments. Data reduction, statistical methods, report writing. Extensive use of computers is made in this laboratory; therefore some familiarity with computers and computing is an advantage.
Terms: Winter 2025
Instructors: Ryan, Dominic (Winter)
Winter
6 hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 241 or permission of instructor

PHYS 359 Advanced Physics
Laboratory 1 (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : Advanced level experiments in physics including quantum effects and some properties of condensed matter physics and modern physics.
Terms: Winter 2025
Instructors: Ryan, Dominic (Winter)

PHYS 469 Advanced Physics Laboratory 2 (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : Advanced level experiments in physics including quantum effects and some properties of condensed matter physics and modern physics.
Terms: Fall 2024
Instructors: Cooke, David (Fall)
Fall
6 hours
Restriction: Honours students or permission of instructor
Prerequisite: PHYS 258 or permission of the instructor
Corequisite: PHYS 457 or PHYS 447 or permission of the instructor.
Restriction: Open to honours and majors physics students
Student who have taken PHYS 359 will conduct different experiments in this course.
3 credits selected from:

CHEM 514 Biophysical Chemistry (3 credits)
Overview
Chemistry : Physical chemistry concepts needed to understand the function of biological systems at the molecular level, including the structure, stability, transport, and interactions of biological macromolecules.
Terms: Winter 2025
Instructors: Blum, Amy; Mittermaier, Anthony (Winter)

MATH 437 Mathematical Methods in Biology (3 credits)
Overview
Mathematics & Statistics (Sci) : The formulation and treatment of realistic mathematical models describing biological phenomena through qualitative and quantitative mathematical techniques (e.g. local and global stability theory, bifurcation analysis and phase plane analysis) and numerical simulation. Concrete and detailed examples will be drawn from molecular and cellular biology and mammalian physiology.
Terms: Winter 2025
Instructors: Khadra, Anmar (Winter)

PHGY 425 Analyzing Physiological Systems (3 credits)
Overview
Physiology : An introduction to quantitative analysis of physiological data, both to the mode of thinking and to a set of tools that allows accurate predictions of biological systems. Examples will range from oscillating genetic networks to understanding higher brain function. Modelling and data analysis through examples and exercises will be emphasized.
Terms: Fall 2024
Instructors: Cook, Erik; Glavinovic, Mladen I; Baker, Curtis L; Bashivan, Pouya (Fall)

PHYS 432 Physics of Fluids (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : The physical properties of fluids. The kinematics and dynamics of flow. The effects of viscosity and turbulence. Applications of fluid mechanics in biophysics, geophysics and engineering.
Terms: Winter 2025
Instructors: Lee, Eve J (Winter)

PHYS 434 Optics (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : Fundamental concepts of optics, including applications and modern developments. Light propagation in media; geometric optics and optical instruments; polarization and coherence properties of light; interference and interferometry; diffraction theory and applications in spectrometry and imaging; Gaussian beams, Fourier optics and photonic band structure. A laboratory component provides handson experience in optical setup design, construction and testing of concepts introduced in lectures.
Terms: Fall 2024
Instructors: Wang, Kai (Fall)

PHYS 447 Applications of Quantum Mechanics (3 credits)
Overview
Physics : One electron atoms, radiation, multielectron atoms, molecular bonds. Selected topics from condensed matter, nuclear and elementary particle physics.
Terms: Winter 2025
Instructors: Wang, Kai (Winter)
Restriction(s): Not open to students in the following programs: · Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.)  Honours Electrical Engineering · Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.)  Minor Physics · Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)  Honours Mathematics and Physics · Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)  Honours Physics · Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)  Honours Physics and Chemistry · Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)  Honours Physics and Computer Science
Restriction(s): Not open to students who have taken or are taking PHYS 457.
1. Winter
2. 3 hours lectures
6 to 7 credits selected from:

BIOL 300 Molecular Biology of the Gene (3 credits)
Overview
Biology (Sci) : A survey of current knowledge and approaches in the area of regulation of gene expression, posttranscriptional control of gene expression, and signal transduction.
Terms: Fall 2024
Instructors: Schöck, Frieder; Moon, Nam Sung (Fall)

BIOL 301 Cell and Molecular Laboratory (4 credits)
Overview
Biology (Sci) : An introduction to biology research and communication with a focus on cell and molecular biology. Through conducting a series of projectbased experiments and writing a final report, molecular and synthetic biology techniques such as gene cloning, manipulation, protein isolation and characterization and how research is conducted, analyzed and communicated will be addressed. In addition, an introduction to bioinformatics methods and their role in analysis will be provided.
Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025
Instructors: Hayer, Arnold; Harrison, Paul; Zheng, Huanquan; Leroux, Maxime (Fall) Zheng, Huanquan; Harrison, Paul; Leroux, Maxime; Hayer, Arnold (Winter)
Fall or Winter
1 hour lecture and one 6hour laboratory
Prerequisites: BIOL 200, BIOL 201 (or ANAT 212/BIOC 212); or BIOL 219
Restrictions: Not open to students who have taken or are taking BIOC 300, or BIOC 220 and BIOC 320. Requires departmental approval.
For approval email maxime.leroux [at] mcgill.ca. Specify your ID number as well as the term and two lab day preferences.

BIOL 303 Developmental Biology (3 credits)
Overview
Biology (Sci) : A consideration of the fundamental processes and principles operating during embryogenesis. Experimental analyses at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels will be presented and discussed to provide an overall appreciation of developmental phenomena.
Terms: Winter 2025
Instructors: Gerhold, Abigail; Rao, Yong; Dufort, Daniel (Winter)

BIOL 306 Neural Basis of Behaviour (3 credits)
Overview
Biology (Sci) : Neural mechanisms of animal behaviour; neuroethology; cellular neurophysiology, integrative networks within nervous systems; neural control of movement; processing of sensory information.
Terms: Fall 2024
Instructors: Sakata, Jon; Dent, Joseph Alan (Fall)

BIOL 313 Eukaryotic Cell Biology (3 credits)
Overview
Biology (Sci) : Indepth examination of the structure and function of eukaryotic cells, with an emphasis on experimental design and interpretation. Examination of the molecular mechanisms of various cellular processes, including protein homeostasis, intracellular transport, cytoskeletal dynamics, multicellular organization and cell proliferation.
Terms: Winter 2025
Instructors: Weber, Stephanie (Winter)

BIOL 316 Biomembranes and Organelles (3 credits)
Overview
Biology (Sci) : The course focuses on biomembranes and subcellular organelles and their implications for disease. The topics include: protein and lipid biochemistry, membrane structure and transport; intracellular compartmentalization, protein sorting and modification, intracellular membrane trafficking; energy transfer, organization and dynamics of chloroplasts and mitochondria; extracellular matrix and cell walls.
Terms: Fall 2024
Instructors: Zheng, Huanquan (Fall)

BIOL 551 Principles of Cellular Control (3 credits)
Overview
Biology (Sci) : Fundamental principles of cellular control, with cell cycle control as a major theme. Biological and physical concepts are brought to bear on control in healthy cells..
Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 20242025 academic year.
Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 20242025 academic year.