Information for Prospective Graduate Students
We appreciate your interest in the graduate Program in Biophysics at UC Riverside! Biophysics is an interdepartmental program with faculty participating from a wide variety of department such as Biochemistry, Botany and Plant Sciences, Chemistry, and Physics. Areas of existing expertise on campus include biological electron transfer, biological imaging, computational and mathematical modeling of biological systems, macromlecular structure determination, neurobiophysics, protein engineering and spectroscopic methods of various sorts. Biophysists are needed by institutions of higher learning as well as by federal, state and private research organizations. Read on to find out how you can apply for an M.S. or Ph.D. in Biophysics!
Click here to read the Letter of Welcome from the Program Director, Dr. Russ Hille
Welcome to the interdisciplinary graduate program in Biophysics at the University of California, Riverside. Here at UCR we offer an innovative and flexible program of study leading to advanced degrees in Biophysics. The biophysics community here consists of over 30 faculty (in seven departments spread across three colleges) whose research interests span the breadth of biophysics as broadly defined. The research programs of the participating faculty can be loosely grouped into four broad areas that overlap extensively with one another. From the smallest to the largest scales, these are:
- Molecular biophysics – including physical methods for elucidation of biomolecular structure at atomic resolution by means of X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance and cryoelectron microscopy; the application of single-molecule methods to study the behavior of individual biomolecules; the use of a variety of spectroscopic methods (electron paramagnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, infrared and resonance Raman spectroscopy) to study the behavior of biological molecules; computational modeling of molecular behavior; biological electron transfer, including photosynthesis; protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions; and biomolecular dynamics.
- Cellular biophysics – including studies of cell signaling, and visualization same; computer modeling and simulation of biomolecular recognition; cell-cell interactions involved in fertilization and body plan development; membrane biosynthesis and trafficking; folding and assembly of lipoproteins; the biophysics of cell division; development and application of biosensors; functional proteomics; single-cell bioanalytical methods, including imaging; high-throughput detection of biomolecules; virus assembly; dynamics of microbe/immune system interactions; synaptic protein interactions and exocytosis; theoretical modeling of biological systems; and bio-computation.
- Organismal biophysics – including whole-animal bioenergetics and metabolism; imaging; exercise physiology and the biophysics of locomotion; stress response; dynamics of temperature regulation; circadian clock studies; imaging methodologies; and neural networks and sensory response.
- Systems biophysics – including studies of community ecology; energy input/output/distribution in ecosystems; response of individual organisms and populations to changes in energy flux into and out of their environments and among one another; biogeochemical cycling of water and nutrients; the physics of biodefense mechanisms; species distribution along environmental gradients; and computer modeling of energy flux and stress response in ecosystems.
In the course of your studies, you will have the opportunity to interact with many faculty members in a supportive mentoring environment that emphasizes professional development. You will also have the opportunity to contribute original research in cutting-edge applications of physical methods to understanding life processes over a range of scales. All of our Ph.D. students are fully supported financially through a combination of fellowships, research assistantships and teaching assistantships.
The city of Riverside (population ~325,000) lies 60 miles east of Los Angeles in southern California's Inland Empire. 40 miles to the north, the San Bernardino mountains offer hiking and skiing, and Palm Springs and the high desert (Joshua Tree National Park) are 60 miles to the east. Several southern California beach communities are some 50 miles to the southwest. The university occupies a spacious 1,200-acre campus on the eastern outskirts of Riverside, near the Box Spring Mountains.
Student's degree must be:
- From and accredited 4-year college or university with an academic record that satisfies the standards established by the Graduate Division of UC Riverside
- In Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or related field
Coursework in Biochemistry
Requires a minimum of one year of introductory biochemistry, including laboratory.
Coursework in Biology
Requires a minimum of one year of introductory biology, including laboratory.
Coursework in Chemistry
Requires a minimum of one year each of introductory and organic chemistry, including laboratories.
Coursework in Mathematics
Requires a minimum of one year of calculus, plus one upper division course.
Coursework in Physics
Requires a minimum of one year of introductory physics, including laboratory.
Coursework in Upper-division
Requires upper-division coursework within student's major.
The Graduate Admissions Committee considers a candidate's entire application file when making admissions decisions. Applicants must submit the following:
- A completed electronic application form
- A statement of Purpose
- Official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work
- Three letters of recommendation (two must be from faculty)
- A satisfactory score on the General Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
- A satisfactory score on the Subject Examination in Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry or Physics
- For non-US citizens whose native language is not English, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required