Biological Physics

Download the Program Guide

Biological Physics is a discipline that investigates the physical problems presented by biological systems, applying physics principles and techniques to gain new insights into the processes of life. This interdisciplinary major, administered by the Physics Department, is intended to prepare students to contribute to or pursue graduate study in areas of the life sciences and health professions that are increasingly technical, including cell biology, neuroscience, and medical research.

Beyond the Classroom

Students have a wide array of opportunities for research, internships, conferences, and networking beyond the classroom that give them an advantage to prepare for life after W&J.

Research and Internships

  • The intense, interdisciplinary laboratory curriculum is designed to prepare students to participate in meaningful research early in their studies.
  • As part of the curriculum, students complete a two-semester independent research project in which they work with a faculty member to investigate a topic of relevant to their scientific or career interests.
  • Transferable skills propel students to take advantage of international research internships in cutting-edge scientific and engineering fields.


  • Careers in medicine, including veterinary medicine (DVM) and combined MD/PhD programs
  • Research at the intersections of biology, chemistry, physics, medicine, and engineering

Similar Programs

Biological Physics Faculty

Thomas Contreras portrait

Biology Department Chair

Thomas Contreras, Ph.D.

Thomas A. Contreras, Ph.D. is a Professor of Biology and is Chair of the Biology Department at Washington & Jefferson College.


Biology Department Chair

Michael McCracken

Michael E. McCracken, Ph.D. is an associate professor and the Department Chair of Physics. He is also the Coordinator of the 3-2 Engineering Program at Washington & Jefferson College.


Biological Physics Program Downloads

Biological Physics Program Sheet

Version: 2019

Pre-Health Handbook

Version: 2020-2021