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Admissions Information

Application Deadlines

Degree Requirements


Financial Assistance








Sukharev, Sergei I., Full Member

Associate Director

Fushman, David, Full Member

Distinguished University Professor

Lorimer, George H., Full Member

Weeks, John D., Full Member


Beckett, Dorothy, Full Member

Briber, Robert M., Full Member

Butts, Daniel, Full Member

Colombini, Marco, Full Member

Feijo, Jose, Full Member

Kanold, Patrick, Full Member

Levy, Doron, Full Member

Losert, Wolfgang, Full Member

Associate Professor

Aranda-Espinoza, Jose Helim, Full Member

Dayie, Kwaku, Full Member

Girvan, Michelle, Full Member

Klauda, Jeffery, Full Member

Papoian, Garegin, Full Member

Assistant Professor

Matysiak, Silvina, Full Member

Scarcelli, Giuliano, Full Member

Speer, Colenso, Full Member

Stroka, Kimberly, Full Member

Tiwary, Pratyush, Non-Member

Upadhyaya, Arpita, Full Member

Adjunct Professor

Thirumalai, Devarajan, Adjunct Member

More BIPH Faculty Information

Biophysics (BIPH)   

Program Title and Classification


Graduate Degree Program

College: Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences


The Biophysics Program in the Institute for Physical Science and Technology offers Ph.D. degrees in Biophysics. It is affiliated with the College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, and the College of Engineering. Doctoral degrees are offered.

The Maryland Biophysics Program aims to train graduate students in the use of theoretical, computational, and experimental methods to gain quantitative insights into biological systems. The post genomic era is bringing tools for unprecedented characterization and control of living systems. To fully harness these tools for quantitative insights in biology, biomedicine, and bioengineering requires expertise from a number of disciplines. Thus our program includes faculty from Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Materials Science and Bioengineering. The Biophysics Program is open to students with undergraduate degrees in chemistry, physics or biology as well as students with majors in mathematics, computational science or engineering. Because student backgrounds are diverse, we tailor the curriculum to suit the needs of the individual. The online application is located at

Research areas include Membranes and channels, Theory of molecular machines and motors, Cell mechanics, Motility and the cytoskeleton, Theoretical studies of protein and RNA folding and aggregation, Single molecule biophysics, Theory of hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions Scattering Techniques in RNA and Polymers Protein Structure, Nonlinear dynamics and biophysics of biological regulation, Mechanisms of allostery and protein assembly. The core courses that include but are not limited to Statistical Mechanics, Chemical Thermodynamics, Biophysical Chemistry, Membrane Biophysics and Cell Biology, constitute the basis for further specialization.

Admissions Information

General Requirements:

  • Statement of Purpose: In addition to the questions requested by the Graduate School, applicants should include content, both backwards and forwards looking, about their interests in the University of Maryland’s Biophysics Ph.D. program
  • Transcript(s)
  • TOEFL/IELTS/PTE (international graduate students)

Program-Specific Requirements:

  • Letters of Recommendation (3)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • CV/Resume
  • Publications/Presentations

Students dedicated to a career in experimental or theoretical biophysics are sought. 

For more admissions information or to apply to the program, please visit our Graduate School website: 

Application Deadlines

Type of Applicant Fall
Domestic Applicants:
US Citizens and Permanent Residents
17 Jan
International Applicants:
F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas
A,E,G,H,I and L visas and immigrants.
17 Jan

Other Deadlines: Please visit the program website at

Degree Requirements

Master of Science (M.S.)

Total CreditsCore Requirements

Thesis option: 30 credits required with at least 18 at the 600 level or above (including thesis research)

Non-thesis option: 30 credits required with at least 18 at the 600 level or above

All students must complete the following requirements:

1. Advanced biophysics lab

2. Advanced course

3. Two semesters of seminars

4. Oral Presentation

Non-thesis students must also submit a scholarly paper and pass the qualifying examination at the M.S. level.

Thesis students must also complete 6 credits of BIPH 799: Master's Thesis Research and submit a written thesis.


The Master of Science offers both a thesis and non-thesis option. 


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Core Requirements

Doctoral students are required to pass a qualifying exam, submit and present a candidacy paper, as well as complete the following courses:

BIPH 698: Biophysics Seminar (2 credits)

BIPH 699: Research in Biophysics (4 credits)

BIPH 899: Doctoral Dissertation Research (12 credits)


One course, Research in Biophysics, which consists of three seven week rotations through three experimental or theoretical research groups, is required of all students. A short presentation must be made to all students at the end of each rotation. Students must meet and report their progress to a three-person mentoring committee starting with the first semester. A qualifier exam must be passed. Admission to candidacy is granted after the successful presentation of a research proposal to the Program Director and the three-member committee. A dissertation must be written and defended before a committee.


Facilities and Special Resources

Eleven of the eighteen faculty run experimental laboratories. Multiple experiments are conducted at the same time with graduate students working on the experiments. A Biophysics Seminar is run on the average of once a week, generally given by visiting scholars. For those students electing to take the Seminar for credit, one credit is offered, and these students must sign in each week. Faculty form three-person committees to mentor students, as mentioned above. Symposia consisting of about six nationally and internationally known scholars are conducted once a semester on various topics. These are well attended by students, postdocs, faculty and visitors from local institutions such as NIH and Johns Hopkins.

Financial Assistance

TAships, RAships, Fellowships, arrangements for support from the National Institutes of Health.

Contact Statement



Professor Sergei Sukharev, Biophysics Program Director

3216 Biology-Psychology Building

University of Maryland

College Park MD, 20742

Telephone: (301) 405-6923

Fax: (301) 314-9404


Souad Nejjar, Program Coordinator

2123 Institute for Physical Science & Tech

8108 Regents Drive

College Park MD, 20742

Telephone: (301) 405-9307

Fax: (301) 314-9404


Associated Information











* Biophysics * Membranes and channels * Biological nanomachines(molecular motors, chaperones,polymerases, F1-ATPase) * Cell Mechanics and Motility, * Protein, RNA folding * Protein aggregation * Single molecule biophysics * Mechanisms of allostery and protein assembly


Chemical Physics (CHPH)

Chemistry (CHEM)

Materials Science and Engineering (ENMA)

Physics (PHYS)