MIT Biophysics Certificate Program

The Biophysics Certificate Program is open to any graduate student who is already enrolled in a graduate program at MIT. Certificate requirements include a three-course 36-unit interdisciplinary core (Areas I, II, and III below) and a one-semester 6-unit discussion-based course (20.416J/7.74J) that exposes students to diverse areas of modern biophysics research. Students are additionally expected to present their graduate research in the Biophysics Graduate Student Seminar Series, participate in the annual biophysics retreat, which includes student poster presentations, student talks, and ethics training in the responsible conduct of research, and regularly attend the MIT Biophysics Seminar Series. A graduate certificate is not a formal degree, but rather a means of acknowledging that a graduate student has completed a course of study that includes training in biophysics in addition to their principal area of specialization. For questions related to the Biophysics Certificate Program please e-mail


Biophysics Certificate Program Requirements

20.416J/7.74J Evaluating Current Research in Molecular & Cellular Biophysics (6-units, fall)

*Plus one (12-unit) course from each of the following three areas:


Area I: Physical Sciences & Engineering

8.592 Statistical Physics in Biology
20.415 Physical Biology


Area II: Biological Sciences

7.51 Principles of Biochemical Analysis
7.52 Genetics for Graduate Students
7.58 Molecular Biology
7.61 Eukaryotic Cell Biology
7.493/ 20.446 Microbial Genetics and Evolution


Area III: Biophysical Methods

20.409 Biological Engineering II: Instrumentation & Measurement
5.78 or 7.71 Biophysical Chemistry Techniques
5.55 Chemical Tools for Assessing Biological Function
5.069 Crystal Structure Analysis
5.65 Molecular Imaging
9.472 Neuroimaging Cells & Circuits
5.46 NMR Spectroscopy & Organic Structure Determination
2.715 Optical Microscopy & Spectroscopy for Biology & Medicine
2.710 Optics
7.57 Quantitative Biology
7.81 Systems Biology
HST.S15 Physico-chemical Concepts in Immunology & Virology


*It may be possible to substitute other biophysics classes at MIT for those listed above.  To discuss this possibility, please contact Jeff Gore (  For other Biophysics classes offered, see additional Biophysics Courses.


Additional Biophysics Courses


7.51 Principles of Biochemical Analysis
7.52 Quantitative Biology
7.57 Protein Folding & Human Disease
7.88 Protein Folding Problem
7.91 Computational & Systems Biology


Biological Engineering

20.415 Physical Biology
20.420 Biomolecular Kinetics & Cellular Dynamics
20.430 Fields, Forces, & Flows in Biological Systems
20.385 Synthetic Biology


Brain & Cognitive Sciences

22.56 Noninvasive Imaging in Biology & Medicine


Chemical Engineering

10.540 Intracellular Dynamics
10.541 Kinetics of Biological & Chemical Systems



5.55 Chemical Tools for Assessing Biological Function
5.64 Biophysical Chemistry
5.65 Molecular Imaging
5.78 Biophysical Chemistry Techniques


Civil & Environmental Engineering

1.545 Atomistic Modeling & Simulation of Materials & Structures
1.88 Physical Ecology at the Microscale


Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

6.502 Introduction to Molecular Simulations
6.521 Cellular Biophysics
6.522 Quantitative Physiology


Materials Science & Engineering

3.051 Materials for Biomedial Applications
3.901 Special Problems in Bio & Polymeric Materials
3.96 Biomaterials: Tissue Interactions


Mechanical Engineering

2.710 Optics
2.715 Optical Microscopy & Spectroscopy for Biology & Medicine



8.591 Systems Biology
8.592 Statistical Physics in Biology
8.593 Biological Physics