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The study of applied biophysics focuses on radiation physics, image processing, and the development of new instrumentation.

The study of applied biophysics focuses on radiation physics, image processing, and the development of new instrumentation. The M.S. program meets the needs of students seeking a career in a medical radiation physics or students requiring postgraduate studies prior to application to the doctoral program or professional school (Medical or Dental).

Programs of study are conducted in experimental, theoretical, and applied biophysics. Areas of interest include structural biology, properties of membrane ionic channels, receptors, and transporters, synaptic processes in neurons, radiobiology, and rhythmic behavior of biological systems.

Theoretical courses are also offered in the diversified areas of nonequilibrium thermodynamics, stochastic methods, transport, modeling of biological systems, and nervous system theory.

The program in Biophysics is interdisciplinary and draws on the diverse resources of Buffalo's scientific community.

A close collaboration exists with the Department of Biophysics at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute since the areas of fundamental research are complementary. There are also collaborations with the Department of Radiology, providing a clinically relevant experience for students who wish to pursue a career in medical radiation physics. Associations also exist with the Department of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the School of Dental Medicine, and with crystallographic research at the Hauptman-Woodward Institute.

Students admitted to the program typically have a strong background in the physical, chemical, or mathematical sciences, though students in the biological sciences with an analytical orientation are also accepted. Candidates enjoy a high degree of independence in development of research programs, choice of major advisors, and pursuit of dissertation research.

Program Objectives

The graduate program leading to the M.S. degree in Biophysical Sciences is intended to provide a sound scientific foundation for those planning to pursue a career in research, teaching, or applied biophysics. In order to promote the achievement of this objective, the following program requirements have been adopted:

Admission requirements

A total of at least 36 credit hours are required for the M.S. degree. Of this total, at least 22 credit hours (for a Thesis Master's) or 28 credit hours (project Master's) must be earned in formal didactic coursework, including no more than 2 credit hours in Seminar and excluding credits for Research and Thesis Guidance,. Where appropriate, didactic course credits not exceeding 6 hours may be transferred from other graduate programs.


Required Courses

The following courses must be successfully completed with the achievement of a grade of B or better:

*1 per semester
**2 per semester

Qualified students may petition for waiver of the requirement for any specific course upon the basis of the completion of an equivalent course with a grade of B or higher.


Master’s students are required to register for Seminar credit for at least 2 semesters; in addition, attendance at the Departmental seminar series is expected of all students throughout the duration of their graduate programs.


Completion of the Master’s degree requires either a) submission of a thesis based upon a research program completed by the candidate; or b) completion of a project exploring an area or technique of biophysics in some depth.

The thesis research is conducted by the graduate student under the tutelage of his/her Major Professor and Thesis Advisory Committee. A Major Professor and a minimum of two members of the Department’s Graduate Faculty and a third member from outside of the Department shall form the Thesis Advisory Committee. All should hold the rank of Assistant Professor or above in the University faculty.

The research will culminate in a written thesis dissertation, which is an original contribution, written in English. Thesis preparation is critically monitored and supervised by the Major Professor and the Thesis Advisory Committee, both of whom must approve the thesis prior to the oral defense. The oral defense of thesis is scheduled after the candidate’s Thesis Advisory Committee and the Department have approved the thesis. The thesis is presented to the University Graduate Faculty in a seminar followed by an oral defense.


Director of Graduate Studies, Biophysics

Slaughter, Malcolm

560 Biomedical Research Building Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: (716) 829-3240


Graduate Student Coordinator

Kara Rickicki

Graduate Programs Coordinator

Physiology and Biophysics

124-B Sherman Hall, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214-8005

Phone: (716) 829-2417