Skip Navigation


Johns Hopkins University logo 


Expected Background
The program derives its strength from participants with various interests and backgrounds.  PMB students come from a range of undergraduate disciplines and, therefore, some may require additional courses or tutorials to round of their basic training.  Individual needs can be interwoven into the required curriculum.
Optimal background includes general chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, two semesters of college-level physics, biochemistry or molecular biology, and calculus or a high-level math course.


The methods and tools of biophysics are drawn from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and computer science.  Consequently, our curriculum is correspondingly broad and rigorous.  Five required one-semester courses form the core of the PMB curriculum.

Mario Amzel and student
Doug Barrick and student

Fall year 1
Introduction to Computing (4 weeks)
Physical Chemistry of Biological Macromolecules
Proteins and Nucleic Acids

Spring year 1
Methods in Molecular Biophysics
Computer Modeling of Biological Macromolecules

Fall year 2
Organic Mechanisms in Biology
Elective I

Spring year 2
Elective II

Students attend weekly biophysics seminars and
present one of their own in their second year.

The elective courses chosen by students vary greatly depending on their interests.  Together these courses provide a broad conceptual framework for understanding macromolecular energetics, dynamics, structure, and interctions, as well as practical training in computational analysis, exposure to the current scientific literature, and awareness of contemporary and future areas of research.scientific image
Proficiency in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology is evaluated formally with an oral examination at the end of the first year.  Students who have never taken courses in these areas are welcome, but not required, to take such courses during their first year.  Tutorials and self-directed study provide alternative avenues for preparing for this evaluation.

Jim Stivers and student

Program in Molecular Biophysics
101 Jenkins Hall
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

410-516-5197 phone
410-516-5199 fax


© 2012 The Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved.