Message from the Chair

The Biophysics (BPH) Graduate Group offers a program leading to a Ph.D. degree in biophysics. BPH is an interdisciplinary program that prepares students to conduct independent research at the interface of physics, chemistry, and biology. Faculty members are based in colleges and schools throughout UC Davis campus and have a wide range of research interests, including structural biology, molecular and macromolecular dynamics, and computational and theoretical biology. Our students develop and employ advanced methods in their research, using state-of-the-art tools to measure physiochemical phenomena in biological systems.

The Biophysics Graduate Group is comprised of exceptional students and faculty. Please check the News section of our website to sample some of the recent distinctions members of this program have received. To learn about the many exciting biophysics projects at UC Davis, please visit the Faculty menu of our website, where you can navigate to the laboratory webpage for individual BPH faculty. Throughout our website take note of the background images, which are straight out of our BPH labs.

Our flexible curriculum allows for students to tailor their program of study, achieving a foundation of knowledge in biophysics, as well as develop expertise in the broad range of disciplines in which our faculty is engaged. Thus our program is especially well suited for creative, independent-minded students. During the first year BPH students take the foundational coursework that enables one to uncover the mechanisms that underlie biological processes. Students also participate in research rotations in several different laboratories during the first quarter, and thereafter select a faculty mentor in whose laboratory their doctoral thesis is carried out. BPH offers students a variety of biophysics research venues to identify a research laboratory that matches their interests and career goals. This includes the Designated Emphasis course and training certifications for those interested in  specializing in the fields of  Biophotonics or Biotechnology.

From the second year onward, student effort is dedicated towards research, although advanced elective coursework continues into the second year. Students also attend seminars presented by UCD faculty and also by accomplished scientists from around the world. Each fall BPH participates in symposia and retreats involving students from other life science graduate groups. In addition, UC Davis offers graduate students mentoring and training for career development in both academic and industry career paths, including programs offered at the medical campus emphasizing translational science.

Tuition, fees, health insurance and a monthly stipend are provided to doctoral students in good standing. Davis is an ideal location for students, with a small-town college atmosphere, yet only a short distance from such popular attractions such as the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe, Napa Valley, Yosemite, San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean. Please explore our website to obtain additional details on our program and for application instructions. As with all aspects of UC Davis, BPH values student diversity and encourages students from disadvantaged backgrounds to apply to our program.

Thank you for your interest in the UC Davis Biophysics graduate program. Feel free to contact our faculty directly to learn more about his or her research. For additional program information, please April Godwin at

John Voss, PhD
BPH Chair