It is right whether physics is required for biology majors or not, this is what we’ll be discovering in our post today.
is physics required for a biology major?
It is not required to take physics courses in biology, but physics is still interesting for high and advanced studies especially if you want to major in biophysics.
For students who are interested to take a bachelor’s in biology, you will be only required to complete one semester or 2 semesters, depending on the school you study.
the physics of curses you will be taking in your first year of biology are:
1 – physics for life science
In physics for life and science, you will be studying general physics courses that relate to the human body and nutrition. meaning everything that relates to diet and health and how good diest treatment can help to prevent any disease.
The goal of this course is to prepare students to work in labs and do multiple experiments dealing with different physics materials. It is a general course that doesn’t involve difficult math topics like calculus or algebra.
2 – algebra based physics
Algebra-based physics is a high physics course that teaches the basics topics and foundation topics of physics, like motions, kinematics, electricity, magnetism, etc.
Algebra-based physics is not a difficult course, some schools require and force students to take or have taken it before. For Students who have to study physics in their second semesters, they will likely find algebra-based physics course
if you want more details about algebra-based physics you can read this article.
3 – calculus-based physics
Calculus-based physics is optional, students are not required to take this course but universities recommend taking this course, especially for one who is looking to continue their studies after a bachelor’s and looking for a master’s or PhDs.
For instance, for a student who is interested in majoring in biophysics, calculus-based physics is very interesting to them, it will teach them everything that relates to bionics, and biomechanical systems which is very helpful in biomedical engineering industries and making research in biophysics laboratories.
Calculus-based physics is similar to the previous physics course, calculus-based algebra. You will be studying all the same subjects, but with calculus-based physics, you will be using calculus to solve more difficult physics problems so it is more challenging and difficult than the first one.
If you want more information you can read this article to discover the difference between calculus-based physics and calculus-based algebra.
As a recommendation, the best thing to do even if you hate physics is to take these 3 courses. They will be very helpful in the future. Because at the beginning of biology courses you won’t notice any relation or relevance between biology and physics, but the more you go into advanced topics you will be understanding how much physics is important for you as a biology major.
The next paragraph will be explaining why you should study physics as a biologist major.
Why do biology majors need physics?
In the biology domain, you will be needing many physics topics like electricity, electromagnetism, kinetics, and even in some crucial cases quantum mechanics. We will be listing the 3 examples of how much physics is important for you as a biologist major.
1 – learn how to deal with devices
All the devices that biology is working with including CT scanners, MRI, X- rays, or ecographic devices require basics and foundation in physics. These physics are not relatable 100% all the time.
For instance, in the Ct scanner, you could get some wrong values which require having an experience in physics to tell if this value is possible or impossible.
Sometimes, X -rays devices could not be working properly, and as a result, gives you wrong or inappropriate images. So you have to recalibrate them again.
In order to do that you have to have an idea about how machines work which requires having basics in physics and knowing topics like electromagnetism, frequencies, and some optics. You can’t relay 100% to machines and ignore your critical thinking and analysis.
2 – Studying new species
Physics allows biologists to study new kinds of species, for instance, if you discover a species or animal you want to study. You will need to make a group of physics tests on this species like:
Some biology students fall into this mistake, ignoring these basics physics topics forcing them to go back and study them again
3 – you will need a lot of physics if you minor in biophysics
If you are looking to major later in biophysics you will be needing a lot of physics like fluid dynamics and statistical thermodynamics or even quantum mechanics.
For instance in neuroscience, you will be building computer models to mimic how the brain and nervous system are operating to get a close idea of how the human mind is working.
You could be majoring in other fields of biophysics like ecosystems, molecules in motion, and imagining dealing with industrial medical devices like scanners, and organic other devices.
Physics and biology double major
Physics and biology double major is very hard and not worth it as you might expect. Many students think that double majoring in physics and biology will be worth it to prepare for grad school or majoring in related physics biology majors like biophysics, but it is not completely right.
It is right that biophysics requires a decent background in physics, but not as many topics as you will be studying in this program. In other words, the physics topics you will be studying are deeper and out of the scope of biology. So it will be a waste of time and inefficient.
For students who are looking to take biophysics, you can come from many avenues or fields like engineering, chemistry, physics, or even computer science.
The best thing to do is focus on getting a bachelor’s degree in the field you enjoy biology, physics, engineering, or anything else rather than stress yourself with many unrelated courses. then you could opt for a master’s or in biophysics or biomedical engineering they are close to each other.