Biophysics is one of the programs in the Harvard Integrated Life Sciences, which facilitates collaboration and cross-disciplinary research. Visit HILS for additional application instructions.
If you are interested in taking a deep dive into biological and biomedical research, the biophysics program is for you. Biophysics is part of Harvard Integrated Life Sciences, a federation of 14 life science PhD programs, departments, and subject areas that facilitates cross-disciplinary academic and research collaboration. You will get broad training in the biophysical, chemical, and molecular concepts and techniques that address outstanding problems in biology and biomedical sciences. The program’s flexibility enables you to use your experience and background in the quantitative sciences to explore many diverse research areas and use that knowledge to approach biological problems in an in-depth way.
Recent student projects include: “Rationally designed immunogens enable immune focusing following SARS-Cov-2 spike Imprinting,” “RNA Hybridization and Protein Multimerization in and out of Equilibrium,” and “Explorations in cancer genomics and tumor immunology through analysis of next-generation data.”
Graduates of the program have secured positions at academic institutions such as Harvard Medical School, Wesleyan University, California Institute of Technology, and many others. Others have gone on to industry positions in biotechnology at companies such as Novartis Oncology, Amgen, and Insight Data Science, among many others.
Please review admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program-specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the Biophysics Program.
Applicants should have a strong background in the physical sciences, especially chemistry, physics, and mathematics. See the biophysics program page for examples of the types of courses that would be considered appropriate background training for research work in biophysics.
Statement of Purpose
The statement of purpose should demonstrate the specific research experiences an applicant has undertaken, motivation for wanting to pursue a PhD in biophysics, and overall enthusiasm for future work as an independent research scientist.
GRE General: Not Accepted
GRE Subject: Not Accepted
Combined MD/PHD Program
Harvard Griffin GSAS enables PhD students to coordinate their studies for an additional advanced degree. Visit the MD/PhD program at Harvard Medical School to learn how to combine an MD with a PhD in biophysics. This program may be of particular interest to prospective medical students with a strong background in physics and to students enrolled in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. An application to the biophysics program occurs in the fall of the second year of MD studies and includes a “pre-application” for initial review prior to the December 1 application deadline to determine the appropriateness of an MD/PhD student’s full application to the program by the December 1 deadline. Applicants from the Harvard Medical School MD/PhD Program are required to submit a "pre-application" in the fall: Please see the biophysics program page for more information.