Apr 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Biomedical Physics, B.S.

College of Arts and Sciences

The Biomedical Physics Major is designed to prepare students for graduate or clinical research programs in multiple intersections of physics, biology and medicine.  With an interdisciplinary complement of required courses, students can design upper division courses to meet their research and career choices.  Three career options highlighted in this major are Biophysics, Medical Physics and Medical School.   

  • Biophysics is a vibrant, growing research field that applies the theories and methods of physics to understand how biological systems work. Biophysics is critical to understanding the mechanics of how the molecules of life are made, how different parts of a cell move and function, and how complex systems in our bodies—the brain, circulation, immune system, and others— work.
  • Medical Physics is an applied branch of graduate physics focused on the application of the concepts and methods of physics to the diagnosis and treatment of human disease. It is allied with medical electronics, bioengineering, and health physics.  Medical physicists contribute to the effectiveness of radiological imaging procedures by assuring radiation safety and helping to develop improved imaging techniques (e.g., mammography, CT, MRI, ultrasound, nuclear imaging). They contribute to development of radiation therapeutic techniques (e.g., radioactive implants, stereotactic radiosurgery, Proton Therapy), collaborate with radiation oncologists to design treatment plans, and monitor equipment and procedures to ensure that cancer patients receive the prescribed dose of radiation to the correct location. A career in Medical Physics involves three areas of activity:  research and development, clinical service and consultation, and Medical Physics education.
  • For students interested in attending Medical School:  Biomedical Physics provides students interested in attending medical school with the ability to fulfill their pre-medical requirements within a strong science major that presents multiple research opportunities.

Please review the Wisdom Core section included at the bottom of this program, which outlines the requirements to fulfill the Rockhurst Wisdom Core for all undergraduate students.

When registering for classes, to find which courses will fulfill core requirements, search the Course Schedule by “Attribute Type”. The Course Schedule is located on the Rockhurst Registrar’s webpage at www.rockhurst/registrar.


Required Upper-Division Physics of Medicine Courses:

(6 courses)

Required Course in Machine Learning:

Additional Upper-Division Coursework:

Please work with your advisor to choose courses from the lists below based on your desired graduate school/career path: 

Biophysics Track:

Recommended Additional Courses (Choose 4 Courses from the following list):

Medical Physics/Bioengineering Track:

Required Mathematics:

Recommended Additional Courses:

(Choose 3 Courses from the following list):


Total hours: 31-37


In choosing additional upper-division coursework students are advised to work with their advisor to choose hours needed for graduate school entrance requirements.

Substitutions allowed upon department approval:

  • Differential Equations MT 3700 : Mathematical Methods in Physics PH 3710  

Other Requirements: A grade of C or better is required in each upper-division course of this major. (A grade of C- will not satisfy this requirement.) A grade of “C” or better is required in composition and other writing courses.



Contact Rockhurst University Physics Department Faculty:

Nancy Donaldson, Ph.D.
Professor of Physics
Biomedical Program Director

Mayuri Gilhooly, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Physics
Chair of Physics and Engineering

Wisdom Core Requirements

With few exceptions, Rockhurst undergraduate students are required to fulfill the following requirements of the Rockhurst Wisdom Core. To locate courses that fulfill specific wisdom core requirements, search the Course Schedule by “Attribute Type”.  The Course Schedule is located on the Rockhurst Registrar’s webpage at www.rockhurst/registrar.

Cornerstone Requirement:

 Cornerstones courses introduce students to the Jesuit tradition and to the University through study, discussion, and reflection. Topics will vary. Students are encouraged to take the Cornerstone course during their first year at Rockhurst.

This 2 credit hour course may be offered through the College of Arts and Sciences (WCCA), the College of Business Intelligence and Information Analysis (WCCB), or Saint Luke’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences (WCCN), with a variety of content to be covered in each individual course.

The attribute code attached to any Cornerstone class is WCC.

Foundation Course Requirements: 37-40 hours

Foundations courses are lower-division courses representing the traditional liberal arts and sciences disciplines that are highly valued within the Jesuit tradition. Transfer courses may be accepted to fulfill Foundation core requirements.

NW - Natural World

Complete one science class with a lab from biology, chemistry, physics, or natural sciences (4 hours)

HC - History and Culture: HCA

Complete one class from art, music, or theatre arts (3 hours)

HC - History and Culture: HCH

Complete one class from history (3 hours)

HC - History and Culture: HCL

Complete one class from literature in English or literature in Modern Languages (3 hours)

IS - Individuals and Society

Complete two classes from 2 different disciplines of: criminal justice, economics, psychology, sociology, or political science (6 hours)
UQ - Universal Questions: UQP 

Complete one course from philosophy (3 hours)

UQ - Universal Questions: UQT

Complete one course from theology (3 hours)

UQ - Universal Questions

Complete one additional upper-level course from either theology or philosophy - this swing course may be a Rockhurst or transfer course. (3 hours)

EP - Eloquentia Perfecta: WC

Complete 1-2 WC - Written Composition courses. A student with an English ACT score over 24 may fulfill this requirement with EN 1140. (3 hours)

A student who does not have an English ACT score of 24 must complete EN 1110 and EN 1120. (6 hours)

EP - Eloquentia Perfecta: OC

Complete one OC - Oral Communication course (3 hours)

QR - Quantitative Reasoning

Complete one math course (3 hours)


Keystone Core Designations:

The Keystone designations are specific learning outcomes which students fulfill through Rockhurst upper-division courses, found primarily in the students’ major or minor program of study. No specific number of credits are required, but students are required to fulfill one of each of the seven Keystone designations. These courses emphasize skills listed in the “Core Rationale and Learning Goals,” such as Inquiry, Analysis, Critical Thinking, and Global Citizenship. Keystones can only be fulfilled through Rockhurst courses. Note: if a Keystone designation contains sub-core designations, the Keystone requirement may be fulfilled through either one of its subcore designations.

The seven Keystone designations are as follows:

IAC Inquiry, Analysis, and Critical Thinking Complete one course with either CT (Critical Thinking) or IA (Inquiry & Analysis) designation. Either designation will satisfy IAC.
IQL Information and Quantitative Literacy Complete one course with either IF (Information Fluency) or QL (Quantitative Literacy) designation. Either designation will satisfy IQL.
ACI Artistic/Creative & Innovative Expression Complete one course with either AE (Artistic Expression) or IV (Innovation) designation. Either designation will satisfy ACI.
CC Communication and Collaboration Skills Complete one course with either CM (Communication Skills) or CO (Collaboration Skills) designation. Either designation will satisfy CC.
IAS Intercultural Awareness and Sensitivity  Complete one course with the IAS designation.
GC Global Citizenship Complete one course with the GC designation.
ESE Ethical Reasoning & Social Engagement Complete one course with either ER (Ethical Reasoning & Action) or SK (Social Knowledge & Engagement) designation. Either designation will satisfy ESE.


Threshold Experiences

Before graduation, students are required to engage in at least one course or experience certified as using a high impact practice. Students must complete one of the following Threshold Experiences at Rockhurst:


WI Writing-Intensive
ID Interdisciplinary
UR Undergraduate Research
IN Internship
TSL Threshold Service Learning Experience
RP Reflective Portfolios
SA Study Abroad