The intersection of physics and biology

The Medical and Biological Physics minor for life sciences students is offered jointly through the departments of Physics and Biology.

Medical and biological physics intersect physics and biology, and involve the application of physics methodology to the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. In the areas of physiology and health, physics and physical methods are applied to understand the production, operation and safe use of ionizing radiation, microwave, radioactive, optical and acoustic sources, and their interactions with living tissues.

Delivery of high-quality healthcare requires a large pool of highly-trained individuals who will function in a variety of health-related settings such as hospitals, cancer centres, and biomedical and biotechnology research facilities. The rapidly growing and changing aspects of biomedical technologies have placed extraordinary demands on many professionals in the healthcare sector. The minor program aims to expose students to these new methods and technologies, integrated with the underlying anatomy and physiology of tissue systems. The knowledge and skills obtained can be applied to graduate studies, medical school or post-baccalaureate degrees in one of the many healthcare professions.

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Course Structure

Note: Current UPEI students should refer to Student Planning in myUPEI and the UPEI Academic Calendar governing their entry year, and speak to an academic advisor about course requirements. The course structure presented for this program is a recommended, unofficial progression for prospective students.

Students in the Minor Program in Medical and Biological Physics must complete a total of 21 semester hours of course credit, including:

  • Physics 1210 Physics for Life Sciences I or Physics 1110 Physics for Physical Sciences I – 3 hours 
  • Physics 1220 Physics for Life Sciences II or Physics 1120 Physics for Physical Sciences II – 3 hours 
  • Physics 2430 Physics of the Human Body – 3 hours

The remaining four (4) electives (12 semester hours) must be chosen from the following suite of courses:

  • Physics 1510 Life in the Universe – 3 hours 
  • Physics 2210 Modern Physics – 3 hours
  • Physics 2420 Introduction to Biomechanics – 3 hours
  • Physics 2630 Climate Physics – 3 hours
  • Physics 3420 Introduction to Medical Physics – 3 hours
  • Physics 3430 Research Project – 3 hours
  • Physics 3510  Analysis of Human Movement – 3 hours
  • Physics 3520 Biomedical Imaging – 3 hours
  • Physics 3910 Radiation Detection and Measurement – 3 hours
  • Biology 2260 Human Anatomy and Histology – 3 hours
  • Biology 4010 Human Physiology and Pathophysiology OR Biology 4020 Comparative and Environmental Vertebrate Physiology (but not both) – 3 hours
  • RAD 2310 Radiographic Physics – 3 hours (available only to students in the Radiography program)
Admissions Criteria
What's required for Science admission?

High School Graduates

Canadian High School Equivalency Chart

  • Grade 12 Academic English
  • Grade 12 Academic Mathematics
  • Two Grade 12 Academic Science subjects (acceptable subjects: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Computer Science, Oceanography, Animal Science, Environmental Science)
  • One additional Grade 12 Academic course

Please note: Successful completion of Grade 12 Chemistry (or equivalent) is required as a prerequisite for permission to register in CHEM-1110.

Please refer to the UPEI Academic Calendar for complete admissions information.

Fees and Funding
Faculty of Science Programs Tuition

UPEI's undergraduate tuition is the second-lowest in the Atlantic region, and we offer millions of dollars in scholarships and awards. 


$6,828 per year, based on 30 credit hours ($682.80 per 3 credit course).
International students pay $8,010 per year in addition to full-time student tuition.

For a complete breakdown of part-time or full-time study as a student in the Faculty of Science, visit our Tuition and Fees page.

Scholarships and Awards

UPEI supports you and your educational goals. We administer millions of dollars in scholarships and awards to our undergraduate and graduate students every year. Depending on your faculty or program, and year of study, you may be eligible for available awards.

Search the complete list of scholarships for information and application forms. 

Celebrating Student Achievement

Including Guaranteed Entrance Scholarships and Academic Excellence Awards, these awards recognize the academic achievements of all students who meet the eligibility criteria while studying towards their first undergraduate degree.

Visit the Scholarships site for complete information.

Faculty Members
Your mentors. Our professors.

UPEI has about 250 faculty—exceptional scholars, teachers, and mentors, with more being hired each year as we open new, progressive, and unique programs. But the story isn’t just in the numbers. It’s in the quality of our people. Award-winning faculty from around the globe have made UPEI home. Here, you’ll learn directly from these world-class professors and researchers in small classes where you’ll have easy access to them.

Dr. Bill Whelan

Dr. Bill Whelan, professor of physics at UPEI, was recently elected president of the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) for 2023–2024.