Physiology and Biophysics

A 3D rendering of the cardiac system
Doctor of Philosophy

About the Program

Translate therapeutics from the bench to the bedside with a PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from Case Western Reserve University. Here, you’ll learn baseline biological functions so you can spot inconsistencies as well as develop new approaches to—and cures for—diseases. This foundational knowledge and research ability will prepare you for careers in academia, biotech, pharmaceuticals and more. Our graduates have even chosen to pursue careers in the legal field or as medical liaisons. 

What to Expect

Our degree is part of the Biomedical Sciences Training Program, which has 11 different PhD options under the biomedical sciences umbrella. Our interdisciplinary approach allows you to specialize in physiology and biophysics while also taking electives in related topics. Some of your classes might include: sleep physiology, cardio-respiratory physiology, cell biophysics, and oxygen and physiological function. You’ll also take a grant writing course, which helps immensely as you pursue funding for your research interests.

As one of the top research universities in the U.S., it’s no surprise Case Western Reserve counts 16 Nobel laureates among our alumni and former faculty—including alumnus Paul C. Lauterbur, who co-won the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine in 2003 for his work on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Make your own waves with your research on ion transport, systems physiology and other topics related to disease.

The department instilled in me an enthusiasm for scientific discovery, as well as the patience and discipline that accompanies it by necessity. As a graduate student, I worked in an environment that encouraged development through independent thinking, and the success and failure that accompanies it. This has allowed me to continually advance in an ever-changing research environment.

Request Information


Beyond the Classroom

Here, you’ll have access to a variety of research facilities with state-of-the-art equipment so you can get lab experience you need—from protein expression facilities to the Virus Room. Your analyses could lead you to fellowships or to our departmental research seminar series where you can hear from world class researchers who are pursuing similar interests.

By the Numbers


tuition coverage, including health insurance


university in the country, U.S. News & World Report


private research university in the country, The Center for Measuring University Performance


commercialization of research, The Brookings Institution


laboratory rotations

Admission Requirements

Our program thrives when we have students with diverse perspectives and a range of educational, professional and life experiences. We look forward to learning more about you!

The application process requires:

  • Online application, including a personal statement
  • $50 application fee
  • Bachelor’s and/or master’s degree from an accredited institution (either already complete, or will be complete before you enroll)
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Current resume/CV
  • List of research experience (optional)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • International applicants: Results of TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE

Contact Us

Request Information