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Physics and Astronomy

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Walkways to Science Building

Physics and Astronomy - PHYS Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Science in Physics (code PHYSBS01) (120 units)


Lower Division: PHYS 151, 152, 254, 255; MATH 122, 123, 224; CHEM 111A,B; BIOL 111 and 111L, or 200, or 211A.

Upper Division: ENGL 317; MATH 370A or 364A, MATH 370B or 461; 33 units of upper division physics including PHYS 310, 320, 340A, 340B, 350, 360, 380, 450, and one laboratory course chosen from PHYS 445, 446, 476 and 480. The remaining (up to 8) units are to be chosen from any upper division physics courses.

Grade Requirements

Physics majors must have a "C" average in the major. Physics students must achieve a grade of "C" or better in each required course in the major. The following schedule is typical for an upper division major who is a full-time student.

Junior Year

Fall: PHYS 310, 320, 360; MATH 370A or 364A (or MATH 370B or 461; it is recommended that MATH 370A or 364A be taken before PHYS 310, if possible).

Spring: PHYS 340A, 350, 380; MATH 370B or 461 (if not taken previously).

Senior Year

Fall: PHYS 340B, 450.

Spring: Three upper division physics electives.


Bachelor of Arts in Physics (code PHYSBA01) (120 units)

This degree is designed for the student who expects to teach at the secondary level, or who seeks a high quality liberal education focusing on science. A minimum of 120 units is required for this degree.


Lower-Division: PHYS 151, 152, 254, 255; MATH 122, 123, 224; CHEM 111A,B; BIOL 111 and 111L, or 200, or 211A.

Upper-Division: minimum of 24 units selected in consultation with Physics Department Undergraduate Advisor, at least 18 units of which must be in physics; ENGL 317 or other suitable upper-division writing course from Department of English, determined in consultation with Physics Department Undergraduate Advisor (may be waived for students who achieved a standard score of 24 on the ACT English sub-test or who received an "A" or "B" grade in ENGL 100).


Teaching Credential

Requirements Related to a Teaching Credential with a Physics Concentration

The Physics Concentration meets the subject matter competence requirement for the Single Subject Preliminary Credential in Physics (code 183). Prospective students should consult the Single Subject Science Education Advisor in the Department of Science Education early to plan their program.

In addition to meeting the subject matter competence requirement for the Preliminary Credential, prospective Physics teachers are also required to complete 44 units of professional preparation in the Single Subject Credential Program, including student teaching. Students may begin the professional preparation courses as early as the junior year. With careful planning, it is possible to complete many of the credential program courses, except for student teaching, as an undergraduate. Courses may also be started as post-baccalaureate student. Refer to the Single Subject Teacher Education section of this Catalog or the Single Subject Credential Program website ( for a description of the professional preparation requirements, courses, and application procedures.

The Physics Subject Matter Program is being revised to meet new state standards. When the revised program has been approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the new course requirements will be in effect and supersede current requirements.

Lower-Division: PHYS 151, 152, 254, 255; MATH 122, 123, 224; ASTR 100; BIOL 211A,B; CHEM 111A,B; GEOL 102, 104, 160.
Upper-Division: MATH 364A or 370A; PHYS 310, 340A, either 320 or 422, either 330 or both 475 and 476, either 380 or 3 units of 496; SCED 403, 404; EDSS 300C, 450C; EDSE 435, 436, 457.


Minor in Physics (code PHYSUM01)


The Minor in Physics is available to any non-Physics major. A minimum of 20 units which must include the following.
Lower Division: PHYS 151, 152, 254, 255.
Upper Division: A minimum of nine units in physics (PHYS 360 will not count toward these nine units).