The undergraduate Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in physics features small classes, research opportunities with faculty, and great flexibility in choosing electives and planning career paths.

Our majors enjoy a relatively small department where faculty and staff know them personally, and where they can socialize and study together with their student colleagues in our Dan Black Center "grad room", maintained by the Physics Club. Roughly half of our majors are transfer students. We graduate around 10 students each year.

Additional information can be found in the university catalog and its physics pages, but please don't hesitate to contact us to schedule a visit or meet with an advisor. Send Leigh Hargreaves, Program Coordinator, and Ionel Tifrea, Chair, an email. Note, applications for the program are completed online.

For a wealth of resources on careers in physics, check out CareerCornerStone.

Our undergraduate program is organized around a core of upper-division courses 3 units each totaling 27 required units for the major:

Leigh Hargreaves with student

  • Phys 300 Intro to Math Methods in Physics
  • Phys 310 Thermodynamics
  • Phys 320 Analytic Mechanics
  • Phys 330A Electrostatics, magnetostatics
  • Phys 330B Electrodynamics
  • Phys 340 Intro to Quantum & Modern Physics
  • Phys 380 Methods of Experimental Physics
  • Phys 455 Quantum Physics
  • Engl 301 Technical Writing (or equivalent)

Along with these required courses, the program requires an additional 14 upper-division units, which students can select from among several possibilities, including

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  • Phys 301 Energy & Sustainability
  • Phys 315 Computational Physics
  • Phys 411 Optics
  • Phys 416 Thermal and Statistical Physics
  • Phys 454 Introduction to the Solid Sate of Matter
  • Phys 476 Atomic Physics
  • Phys 481 Advanced Lab
  • Phys 499 (6 units max) Independent Study with Faculty

which must include 3 units of either Advanced lab or 499 Independent Study, performing laboratory based research.

A table showing all required/elective courses for the Physics Major, plus pre-requisites, units and course availability, may be downloaded here.