Students undertaking the Physics Major must complete all lower and upper division core courses, with a grade of C or better, and take five additional courses from upper division elective offerings, which must include one lab based course (normally PHYS 481).

The Physics department offers all lower division courses every semester. Upper division core courses are offered in either Fall or Spring, while elective courses are offered every alternate Fall or Spring. The table below shows the normal course sequence for upper division and graduate courses, in odd and even years. Students should consult this sequence in preparing their study plans. Laboratory based courses are underlined.

  Odd Years Even Years
  Spring Fall Spring Fall
Undergrad Core Elective Core Elective Core Elective Core Elective
PHYS 300 PHYS 301* PHYS 300 PHYS 301* PHYS 300 PHYS 301* PHYS 300 PHYS 301*
PHYS 310 PHYS 476* PHYS 330A PHYS 315* PHYS 310 PHYS 411* PHYS 330A PHYS 416*
PHYS 320 PHYS 481 PHYS 340 PHYS 454* PHYS 320 PHYS 481 PHYS 340  
PHYS 330B   PHYS 380   PHYS 330B   PHYS 380  
PHYS 455       PHYS 455      
Grad PHYS 530A PHYS 476* PHYS 510 PHYS 554 PHYS 530A PHYS 411* PHYS 510 PHYS 516*
PHYS 555A PHYS 581 PHYS 520   PHYS 555A PHYS 581 PHYS 520  
*Course offering contingent on enrollment, instructor availability and budgetary constraints


Note that course offerings in individual semesters may occasionally vary from this sequence.




Candidates completing this pathway will earn a Bachelor of Science in Physics, prepare for the Physics CSET subtests, and complete the Single Subject Credential Program in Science.  



Science Teaching - BS Physics

Freshman, Semester 1     Freshman, Semester 2  
* Attend Credential Program Overview *        
ENGL 101 (GE 1.B) 3   MATH 150B (Major) 4
MATH 150A (Major, GE III.A.1) 4   PHYS 225+L (Major, GE III.A.2a) 4
GE Intro to Arts (GE III.B.1) 3   CHEM 120A (Major, GE II.A.2a) 5
POSC 100 (GE II.B.2) 3   GE Oral Comm. (GE I.A) 3
Total units    13   Total units   16

Sophomore, Semester 3     Sophomore, Semester 4  
* Take CBEST *     PHYS 227+L (Major) 4
MATH 250A (Major) 4   PHYS 301 (Major) 3
PHYS 226+L (Major) 4   BIO 101 (GE II.A.2c) 3
GE American History (GE II.B.1) 3   HIST 110B (GE II.A) 3
HIST 110A (GE II.A) 3   GE Critical Thinking (GE I.C) 3
Total units    14   Total units    16

Junior, Semester 5     Junior, Semester 6  
* Take EWP *        
PHYS 300 (Major) 3   PHYS 310 (Major) 3
PHYS 380 (Major) 3   PHYS 320 (Major) 4
GE Intro to Social Science (GE III.C.1) 3   GE 300 level course (GE III.B.3) 3
GE Intro to Humanities (GE III.B.2) 3   EDSC 310 (Cred. Prog. Prereq.) 3
ENGL 301 (Major) 3   EDSC 304 (Cred Prog.)3 3
Total units    15   Total units    16

Senior, Semester 7     Senior, Semester 8  

* File Grad Check, take CSET Subtests4 *

    * Apply to Credential Program *  
PHYS 330 (Major) 4    PHYS 481 or 482, Adv Lab  3
PHYS 340 (Major) 4   UD Physics Electives (Major) 6
GE 300 level course with * (GE III.C.2) 3   UD Science & Eng. Elective 3
EDSC 320 (GE IV, Cred. Prog. Prereq.) 3   EDSC 330 (Cred. Prog. Prereq.) 3
UD Physics Elective (Major) 3   EDSC 340 (Cred. Prog. Prereq.) 3
Total units    17   Total units    18


Credential Program

* Conduct Job Search *  
EDSC 410 Teach English Learners1 3
EDSC 400 Internship Preparation2 3
                                                Total units    9

Semester 9 (Fall if Professional Track)
* Employed as new teacher *  
EDSC 440 S/F Seminar & Fieldwork 6
SCED 442 Science Teaching Methods 3
SCED 449E Student Teaching 3
                                                Total units    12

Semester 10 (Spring if Professional Track)
* Employed as new teacher *  
SCED 449I Student Teaching 10
SCED 449S Student Teaching Seminar 3
EDSC 460 TPA 3
                                                Total units    16


  • A grade of “C” (2.0) or better required for major classes.
  • The summer semester is required for Professional Track only. 
  • Class starred with footnote1 may be completed earlier in academic program.  EDSC 304, 310, 320, 330, 340, and 410 are available fall, spring, summer, and intersession in Web and traditional formats.
  • Class with footnote2 is only required for Professional Track candidates.
  • Class with footnote3 may be substituted with successful passage of CSET Subtests I (133) & II (134).
  • Footnote 4:  CSET ( Science Subtests -  two options for Physics Credential:
    • Physics Regular Credential (recommended):  #118 Subtest I General Science, #119 Subtest II General Science, and #123 Subtest III Concentration Physics
    • Physics Specialized Credential:   #123 Subtest III Concentration Physics and #127 Subtest IV Specialization Physics
  • This plan is intended to be a sample only. It should not replace early and frequent consultation with an advisor as requirements are subject to change.   

Complete a BS degree in physics


Attend a Single-Subject Credential Program overview

Apply to the university, if needed

Apply to the Single-Subject Credential Program

  • by February 28 for Fall and September 30 for Spring

Demonstrate basic skills by passing the CBEST

  • we recommend taking the CBEST your sophomore or junior year


Demonstrate subject matter competency by passing the appropriate California Subject Examination CSET subtests

  • we recommend taking the CSETs early in your senior year 

Complete required prerequisite coursework

  • Get ready for a life-changing experience!



Advisement Resources

Don't hesitate to contact us, or to just drop by and visit us!


The Physics Department

  • MH 611, (657) 278-3366


Center for Careers in Teaching

  • Humanities 113, (657) 278-7130


Catalyst Center






Our Master of Science (MS) program is designed to meet the needs both of professionals seeking career advancement and students looking to move on to a Ph.D. While our program emphasizes applied physics, research opportunities in basic science are available as well as in physics education research and K12 teaching. Program features include:

• Convenient class times for both full-time and part-time students. Classes are offered late in the afternoon and usually meet once a week in a three hours session per subject.DBH168_edited_5

• Flexible course options with up to 12 units of electives included in each study plan. The average graduation time for our program is four semesters, but part-time students may enroll in one course per semester if necessary and have up to five years to complete the program.

• Research opportunities in atomic and molecular collision science, astrophysics, gravitational waves and relativity, condensed matter theory, fiber optics, and surface physics. Our College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics shares with the College of Engineering a state-of-the-art machine shop where students and faculty design and build custom instrumentation. 

• TA and RA support for most incoming students. We try to offer interested masters students part-time instructor positions teaching one or more of our introductory physics laboratories. There are also opportunities for compensated research working with faculty.

DBH168_edited_4• Convenient location off the 57 Freeway provides easy access for residents of Orange County, eastern and southern Los Angeles County, western San Bernardino County, and western Riverside County. Both on-campus and off-campus dormitories and apartments are available for resident students.

For additional details please contact our Department Chair Ionel Tifrea by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by regular mail at

Professor Ionel Tifrea
Department of Physics
800 N State College Blvd
California State University Fullerton
Fullerton, CA 92834 USA

Applicants must meet the university requirements for graduate admission as detailed in the University Catalog under Graduate Admission.

In addition, the department requires applicants to have completed an undergraduate degree in physics from an accredited university. However, applicants with a degree other than in physics will also be considered if they have completed at least nine units of upper division physics courses. The GRE physics is not required of applicants with a degree in physics and an overall GPA of 3.6 or higher, but it is mandatory for international students or for applicants with a degree other than in physics. 

Applications for the program are completed onlineTo ensure timely processing and review of application materials, please contact the Graduate Advisor Ionel Tifrea by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In addition, please arrange three letters of recommendation to be submitted by email or regular mail before the deadline. Out of state and international students interested in a tuition waiver should contact the Graduate Advisor Ionel Tifrea before the deadline.

Application deadline: March 1st for the Fall semester and October 1st for the Spring semester. Applications received after the deadlines may be considered on a case by case basis.

A minimum of 30 units of course work is required to complete the program. Three plans of study are available:

Plan A course work and a comprehensive final exam

Plan B faculty mentored research and a written thesis

Plan C faculty mentored research and project

The thesis option (Plan B) requires students to complete a research project, supervised by a Physics faculty member, and culminates with the production of a written thesis, per university guidelines. No formal thesis is required for the Project option (Plan C), the student's project instead culminates in an oral presentation of their research to the Physics Department. Students taking the final exam (Plan A) are not required to undertake any research, but must pass a comprehensive exam at the culmination of their degree.

Required Courses (Plans A, B, & C; 12 units)

  • Physics 510  Mathematical Physics         
  • Physics 520  Analytical Mechanics                
  • Physics 530A Electromagnetic Theory I       
  • Physics 555A Quantum Physics I

All 500-level courses are three units each.                 

Additional Requirements (Plan A - 6 units; Plans B & C - 3 units)

  • Physics 516  Thermal and Statistical Physics   
  • Physics 554 Solid State          

Additional Requirements (Plans B & C)

  • Physics 599  Independent Graduate Research       
  • Physics 598  Thesis     1-6 units, two semesters minimum
  • Physics 597 Project     1-3 units, two semesters minimum

The remaining units can be chosen from any of our 400- or 500-level physics course offerings, excluding courses (or their equivalents) used to satisfy undergraduate degree requirements. In cases where the research objectives or career goals are interdisciplinary in another science, 400- and 500-level courses outside of physics may be chosen, e.g. in mathematics and engineering, or in teacher preparation.