Specific requirements for the Major in Physics include successful completion of two semesters of calculus-based introductory physics:
General Physics I Physics 117 (4 units) General Physics II Physics 118 (4 units)
Physics I Physics 197 (4 units) Physics II Physics 198 (4 units)
Students who intend to major in Physics are strongly encouraged to take the Physics 197/198 sequence.
Additionally, students will need to take at least seven courses at the 300 level or above (with the exception of Physics 303, 304, 341, 342, 441, 442, 499, 500). Specifically required courses include:
Mechanics Physics 411 (3 units) Electricity and Magnetism I Physics 421 (3 units) Quantum Mechanics Physics 217, 318 or 471 (3 units)
In addition, all majors are required to take two advanced (300- or 400-level) lab courses. Students should select two of the following upper level labs: Optics & Wave Physics Lab (Physics 316), Electronics Lab (Physics 321), Physical Measurements Lab (Physics 322), Biophysics Lab (Physics 360), Advanced Lab (Physics 452) or Radiochemistry Lab (Physics 435). The remaining courses can be selected from the other courses offered by the Department including some at the 500 level. The package of courses selected can be quite different for a student interested in applications of physics and a student preparing for a career, including a Ph.D. in theoretical physics. Several examples of typical programs with different emphasis are given below. Programs can be tailored to individual needs and interests and should be chosen in consultation with your major advisor. Grades in the 300 level courses or above must be C- or better.
Because the physical sciences are inherently interdisciplinary, the Physics faculty believe that an undergraduate education in Physics should be broader than the traditional boundaries of Physics. The science-breadth requirement consists of courses in other science departments which complement the Physics curriculum and offer insight to the truly interdisciplinary nature of science.
Students should select 3 courses from the following list to satisfy the science-breadth requirement. One of the courses must be Chem 111,112, 401 or 402.
- General Chemistry I (Chem 111)
- General Chemistry (Chem 112)
- General Chemistry Lab I (Chem 151)
- General Chemistry Lab II (Chem 152)
- Physical Chemistry I (Chem 401)
- Physical Chemistry II (Chem 402)
- Instrumental Methods: Physical Chemistry (Chem 445)
- Introduction To Computer Programming (CSE 126)
- Computer Science I (CSE 131)
- Computer Science II (CSE 132)
- Engineering and Scientific Computing (CSE 200)
To complete a major in Physics, students will also need to take Differential Equations (Math 217) and Calculus III (Math 233). Other recommended mathematics courses are discussed on page 20 in the handbook.