Major in Physics

The major in Physics consists of a minimum core of physics and mathematics courses. It provides a rigorous background combined with maximum flexibility for students who have a strong interest in an additional field of study.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • demonstrate mastery of the core concepts and general principles of physics
  • demonstrate competent knowledge of the specific concepts, principles, and problems of each of the basic subfields and some areas of application in physics
  • conduct experiments for a comparison with physical models and theories, and examine the results with the statistical methods of error analysis
  • formulate, solve, and interpret problems by the use of physical principles, via mathematical and computational techniques


58 units

To qualify for graduation, a physics student must have achieved at least a 2.0 (C) cumulative grade point average and at least a 2.0 (C) average in all courses required for the major.


Lower-division (12 units)

  • PHYS 110 General Physics I
  • PHYS 210 General Physics II
  • PHYS 240 Modern Physics

Upper-division (34 units)

  • PHYS 310 Analytical Mechanics
  • PHYS 312 Statistical and Thermal Physics
  • PHYS 320 Electromagnetism
  • PHYS 330 Quantum Mechanics
  • PHYS 340 Optics
  • PHYS 341 Upper-Division Laboratory I
  • PHYS 371 Methods of Mathematical Physics
  • PHYS 350 Physics Colloquium Note: 2 units are required

Required Supporting Courses (16 units)

  • CS 110 Introduction to Computer Science I
  • MATH 109 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
  • MATH 110 Calculus and Analytic Geometry II
  • MATH 211 Calculus and Analytic Geometry III