BS in Physics

Units required for Major: 74-76

Program Description

Physics is the most fundamental science and underlies our understanding of nearly all areas of science and technology. In a broad sense, physics is concerned with the study of energy, space, and matter, and with the interactions between matter and the laws that govern these interactions. More specifically, physicists study mechanics, heat, light, electric and magnetic fields, gravitation, relativity, atomic and nuclear physics, and condensed matter physics.

The BS degrees are recommended for students seeking a career in the technology sector or planning to pursue a graduate degree.

Note: Students graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics will not be subject to the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement. Students who change major may be subject to the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement.

Program Requirements

Required Lower Division Courses (37 Units)
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry I5
CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry II5
MATH 30Calculus I4
MATH 31Calculus II4
MATH 32Calculus III4
MATH 45Differential Equations for Science and Engineering3
PHYS 11AGeneral Physics: Mechanics4
PHYS 11BGeneral Physics: Heat, Light, Sound, Modern Physics4
PHYS 11CGeneral Physics: Electricity and Magnetism4
Required Upper Division Courses (33-36 Units)
PHYS 105Mathematical Methods in Physics3 - 4
or MATH 105A Advanced Mathematics for Science and Engineering I
PHYS 106Introduction to Modern Physics3
PHYS 110Classical Mechanics3
PHYS 115Electronics and Instrumentation3 - 4
or PHYS 145 Optics
PHYS 124Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics3
PHYS 135Electricity And Magnetism3
PHYS 136Electrodynamics of Waves, Radiation,and Materials3
PHYS 150Quantum Mechanics3
PHYS 151Advanced Modern Physics3
PHYS 156Classical and Statistical Mechanics3
PHYS 175Advanced Physics Laboratory2
PHYS 191Senior Project1 - 2
Elective Upper Division Requirements (3 Units)
Select three units of upper-division coursework chosen in consultation with an advisor 13
Physics Colloquium Attendance
Fulfill a minimum attendance requirement 2
Total Units73-76

See list below for a list of Department approved electives.


Majors must fulfill a minimum attendance requirement at Department Colloquia. Students should consult with the Department for details.


  • Students are required to complete 2 units for their Senior project (PHYS 191) either over one or two semesters
  • Students with an interest in theoretical physics are encouraged to consider a minor in Mathematics.

Elective List

PHYS 115Electronics and Instrumentation 34
PHYS 116Advanced Electronics and Instrumentation3
PHYS 130Acoustics3
PHYS 142Applied Solid State Physics3
PHYS 145Optics 33
PHYS 162Scientific Computing: Basic Methods3
PHYS 163Scientific Computing: Modeling, Simulation, and Visualization3
PHYS 199Special Problems1 - 3
ASTR 150Dark Matter and Dark Energy3
MATH 105BAdvanced Mathematics for Science and Engineering II4

If not used to satisfy other requirement of the degree (Example: PHYS 115 or PHYS 145 are required for the Bachelor of Science. If both are taken, one will count as an elective).