Nov 19, 2019  
2015-2016 Catalog 
2015-2016 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Course Descriptions


Lower Division Courses numbered 1–99 are designed primarily for freshmen and sophomores but are open to all students for lower division credit. (Graduate students requesting to enroll in lower-division undergraduate courses will not receive unit credit nor will the course fulfill degree requirements.) Upper Division Courses courses numbered 100–199 are open to all students who have met the necessary prerequisites as indicated in the catalog course description. Preparation should generally include completion of one lower division course in the given subject or completion of two years of college work.


Courses numbered 200–299 are open to graduate students. (Undergraduate students must obtain the signature of the instructor, School Dean, and the Dean of Graduate Studies. Graduate level units will count towards the required 120 units for graduation; however students are urged to meet with their academic advisor in order to determine if graduate course units may be used to fulfill a graduation requirement.)


Cross-listed Courses are the same course offered under different course subjects at the same level (either undergraduate or graduate) that share the same meeting time, requirements, units, etc. Conjoined Courses are the same course but one is undergraduate and one is graduate.


A corequisite course is a course that must be taken at the same time as another course.


Prerequisites for courses should be followed carefully; the responsibility for meeting these requirements rests on the student. If you can demonstrate that your preparation is equivalent to that specified by the prerequisites, the instructor may waive these requirements for you. The instructor also may request that a student who has not completed the prerequisites be dropped from the course. If the prerequisite for a course is not satisfied, students must obtain the approval of the instructor (or school designee) of the course they wish to take.

For all undergraduate courses a “C-” or better grade is required for a course to be used as a prerequisite for another course. If a course was taken for a “P/NP” grade then a “P” grade is required.

For all graduate courses a “B” or better grade is required for a course to be used as a prerequisite for another course. If a course was taken for a “S/U” grade then a “S” grade is required.


No credit is allowed for completing a less advanced course after successful completion (C-or better) of a more advanced course in the foreign languages. This applies only to lower division foreign language courses, not upper division courses. 


Unless otherwise stated in the course description, each course is letter graded with a P/NP or S/U option (unless required for your major or graduate program). The policy regarding Grading Options , can be found in an alternate section of the catalog.

More information about Course Substitutions  and Course Materials and Services Fees  can be found in alternate areas of the catalog.



   •  PHYS 005: Energy and the Environment
   •  PHYS 006: The Cosmos, Science and You
   •  PHYS 008: Introductory Physics I for Physical Sciences
   •  PHYS 008H: Honors Introductory Physics I for Physical Sciences
   •  PHYS 009: Introductory Physics II for Physical Sciences
   •  PHYS 009H: Honors Introductory Physics II for Physical Sciences
   •  PHYS 010: Introductory Physics III
   •  PHYS 012: Light, Color, and Vision
   •  PHYS 018: Introductory Physics I for Biological Sciences
   •  PHYS 019: Introductory Physics II for Biological Sciences
   •  PHYS 090X: Freshman Seminar
   •  PHYS 095: Lower Division Undergraduate Research
   •  PHYS 098: Lower Division Directed Group Study
   •  PHYS 099: Lower Division Individual Study
   •  PHYS 104: Biophysics
   •  PHYS 105: Analytic Mechanics Core
   •  PHYS 108: Thermal Physics Core
   •  PHYS 109: Soft Matter Physics
   •  PHYS 110: Electrodynamics Core
   •  PHYS 111: Electromagnetic Radiation Minicourse
   •  PHYS 112: Statistical Mechanics
   •  PHYS 116: Mathematical Methods
   •  PHYS 120: Physics of Materials
   •  PHYS 122: Waves Minicourse
   •  PHYS 124: Atomic Structure Minicourse
   •  PHYS 126: Special Relativity Minicourse
   •  PHYS 137: Quantum Mechanics Core
   •  PHYS 141: Condensed Matter Physics
   •  PHYS 144: Modern Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
   •  PHYS 148: Modern Optics
   •  PHYS 150: Energy Sources
   •  PHYS 151: Topics in Solar Energy Physics
   •  PHYS 159: Particle Physics
   •  PHYS 160: Modern Physics Lab
   •  PHYS 161: Astrophysics and Cosmology
   •  PHYS 180: Nonlinear Dynamics
   •  PHYS 192: Special Topics in Physics
   •  PHYS 195: Upper Division Undergraduate Research
   •  PHYS 196: Undergraduate Thesis
   •  PHYS 198: Upper Division Directed Group Study
   •  PHYS 199: Upper Division Individual Study
   •  PHYS 201: Teaching and Learning in the Sciences
   •  PHYS 204: Biophysics
   •  PHYS 205: Classical Mechanics
   •  PHYS 209: Soft Matter Physics
   •  PHYS 210: Electrodynamics and Optics I
   •  PHYS 211: Electrodynamics and Optics II
   •  PHYS 212: Statistical Mechanics
   •  PHYS 237: Quantum Mechanics I
   •  PHYS 238: Quantum Mechanics II
   •  PHYS 241: Condensed Matter Physics
   •  PHYS 244: Modern Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
   •  PHYS 248: Quantum Optics
   •  PHYS 249: Introduction to Quantum Field Theory
   •  PHYS 270: Academic Writing in Graduate Studies
   •  PHYS 280: Nonlinear Dynamics
   •  PHYS 290: Current Topics in Physics and Chemistry
   •  PHYS 291: Physics and Chemistry Seminar
   •  PHYS 292: Special Topics in Physics
   •  PHYS 293: Physics Colloquium
   •  PHYS 295: Graduate Research
   •  PHYS 298: Directed Group Study
   •  PHYS 299: Directed Independent Study
   •  PHYS 399: University Teaching