May 17, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

Physics, Engineering and Applied Physics Emphasis, B.S.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Programs

Requirements for the Physics Major

To receive the B.S. in Physics, students must adhere to General Education   and School of Natural Sciences Requirements . The Physics program consists of 78-85 units with a minimum of 24 courses (12 lower division and 12 upper division) designed to give all students a common foundation of core knowledge specific to the discipline, plus breadth in an application area.

Lower Division Major Requirements [40-42 Units]

Chemistry Requirement [4 units]

Complete the following course:

Computer Science Requirement [2-4 units]

Complete one of the following courses:

Physics Requirement [14 units]

Complete the following lower division physics courses. Note that registration in PHYS 008 and PHYS 009 also requires registration in a corresponding Lab and Discussion. 

Senior Thesis Requirement [4-5 Units]

All students are required to complete a senior thesis usually based on independent research performed under the tutelage of a faculty advisor. Typically, this research is the culmination of a student’s emphasis track (see below). The thesis advisor may be a faculty member in either physics or another discipline, allowing for the possibility of cross-disciplinary research projects. To complete the thesis, a student must take (at least) 2 units of PHYS 195  and 2 units of PHYS 196 , typically in the fall and spring, respectively, of the senior year. Note that PHYS 196  can only be taken once, and PHYS 195  can be repeated.

Alternatively, students with an industry focused career in mind may choose to complete this requirement with the Engineering Capstone Design Courses where the student will work in multidisciplinary teams on completing design projects presented by industrial partners.

Requirements for Engineering and Applied Physics Emphasis [12 Units]

Engineering and Applied Physics focuses on the application of tools and techniques from physics to industrial and engineering processes. As part of this emphasis track, students complete the engineering capstone course to use their physics knowledge in interdisciplinary teams engaged in engineering challenges preparing them for careers in industry.

Required Engineering and Applied Physics Courses

Complete the following course(s) to satisfy the Senior Thesis Requirement for the Physics major:

Additional Elective Courses [12 units]

Students must complete three additional upper division courses from this list. Other courses may be substituted with advisor approval. It is also highly recommended students consult advisors regarding choice of courses from this list and also take the lower division courses ENGR 065  and ENGR 057  as free electives.

Transfer Students

To be admitted to the Physics major transfer students must meet the following requirements:

Applicants will, at the time of admission have completed at minimum each of the following courses (or their equivalent) with a “C-” or better:

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Programs