Majors and requirements

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a choice of four undergraduate majors:

  • B.S. degree program in Astrophysics
  • B.S. degree program in Biophysics
  • B.S. degree program in Physics
  • B.A. degree program in General Physics
Courses taken to fulfill any of the requirements for either major must be taken for a letter grade.
 
Physics Major Requirements: Preparation for the Major in Physics (B.S. OR B.A.)
 
Required courses:
 
Physics 1A or 1AH, 1B or 1BH, 1C or 1CH, 4AL, 4BL, 17, 18L
Math 31A, 31B, 32A, 32B, 33A, 33B
Chemistry 20A
(Total: 54 units)
 
The Major in Physics (B.S. Degree)
 
Required courses:
 
Physics 105A, 105B, 110A, 110B, 112, 115A, 115B, 115C, 131
Two courses from the 180 Physics laboratories
Three additional upper division elective courses; recommended courses (especially for those intending to pursue graduate careers in Physics) include: Physics 108, 114, 117, 122, 124, 126, 128, 132, 140A, 140B, 150. The upper division electives need not be in Physics.  However, it is expected that the courses will fit into a coherent structure.  
 
A plan must be worked out five terms prior to graduation in conjunction with a departmental advisor and must be done in writing.
(Total: 56 units)
 
Special studies courses (Physics 199) may be applied towards the major upon departmental approval.
 
Recommended: Physics 1Q--review of significant contemporary research areas in Physics. 2 units, P/NP.
     
The Major in Physics (B.A. Degree)
 
Required courses: 
 
Physics 105A, 105B, 110A, 110B, 112, 115A, 115B, 115C, 131
One course from the Physics 180 laboratories (180A-180G)
(Total: 40 units)
 
No course intended to satisfy the major or the preparation for the major may be taken on a pass/no pass basis and a 2.0 grade point average is required in all of the above courses for completion of the B.A. or B.S. degree.
 
Preparation for the Major in Astrophysics
 
Required courses:
 
Physics 1A or 1AH, 1B or 1BH, 1C or 1CH, 4AL, 4BL, 17, 18L
Astronomy 81, 82*
Math 31A, 31B, 32A, 32B, 33A, 33B
Program In Computing 10A
*Systematic study of astrophysics should begin with Astronomy 81 and Astronomy 82 to be taken in the second year.
(Total: 63 units)
 
Recommended courses:
 
Astronomy 3
Chemistry 20A
         
The Major in Astrophysics (B.S. Degree)
 
Required courses: 
 
Physics 105A, 105B, 110A, 110B, 115A, 115B, 115C, 131
Astronomy 115, 117, 127, 140, 180
(Total: 52 units)
 
Recommended courses:
 
Physics 108, M122,140A, 140B, 124, 132
 
No course intended to satisfy a requirement for the pre-major or major may be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis.  A 2.0 average overall is required in all the above courses for completion of the degree.
 
Contact Information
 
Please see the College of Letters & Science Counseling Unit(A-316 Murphy Hall) for information regarding GEs, Upper Division units and all other university requirements.
 
For all questions regarding the Astrophysics major or Physics and Astronomy Departmental questions, contact Francoise Queval
 
Biophysics Major Requirements: Preparation for the Major in Biophysics
 
Required courses: 
 

Physics 1A or 1AH, 1B or 1BH, 1C or 1CH, 4AL, 4BL, 17, 87
Math 31A, 31B, 32A, 32B, 33A
Chemistry 20A, 20B, 30A, 30B
Lifescience 2, 3 or 3H, 4, 23L
(Total: 77 units)

Recommended courses:
 
Physics 18L
Math 33B
Lifescience 1
 
The Major in Biophysics (B.S. Degree)
 
Required courses: 
 
Physics 105A, 110A, 110B, 115A, 115B, 131, 180G, 186 or 187 
Chemistry and Biochemistry 110A, 153A, 153L
Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology 100
MCDB 140 or MCDB 165 can be taken in place of MCDB 100
(Total: 48 units)
 
Recommended courses:
       
Physics 108, 117, 140B, 185
Molecular, Cell, and Dvelopmental Biology 171
Guided Research in Physics, MCDB, or Chemistry
 
No course intended to satisfy a requirement for the pre-major or major may be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis. A 2.0 average overall is required in all the above courses for completion of the degree.
 
Contact Information
 
Please see the College of Letters & Science (A-316 Murphy Hall) for information regarding General Education, Foreign Language, Upper Division units and all other university requirements.
 
For all questions regarding the Biophysics major or Physics and Astronomy Departmental questions, contact either Francoise Queval or Elaine Dolalas.