Physics Major
The course requirements for a physics major are divided into three groups:
 Core Courses are physics courses which form the core of the major.
 Support and Elective Courses are courses in other academic disciplines that are needed to understand physics.
 General Education Courses needed by every educated person.
The courses listed below are the current academic requirements for graduation. However, students are bound by the course requirements in effect at the date of their matriculation unless they file a general academic petition to substitute the current course requirements.
For a description of the contents of these courses see the Catalog listings.
Required Core Courses
A 2.0 cumulative GPA is required in core courses, including option courses for the major, in order to receive a degree in physics.
The following 61 units of courses are required of all physics majors.
Course Number  Course Name  Units 
PHY 131  General Physics 
3

PHY 131L  General Physics Laboratory 
1

PHY 132  General Physics 
3

PHY 132L  General Physics Laboratory 
1

PHY 133  General Physics 
3

PHY 133L  General Physics Laboratory 
1

PHY 234  General Physics 
3

PHY 234L  General Physics Laboratory 
1

PHY 235  Elementary Modern Physics 
3

PHY 235L  Elementary Modern Physics Laboratory 
1

PHY 308  Fundamentals of Mathematical Physics 
4

PHY 309  Fundamentals of Mathematical Physics 
4

PHY 314  Physics of Electricity and Magnetic Phenomena 
4

PHY 315  Physics of Electricity and Magnetic Phenomena 
4

PHY 321  Mechanics 
4

PHY 322  Mechanics 
4

PHY 333  Thermal Physics 
4

PHY 401  Quantum Mechanics 
4

PHY 402  Quantum Mechanics 
4

PHY 430L  Advanced Physics Laboratory 
1

PHY 431L  Solid State Physics Laboratory 
1

PHY 432L  Nuclear Physics Laboratory 
1

PHY 463  Undergraduate Seminar 
2

Elective Core Courses
Students must select 8 units of courses from the list below. A 2.0 cumulative GPA is required in core courses, including option courses for the major, in order to receive a degree in physics.
Course Number  Course Name  Units 
PHY 304  Electronics for Scientists 
3

PHY 304L  Electronics Laboratory 
1

PHY 400  Special Study for Upper Division Students (Up to 4 units total) 
12

PHY 409  Computational Physics 
4

PHY 417  Optics 
3

PHY 417L  Optics Laboratory 
1

PHY 441  Internship in Physics (Up to 4 units total) 
2

PHY 461  Senior Project 
2

PHY 462  Senior Project 
2

Support and Elective Courses
The following 57 units of courses are required of all physics majors.
Course Number  Course Name  Units 
CHM 122/122L  General Chemistry 
3/1

CHM 123/123L  General Chemistry 
3/1

CS 128
CS 125 
Introduction to C++
or FORTRAN 
4
4 
MAT 115  Analytic Geometry and Calculus II 
4

MAT 116  Analytic Geometry and Calculus III 
4

MAT 214  Calculus of Several Variables 
4

MAT 215  Calculus of Several Variables 
4

MAT 216  Differential Equations 
4

Advanced Electives * 
12


Unrestricted Electives 
15

* To be chosen from upper division courses in Physics or related fields in consultation with advisor; at least 4 units of these must be in Physics.
General Education Courses
The following 68 units of courses are suggested for physics majors in order to minimize the number of units required for graduation. However, any course on the universitiy's approved list or articulated transfer credit will meet the explicit general education requirement, but perhaps not some other prerequisite or graduation requirement.
Course Number  Course Name  Units 
Area A  
ENG 104  1. Freshman English I  4 
—  2. Select one course from this area.  4 
—  3. Select one course from this area.  4 
Area B  
MAT 114  1. Analytic Geometry and Calculus  4 
CHM 121/121L  2. General Chemistry  3/1 
BIO 110/111L BIO 115/115L 
3. Life Science and Life Science Lab or Basic Biology 
3/1 3/2 
—  4. Select one course in consultation with advisor  4 
Area C  
—  1. Select one course from this area.  4 
—  2. Select one course from this area.  4 
—  3. Select one course from this area.  4 
—  4. Select one course from this area.  4 
Area D  
PLS 201 HST 202 
1. Introduction to American Government and U.S. History 
4 4 
—  2. Select one course from this area.  4 
—  3. Select one course from this area.  4 
—  4. Select one course from this area.  4 
Area E  
—  Select one course from this area.  4 