Physics

Program Description:

Generally Prepares Individuals for: Astrophysics; Biophysics; Geophysics; Nanoscience

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

Physics programs are designed to provide students with an understanding of the fundamental physical laws of nature and to apply those principles to solving specific problems. Physics majors may work in research and development or in management in government labs, industries, or schools; or they may teach in high schools, colleges, or universities. They may go into graduate work in areas such as biophysics and medical physics, geophysics and environmental physics, astrophysics and astronomy, computer science, optics, acoustics, or the physics of fluids. Physics may be used as undergraduate preparation for medical or dental school. Most four-year colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degree programs in Physics and many also offer master’s and doctoral degrees. Most community colleges offer the first two years that transfer to a four-year program.

Programs in Astrophysics focus on the theoretical and observational study of the structure, properties, and behavior of stars, star systems and clusters, stellar life cycles, and related phenomena. Instruction includes in cosmology, plasma kinetics, stellar physics, convolution and non-equilibrium radiation transfer theory, non-Euclidean geometries, mathematical modeling, galactic structure theory, and relativistic astronomy.

Programs in Biophysics focus on the application of physics principles to the scientific study the mechanism of biological processes and assemblies at all levels of complexity. Instruction includes in research methods and equipment operation and applications to subjects such as bioenergetics, biophysical theory and modeling, electrophysics, membrane biology, channels, receptors and transporters, contractility and muscle function, protein shaping and folding, molecular structures and computational science.

Nanoscience is the study of ultra-small materials (one nanometer is one millionth of a meter). Research in nanoscience usually involves a multidisciplinary approach, and may include chemistry, physics, biology, medicine, and various types of engineering.

PROGRAM ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

As preparation for a major in Physics, courses in algebra, trigonometry, analytic geometry, physics, and chemistry are recommended. Students transferring from a community college to a four-year Physics program should have engineering physics, four semesters of calculus, and a chemistry sequence.

TYPICAL COURSE WORK

Although the courses included are typical for this program, the curriculum offered can vary greatly from school to school. We recommend that you visit school web sites for specific course descriptions or check the school catalogs.

Instruction includes lectures, technical reading, lab work, and research. Programs in physics usually include:

  • Astrophysics
  • Atomic and Nuclear Physics
  • Calculus
  • Computer Simulation
  • Lasers
  • Magnetic Materials
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Physics
  • Quantum Physics
  • Solid State Physics
  • Teaching Physics
  • Ultra Low Temperature

Some example courses in various programs throughout the state are:

  • Algebra
  • Atomic and Nuclear Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Electronics
  • Kinetic Theory
  • Optics
  • Physical Measurements
  • Thermodynamics

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

Students preparing for graduate work in Physics are encouraged to take at least one year of French, German, or Russian.

RELATED MAJORS OR PROGRAMS OF STUDY

To access in detail information on the majors or programs down below, please log in to www.eureka.org.  If you’re a first time user, go to http://www.eureka.org/join/enter_code.asp.  Go to “I have a site ID Code” and then insert the following Code: J1DJUXH.  Enter your personal information and then click on “Dashboard” then go under “Education” and click “Majors/Programs” and lastly, select “Physics.”

  • Astronomy
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Biology and Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Sciences
  • Science Technologies
  • Teacher Education-Secondary

RELATED OCCUPATIONS

To access in detail information on the majors or programs down below, please log in to www.eureka.org.  If you’re a first time user, go to http://www.eureka.org/join/enter_code.asp.  Go to “I have a site ID Code” and then insert the following Code: J1DJUXH.  Enter your personal information and then click on “Dashboard” then go under “Education” and click “Majors/Programs” and lastly, select “Physics.”

  • Astronomers
  • Electro-Optical Engineers
  • Engineering and Science Managers
  • Engineering Technicians
  • Environmental Analysts
  • Meteorologists
  • Mining Engineers
  • Nuclear Engineers
  • Oceanographers
  • Parapsychologists
  • Photonic Technicians
  • Physicists
  • Seismologists

GENERAL INFORMATION & STRATEGIES

  • Physicists are interested in solving complex, technical problems.
  • Visit government laboratories or research centers to learn more about opportunities in the field. Schedule informational interviews to learn about the profession and specific career paths.
  • Join relevant professional associations. Attend meetings and stay up-to-date on research/publications.
  • Acquire excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Gain experience using scientific instruments and equipment. Computer skills are critical.
  • Participate in summer research institutes. Submit research to local poster competitions or research symposiums.
  • A willingness to relocate is helpful due to limited opportunities in specialized areas.
  • A bachelor’s degree will qualify for positions as research assistants, high-level technicians, or computer specialists, as well as nontechnical work in publishing or sales.
  • An undergraduate degree also provides a solid background for pursuing advanced degrees in other employment areas such as law, business, or accounting.
  • A graduate degree and post-graduate experience will allow for more responsibility and advancement in the field of physics.
  • An earned doctorate is required for college or university teaching, advanced research, and administrative positions.
  • A bachelor’s degree and state teacher certification are required for K-12 teaching opportunities.
  • Become familiar with government job application process for positions in federal, state, or local government.

Schools Offering This Major/Training Program:

California State University:

CPSU San Luis Obispo

  • Physics BA/BS/Minor

CSPU Pomona

  • Physics BS/Minor

CSU Bakersfield

  • Physics BS/Minor

CSU Channel Islands

  • Applied Physics Minor

CSU Chico

  • Physics BS/Minor

CSU Dominguez Hills

  • Physics BS/Minor (Options: Electrical Engineering; General Physics; Physical Science)

CSU East Bay

  • Physics BA/BS/Minor

CSU Fresno

  • Medical Physics Minor
  • Physics BS/Minor/MS

CSU Fullerton

  • Physics BS/Minor/MS

CSU Humboldt State University

  • Physics BA/Minor
  • Physics BS (Options: Applied Physics; Astronomy)

CSU Long Beach

  • Physics BA/BS/Minor/MS

CSU Los Angeles

  • Physics BA/MS
  • Physics BS (Option: Biophysics)

CSU Northridge

  • Physics BA/Minor/MS
  • Physics BS (Option: Astrophysics)

CSU Sacramento

  • Physics BA/BS/Minor

CSU San Bernardino

  • Applied Physics Minor
  • Physics BA/BS/Minor

CSU San Diego State University

  • Chemical Physics BS
  • Physics BS/Minor/MA/MS
  • Physics, Modern Optics BS

CSU San Francisco State University

  • Physics BA/Minor/MA/MS
  • Physics BS (Concentrations: Astronomy; Astrophysics)

CSU San Jose State University

  • Physics BA/BS/Minor
  • Physics MS (Concentration: Computational Physics)
  • Physics, Preparation for Teaching BA

CSU San Marcos

  • Applied Physics BS
  • Physics Minor

CSU Sonoma State University

  • Physics BA/BS/Minor

CSU Stanislaus

  • Physics BA/BS/Minor

University of California:

UC Berkeley

  • Astrophysics BA/Minor Additional requirements and/or Impacted programs: Applicants are screened for completion of major prerequisites, general education requirements and content of personal statement. Transfer applicants are screened for completion of lower division general education requirements which must be completed by the end of the preceding spring term for fall. For more information, contact 510-642-3175.
  • Astrophysics MA/Ph.D.
  • Biophysics Ph.D. (Interdisciplinary)
  • Engineering Physics (Engineering) BS Additional requirements and/or Impacted programs: Applicants are screened for completion of major prerequisites, general education requirements and content of personal statement. Transfer students are screened for completion of prerequisite courses by the end of the preceding spring term. For more information, contact 510-642-7594.
  • Physics BA/Minor Additional requirements and/or Impacted programs: Applicants are screened for completion of major prerequisites, general education requirements and content of personal statement. Transfer applicants are screened for completion of lower division general education requirements which must be completed by the end of the preceding spring term for fall. For more information, contact 510-642-3175.
  • Physics MA/Ph.D.

UC Davis

  • Applied Physics BS
  • Physics AB/BS/Minor/MS/Ph.D

UC Irvine

  • Physics BS Additional requirements and/or Impacted programs: Transfer applicants must have a cumulative UC transferable GPA of 2.8 and are required to have completed one year of approved calculus with a minimum GPA of 3.0. In addition, they must complete one year of calculus-based physics with lab. For more information, contact 949-824-6507.
  • Physics MS/Ph.D.

UC Los Angeles

  • Astrophysics BS Additional requirements and/or Impacted programs: Transfer applicants are screened for completion of lower division major and general education requirements. For more information, contact 310-825-3101.
  • Biomedical Physics (Medicine) MS/Ph.D. (Interdepartmental)
  • Biophysics BS Additional requirements and/or Impacted programs: Transfer applicants are screened for completion of lower division major and general education requirements. For more information, contact 310-825-3101.
  • Geophysics and Planetary Physics Minor
  • Geophysics and Space Physics BS Additional requirements and/or Impacted programs: Transfer applicants are screened for completion of lower division major and general education requirements. For more information, contact 310-825-3101.
  • Geophysics and Space Physics MS/Ph.D.
  • Geophysics-Applied Geophysics BS Additional requirements and/or Impacted programs: Transfer applicants are screened for completion of lower division major and general education requirements. For more information, contact 310-825-3101.
  • Physics BA/BS Additional requirements and/or Impacted programs: Transfer applicants are screened for completion of lower division major and general education requirements. For more information, contact 310-825-3101.
  • Physics MS/MAT/Ph.D.

UC Merced

  • Physics and Chemistry MS/Ph.D
  • Physics BS/Minor (Emphases: Atomic/Molecular/Optical Physics; Biophysics) Additional requirements and/or Impacted programs: Highest priority will be given to junior-level California Community Colleges applicants who have completed at least 60 transferable semester (90 qtr.) in the intended major. For more information, contact 209-228-4682.

UC Riverside

  • Physics BA/Minor Additional requirements and/or Impacted programs: Transfer applicants must have a GPA of 2.70 in transferable coursework and must complete one-year sequences in three specified areas of sciences and mathematics. For more information, contact 951-827-7294.
  • Physics BS (Concentration: Physics Education; Biophysics) Additional requirements and/or Impacted programs: Transfer applicants must have a GPA of 2.70 in transferable coursework and must complete one-year sequences in three specified areas of sciences and mathematics. For more information, contact 951-827-7294.
  • Physics MA/MS/Ph.D.

UC San Diego

  • Applied Physics Minor
  • Engineering Physics (Engineering) BS/Minor Additional requirements and/or Impacted programs: Admits students to pre-major status only. Students must satisfy all prerequisites before admission to the major. For more information, contact 858-534-0708/7538.
  • Geophysics Ph.D (Joint with SDSU)
  • Physics BS (Specialization: Astrophysics; Computational Physics; Earth Sciences; Material Physics)
  • Physics MS/Ph.D
  • Physics, General BA
  • Physics, General/Secondary Education BA
  • Physics/Biophysics BS/Ph.D.

UC San Francisco

  • Biophysics Ph.D. (Cross-disciplinary)

UC Santa Barbara

  • Geophysics BS Additional requirements and/or Impacted programs: Students are admitted in pre-major standing and will be approved for admission to the full major only after certain courses are completed with a specified GPA. Contact the appropriate department for more information
  • Geophysics MS
  • Physics (Creative Studies) BA/BS Additional requirements and/or Impacted programs: Applicants must submit supplemental application directly to the College of Creative Studies with the following: high school and/or college transcripts; two letters of recommendation on student academic background. For more information, contact 805-893-8974.
  • Physics (Letters and Science) BA/BS/Minor/Ph.D

UC Santa Cruz

  • Applied Physics BS
  • Physics (Astrophysics) BS
  • Physics BS/Minor/MS/Ph.D.
  • Physics Education BS

*This information has been provided by the www.eureka.com website*