Advising Information
Firstyear students interested in majoring in physics should start with Physics 110 in the fall of their first year. Next they should take Physics 117 in the spring of their first year. In addition, students should have completed at least Calculus I (MATH 110 or 114) and Calculus II (MATH 120 or 129) by the end of their first year. Students who come to the college with a more advanced background in physics should consult the department’s Course Exemption page. Physics majors typically begin taking courses at the intermediate level by the end of the sophomore year, and are encouraged to complete required 300level courses by the end of junior year.
Students majoring in Physics must choose one of the following concentrations: Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Geology, Education, Computer Science, or Renewable Energy. The Physics concentration is recommended for students who wish a thorough background in physics and for those who wish to pursue professional or graduate work in physics or engineering. The Geology concentration is recommended for students who wish to pursue careers in geology or geophysics. The Chemistry concentration is recommended for students looking for a broader physical science background. The Mathematics and Computer Science concentrations are recommended for students who want broader exposure to those fields of study. The Education concentration is recommended for students who are interested in pursuing careers in secondary science education.
Placement Information
No placement exam is required in order to take the introductorylevel physics courses. Students who received a 5 on the AP Mechanics C exam or who have previously taken collegelevel physics courses should see the department Course Exemption page for more information.
Most students who are interested in majoring in Physics should take the Calculus Placement Assessment (ALEKS) during the summer prior to their first year. You do not need to take the Calculus Placement Assessment if you any of the following are true:
 You received a score of 4 or 5 on either the AP Calculus AB or BC exam;
 You receive an IB Calculus HL score of 5 or above;
 You have already taken a Calculus 1 course at another accredited college or university.
Sample 4Year Plans
Physics Concentration

Fall

Spring

Year 1

 Fall FYS course
 PHYS 110 + Lab (CPLS)
 Calculus 1 (CPMS)
 Core Requirement (4 units)

 Spring FYS course
 PHYS 117 + Lab
 Calculus 2 (CPMS)
 Core Requirement (4 units)

Year 2

 PHYS 230 + Lab
 MATH 212 or MATH 214
 Foreign Language 101
 Core Requirement (4 units)

 PHYS 240 + Lab
 MATH 212 or MATH 214
 Foreign Language 102
 Core Requirement (4 units)

Year 3

 PHYS 310
 PHYS 320
 General Elective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)

 PHYS 330
 PHYS 340
 General Elective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)

Year 4

 PHYS 490 (2 units; Senior Seminar)
 PHYS 315 (2 units)
 PHYS 350
 General Elective (4 units)

 PHYS 491 (2 units; Senior Seminar)
 PHYS 316 (2 units)
 Physics Selective
 General Elective (4 units)

Curricular Notes:
 To complete Core by the end of the sophomore year, students will need to double dip at least one course.
 MATH 212 and MATH 214 can be taken in any order.
 Though it is not a requirement for the major, students are strongly encouraged to take COMP 165: Mathematica (2 units) by the end of their sophomore year.
 COMP 131 is recommended, but not required for this concentration.
 The Physics Selective can be any course from the 260 or 360 series, or 300level courses below 390, that are not otherwise required for the concentration.
Mathematics Concentration

Fall

Spring

Year 1

 Fall FYS course
 PHYS 110 + Lab (CPLS)
 Calculus 1 (CPMS)
 Core Requirement (4 units)

 Spring FYS course
 PHYS 117 + Lab
 Calculus 2 (CPMS)
 Core Requirement (4 units)

Year 2

 PHYS 230 + Lab
 MATH 212 or MATH 214
 Foreign Language 101
 Core Requirement (4 units)

 PHYS 240 + Lab
 MATH 212 or MATH 214
 Foreign Language 102
 Core Requirement (4 units)

Year 3

 PHYS 310
 PHYS 320
 300level MATH course
 General Elective (4 units)

 300Level PHYS course
 300Level PHYS course
 300Level MATH course
 General Elective (4 units)

Year 4

 PHYS 490 (2 units; Senior Seminar)
 PHYS 315
 PHYS 350
 General Elective (4 units)

 PHYS 491 (2 units; Senior Seminar)
 PHYS 316 (2 units)
 Physics Selective
 General Elective (4 units)

Curricular Notes:
 To complete Core by the end of the sophomore year, students will need to double dip at least one course.
 MATH 212 and MATH 214 can be taken in any order.
 Though it is not a requirement for the major, students are strongly encouraged to take COMP 165: Mathematica (2 units) by the end of their sophomore year.
 COMP 131 is recommended, but not required for this concentration.
 The Physics Selective can be any course from the 260 or 360 series, or 300level courses below 390, that are not otherwise required for the concentration.
 The Mathematics concentration requires 8 units of 300level PHYS courses in addition to PHYS 310, PHYS 320, and PHYS 315. The department recommends PHYS 315 (2 units), PHYS 316 (2 units), PHYS 330 (4 units), and/or PHYS 340 (4 units).
 For the two 300level MATH courses, students can take any 300level MATH course except MATH 300: Junior Colloquium.
Geology Concentration

Fall

Spring

Year 1

 Fall FYS course
 PHYS 110 + Lab (CPLS)
 Calculus 1 (CPMS)
 Core Requirement (4 units)

 Spring FYS course
 PHYS 117 + Lab
 Calculus 2 (CPMS)
 Core Requirement (4 units)

Year 2

 PHYS 230 + Lab
 MATH 214
 Foreign Language 101
 Core Requirement (4 units)

 PHYS 240 + Lab
 GEO 105
 Foreign Language 102
 Core Requirement

Year 3

 PHYS 310
 PHYS 320
 MATH 212
 General Elective (4 units)

 PHYS 330
 GEO 235 + Lab
 General Elective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)

Year 4

 PHYS 490 (2 units; Senior Seminar)
 GEO 225 + Lab
 GEO 245 + Lab or 300level GEO
 General Elective (4 units)

 PHYS 491 (2 units; Senior Seminar)
 General Elective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)

Curricular Notes:
 To complete core by the end of the sophomore year, students will need to double dip at least two courses.
 MATH 212 and MATH 214 can be taken in any order.
 Though it is not a requirement for the major, students are strongly encouraged to take COMP 165: Mathematica (2 units) by the end of their sophomore year.
 COMP 131 is recommended, but not required for this concentration.
 GEO 105 must be taken before the end of the sophomore year. Students pursuing the Geology Concentration can take PHYS 340 or PHYS 350 instead of PHYS 330, but PHYS 330 is strongly encouraged.
 A 300level Geology course can be taken instead of GEO 245 if desired.
Education Concentration

Fall

Spring

Year 1

 Fall FYS course
 PHYS 110 + Lab (CPLS)
 Calculus 1 (CPMS)
 Core Requirement (4 units)

 Spring FYS course
 PHYS 117 + Lab
 Calculus 2 (CPMS)
 Core Requirement (4 units)

Year 2

 PHYS 230 + Lab
 MATH 212 or MATH 214
 Foreign Language 101
 EDUC 201 (CPUD)

 PHYS 240 + Lab
 MATH 212 or MATH 214
 Foreign Language 102
 Core Requirement (4 units)

Year 3

 PHYS 320
 EDUC 300
 General Elective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)

 Physics Selective (4 units)
 EDUC 207
 General Elective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)

Year 4

 PHYS 490 (2 units; Senior Seminar)
 EDUC 300 (2 units)
 Physics Selective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)

 PHYS 491 (2 units; Senior Seminar)
 Physics Selective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)

Curricular Notes:
 MATH 212 and MATH 214 can be taken in any order.
 Though it is not a requirement for the major, students are strongly encouraged to take COMP 165: Mathematica (2 units) by the end of their sophomore year.
 COMP 131 is recommended, but not required for this concentration.
 The Physics Selective can be any course from the 260 or 360 series, or 300level courses below 390, that are not otherwise required for the concentration.
Computer Science Concentration

Fall

Spring

Year 1

 Fall FYS course
 PHYS 110 + Lab (CPLS)
 Calculus 1 (CPMS)
 Core Requirement (4 units)

 Spring FYS course
 PHYS 117 + Lab
 Calculus 2 (CPMS)
 Core Requirement (4 units)

Year 2

 PHYS 230 + Lab
 MATH 212 or MATH 214
 Foreign Language 101
 Core Requirement (4 units)

 PHYS 240 + Lab
 MATH 212 or MATH 214
 Foreign Language 102
 Core Requirement (4 units)

Year 3

 PHYS 310
 MATH 210
 COMP 229
 General Elective (4 units)

 PHYS 330
 COMP 239 + Lab
 General Elective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)

Year 4

 PHYS 490 (2 units; Senior Seminar)
 PHYS 320
 300Level COMP course
 General Elective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)

 PHYS 491 (2 units; Senior Seminar)
 General Elective (2 units)
 General Elective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)

Curricular Notes:
 In order to complete core by the end of the sophomore year, at least one course will need to be double dipped.
 MATH 212 and MATH 214 can be taken in any order.
 Though it is not a requirement for the major, students are strongly encouraged to take COMP 165: Mathematica (2 units) by the end of their sophomore year.
 Computer Science concentration students can take two from: PHYS 320, PHYS 330, PHYS 340, and PHYS 350
 The 300level COMP course can be any course except COMP 390 or practicum.
Renewable Energy Concentration

Fall

Spring

Year 1

 Fall FYS course
 PHYS 110 + Lab (CPLS)
 Calculus 1 (CPMS)
 Core Requirement (4 units)

 Spring FYS course
 PHYS 117 + Lab
 Calculus 2 (CPMS)
 Core Requirement (4 units)

Year 2

 PHYS 230 + Lab
 MATH 212 or MATH 214
 Foreign Language 101
 Core Requirement (4 units)

 PHYS 240 + Lab
 MATH 212 or MATH 214
 Foreign Language 102
 Core Requirement (4 units)

Year 3

 PHYS 230
 ECON 101
 MATH 150
 General Elective (4 units)

 PHYS 370
 ECON 102
 MATH 150
 General Elective (4 units)

Year 4

 PHYS 490 (2 units; Senior Seminar)
 PHYS 370
 ECON 201, UEP 246, or INT 200 (2 units)
 General Elective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)

 PHYS 491 (2 units; Senior Seminar)
 ECON 322
 Physics Selective (4 units)
 ECON 201, UEP 246, or INT 200 (2 units)
 General Elective (4 units)

Curricular Notes:
 To complete core by the end of the sophomore year, students will need to double dip at least one course.
 Though ECON 102 is not required for the concentration, it is a prerequisites for ECON 322 which is required.
 COMP 131 is recommended, but not required for this concentration.
 MATH 212 and MATH 214 can be taken in any order.
 The Renewable Energy Concentration requires students to complete two of the following: ECON 201, UEP 246, and INT 200
 Though it is not a requirement for the major, students are strongly encouraged to take COMP 165: Mathematica (2 units) by the end of their sophomore year.
 The Physics Selective can be any course from the 260 or 360 series, or 300level courses below 390, that are not otherwise required for the concentration.
Chemistry Concentration

Fall

Spring

Year 1

 Fall FYS course
 PHYS 110 + Lab (CPLS)
 Calculus 1 (CPMS)
 Core Requirement (4 units)

 Spring FYS course
 PHYS 117 + Lab
 Calculus 2 (CPMS)
 Core Requirement (4 units)

Year 2

 PHYS 230 + Lab
 MATH 212 or MATH 214
 Foreign Language 101
 Core Requirement (4 units)

 PHYS 240 + Lab
 MATH 212 or MATH 214
 Foreign Language 102
 Core Requirement (4 units)

Year 3

 PHYS 310
 PHYS 320
 CHEM 120 or CHEM 130 + Lab
 General Elective (4 units)

 PHYS 340
 CHEM 220 + Lab
 General Elective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)

Year 4

 PHYS 490 (2 units; Senior Seminar)
 PHYS 350
 CHEM 221 + Lab
 General Elective (4 units)

 PHYS 491 (2 units; Senior Seminar)
 CHEM 240 + Lab
 General Elective (4 units)
 General Elective (4 units)

Curricular Notes:
 To complete core by the end of the sophomore year, students will need to double dip one course
 MATH 212 and MATH 214 can be taken in any order.
 Though it is not a requirement for the major, students are strongly encouraged to take COMP 165: Mathematica (2 units) by the end of their sophomore year.
 COMP 131 is recommended, but not required for this concentration.
 Chemistry Concentration students can take either PHYS 330 or PHYS 350.