Physics B.A.

Major Requirements (SF State Bulletin: Degree Requirements)

Roadmap (SF State Bulletin: Roadmap)

GE Requirements (SF State Bulletin: General Education)

Major Department Website

Your major advisor answered a few questions to assist you with your first semester courses — see below.

General Information

What are some of the highlights and features to know about this major? The key to success in any of our majors is to start as early as possible. The course structure is hierarchical and upper-division courses are taught once per year or in some cases, every other year. Timing is critical.
When should I first meet with my major department? Any time is a good time, but the sooner the better.
How will I be assigned to a major advisor and how do I contact them? Students are assigned to major advisors by the department’s academic office coordinator, who will give students the email address of the advisor. Email is the best method to contact the major advisor.
Where can I find information about major advising?
Does this major require any pre-work from me before I attend orientation or register for classes? No
What should I do if my major core and/or prequisite courses are full? If the class is full, students should contact their major advisors. Major advisors will discuss the situation with the department chair, who will do what he/she can to make seats available.

Transfer Student Info

What upper division courses should I take in my first semester as a transfer student for this major? Not all courses are offered every semester, so it depends on whether they enter in Spring or Fall. If Fall, then courses are PHYS 320, 321, 330 and 385. If Spring, then courses are PHYS 360 and PHYS 370.
Are there any prerequisites to these upper division courses for the major? Key prerequisites are PHYS 220, 230, 240 and either MATH 245 or MATH 376. The MATH courses can be taken concurrently with PHYS 330 and 385, but the MATH courses must be taken before PHYS 360.
Are there any registration blocks or holds in the system for this major, and if so, what do I do/who do I contact to clear them? Meeting with a major advisor is required in early Fall. Not meeting with major advisor will result in a registration block for Spring.
Does this major have an approved Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) roadmap? Yes. [ Click here for ADT Roadmap ]

Freshmen Student Info

Are there any courses I should take first as a Freshman to get started in this major and/or are there any lower division GE course requirements that I can take that will also count toward this major?

The starting point for all of our majors is PHYS 220, which has a prerequisite (MATH 226, C or better) and a corequisite (PHYS 222). Students who have NOT taken MATH 226 or the equivalent at another college (or scored 4 or 5 on the Calculus-AB AP exam) should take a course in the calculus sequence (see below) in their first semester, followed by PHYS 220 and PHYS 222 in the semester after completion of MATH 226. All others take PHYS 220/222 in their first semester.

Mathematics Pathway 2 students that are eligible for MATH 226* should take it in their first semester. Pathway 2 students not eligible for MATH 226 should take MATH 199*. Pathway 3 and 4 students should take MATH 197 in their first semester and MATH 198 in their second semester.

Are there entry or prerequisite requirements for these Freshmen courses?

Pre-calculus is a prerequisite for MATH 226.  If students have had a strong pre-calculus course in high school, they can immediately take MATH 226.  If students need to review precalculus, they should take either MATH 199, or the two-semester sequence MATH 198 & 198.

Can any of my AP or IB tests count toward requirements in this major?
A.P. Calculus AB (or AB subpart of BC exam), score of 4-5 counts for MATH 226.
A.P. Calculus BC, score of 4-5 may count for MATH 227 (with permission of Dept. of Math).
A.P. Physics C Mechanics, score of 4-5 counts for PHYS 220/222.
A.P. Physics C Electricity & Magnetism, score of 4-5 counts for PHYS 230/232.

College of Science & Engineering Student Success Center

Services provided for: undergraduate students with College of Science and Engineering majors and minors

Services offered: academic planning, general education advising, graduation check (GE and graduation requirements), study abroad, connecting with communities, discovering campus resources

Phone: (415) 338-2816
Location: SCI 214