Taking the following courses will prepare you to major in physics at any UC campus.

Expected coursework

  • Calculus-based physics for scientists and engineers (full introductory sequence of three semesters/five quarters through modern physics, with labs)
  • Single variable calculus (full sequence)
  • Multivariable calculus (one semester course)
  • Linear algebra (one course)
  • Differential equations (one course)
  • General chemistry (full sequence with labs)

Full sequences can take two to four terms to complete (depending on whether your institution is on semesters or quarters), so you'll want to start them early. Use ASSIST to find the specific classes offered at your community college that will satisfy the expected coursework. In addition to the specific coursework above, you will need to fulfill minimum requirements expected of all transfer applicants to UC.

Associate Degree for Transfer

If you are working on an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) in physics at your community college with the goal of applying to CSU as well as UC, there's a lot of overlap in coursework. The difference between what UC expects and what CSU requires for physics transfer students is that the UC pathway expects linear algebra, differential equations, and a year-long sequence in chemistry while CSU doesn't.

Applicable majors

The physics pathway applies to the degree programs listed below. (More may be added in the year ahead.)

  • Applied Physics, B.S. at Santa Cruz
  • Physics (Astrophysics), B.S. at Santa Cruz
  • Physics, B.A. at Berkeley
  • Physics, B.S. at Davis
  • Physics, B.S. at Irvine
  • Physics, B.S. at Los Angeles
  • Physics, B.S. at Merced
  • Physics, B.S. at Riverside
  • Physics, B.S. at San Diego
  • Physics, B.S. at Santa Barbara
  • Physics, B.S. at Santa Cruz
  • Physics Education, B.S. at Santa Cruz

Campus GPA requirements

Admission to different UC campuses and majors varies in competitiveness depending on how many students apply and how many slots are available. As a result, the minimum GPA and grade requirements for particular courses may vary from campus to campus. Make sure to look on the campus admissions websites to find minimum expected grade point averages for the major you are interested in.

Transfer Pathways

Physics is one of UC's top majors offering a new Transfer Pathway: a single set of courses students can take to prepare for admission to any of UC’s nine undergraduate campuses.

Tools to help you prepare

  • Use ASSIST to ensure that your courses are accepted by each campus as part of major preparation.
  • Use the Transfer Admission Planner to track and plan your coursework.