Physics Transfer Pathway

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

Course expectations

  • 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. To check which of your community college courses satisfy the Pathway course expectations at multiple UC campuses, refer to the UC Transfer Pathways Guide for a summary list. Use ASSIST to find the specific classes offered at your community college that will satisfy the expected coursework at a particular UC campus. In addition to the coursework above, you will need to fulfill minimum requirements expected of all transfer applicants to UC.

If you’re working on an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) in physics at your community college, there's a lot of overlap with UC Transfer Pathway coursework. The difference between what UC expects and what some ADTs require is linear algebra, differential equations, and a year-long sequence in chemistry. Additional courses required for an ADT may be eligible for UC credit at some campuses. Check ASSIST for details.

Applicable majors

The Physics Pathway applies to the degree programs listed below. More degree programs may be added in the future so you should check back periodically to see if your major has joined this list.

  • 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
  • Science 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.