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The Physics major aims to inspire students with a passion for science in general and physics in particular, so they become creative thinkers and can fulfill their full potential as global citizens.  The major provides a rigorous background in basic physics through coursework and encourages the students to participate in leading edge research with faculty. The education will provide the students with science based mathematical, writing and analytical skills, prepared to join the technologically trained workforce in a broad range of fields such as education, medicine, law, engineering or science in industry, academia and government.

The major offers both B.A. and B.S. degrees in Physics.  The B.A. degree is ideal for students who want a liberal arts education and future careers in law, business or policy with training in physics that may be useful in patent law, high tech business management or sales and technology policy.   The B.S. degree offers several tracks: the Standard track, the Applied Physics and Engineering track, the Biophysics track, and the Physics Education track.

The extensive course offerings and modern facilities within the department, coupled with close, personal counseling by faculty advisors, provide students with a physics program that is characterized by its breadth and flexibility. Students are also encouraged to participate in undergraduate research during their time at UCR. The hands-on experience gained from this can be invaluable for their future careers. 

The core requirements begin with our freshman seminar, Physics 39, focusing on physics-related careers and research while setting expectations for the undergraduate major experience.  The requirements culminate with our capstone advanced laboratory course, Physics 142L, which provides an equipment-rich, open-ended laboratory experience where students apply, integrate and further develop the knowledge and skills they have acquired while pursuing their major. 

Visit the Physics Department website

Physics Advising

Click on the drop-menus below for more information and documents related to the Physics major.

  • Change of Major Criteria
    Student must be in good academic standing (quarter and cumulative GPAs at 2.0 and above) to declare a major. Grades of a C- or better must be earned in attempted math and science course work. In addition, no more than 16 units of repeated course work for the major is accepted. If upper-division courses have been taken, a minimum upper-division GPA of a 2.0 is also required.  Must be able to complete the degree within 216 units.  AP/IB units or transfer units earned prior to graduating high school are excluded when determining unit range for change of major criteria and 216 unit maximum. 

    Freshman (up to 44.9 units)

    Sophomore (45 - 89.9  units)

    Junior (90 - 134.9 units)

    Senior (135 units & above)

    Completion of...

    • MATH 009A

    Completion of...

    • MATH 009A
    • MATH 009B
    • MATH 009C
    • PHYS 2A/2LA and PHYS 2B/2LB or PHYS 40A and PHYS 40B or PHYS 41A and PHYS 41B

    Completion of...

    • MATH 009A
    • MATH 009B
    • MATH 009C
    • PHYS 2A/2LA, 2B/2LB, 2C/2LC or PHYS 40A, 40B, 40C or PHYS 41A , PHYS 41B, PHYS 41C
    • CHEM 1A/ 1LA
    • CS 10

    Completion of...

    • MATH 009A
    • MATH 009B
    • MATH 009C
    • PHYS 2A/2LA, 2B/2LB, 2C/2LC or PHYS 40A, 40B, 40C or PHYS 41A, PHYS 41B, PHYS 41C
    • CHEM 1A/1LA
    • CS 10
    • PHYS 130A
    •  PHYS 130B
    • PHYS 135A
    • PHYS 135B
    • PHYS 132
  • Course Planning Documents
    Physics Additional Documents


    Physics Degree Summary Sheets


    Physics Sample Four-Year Course Plans

    Physics Schedule of Course Offerings

Physics Academic Advisors

CNAS Professional Academic Advisors provide students with individual guidance throughout their academic careers at UCR and help them achieve realistic academic goals.  Professional Academic Advisors can assist you with declaring or changing your major or minor, course repeats, the process for taking courses outside of UCR, taking a leave from UCR, and questions about withdrawing or readmitting to UCR.

Physics Advisor
Advising Caseload: A - Z
Phone: 951-827-2807

Physics Lead Faculty Advisor

A Lead Faculty Advisor is assigned for each major.  Faculty advisors are available to assist students with guidance regarding graduate or professional school, opportunities to participate in research, independent study, or internships.  Faculty advisors also may provide students with advice and mentoring regarding career goals.

Dr. Richard Seto
Physics Lead Faculty Advisor
Phone: 951-827-5623
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