The B.A. in Physical Science is an interdisciplinary degree, giving students the flexibility to take courses in a variety of different departments, including (but not limited to): Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, and Geology. This program therefore allows students to tailor their coursework to fit their individual interests and career goals. When declaring a Physical Science major, students must also decide on one of three concentrations: General Physical Science, Teaching, or Foundational Health. The general degree is our most flexible degree and so can be designed to fit a wide array of career goals. The Teaching concentration is currently under approval for a waiver of the Foundational Science CSET, and so will be ideal for students who want to become science teachers. The Foundational Health degree is designed for students with a particular interest in health-related fields. Please see below for more information on the requirements for the different concentrations.
Below are the Advising Checklists for the different programs program. For more information, please consult our Sample Four-Year Plans, Advising page, or the Catalog.
- General Physical Science Advising Checklist
- Teaching Physical Science Advising Checklist
- Foundational Health Physical Science Checklist
|Physical Science Core||32|
|Total units needed for graduation||120|
Major Core Requirements
- ASTR 100 or ASTR 150 - Descriptive Astr. or Astr. for Scientists Unit(s): 3
- PHYS 107 - Introduction to Physical Science for Teachers Unit(s): 3
- PHYS 210A (or PHYS 114) - General Physics A Unit(s): 3
- PHYS 209A (or PHYS 116) - General Physics A Lab Unit(s): 1
- PHYS 210B (or PHYS 214) - General Physics B Unit(s): 3
- PHYS 209B (or PHYS 216) - General Physics B Lab Unit(s): 1
- PHYS 342 (or PHYS 340) - Light and Color or Optics Unit(s): 3
Required Supporting Courses
- CS 115 (or PHYS 381) Unit(s): 2-4
- MATH 160, 161, or 165 - Unit(s): 4
- Note: MATH 161AB, 161X, 165AB, and 165X also satisfy the math requirement.
PHYS 491 - Capstone Preparatory Seminar Unit(s): 1
The major must include a minimum of 12 upper-division units in physics and astronomy; with an advisor, choose 6-8 units in additional upper-division physics and astronomy courses. Below is a list of courses recommended for Physical Science Majors (though, other upper division physics/astronomy courses will also satisfy the requirement).
- ASTR 303 - Life in the Universe Unit(s): 3
- ASTR 305 - Frontiers in Astronomy Unit(s): 3
- ASTR 350 - Cosmology Unit(s): 3
- ASTR 492 - Instructional Design Unit(s): 2
- ASTR 495 - Special Studies Unit(s): 1-4
- ASTR 497 - Astronomy Research Unit(s): 2
- PHYS 100 - Descriptive Physics Unit(s): 3
- PHYS 102 - Descriptive Physics Lab Unit(s): 1
- PHYS 300 - Physics of Music Unit(s): 3
- PHYS 304 - The Strange World of Modern Physics Unit(s): 3
- PHYS 492 - Instructional Design Unit(s): 2
- PHYS 493 - Senior Design Unit(s): 2
- PHYS 494 - Physics Seminar Unit(s): 1 (3x)
- PHYS 495 - Special Studies Unit(s): 1-4
- PHYS 497 - Physics Research Unit(s): 2
In addition to the required courses above, students must complete the required coursework in their chosen concentration. Please see the requirements below for each of the three concentrations: General Physical Science, Teaching, and Foundational Health.
General Physical Science Concentration
The general B.A. Physical Science degree provides flexibility to select additional courses. In addition to the Physical Science Core Requirements, with the help of an advisor, choose at least 30 units in the Physical Sciences and related Natural Science (see approved list). It is required that this include at least 3-units in CHEM and 3-units in GEOL.
- BIOL 130 - Introductory Cell Biology and Genetics Unit(s): 4
- BIOL 131 - Biological Diversity and Ecology Unit(s): 4
- CHEM 115A - General Chemistry A Unit(s): 5
- CHEM 115B - General Chemistry B Unit(s): 5
- GEOL 107 - Introduction to Earth Science Unit(s): 3
- GEOL 110 - Natural Disasters Unit(s): 3
- SCI 220 - Dream, Make, and Innovate Unit(s): 3
- EDSS 410 - Fieldwork and Seminar in Science Teaching and Learning Unit(s): 3
Foundational Health Concentration
*** Note: Students may only declare this major after completing the following courses: Biol 115 or 110, Biol 220, and Biol 224.***
- BIOL 115 or 110 - Intro. to Bio. or Biological Inquiry Unit(s): 3-4
- BIOL 220 - Human Anatomy Unit(s): 4
- BIOL 224 - Human Physiology Unit(s): 4
- CHEM 105 or CHEM 115A - Elements of General, Organic, and Biochemistry or General Chemistry A Unit(s): 5
- SCI 150 - Introduction to Careers in Health Professions Unit(s): 1
The concentration in Foundational Health requires an additional 8-9 units in Physical Science (depending on if you took BIOL 115 or 110). With the help of an advisor, choose at least 8-9 units in the Physical Sciences and related Natural Science (see approved list). It is required that this include at least 3-units in GEOL.