Options
The first section of this document is for junior transfer students, while the second section is mainly for four-year students. Transfer students who wish to do a double major or additional minors, and four-year students who are unusually well prepared when they come to UCSC, should consult with the Physics undergraduate advisor to find out about their options.
I. Courses for incoming transfer students
The lists below gives the courses that, as a junior transfer student in the Physics Department, you should take in your first term at UCSC. Because all students do not come with the same preparation, several options are given for each major; you may have taken some of the courses listed in community college. For each major, the courses in the major planner are listed first; you should only look beyond these if you do not need to take all of them. The second group consists of courses which you can move to the first term from further down in the planner.
The third group consists of courses taught in the fall term for which you do not satisfy the prerequisites. Nevertheless, if you believe that you know the material that is needed for the course, you may request a permission code from the instructor. Depending on their assessment of your background and how they intend to teach the course, the permission code may or may not be granted. If the course is from the second year of the planner, taking it early frees up a slot for elective courses or gives you more time to do a high quality senior thesis.
These lists are a general guideline. You should always consult the Physics undergraduate advisor before finalizing your courses for the first term. If you have urgent questions, you may email the Undergraduate Faculty Advisor, Professor David Smith.
Students in the Physics Education major should consult the divisional undergraduate advisor.
Physics major
Courses in the planner:
1. Phys 5D or, if it has been completed, Phys 102.
2. Math 23B.
3. AMS 5 or 131 if you want to graduate in two years (only if you have completed Phys 5D) and want to take Phys 112 in your first winter term. If you want to take Phys 112 in your second year, neither AMS course will be needed.
Courses that do not require permission codes:
4. Any General Education course you need to clear IGETC
5. Phys 133, if Phys 5D has been cleared.
6. ASTR 119 or other programming course
Courses that require permission codes:
7. Phys 116C if Phys 116A has been waived for you (Phys 116B is the missing prerequisite).
8. Phys 105 if Phys 116A has been waived for you (Phys 116B is the missing prerequisite).
Applied Physics major
Courses in the planner:
1. Phys 5D or, if it has been completed, Phys 102
2. Math 23B
3. Chem 1A/B
Courses that do not require permission codes:
4. Any General Education course you need to clear IGETC.
5. Phys 133 if you have one empty slot and have completed Phys 5D.
6. ASTR 119 or other programming course.
7. AMS 5 or 131 if you have completed Phys 5D and Phys 116A is waived for you, and you have two empty slots. (This will allow you to take Phys 112 in the winter term; AMS 5 or 131 are not needed otherwise.)
Courses that require permission codes:
8. Phys 116C if Phys 116A has been waived for you. (Phys 116B is the missing prerequisite)
9. Phys 105 if Phys 116A has been waived for you. (Phys 116B is the missing prerequisite)
Astrophysics major
Courses in the planner:
1. Phys 5D/102
2. ASTR 119
3. Math 23B
Courses that do not need permission codes:
4. ASTR 111 or 118, if one of these is offered and Phys 5D has been completed.
5. Any general education course required for IGETC
6. If you have an empty slot and Phys 116A is waived for you, you can take AMS 5 or 131 so as to be able to take Phys 112 in the winter. (Neither AMS 5 nor AMS 131 is needed if you want to take Phys 112 in your second year.)
7. Phys 133 if Phys 5D has been cleared.
Courses that require permission codes:
8. Phys 116C if Phys 116A has been waived for you. (Phys 116B is the missing prerequisite.)
9. Phys 105 if Phys 116A has been waived for you. (Phys 116B is the missing prerequisite.)
II. Minors in other disciplines and double majors
(This section is mainly aimed at four-year students. The major planner for junior transfer students is quite full, and it is difficult to come up with additional majors/minors that can be completed in time.)
If you have empty slots in your planner, you can try to move courses from later in the major planner, opening up time in your final year to complete a strong senior thesis or graduate early. Another option is to take extra courses. These can be in physics or another discipline, or an assortment of courses in different disciplines.
If you wish to formalize extra coursework in a different discipline, you may consider declaring a minor or second major in that discipline. Generally, this is more difficult for transfer students than for four-year students. It will also require you to take all the required courses for the minor or second major instead of only selecting the courses you are really interested in, thus limiting your options.
Minors and majors that a physics major can complete with a reasonable number of extra courses are listed below, approximately ordered according to the number of extra courses needed for a physics major. You should consult with the Physics undergraduate advisor and construct a course planner before trying to do a minor or additional major.[1]
Minor in Applied Mathematics[2]
Minor in Electrical Engineering[3]
Minor in Earth and Planetary Sciences[4]
Minor in Mathematics[5]
Minor in STEM Education[6]
Minor in Statistics
Major in Computational Mathematics
The following majors/minors are difficult to complete without delaying graduation:
Computer Engineering minor[7]
Computer Science minor
B.A. in pure mathematics
B.A. in Computer Science
B.A. in Chemistry major
In some cases, you may be able to use a course to meet the requirements of your major and of your minor. For example, several Electrical Engineering courses are allowed electives for the Applied Physics major; Phys 115 and Astr 119 are allowed in the category “Introduction to Numerical Methods” for the Applied Mathematics Minor, etc. As per UCSC Academic Senate Regulation 10.4.7, using a single course to fulfill requirements for multiple majors and minors is permitted as long 40 upper division credits can be counted for each major without being counted for anything else, and 25 upper division credits can be counted for each minor without being counted for anything else. Since the physics majors all require much more than 40 upper division credits, if some courses satisfy requirements for a minor/major in another discipline, you can use them for the required 25/40-credits in that minor/major.
4-year major planner for physics + computational math double major
(Transfer students should only try this path if they have completed the equivalent of Math 21 and Math 24 in community college, and should still expect to take 3 years to graduate.)
MATH 19A ----------- |
PHYS 5A/L MATH 19B MATH 21 |
PHYS 5B/M MATH 23A MATH 24 |
PHYS 5D Phys 5C/N MATH 100 |
PHYS 102 MATH 106 or 145 or AMS 114 Math 23B |
PHYS 116B MATH 107 Programming course |
PHYS 105 MATH 110 MATH 111A or MATH 117 |
PHYS 110A PHYS 112 MATH 103A or 105A |
PHYS 139A PHYS 110B Elective |
Elective PHYS 182 PHYS 133 |
MATH 195 (Senior thesis) PHYS 134 ------------ |
Students who come to UCSC with credit for Math 19A can take Physics 5A,B,C one term earlier.
This major planner assumes that
- you have Physics 116A waived from the requirements for the physics degree by getting a B or better in Math 21 and a B or better in Math 24
- you choose two elective courses that are on both the Physics and Computational Mathematics lists of electives. For students in this double major, EART 172 and EE 130 are considered to be in the Physics list.
- you can take two GE courses in the summers or by overloading.
- you take Math 107 in 2016-17 or later. Students who are doing a Physics Department and Math Department double major and take Math 107 in 2016-17 or later will have Physics 116C waived from the requirements for the physics degree.
- you do a senior thesis in mathematical physics that satisfies the senior comprehensive requirements of both departments. You have to pass Math 195 to satisfy the requirement for the Math Department. The Physics Department does not have a senior thesis course, but your thesis has to be approved by the Phys 182 instructor and the department chair.
[1] Some minors and majors that require Math 21 and/or Math 24 may be willing to accept Physics 116A instead, even if these are not so listed in the catalog. Contact their advising staff to find out. Conversely, Physics 116A is waived by the Physics Department for any student who obtains a B or better in the equivalent of Math 21 and a B or better in the equivalent of Math 24.
[2] Requires one course in probability theory, one in dynamical systems, and one in numerical methods. Students who take Phys 115 satisfy the last requirement; students who take AMS 131 satisfy the first.
[3] Some of the required upper division courses count as Applied Physics electives.
[4] Some of the required upper division courses count as Applied Physics electives. For students who have to satisfy UCSC general education requirements, Eart 110A satisfies the PE-E requirement.
[5] Requires Math 21, Math 100, and four upper division courses.
[6] The required course on diversity and the two required electives can be chosen to cover the CC, ER and IM UCSC general education requirements.
[7] Some required courses count as Applied Physics electives.and have taken Math 107 cs and math major will have Physics 116C waived.