Because of the large number of students interested in the undergraduate physics program and the limited resources available to accommodate this demand, the university has declared all majors and specializations in the Department of Physics as capped.

Students who were not admitted to UC San Diego in a Physics major (or who were admitted as physics majors but subsequently changed to a major outside of the physics department) have the opportunity to apply to a major in Physics during their undergraduate years, provided they meet the application requirements, screening courses, and submit an application to the physics capped major.

All eligible students who apply to the physics capped major will be considered; admission into the physics major will be limited based on the number of available seats in our program at the conclusion of the application period. GPA will be used as a metric for admission (if there are more eligible applicants than available seats, a lottery may be used).

Application requirements, screening courses, and steps to apply may change from year-to-year; the information below applies for the 2018-19 academic year.

Application Types, Timelines, Screening Courses, Requirements & Info

Freshman Admits in their 1st year at UC San Diego

Application Period: At the conclusion of spring term in the 1st year at UC San Diego

Application Requirements:

  • Complete each major-related course for a letter-grade, earning a grade of C- or higher
  • Have minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all screening courses
  • Take screening courses here at UC San Diego (AP/IB/A-Level courses cannot be used as screening courses)
  • Complete the UC San Diego Physics Capped Major Application by the filing deadline. If hoping to add physics as your double major, you must also submit your completed double major packet to the Physics Advising Office (located in Mayer Hall Addition 2581) by the application filing deadline.

Screening Courses:

  • Two UC San Diego lecture courses from Physics 2A-B-C-D or 4A-B-C-D-E
  • Three UC San Diego courses from Math 18-20A-20B-20C-20D-20E

Additional Information:

  • Do not use Tritonlink to request a change of major. You must complete the UC San Diego Physics Capped Major Application to apply to a physics major; If hoping to add physics as your double major, you must also submit your completed double major packet to the Physics Advising Office (located in Mayer Hall Addition 2581) by the application filing deadline.
  • You can apply to only one physics major/specialization; select the physics major/specialization you are most interested in pursuing and are eligible for based on the application requirements.
  • Submit your application once the application opens. Day and time of application submission will be considered when making admission offers.
  • Applications will be reviewed after the application cycle closes and term grades have been finalized.
  • Once all applications have been reviewed, applicants will be notified of the outcome via the Virtual Advising Center (VAC).
  • If offered admission, you will need to accept the offer by following the instructions in the offer message sent to you through VAC. You must complete all steps within the acceptance process, by the specified deadline, in order to successfully update your major.
  • Students are expected to be aware of all application timelines and deadlines, and to check their @ucsd.edu email account and VAC account regularly. If offered admission, failure to take action by the specified date and time will result in a rescinded offer.
  • Since admission into a Physics major is not guaranteed you are expected to enroll in courses for your current major in addition to completing the application requirements. If your major is currently undeclared, please consult with your college for course recommendations.
  • Consult Physics Advising with any questions about the physics capped major or the application process.
Freshman Admits in their 2nd year at UC San Diego

Application Period: At the conclusion of fall or spring term in the 2nd year at UC San Diego

Application Requirements:

  • Complete all lower division requirements for the major (see major checklists for details)
  • Complete each major-related course for a letter-grade, earning a grade of C- or higher
  • Have minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all screening courses
  • Complete at least 4 of the lecture screening courses here at UC San Diego
  • Complete the UC San Diego Physics Capped Major Application by the filing deadline. If hoping to add physics as your double major, you must also submit your completed double major packet to the Physics Advising Office (located in Mayer Hall Addition 2581) by the application filing deadline.

Screening Courses:

  • Physics 2A-B-C-D or 4A-B-C-D-E
  • Physics 2CL and 2DL
  • Math 18-20A-20B-20C-20D-20E

Additional Information:

  • Do not use Tritonlink to request a change of major. You must complete the UC San Diego Physics Capped Major Application to apply to a physics major; If hoping to add physics as your double major, you must also submit your completed double major packet to the Physics Advising Office (located in Mayer Hall Addition 2581) by the application filing deadline.
  • You can apply to only one physics major/specialization; select the physics major/specialization you are most interested in pursuing and are eligible for based on the application requirements.
  • Submit your application once the application opens. Day and time of application submission will be considered when making admission offers.
  • Applications will be reviewed after the application cycle closes and term grades have been finalized.
  • Once all applications have been reviewed, applicants will be notified of the outcome via the Virtual Advising Center (VAC).
  • If offered admission, you will need to accept the offer by following the instructions in the offer message sent to you through VAC. You must complete all steps within the acceptance process, by the specified deadline, in order to successfully update your major.
  • Students are expected to be aware of all application timelines and deadlines, and to check their @ucsd.edu email account and VAC account regularly. If offered admission, failure to take action by the specified date and time will result in a rescinded offer.
  • Since admission into a Physics major is not guaranteed you are expected to enroll in courses for your current major in addition to completing the application requirements. If your major is currently undeclared, please consult with your college for course recommendations.
  • Consult Physics Advising with any questions about the physics capped major or the application process.
Transfer Admits in their 1st year at UC San Diego

Application Period: At the conclusion of fall term in the 1st year at UC San Diego

Application Requirements:

  • Satisfy the Transfer Major Preparation requirements by the end of the summer before your first fall term at UC San Diego
  • Complete each major-related course for a letter-grade, earning a grade of C- or higher
  • Have minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all screening courses
  • Complete the UC San Diego Physics Capped Major Application by the filing deadline. If hoping to add physics as your double major, you must also submit your completed double major packet to the Physics Advising Office (located in Mayer Hall Addition 2581) by the application filing deadline.

Screening Courses:

  • Math 20E

Additional Information:

  • Do not use Tritonlink to request a change of major. You must complete the UC San Diego Physics Capped Major Application to apply to a physics major; If hoping to add physics as your double major, you must also submit your completed double major packet to the Physics Advising Office (located in Mayer Hall Addition 2581) by the application filing deadline.
  • You can apply to only one physics major/specialization; select the physics major/specialization you are most interested in pursuing and are eligible for based on the application requirements.
  • Submit your application once the application opens. Day and time of application submission will be considered when making admission offers.
  • Applications will be reviewed after the application cycle closes and term grades have been finalized.
  • Once all applications have been reviewed, applicants will be notified of the outcome via the Virtual Advising Center (VAC).
  • If offered admission, you will need to accept the offer by following the instructions in the offer message sent to you through VAC. You must complete all steps within the acceptance process, by the specified deadline, in order to successfully update your major.
  • Students are expected to be aware of all application timelines and deadlines, and to check their @ucsd.edu email account and VAC account regularly. If offered admission, failure to take action by the specified date and time will result in a rescinded offer.
  • Since admission into a Physics major is not guaranteed you are expected to enroll in courses for your current major in addition to completing the application requirements. If your major is currently undeclared, please consult with your college for course recommendations.
  • Consult Physics Advising with any questions about the physics capped major or the application process.
All Others
Students who do not fit into one of the categories above are no longer eligible to apply to a major in physics but can pursue a minor in physics.