The department of Physics offers curricula leading to the following degrees:
B.S./M.S. Materials Physics (for UCSD Undergraduates only)
M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics
Ph.D. in Physics (Biophysics)

The department has developed a flexible program that provides a broad, advanced education and at the same time gives students the opportunity to focus on their specialized interests. This program consists of graduate courses, apprenticeship in research, teaching experience, and thesis research.

Entering graduate students are required to have a sound knowledge of undergraduate physics, including junior/senior level courses in classical mechanics and electricity/magnetism, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and quantum physics, and to have taken upper-division laboratory courses.

Students specializing in Biophysics take courses in biology and chemistry during the first two years and complete the departmental course requirements and examinations by the end of their third year of graduate study. There is no foreign language requirement.

Research in Biophysics is being actively pursued in the departments of Physics, Biology and Chemistry, which all offer courses relevant to or specifically in biophysics. Graduate students specializing in the area of biophysics within the Department of Physics receive the Ph.D. in Physics (Biophysics).

Master's Degree: Requirements for the M.S. degree can be met by passing the Departmental Exam and obtaining credit in thirty-six units of course work (excluding seminars and research). Up to eight units of graduate work completed at another institution may be transferred with approval of the department and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

Entrance Testing: An entrance test (Day 1 of the Departmental Examination) covering undergraduate physics is given to entering students during the first week of orientation to give better guidance to students in their graduate program. The results are not entered in the student's file. Entering students are encouraged to bring the results of the test to the first meeting with their academic advisor. Entering students may elect to take the entire Departmental Examination (Day 1 and Day 2) instead of taking only the entrance test.