Frequently Asked Questions for Current Physics Majors Only

(*Non-Majors must adhere to the Physics Capped major information*)

If I drop my physics major, can I rejoin the major at a later point?
Readmission into a physics major is not guaranteed. Non-majors must adhere to the Physics Capped major information.
Where can I see standard Four Year and Transfer qtr-by-qtr plans for the physics majors/specializations?
Click here to see all standard qtr-by-qtr plans. Personalized plans are provided by the Physics Department on an as-needed basis. To request a personalized plan (or to have an existing personalized plan updated), please contact Physics through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC).
Am I already following the current requirements?
As shown on the Degree Audit, students admitted to Physics Fall 2020 or later are automatically following the current requirements; all others are still following the past major checklists.
If I switch my physics major/specialization, which requirements will I be following?
No matter when you were admitted to Physics, if you switch your physics major/specialization you will be following the current requirements after the switch.
If I am following the current requirements, can I use the 2 series towards the lower division major even though the current requirements indicate that only the 4 series is accepted?
This depends on your student type:
(Remember, this info. applies to current physics majors, only)
  • Freshman/Transfer Admit to Physics prior to Fall 2020: You are permitted to use the 2 series even if you switch to the current requirements. In addition, if you completed CSE 5A, 7, or 86 prior to Fall 2020, you can still use that class towards the programming requirement for the major.
  • Freshman Admit to Physics in Fall 2020 or later: You are not permitted to use the 2 series.
  • Transfer Admit to Physics in Fall 2020 or Fall 2021: If you completed approved equivalents of PHYS 2A-B-C as part of Transfer Major Preparation pre-matriculation, you are permitted to use the 2 series. As an exception, if you completed approved equivalents of PHYS 2A-B-C as part of Transfer Major Preparation pre-matriculation, you are permitted to use the 2 series. Contact Physics through the VAC to request this exception.
  • Transfer Admit to Physics in Fall 2022 or later: You are not permitted to use the 2 series. (Transfer Major Preparation will still be required pre-matriculation for Admission to UCSD and to meet pre-req for the 4 series).
How do I switch to the current requirements without changing my physics major/specialization?
Follow these steps to switch to the current requirements:
  1. Log into the VAC
  2. Click "Ask a Question"
  3. In the "Topic" dropdown list, select "Major"
  4. In the "Direct to: dropdown list, select "Physics"
  5. In the "Question" box, type "I'd like to change to the current requirements for my physics major/specialization because ____FILL IN THE BLANK____." Note: We are asking you to explain the reason behind your request so that we have feedback on why students prefer the new requirements over the old ones.
  6. Select your notification preferences (we recommend you always ask for a text message notification).
  7. Submit your VAC message. It can take approximately 7-10 business days for your request to be fully processed and for your Degree Audit to correctly reflect your progress under the current requirements.
How do I switch my physics major/specialization?
Please select your student-type and follow the instructions:
Physics is my only major:
  1. Log into the Major/Minor Tool
  2. Select the full name of the Physics major you want to pursue. Keep in mind:
    • The title of the Bachelor of Arts (BA) majors we offer begin with the word "General" and so they are under the Gs in the alphabetical list of majors, not the Ps).
    • If you already have 150 units completed the campus will require you to fill out a qtr-by-qtr plan based on the current requirements as part of your request.
    • The change will move you to the current requirements.
  3. Submit your change of major request. It can take approximately 7-10 business days for your request to be fully processed and for your Degree Audit to reflect your progress in the new physics major/specialization.
Physics is one of my two majors:
Draft and submit a revised Double Major Packet (DMP). Since the change will move you to the current requirements, make sure your double major form and qtr-by-qtr plan are drafted in accordance to those. It can take approximately 3-4 weeks for your DMP to be fully routed and processed and for your Degree Audit to reflect your progress in the new physics major/specialization.
How can I request an exception to the major requirements?
Please follow the step-by-step instructions to file an Undergraduate Student Petition.
I believe there's an error in the major requirements section of my Degree Audit. How can I have the audit reviewed/updated?
Contact Physics through the VAC to report the error so that we can have it fixed.

Have a major requirements question not addressed in the information above?

Contact us through VAC to let us know!