The minor in physics consists of seven courses (twenty-eight units) of letter-graded physics coursework from the following list with at least five courses (twenty units) coming from upper-division coursework:
- Physics 2C-2D or Physics 4D-4E
- Physics 100–178
Lower-division courses (including transfer coursework) can overlap between a major and minor without restriction; however, no more than two upper-division courses (a maximum of eight units) may overlap between a major and a minor. Upper-division courses being applied to the minor must be taken at UC San Diego in the Department of Physics. Students must earn a grade of C– or above in all courses applied to the minor, including transfer coursework. The minimum overall GPA requirement for the minor is a 2.0. A petition is required for any waivers/substitutions to the minor requirements (e.g., applying a non–UC San Diego upper-division physics course).
Within the parameters outlined above, students will select the specific courses that will be applied to the minor. Students can declare the physics minor at any point prior to their graduating quarter. Minor proposals must be submitted via the major/minor tool on TritonLink (requests are typically processed within 7-10 business days).
Keep the following in mind:
- Limit your minor proposal to the 7 courses actually applying to the minor from the options above (prereqs for minor courses such as PHYS 2AB/4ABC cannot be included in the minor proposal).
- Per campus policy, a max of 8.0 upper division units (2 courses) may be shared between a major and a minor. (There is no limit on the number of lower division units that may be shared between a major and minor.)
- Although you must list specific upper-division courses on your minor proposal, the degree audit will automatically pick up any eligible upper-division physics course you take.
- We strictly enforce prereqs for all courses in the department. You will need to look ahead to ensure your eligibility to enroll in the courses you want to have applied to the minor.
- We offer courses on core physics topics (eg. mechanics, E&M, thermodynamics, modern physics, quantum physics, etc.) and many non-core physics topics (eg. astrophysics, biophysics, particle physics, etc.). Courses in the core upper division physics program (i.e. courses in the Physics 100, 105, 110, 120, 130, and 140 series) are restricted to students majoring in physics. Non-majors who are interested in taking a core UD physics course must complete the listed prereqs and then use EASy to request clearance to enroll. In rare cases, substitute prereqs may be used:
- ECE 107 (B+ grade or higher) may be used in place of PHYS 100A and/or 100B (eg. for PHYS 130A/B requests, assuming PHYS 2A-B-C, MATH 18, and MATH 20A-B-C-D-E have already been completed)
- Combo of ECE 35, 45, 65 (B+ grades or higher) may be used in place of PHYS 120 (eg. for PHYS 122, 124 requests)
- Combo of MAE 105, 107 (B+ grades or higher) may be used in place of PHYS 105A (eg. for PHYS 105B requests, assuming PHYS 2A-B-C-D have already been completed
- There is no priority seating/enrollment for students minoring in physics. Refer to the instructions above for requesting clearance to enroll in courses that list a major code restriction in the catalog.
- Capped applicants are not permitted to pursue enrollment in core UD physics courses through WebReg, EASy, or by any other means unless/until their record has been updated to reflect a PY major code. Capped applicants who are not admitted into a physics major will not be approved to take core upper-division physics courses.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you offer minors in subfields in physics (eg. astrophysics, biophysics, etc.)?
No, but you can select one/more courses from a subfield as part of your minor and apply those to your physics minor.
If I complete(d) the PHYS 2 series instead of the PHYS 4 series, what upper-division courses can I take to satisfy the physics minor?
You can use PHYS 2C, PHYS 2D and then choose any five courses from below (the areas are listed just to give you a frame of reference, course descriptions can be found here):
- Astrophysics - PHYS 160, 161, 162, 163, 164
- Biophysics - PHYS 177, 178
- Computational Physics - PHYS 141, 142
- Earth Sciences - PHYS 111
- Materials - PHYS 133
- Other - PHYS 139 (topics vary and multiple 139s can apply as long as they're not the same topic), 151
Am I guaranteed enrollment in the courses I select for the physics minor?
Enrollment in proposed minor courses is not guaranteed. If you are unable to enroll in a proposed minor course you will need to enroll in some other course. Any/all eligible courses will automatically apply in the degree audit. For example, if you hoped to take PHYS 133 for your minor but could not enroll in that course and, instead, you took PHYS 141, PHYS 141 would automatically apply to the physics minor in your degree audit.
Can I extend my time at UCSD to wrap up a physics minor?
This is up to your college and not the Physics Department. Keep in mind that minors are not required to earn a degree at UCSD and so the campus may not approve a request to enroll beyond normative time in order to complete a minor.
Can non-physics courses apply to a physics minor?
No, as indicated above, only physics courses can apply to a physics minor.
Where can I see the physics course titles and descriptions?
Please see the Physics Courses section of the UCSD General Catalog.
What does PHYS 100-178 mean?
PHYS 100-178 means physics courses found in the General Catalog from within PHYS 100 through 178.
Can PHYS 191, 192, 198, and/or 199 apply to the physics minor?
No, they cannot.