Undergraduate Education

The Department of Physics offers undergraduate programs leading to the following degrees:

  • BS, Physics
  • BS, Physics with Specialization in Astrophysics
  • BS, Physics with Specialization in Biophysics
  • BS, Physics with Specialization in Computational Physics
  • BS, Physics with Specialization in Earth Sciences
  • BS, Physics with Specialization in Materials Physics
  • BA, General Physics
  • BA, General Physics/Secondary Education

The physics major provides a core of basic education in several principal areas of physics, with sufficient flexibility to allow students to prepare either for graduate school or a career in industry. Since in preparing for either goal, more than the required core courses are necessary, it is important for students to meet with a physics department adviser in deciding a schedule.

The Undergraduate Program

The Department of Physics was established in 1960 as the first new department of the UC San Diego campus. Since then it has developed a strong faculty and student body with unusually diversified interests that lie primarily in the following areas:

  1. Physics of elementary particles
  2. Quantum liquids and superconductivity
  3. Solid-state and statistical physics
  4. Plasma physics
  5. Astrophysics and space physics
  6. Atomic and molecular collision and structure
  7. Biophysics
  8. Geophysics
  9. Nonlinear dynamics
  10. Computational physics

In addition to on-campus research facilities, the high-energy program uses accelerators at SLAC, CERN, and Fermi Laboratory. The astrophysics program uses facilities at Keck, Lick, and Kitt Peak Observatories.