PHYS 1 & 2 SERIES FAQS 

The following reflects UCSD physics 1 and 2 series course policies, protocols, and procedures effective through summer 2024. Policies can change from time-to-time, so please be sure to check this webpage for updates.

PHYS 1 series courses include the following components:

  • 3 hours of Lectures (LE)
  • Up to 3 hours of Final Examination (FI)

PHYS 2 series courses include the following components:

  • 4 hours of Lecture (LE)
  • 1 hour of Discussion (D)
  • Up to 3 hours of Final Examination (FI)*

*PHYS 2 series labs may have a "Course Exam" in week 10 in lieu of a Final Exam.

Both PHYS 1 and 2 series courses may also include the following:

  • Midterms (MI) 
  • Problem Solving Sessions (PB)**

**Problem Sessions (PBs) are typically used for going over homework. PBs are not formal parts of classes, so students cannot be required to participate in these sessions and the ability to succeed in the class cannot be dependent upon participation in these sessions. PB sessions are scheduled upon request by the instructor/TA, only, and these sections typically get added to the schedule sometime after week 2. 

Yes. Both the 1-series and the 2-series are calculus-based; the 2-series uses more advanced calculus than the 1- series.

Click here to see our course descriptions.

With the exception of PHYS 2AR which is only offered in summer session 1, PHYS 1 and PHYS 2 series courses are offered in-person, only, including lectures and labs. PHYS 2AR may not be offered beyond the year 2025. 

Yes, the campus repeat policy applies between PHYS 2A and PHYS 2AR since they are the same course, but taught in different modalities. After enrolling in the course that will be the repeat, check your UCSD record to ensure that the repeat code is listed. If not, please contact academicrecords@ucsd.edu to request that the repeat code be added.

It depends (see each individual course description in the catalog for more information). Keep in mind that enrollment eligibility is strictly based on course prerequisites (see the PREREQUISITES section for more on that topic).

The 1 series is aimed towards biology and other life sciences. The 2 series is aimed towards physical sciences and engineering. Check with your major department to see whether or not the 1 and/or 2 series is accepted for your major/specialization and to find out what series they expect/recommend that you to take.

Please click here to see pre-med requirements and work with your major department and/or your college to map in pre-med requirements on your plan for graduation.

Though topics are similar in the 1 and 2 series, the courses are at different levels and are aimed at different areas, making them unique enough that students are able to receive full credit for both. 

Enrolling in a particular PHYS 1 or 2 series course is strictly contingent upon meeting the prerequisites for it (see prereq section, below). However, if you decide to switch between series, it's essential to ensure that your major/minor department (or college) will accept the combination of courses. Eligibility to enroll does not guarantee acceptance by your major/minor department (or college). Please contact your major/minor department (or college) via VAC to inquire about which specific courses they will accept towards their requirements, as they have sole authority over this matter.

Each Physics 1 and 2 series lecture/lab can be taken once for credit. If you earn a D/F the campus may allow you to repeat the course (see the campus repeat policy for more information).

This option may be possible for lecture courses, but only if you've completed an approved equivalent of the course at another college/university and UCSD Admissions is unwilling to post the course to your UCSD record. For more details, please click here.

Click here to see instructions for this and note the chart that shows what equivalencies/exemptions you are eligible for based on the specific A-Level you completed.

Check the AP Chart or the IB Chart to see what equivalencies/exemptions you are eligible for. Send your official exam scores to UCSD Admissions:

University of California, San Diego
Office of Admissions
ATTN: TRANSCRIPTS
9500 Gilman Dr. # 0021
La Jolla, CA 92093-0021

After exam scores are received by the UCSD Office of Admissions it takes approximately 8 weeks for the exams to be added to the student's UCSD Academic History Report (AHR). If your AHR has not been updated 8 weeks after you sent your exam scores, contact the Office of Admissions to make sure that your scores were received and/or to ask when you should expect to see your exams posted to your AHR. Once your exams appear on your AHR you will see your equivalencies/exemptions in the "UCSD Approx" column, next to each exam.

AP and IB physics does not exempt from any physics lab, even if your high school course(s) included a lab component. If you need university-level physics labs for your major/minor/GEs and/or for prerequisites you will need to enroll in those courses.

If your AP score granted exemption from PHYS 2A, and you do not have prior/current enrollment in PHYS 1A, you can contact our department through the VAC and request that your exemption be downgraded to PHYS 1A and we will update your record accordingly. 

If your AP score granted exemption from PHYS 2B, and you do not have prior/current enrollment in PHYS 1B, you can contact our department through the VAC and request that your exemption be downgraded to PHYS 1B and we will update your record accordingly.

Due to the high volume of inquiries of this type, all students will be referred to ASSIST to determine and confirm this information. If you are unsure of how to properly read/interpret articulation agreements on ASSIST, we encourage you to read through our Transfer Credits webpage. Please also keep the following information in mind about articulations:

  • Articulations may change from year to year, so you are expected to check the agreement on ASSIST that corresponds to the term and year in which you plan to enroll.
  • Articulated courses may carry different unit values than their UCSD counterpart - this will not affect your articulation.
  • Articulated courses may carry different course titles than their UCSD counterpart - this will not affect your articulation.
  • Articulated courses may be offered in a different format than they are offered at UCSD (eg. remote/hybrid vs in-person)  - this will not affect your articulation.
  • If a community college course lists "No course articulated. College does not offer comparable course" do not enroll - you will not receive an articulation.
  • Each community college has a unique schedule of classes, as well as unique enrollment policies and procedures. You must contact the community college, directly, with any questions/concerns about their schedule of classes, and their enrollment policies and procedures.  
  • You cannot combine any UCSD course with a community college course to earn an articulation. If ASSIST shows that a combo of courses at a particular community college is required to receive a particular articulation, you must take all of the listed courses at that particular CA Community College to receive the articulation.
  • You cannot combine courses from different community colleges and automatically receive course equivalencies at UCSD, as there are no articulations between 2 or more community colleges and UCSD Physics. To have a combo of physics courses from 2 or more community colleges reviewed for potential equivalency, you must click here and submit a Physics Course equivalency request and you must provide a syllabus from your combo of courses. Approval of your request is not guaranteed.

Yes, you can. In this case, please keep the following in mind:

  • You must read the previous Q&A in this section to learn how to use ASSIST to determine/confirm which coursework is considered equivalent to the UCSD coursework. 
  • The campus' repeat policy will not apply.
  • If units were earned for the UCSD course, UCSD Admissions will post the transfer course but the units of the transfer course will be reduced to account for any duplication of credit.
  • If 0.0 units are awarded for the transfer course for any reason, when UCSD posts the transfer course to your UCSD record the approved equivalency shown on ASSIST will not appear. You must contact PHYSICS through VAC to request that the missing equivalency be manually added.

Due to the high volume of inquiries of this type, all students will be referred to the chart below to see what courses from other UCs are equivalent to ours. Keep the following in mind:

  • The "&" sign signifies that a combination of courses must be completed at that UC in order to receive the listed equivalency here at UCSD.
  • Students can take some LD PHYS 1 and/or PHYS 2 series courses outside of UCSD and others within UCSD. However, students cannot combine any UCSD course with a course from another UC to receive an equivalency (the student must either complete the equivalency as listed in the chart below or take the UCSD course).
  • Each UC has sole control over its schedule of classes and course modality. UCSD cannot comment on what courses will be offered in a given term at another UC and/or the format a course at another UC will be offered.
  • If you are unsure of how to properly read/interpret the chart below, we encourage you to read through our Transfer Credits webpage.
  • Once the approved coursework from the other UC is posted to your UCSD record, you must alert our department through VAC and we will post your equivalency (no petition will be required for the coursework listed below). Any coursework not listed in the chart below WILL NOT automatically grant an equivalency; you can petition for course equivalency but approval IS NOT guaranteed. 

*UCIs PHYS 7E covers some 2C material but not enough for a 2C equivalency at UCSD.

UCSD UCB UCD UCI UCLA UCM UCR UCSB UCSC
1A 8A 7A & 7B 3A 5A 18 2A / 2HA 6A 7A / 6A
1AL 8A 7A & 7B None 5A 18L 2LA 6AL 7L / 6L
1B 8B 7B & 7C 3B 5B & 5C 19 2B / 2HB 6B 7B / 6C
1BL 8B 7B & 7C 3LB 5B & 5C 19L 2LB 6BL 7M / 6N
1C 8A & 8B 7B & 7C 3C 5B & 5C 18 & 19 2C / 2HC 6C 7B / 6B
1CL 8A & 8B 7B & 7C 3LC 5B & 5C 18L & 19L 2LC 6CL 7M / 6M
2A 7A 9A 7C 1A 8 40A (or the combo of 41ABC) 1 & 2 / 20 & 21 5A
2B 7B 9C 7D 1B & 1C 9 40C (or the combo of 41ABC) 3 & 4 / 23 & 24 5C
2BL 7A 9A 7LC 4AL 8L 40A 3L 5L
2C 7B & 7C 9B None* 1B & 1C 8 & 9 40B (or the combo of 41ABC) 3 & 4 / 22 & 24 5B & 5D
2CL 7B 9C 7LD 4BL 9L 40C 4L 5N
2D 7C 9D 51A & 51B 17 10 40D & 40E 5 / 25 None
2DL 7C 9D 52C 18L 10 40D 5L None

No policy prevents a student from taking one/more PHYS 1 and/or 2 series courses at UCSD as well as one/more PHYS 1 and/or 2 series courses outside of UCSD and it is not uncommon for this scenario to take place. Please be sure to read through the all of the FAQs in this section of the webpage to learn about which courses are equivalent to UCSD PHYS 1 and 2 series courses. You will need to consult with the graduate/professional schools you are applying to for advice on how to become the most competitive applicant (we cannot comment on whether any particular school(s) may look unfavorably upon courses in a series being taken at more than one institution. 

The Registrar will calculate a grade point average (GPA) over courses taken at any campus of the University of California, not including Extension courses. Transfer physics courses taken at other universities and/or community colleges will not be included in your gpa, though they may apply to your UCSD degree. Once your transfer courses have been posted to your UCSD record, check your degree audit to see where and how the courses are applying to your UCSD degree.

Pre-Med advising is done by the Career Center and not by the Physics Department. You'll need to start by clicking here to see the Career Center's posted Pre-Med information, then you'll need to direct any follow-up questions to the Career Center.

In most cases, Admissions won't add a course to your transcript if it seems to duplicate one already listed. If Admissions informs you that they can't include your course because it may be equivalent to another already on your UCSD record, please click here to petition for course equivalency. If the request is denied, you can then inform Admissions of the decision, prompting them to proceed with adding the previously unposted course to your record.

EAP SussexNicosia-Cyprus 1 & Nicosia-Cyprus 2 / Hong Kong U. of Sci and Tech / Carlos III Madrid / Glasgow / Dublin: At this time we cannot support a request to initiate any pre-approved equivalencies, as there are concerns about the depth of these courses based on the time spent on relevant topics. Students taking these courses should save all of their course notes, material, exams, etc. Students participating in EAP at one of these universities, after returning from their EAP trip, will be eligible to petition their course(s) for potential equivalency; approval is not guaranteed. These particular petition packets must include course syllabi and all of the student's course notes, material, exams, etc. so that we can assess the depth of the course(s).

Algebra and/or trigonometry-based physics covering topics from our 1 series or 2 series is only eligible for equivalency as PHYS 10 here at UCSD. Contact us through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC) to request your PHYS 10 equivalency. If your major requires the PHYS 1 series or 2 series, you will need to work with your major dept. on scheduling those courses.

Calculus-based physics covering topics from our 1 series or 2 series may be petitioned for equivalency. Click here to learn about our petition process.

"Remote" lower and upper division physics lecture courses, as well as "remote" lower division physics lab courses (but not upper division lab courses), offered in real-time during COVID (2020-2021) may be considered for course equivalency at UCSD. However, "online" and "hybrid" courses (eg. courses that are conducted online, via independent study, with/without the exception of exams, and/or were self-paced) are ineligible for equivalency at UCSD unless the courses were taken within the UC-system (See UC Online). At this time, the exception is courses that are already articulated on ASSIST.

Please click here to learn about how to transfer courses to UCSD and note that you must adhere to all campus policies related to transfer courses. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions and not to us:

University of California, San Diego
Office of Admissions
ATTN: TRANSCRIPTS
9500 Gilman Dr. # 0021
La Jolla, CA 92093-0021

After transcripts are received by the UCSD Office of Admissions it takes approximately 8 weeks for the courses to be added to the student's UCSD Academic History Report (AHR). If your AHR has not been updated 8 weeks after you sent your transcript, contact the Office of Admissions to make sure that your transcript was received and/or to ask when you should expect to see your transfer courses posted to your AHR. Once your transfer courses appear on your AHR, check the "UCSD Approx" column on your AHR to see what equivalencies (if any) you've been awarded. Click here to find out what to do if you are missing any equivalencies you expected to be awarded.

No. We do not use petitions for equivalencies of physics courses from other UCs. Instead, please contact us through VAC to alert us when your physics coursework from the other UC appears on your UCSD Academic History Report and we will then add the equivalencies you are eligible for.

We do not set/maintain a list of equivalent courses from other universities or from community colleges outside of California, but we are happy to review course(s) you propose via petition. Please note the following:

  • In Physics, course equivalency is determined by reviewing a complete course syllabus to see if the course matches the breadth, depth, scope, and length of time spent covering material at an equivalent level as a UCSD Physics course.
  • Course outlines are not the same as course syllabi and are not accepted in lieu of (or as part of) syllabi for potential course equivalency in Physics.
  • We will not award Physics 1, 2, or 4 series lecture or lab equivalency for a non-calculus-based course. Non-calculus-based courses covering topics we teach in PHYS 1, 2, or 4 are only eligible for equivalency as PHYS 10, even courses that are part of a year-long series. No exceptions.
  • You must identify the specific UCSD Physics course you want equivalency for. To aid in determining this, carefully review the complete syllabus of the course from the other school in comparison to ours. Look for similarities in the level of the course (non-calculus vs calculus), the scope of the course (engineering physics vs. physics for life sciences), and the type of course (lecture or lab). Review our course descriptions to assist in this process.
  • Once you've determined what equivalency to request you will be ready to put your petition packet together. Since our petition process differs from other departments you will need to go to our Petitions page and follow our posted instructions, step-by-step. All information pertaining to submitting your petition and the review process is detailed at our website as well. Be sure to follow our petition instructions precisely to ensure that your petition packet is complete and submitted in time for the next scheduled review.

Click here to see our FAQs on missing course equivalency.

If you want to enroll in a UCSD physics course and have completed prerequisites outside UCSD but they're not on your UCSD Academic History Report yet, follow the 3-step process ​​​here. Please note:

We do not accept work in progress from outside UCSD. You'll need to finish prerequisites taken outside of UCSD before applying them to our courses. We do not make exceptions to allow students to reserve seats in our courses based on prereqs that are in progress outside of UCSD, regardless of when those courses end compared to UCSD's enrollment period. You might find it beneficial to take prerequisites at UCSD for immediate course access. Also, remember that preauthorizations won't update your UCSD Academic History Report. You must work with UCSD Admissions to have your transfer coursework posted to your UCSD record. See the "Enrollment" and "Waitlist" sections to learn more about how enrollment will go once you become eligible. 

We offer every 1 series lecture and every 1 series lab every term, including during summer session 1 and summer session 2. Our offerings of the Physics 2 series are a bit different. Our offerings of the Physics 2 series are a bit different:

Fall Winter Spring Summer 1 Summer 2
2A, 2B, 2C, 2D 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D 2AR, 2B, 2C 2B, 2C, 2D
2CL, 2DL 2CL 2BL, 2CL 2BL 2CL

We offer as many sections of 1-series and 2-series labs as we can based on student demand in comparison to our instructional budget for the term/year. We offer a set number of 1 series and 2 series lectures each term, corresponding to the expected term of enrollment on most 4-year plans:
*Depending on student demand and the room the campus assigns, a third section may not be needed in some years.

Course & Term and number of offerings  
Fall Winter Spring Summer 1 Summer 2
PHYS 1A 3* 1 1 1 1
PHYS 1B 1 3* 1 1 1
PHYS 1C 1 1 3* 1 1
PHYS 2A 1 3* 2 1 0
PHYS 2B 1 1 3* 1 1
PHYS 2C 2 1 1 1 1
PHYS 2D 1 1 1 0 1

The number of seats is based on the room where the University places our lecture. The campus places our 1 series or 2 series lecture courses in the largest rooms available before registration begins and we open our courses up to the room capacity set by the fire marshal as soon as registration begins so that every available seat can be filled.

The number of seats available in our lectures will never correspond perfectly with the number of seats available in our labs because they work differently. Lecture seats are based on the classroom we are assigned to by the campus; we open enrollment to the room capacity set by the fire marshal right from the start so that all available seating can be filled. Lab seats, on the other hand, are based on the number of people we can accommodate in the lab and the total number of sections we can offer based on our instructional budget for the course in a given term. No lecture room on campus has a number of seats that would correspond to the total enrollment of the lab sections we can offer. Further, not every student taking our PHYS labs also needs the lectures (e.g. students with AP credit for PHYS 1A-B lectures only take 1AL-BL labs; students who initially enroll in both PHYS 1A and 1AL but later drop 1A will take 1A, alone, in a future term; etc.).

Any available tentative instructor assignments for the academic year may be viewed our tentative annual schedule of course offerings. However, please note for every term, summer included, that instructors may be hired/assigned right up until the first day of the term. As instructors are hired/assigned, their names are added to the online schedule, so you'll need to check the schedule regularly to see when the instructor has been hired/assigned.

Prereqs determine your eligibility for a course; prereqs are courses that must be completed in advance of another course (you cannot take a physics course along with one/more of its listed prereqs). Please also note:

  • Pereqs belong to an individual course and not to a particular major, so you will need to complete the prereqs as listed even if they are not required for your major.
  • A change of major does not warrant any exceptions to course prerequisites. You must complete the prereqs as listed for each physics 1 or 2 series class you want to enroll in. No exceptions.

You can see our course prerequisites in the following locations:

Please visit the Enrollment Policies page.

Each individual course has its own prereqs based on what is needed/used in that particular course, as shown below.

PHYSICS 1 Prereq #1: Prereq #2: Prereq #3:
  PHYS LECTURE PHYS LAB MATH LECTURE
PHYS 1A None None 10A or 20A
PHYS 1AL None None 10A or 20A
PHYS 1B 1A or 2A None 10B or 20B
PHYS 1BL 1A or 2A 1AL or 2BL 10B or 20B
PHYS 1C 1B or 2B None 10B or 20B
PHYS 1CL 1B or 2B 1BL or 2CL 10B or 20B
  Recommended Preparation (NOT required)
PHYS 1A Concurrent or prior enrollment in MATH 10B or 20B
PHYS 1AL Concurrent or prior enrollment in PHYS 1A and MATH 10B or 20B
PHYS 1B None
PHYS 1BL Concurrent or prior enrollment in PHYS 1B
PHYS 1C None
PHYS 1CL Concurrent or prior enrollment in PHYS 1C
PHYSICS 2 Prereq #1: Prereq #2: Prereq #3:
PHYS 2A MATH 10A-B or 20A
or 20B or 20C or 31BH
None None
PHYS 2B PHYS 2A or 4A MATH 20B
or 20C or 31BH
None
PHYS 2BL PHYS 2A or 4A None None
PHYS 2C PHYS 2A or 4A MATH 20C
or 31BH
None
PHYS 2CL PHYS 2A or 4A PHYS 2B or 4C None
PHYS 2D PHYS 2A or 4A PHYS 2B MATH 20D
PHYS 2DL PHYS 2BL or 2CL None None
  Recommended Preparation (NOT required)
PHYS 2A Prior or concurrent enrollment in MATH 20B
PHYS 2B Prior or concurrent enrollment in MATH 20C or 31BH
PHYS 2BL Prior or concurrent enrollment in PHYS 2B or 4C
PHYS 2C Prior or concurrent enrollment in MATH 20D.
Prior completion of PHYS 2B is strongly recommended
PHYS 2CL Prior or concurrent enrollment in PHYS 2C or 4D
PHYS 2D Prior or concurrent enrollment in MATH 20E
PHYS 2DL Prior or concurrent enrollment in PHYS 2D or 4E

No, there are no placement tests offered in Physics. You will need to complete the prereqs as listed in order to be eligible to enroll.

As per our posted prereq policies, P grades are accepted toward prereqs for UCSD courses, but please note:

  • In cases in which the course is double counting as a prereq AND a major requirement, your major dept. gets to decide whether or not you can take the course on a P/NP basis (our dept. only gets to decide this if you are a physics major, as described below).
    • Physics majors must take PHYS 2CL and PHYS 2DL for a letter grade since these courses double count as prereqs and major requirements. 
    • Prospective transfer students to UC San Diego must read and adhere to the Transfer Major Preparation information to be admitted to UC San Diego. 
  • In cases in which the course is double counting as a prereq AND a minor requirement, your minor dept. gets to decide whether or not you can take the course on a P/NP basis (our dept. only gets to decide this if you are a physics minor).
  • In cases in which the course is double counting as a prereq AND a GE requirement, your college gets to decide whether or not you can take the course on a P/NP basis.
  • In the case that the course is applying to prerequisites for a graduate or professional school, you’ll need to check with the school you’re applying to and see what grading option they’ll accept.

No, prereqs must be completed in advance. They cannot be taken concurrently.

No, we strictly enforce the listed prereqs for our courses; a grade of D or above (or a grade of P) is acceptable. If you are missing one/more prereqs you cannot proceed with your proposed enrollment(s). Instead, you will need to enroll in the missing prereq(s). We will not grant exceptions to our prereq policies. Work with your major dept. to schedule all PHYS courses according to our schedule of offerings and their associated prereqs. 

No, you do not need to repeat the one you passed.

No. You are not eligible to take the course because you have not me the prereqs. No exception will be granted to allow you to re-enroll. Consult with your major department and/or your college to get assistance in selecting a replacement course before the end of the enrollment period. Work with your major dept. to schedule all PHYS courses according to our schedule of offerings and their associated prereqs. 

No, we strictly enforce the listed prereqs for our courses; grades of D or above are accepted. If you fail/miss one/more prereqs you cannot proceed to the next physics course. Instead, you will need to complete the missing prereq(s). We will not grant exceptions to our prereq policies.

No, failing the prereq makes you ineligible to remain enrolled. The campus will drop you from the course at some point during the remaining enrollment period and you will need to replace the course on your schedule before the end of the enrollment period. Consult with your major department and/or your college to get assistance in selecting a replacement course.

You must wait until you make it off the summer waitlist to use the course towards prereqs for fall (only enrolled UCSD courses apply to prereqs for future terms).

Planned/Waitlisted UCSD courses cannot apply towards prereqs for physics 1 and 2 series courses; you must wait until you get officially enrolled in the UCSD course in order for it to apply to prereqs for courses in future terms. No exceptions.

Yes, you are subject to drop and you will only be eligible to again seek enrollment after the drop has been processed and you have been preauthorized through EASy. If you enrolled based on a prereq that was in progress here at UCSD and you either failed/dropped that prereq, your eligibility to retain your seat expired when you failed/dropped that prereq. Our department does not accept work-in-progress from other colleges/universities and we do not grant exceptions to allow a student to "pre-reserve" (i.e. secure or retain) their seat in our course while one/more prereqs are taken outside of UCSD.

Yes, you can. Please keep in mind that PHYS 2AR is only offered in summer session 1 and, at this time, is only approved to be offered through summer 2025.

Campuswide, PHYS 2AR will not automatically count in place of PHYS 2A for prerequisites for courses in future terms and/or for major requirements. You must use EASy to request to use PHYS 2AR as a prerequisite for courses only accepting PHYS 2A (approval is not guaranteed). You must contact your major dept. to request to use PHYS 2AR for your major (approval is not guaranteed) for requirements only accepting PHYS 2A.

The prerequisites, alone, determine your eligibility to get/remain enrolled in a Physics 1 or 2 series course (see PREREQUISITES section). 

WebReg is the sole authority on a student's enrollment status and you must check WebReg to see if it shows that you are enrolled. Keep in mind that Canvas is accessible to waitlisted students; Canvas access is NOT confirmation of enrollment in a course.

As long as you meet each listed prereq, you can take a physics 1 or 2 series lecture without a corresponding lab or lab without a corresponding lecture. If taking PHYS 1, please note that the lectures and labs on matching topics were designed to be taken concurrently (eg. 1A with 1AL;1B with 1BL; 1C with 1CL) but may be taken in separate terms; taking the lecture before the lab is the best alternative to enrolling in both.​​

No, you are not. Each Physics 1 and 2 series courses is its own separate and unique course and each has its own course requisites. As long as you meet each listed prereq, you can take a physics 1 or 2 series lecture without a corresponding lab or lab without a corresponding lecture.

PHYS 1 series lectures and labs are designed to be taken concurrently but may be taken in separate terms; taking the lecture before the lab is the best alternative to enrolling in both.

Please click here for step-by-step instructions.

You will not be able to re-enroll while you are still enrolled in the course for the current term. You must either drop the class in the current term (a W will be assigned, and you can have a max of one W per course), or you must wait until your course grade is posted (if you receive a D or F you can then re-enroll; a petition to your college is required in advance of enrolling in a course for the third time). Fore more info. about repeating courses, see the campus' repeat policy

Please see the campus' repeat policy which governs options/limitations for repeating UCSD courses.

Enrollment closes/ends on Friday of week 2 and we do not permit any late adds via add cards, EASy, or any other means. On Friday of week 2 we will check to ensure that there weren't any last-minute drops after the final processing of the waitlists (if so, we will contact the eligible waitlisted students through VAC to offer them the open seat before enrollment officially closes for the term). If you are still on a physics waitlist after week 2 you cannot enroll in our course that term. No exceptions are granted.

No, the campus no longer allows students to enroll in the same courses during multiple terms. If you enroll in a course for summer you won't also be able to enroll in the course for fall. The converse is true, as well. If you are waitlisted for summer and subsequently enroll for fall, WebReg will drop you from the waitlist in summer. The converse here is true, as well.

Yes, by way of your enrollment appointment which comes up sooner for you than for sophomores and freshmen during fall, winter, and spring. In summer, continuing students all begin enrollment at the same day and time, so there's no priority for any class level. Seats in our courses go on a first-come-first-serve basis via sign-ups through WebReg once the enrollment period begins and our courses are always highly subscribed so it's best to enroll during your PASS 1 (or as soon as summer enrollment begins). To be fair to all students we do not interfere in the processing of enrollment and/or waitlists for our courses. We will not approve ANY request to override or otherwise bypass an existing waitlist, regardless of the method of submission (EASy, VAC, in-office visit, etc.).

Seats in our courses go on a first-come-first-serve basis via sign-ups through WebReg and our courses are always highly subscribed so it's best to enroll during your PASS 1. To be fair to all students we do not interfere in the processing of enrollment and/or waitlists for our courses. We will not approve ANY request to override or otherwise bypass an existing waitlist, regardless of the method of submission (EASy, VAC, in-office visit, etc.).

There are two factors to consider:

  1. Lecture seats are based on the size of the room the campus assigns for the class. Lab seats are based on the size of our lab room, student demand, and our instructional resources. We fill all of our LD lecture courses to the room capacity right from the start so that every available seat can be filled. If a lecture course fills we ask the campus for a larger room and they move us if one becomes available. The number of lab sections we start out with will have a total enrollment that is as close to the lecture enrollment limit as possible. We then monitor lab enrollments and waitlists and add lab sections if the demand is sufficient and our instructional resources can allow it.
  2. Some students need the lecture only or the lab only. For example:
    • Students who are exempt from PHYS 1A and/or 1B based on exemptions from AP/IB exams (these students are still required to take PHYS 1AL and 1BL since AP/IB exams cannot exempt from physics labs).
    • Students who took the lecture and lab and successfully only one of the two need to repeat the other, alone.
    • Students who took PHYS 2A and/or 2B and want to drop down to the PHYS 1 series need to take 1AL/2BL and 1BL/2CL before proceeding to PHYS 1CL.

Our department does not accept work-in-progress from other colleges/universities. You will not be able to request preauthorization for a UCSD Physics course and you will not be eligible to secure a seat in the course until you have a transcript showing your final grade for the course that is missing from your UCSD Academic History Report; transcripts must include your printed name and the printed name of the institution where the course was taken. If/When you are eligible, please click here to submit your preauthorization request(s). We will not grant an exception to allow a student to "pre-reserve" their seat in our course while one/more prereqs are in progress outside of UCSD. You may determine that taking the prereq(s) here at UCSD is in your best interest, as it gives you immediate access to our course(s) through WebReg.

If you hope to enroll in a UCSD physics course and one/more of the prereqs was completed outside of UCSD but does not yet appear on your UCSD Academic History Report you will need to click here and request preauthorization to enroll/waitlist, even if you've already sent your official transcript to UCSD.

Details about the Preauthorization Process

  • You MUST attach a transcript to your request.
  • It can take 3-5 business days to have your preauthorization request reviewed, so you should try to submit your request at least 3-5 business days in advance of your registration date. Requests are only reviewed during normal business days and hours. Requests are not reviewed during campus closures nor during school breaks.
  • The preauthorization process is what we used to verify prereqs that do not appear on your UCSD Academic History Report; each request is for a specific course in a specific term (e.g. PHYS 1A or PHYS 1AL or PHYS 2B or PHYS 2BL, etc.; FA19 or W20 or SP20, etc.).
  • You must review each listed prereq in comparison to your UCSD Academic History Report (including transfer courses) to determine the prereq(s) that are missing from your UCSD Academic History Report. Do not assume that you know each listed prereq nor that all prereqs appear on your UCSD Academic History Report.
  • Only transfer courses that have approved equivalency with UCSD can be used towards prereqs for our courses. If you need a course reviewed for possible equivalency you will need to complete that process before you request preauthorization.
  • Our department does not accept work-in-progress from other colleges/universities. You will not be able to request preauthorization for a UCSD Physics course until you have a transcript showing your final grade for the course that is missing from your UCSD Academic History Report; transcripts must include your printed name and the printed name of the institution where the course was taken. If/When you are eligible, please click here to submit your preauthorization request(s). We will not grant an exception to allow a student to "pre-reserve" their seat in our course while one/more prereqs are in progress outside of UCSD. You may determine that taking the prereq(s) here at UCSD is in your best interest, as it gives you immediate access to our course(s) through WebReg.
  • Preauthorizations do not get courses officially posted to your UCSD Academic History Report. For that, you must work with UCSD Admissions.

You only need to repeat the one you didn't pass.

No, you are not entitled to exceptions and/or extensions. An instructor's course requirements, policies, and deadlines go into effect when instruction begins for the term and any student who enrolls immediately becomes subject to them. UCSD does not require instructors to grant exceptions to any course requirements, policies, and/or deadlines for students who add their course(s) at some point after instruction has begun. UCSD considers it the student's responsibility to determine whether or not to get/remain enrolled in a course after instruction has begun; if too much has been missed, the student should not get/remain enrolled. Contact your instructor, directly, to discuss whether or not they would recommend that you get/remain enrolled if you join(ed) after the course begins. 

It depends. In most cases, preauthorization requests cannot be used in order to exceed the unit limit. Unit Limit Exception requests can take at least 5 business days to be fully processed by all required reviewers.  Only the Registrar’s Office can add a student to a course that will put (or keep) them above 22 units and so they are the final reviewer of the Unit Limit Exception request. The Registrar’s Office has indicated that they cannot put a student onto a course waitlist so we will not approve a Unit Limit Exception request if the course is full at the time we review the request, if the course has seats available but there’s a waitlist that hasn’t yet processed, or if the course has 5 or less available seats (as the course could become full before the request is fully routed to the required reviewers). If a physics course you want to take is full, or has 5 or less available seats, do not submit an EASy request for a Unit Limit Exception - it will not be approved. Instead, proceed to WebReg and drop one of your enrolled courses that still has many seats available, then add/waitlist the physics course that is full or has 5 or less available seats, and then submit a Unit Limit Request for the dropped course that still has many seats available. If a physics course you want to take is not full and has 6 or more seats available, you can submit a Unit Limit Exception request in EASy and hope that sufficient seating remain available throughout the processing timeframe, though it would be safer to include our course within your first 22 units of enrolled courses.

This option may be possible for lecture courses, but only if you've completed an approved equivalent of the course at another college/university and UCSD Admissions is unwilling to post the course to your UCSD record. For more details, please click here.

CHECK THIS PAGE REGULARLY FOR ANY UPDATES!

SUMMER 2024:

PHYS 2AR: This class has oral exams and based on the instructional resources, we do not anticipate that we will be able to expand the class size. If our resources change, the class size will be expanded accordingly. 

PHYS 1CL: For S224, An extra 1CL lab has been added. Waitlisted students should add the new lab if it fits their schedule.

ALL OTHERS LABS: We will monitor enrollments and add sections if there is sufficient demand (i.e. at least enough waitlisters to fill a new lab). 

FALL 2024:

PHYS 1A: We cannot increase the size of section A00 or move this section to a larger space on campus. Students waitlisted for A00 should enroll in section B00 or C00, both of which have seats available.

PHYS 2CL: We have asked that the lectures be changed to remote format so we can add a lab section. All existing labs are filled to capacity, so no additional seats can be added. Please check WebReg to see when the new section of PHYS 2CL is open for enrollment. 

ALL OTHER COURSES: Secure seats in sections with open seats, as we do not anticipate that we will add more sections. 

You do not need to alert us of full courses and/or waitlist numbers as we monitor this on a daily basis. If/when a 1 or 2 series lecture course fills, the campus seeks out a room switch to a larger space whenever possible.

The campus waitlist system will run every night and add as many students as possible based on drops from the prior 24 hours, and you will be notified via email if you are added to the class from the waitlist. The waitlists will be processed for the final time on Thursday night of week 2.

Check WebReg daily for seats in other sections of course. Keep in mind that since there is no guarantee that you will make it into our course you may need to enroll in a future term, or take the course outside of UCSD. Keep in mind that graduation term is based on when you will have all of your degree requirements completed as opposed to a proposed/expected graduation term. A term in which you are not officially enrolled in your final degree requirements is not your graduation term.

Waitlisted students are expected to attend class during weeks 1 and 2. Please note that the instructor may ask that waitlisted students exit the room if the room capacity has been reached by enrolled students; you are required to adhere to the direction of the instructor. Per the fire marshal, only enrolled students are permitted in the classroom in weeks 3-10; waitlisted students are not permitted in the classroom in weeks 3-10.

Seeing open seats in a 1 series or 2 series lecture classroom during week 1 or 2 is not indicative of actual enrollment; enrolled students sometimes elect not to attend lectures but, per campus policy, this does not de-enroll them from our course nor allow us to drop them and give their seat to other students.

We're sorry but we cannot guess the chances of any student making it off of a waitlist for our courses as that all depends on enrolled students dropping and there's no trend for this term-to-term or year-to-year in Physics. Do not bank on making it off of a waitlist for a Physics course and make sure to do the following as soon as you have waitlisted a Physics course:

  • Regularly check WebReg for open seats in other sections of the course (if other sections exist for that term) and enroll if your schedule permits. (We understand that many are seeking to enroll under a particular faculty member for good reasons, but please know that may not always be possible.)
  • In consultation with your major department and your college:
    • secure a backup course to take in case you don't make it off the waitlist. Do not wait until the end of the enrollment period to find and/or enroll in a backup course, and
    • get assistance in revising your plan for graduation in case you don't make it off the waitlist. Do not wait until the end of the enrollment period to revise your plan for graduation. Keep in mind that graduation term is based on when a student will have all of their degree requirements completed (proposed graduation terms are not guaranteed, especially for students who are behind in their major/program).

No, you cannot. Enrollment in physics ends on Friday of week 2. We do not permit late adds into our courses via add cards, EASy, or any other means; we will not review or process any requests of this type. No exceptions.

Although WebReg will allow a student to enroll in courses that conflict in any way, the campus considers it the student's responsibility to avoid doing so, as it may compromise academic success. A student may contact instructors to request accommodations to account for the conflict, but instructors are not required to grant them.

When a student enrolls in a UCSD course, they acknowledge and accept the posted days and times of all scheduled course components, including the final exam. A student who remains enrolled after the course syllabus has been issued acknowledges and accepts the policies and protocols detailed in the course syllabus. A student who is unable to commit to the entire course for any reason is expected to drop the course within the allowable timeframe outlined in the posted campus information

Campus policies dictate available options and limitations (see here). You must contact your instructor, directly, to discuss any potential accommodation.

Note:

  • Approval of a request for an alternate final exam is not guaranteed in all circumstances. Rescheduling as a result of a religious obligation is governed by the UCSD Policy on Religious Accommodation.
  • Instructors are hired/assigned right up until the first day of the term. As instructors are hired/assigned, their names are added to the Schedule of Classes so you'll need to check the schedule regularly to see when the instructor has been hired/assigned.
  • When a student enrolls in a UCSD course, they acknowledge and accept the posted days and times of all scheduled course components, including the final exam. A student who remains enrolled after the course syllabus has been issued acknowledges and accepts the policies and protocols detailed in the course syllabus. A student who is unable to commit to the entire course for any reason is expected to drop the course within the allowable timeframe outlined in the posted campus information.  

You must attend the lecture/lab section you are officially enrolled in on WebReg each week of the term. Only the professor has the authority to grant an exception and any exception is not guaranteed. 

Waitlisted students are expected to attend class during weeks 1 and 2. Please note that the instructor may ask that waitlisted students exit the room if the room capacity has been reached by enrolled students; you are required to adhere to the direction of the instructor. Per the fire marshal, only enrolled students are permitted in the classroom in weeks 3-10; waitlisted students are not permitted in the classroom in weeks 3-10.

By default, attendance is mandatory in all official course components, including Lectures (LE), Discussions (DI), Labs (LA), Midterms (MI), and Finals (FI), though the instructor of record has the authority to determine the extent to which attendance will be factored into the grade of enrolled students. Attendance is not mandatory in Problem Sessions (PB) and Review Sessions (RE), but since these sessions are designed to help you to do well in the course you are strongly advised to attend these alongside all mandatory course components.

You will need to direct this inquiry to the instructor. If no instructor is listed, you will need to wait until the instructor is listed and then ask the instructor.

 

Streaming/Podcasting of in-person classes is at the discretion of the Instructor of Record. You must contact the instructor, directly, to inquire about whether they plan to stream and/or podcast their lecture. As instructors are hired, their names are added to the schedule of classes, so you'll need to check the schedule regularly to see when the instructor has been hired/assigned so you can contact them.

Click here to learn about gaining access to PHYS 1 & 2 series courses on Canvas. Note: The campus typically refreshes Canvas once every 24-48 hours, so you may not have immediate access to a particular UCSD class section once you've added it on WebReg. You will need to work with your instructor to obtain any information from Canvas while awaiting Canvas access (academic departments cannot provide you with Canvas course info.). You will need to use the "Student Help" feature on Canvas if you are experiencing access issues with Canvas. 

Once logged onto Canvas, click the "Student Help" tab for assistance. Please note that academic departments do not manage Canvas and are not able to assist in resolving issues with Canvas.

Canvas is accessible to waitlisted students but access will be removed at some point after enrollment ends. Please keep in mind that WebReg is the sole authority on what courses a student is/isn't enrolled in; Canvas availability is NOT confirmation of enrollment in a course. If you do not make it into a physics course in a term, your progress and grades will not be maintained for use in any future term.

This is called auditing, is at the sole discretion of the instructor, and must be requested and approved in writing (email request and email approval is fine). If the instructor approves your request to audit their course and the instructor wants to allow you to see their Canvas information, the instructor must log onto Canvas and follow these instructions to add you as an observer (the Department cannot grant you access). Auditors, please keep in mind that auditing does not make you eligible for enrollment; auditing does not make you enrolled or waitlisted for the course and you WILL NOT receive credit for the course, even if you choose to audit for the entire term and/or to complete work for the course. Auditors, please also keep in mind that you are NOT permitted to take exams in the course, nor be present in the classroom during any exams (this would be a violation of Academic Integrity).

Quizzes may be held during the main lecture, fourth-hour lecture, and/or during the discussion section so be sure that you are in attendance at all of these sessions.

Waitlisted students are only permitted in the classroom during weeks 1 & 2. If the instructor permits waitlisters to attend exams, this is only permissible during weeks 1 & 2. Per the fire marshal, only enrolled students are permitted in the classroom in weeks 3-10; waitlisted students are not permitted in the classroom in weeks 3-10 and cannot take quizzes/exams in physics courses in weeks 3-10.

You will need to direct this inquiry to the instructor. If no instructor is listed, you will need to wait until the instructor is listed and then ask the instructor.

No, you are not entitled to exceptions and/or extensions. An instructor's course requirements, policies, and deadlines go into effect when instruction begins for the term and any student who enrolls immediately becomes subject to them. UCSD does not require instructors to grant exceptions to any course requirements, policies, and/or deadlines for students who add their course(s) at some point after instruction has begun. UCSD considers it the student's responsibility to determine whether or not to get/remain enrolled in a course after instruction has begun; if too much has been missed, the student should not get/remain enrolled.

This option may be possible for lecture courses, but only if you've completed an approved equivalent of the course at another college/university and UCSD Admissions is unwilling to post the course to your UCSD record. For more details, please click here.

PHYS 1 & 2 series courses are offered on both a letter-grade and P/NP basis, but you need to select the grading option that your major/minor/college/grad school/professional-school accepts (contact them, directly, to find out).

You will need to contact your major department and ask them for permission to use the course towards your major, despite the grading option you chose, or for permission to substitute the course with some other course. The campus no longer considers requests for retroactive changes to grading options simply so that a course can be applied to a student's major requirements.

No, we do not permit late adds into our courses via add cards, EASy, or any other means (any term); we will not review or process any requests of this type. No exceptions will be granted.

No. Enrollment officially closes on Friday of week 2 and you can enroll up until 11:59pm on Friday of week 2 and it is not considered a late add.

Enrollment officially closes on Friday of week 2 and you can enroll up until 11:59pm on Friday of week 2 and it is not considered a late add.

The late add period begins on Saturday of week 2 and lasts through the end of the term. We do not permit late adds into our courses via add cards, EASy, or any other means; we will not review or process any requests of this type. No exceptions will be granted.

No, you cannot. Enrollment in physics ends on Friday of week 2. We do not permit late adds into our courses via add cards, EASy, or any other means; we will not review or process any requests of this type. No exceptions.

No, we do not permit late adds into our courses via add cards, EASy, or any other means (any term); we will not review or process any requests of this type. No exceptions will be granted. All issues related to tuition/fees must be resolved by the end of the standard enrollment period.

No, you are not entitled to exceptions and/or extensions. An instructor's course requirements, policies, and deadlines go into effect when instruction begins for the term and any student who enrolls immediately becomes subject to them. UCSD does not require instructors to grant exceptions to any course requirements, policies, and/or deadlines for students who add their course(s) at some point after instruction has begun. UCSD considers it the student's responsibility to determine whether or not to get/remain enrolled in a course after instruction has begun; if too much has been missed, the student should not get/remain enrolled.

No, you are not eligible to remain enrolled. As per the prerequisites policies on the Enrollment Policies page, incomplete grades are considered missing prereqs and will be treated accordingly by the Registrar’s Office. To avoid being dropped, the grade would need to be posted at least one day before drops are processed. If your grade gets posted after drops are processed but before the end of the standard enrollment period (Friday of week 2), you may seek to re-enroll through WebReg (existing waitlists cannot be bypassed).

Yes, you can remain enrolled. Each term, just before the campus processes drops due to missing prereqs, we run a check of pending AI cases and preauthorize those with pending cases to remain enrolled.

No, failing the prereq makes you ineligible to remain enrolled. The campus will drop you from the course at some point during the remaining enrollment period and you will need to replace the course on your schedule before the end of the enrollment period. Consult with your major department and/or your college to get assistance in selecting a replacement course.

You will need to enroll through WebReg (existing waitlists cannot be bypassed).

We do not re-enroll students in courses if they drop themselves. After a student looks at their enrolled courses for the term on WebReg and clicks the "drop" button for a particular course, a special box pops up that shows only the course for which the drop action was selected and WebReg requires the student to confirm or cancel the requested action. This special box and confirm/cancel mechanism was developed by the University specifically to help students avoid "accidentally" taking an undesired action that affects their schedule and, ultimately, academic status. The campus considers it the student's responsibility to press the appropriate button to finalize or cancel the drop and we agree with the campus' position on this so we do not endorse requests to undo actions students take through WebReg.

Physics DOES NOT currently have early drop deadlines for physics 1 & 2 series lab courses. Students must adhere to the standard campus deadlines for dropping a physics 1 or 2 series lab course without a W.

Yes, you are subject to drop and you will only be eligible to again seek enrollment after the drop has been processed and you have been preauthorized through EASy. If you enrolled based on a prereq that was in progress here at UCSD and you either failed/dropped that prereq, your eligibility to retain your seat expired when you failed/dropped that prereq. Our department does not accept work-in-progress from other colleges/universities and we do not grant exceptions to allow a student to "pre-reserve" (i.e. secure or retain) their seat in our course while one/more prereqs are taken outside of UCSD.

No, you can drop one and remain in the other. Just keep in mind that only courses you successfully complete can be used towards prereqs for future courses; the class that you drop will not be able to be used towards the prereqs for courses in the next term.

If you were dropped due to an error on the part of the University and you have documentation to prove this you can submit a preauthorization request through EASy, requesting to reclaim your seat up until close of business (4pm) on the last day of the standard enrollment period (i.e. Friday of week 2 in fall, winter, and spring term; Friday of week 1 for summer session 1 & session 2). Your documentation evidencing the error on the part of the University must be attached to the EASy request. Beyond this, there is no reinstatement of enrollment but you are welcome to pursue a seat in our course through WebReg during any remaining portion of the standard enrollment period for the term; existing waitlists cannot be bypassed.

There are no section switches at UCSD. You must use the "drop" and "enroll" features on WebReg to make changes to your schedule; existing waitlists cannot be bypassed. You must finalize your physics enrollments by the end of the standard enrollment period; we do not permit late adds via add cards, add codes, EASy, or any other means.

It is your responsibility to immediately collect the coursework you submitted in your original section and deliver it to the instructor/TA in charge of your new section so that your grade is not compromised. Contact your original TAs/instructors, directly, to arrange to collect your coursework. Do not ask/expect your original TAs/instructors to deliver your coursework to your new TAs/Instructors. Coursework cannot be retained and reused from any prior term(s).

 

Click here to learn about gaining access to PHYS 1 & 2 series courses on Canvas. Note: The campus typically refreshes Canvas once every 24-48 hours, so you may not have immediate access to a particular UCSD class section once you've added it on WebReg. You will need to work with your instructor to obtain any information from Canvas while awaiting Canvas access (academic departments cannot provide you with Canvas course info.). You will need to use the "Student Help" feature on Canvas if you are experiencing access issues with Canvas. 

The following resources are available each term for help with our courses:

EAP SussexNicosia-Cyprus 1 & Nicosia-Cyprus 2 / Hong Kong U. of Sci and Tech / Carlos III Madrid / Glasgow / Dublin:

At this time we cannot support a request to initiate any pre-approved equivalencies, as there are concerns about the depth of these courses based on the time spent on relevant topics. Students taking these courses should save all of their course notes, material, exams, etc. Students participating in EAP at one of these universities, after returning from their EAP trip, will be eligible to petition their course(s) for potential equivalency; approval is not guaranteed. These particular petition packets must include course syllabi and all of the student's course notes, material, exams, etc. so that we can assess the depth of the course(s).


Have a 1 or 2 series question not addressed in the info. above?

Contact us through VAC to let us know!