Physics (Astrophysics) BS + Astronomy and Astrophysics MS SF Scholars Roadmap

The San Francisco State Scholars program provides undergraduate students with an accelerated pathway to a graduate degree. Students in this program pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree simultaneously. This program allows students to earn graduate credit while in their junior and/or senior year, reducing the number of semesters required for completion of a master’s degree.

This roadmap is a suggested plan of study and does not replace meeting with an advisor. Please note that students may need to adjust the actual sequence of courses based on course availability. Please consult an advisor in your major program for further guidance.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterUnits
ENG 114 Writing the First Year: Finding Your Voice (A2) 1 3
MATH 226 Calculus I (Major Prerequisite, B4) 2 4
PHYS 200 Planning for Success as a Physics & Astronomy Major (Major Prerequisite) 1
GE Area A 3 3
GE Area C 3
GE Area D 3
Spring Semester
MATH 227 Calculus II (Major Prerequisite) 4
PHYS 220
PHYS 222
General Physics with Calculus I
and General Physics with Calculus I Laboratory (Major Prerequisite, B1, B3)
GE Area A 3
GE Area E 3
Second Year
Fall Semester
Select One (Major Core): 3
Computer Programming
Mathematical Computing
MATH 228 Calculus III (Major Prerequisite) 4
PHYS 230
PHYS 232
General Physics with Calculus II
and General Physics with Calculus II Laboratory (Major Prerequisite)
GE Area B: Life Science (B2) 3
Spring Semester
ASTR 300 Stars, Planets, and the Milky Way (Major Core) 3
Select One (Major Prerequisite): 3
Introduction to Linear Algebra
Elementary Differential Equations and Linear Algebra
PHYS 240
PHYS 242
General Physics with Calculus III
and General Physics with Calculus III Laboratory (Major Prerequisite)
GE Area C - Take Two 6
Third Year
Fall Semester
ASTR 301 Observational Astronomy Laboratory (Major Core) 2
PHYS 320 Modern Physics I (Major Core) 3
PHYS 330 Analytical Mechanics I (Major Core) 3
PHYS 385 Introduction to Theoretical Physics I (Major Core) 3
Select One (Major Prerequisite):
Ordinary Differential Equations I (if MATH 225 taken)
GE Area D 3
Spring Semester
ASTR 340GW The Big Bang - GWAR (Major Core) 3
PHYS 360 Electricity and Magnetism I (Major Core) 3
PHYS 370 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (Major Core) 3
GE Area F ± 3
GE Area UD-B: Upper-Division Physical and/or Life Sciences 3
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
PHYS 430 Quantum Mechanics I (Major Core) 3
ASTR 700 Stellar Astrophysics (Graduate Elective, Major Core) 4 3
Graduate Core 4,5 3
GE Area UD-C: Upper-Division Arts and/or Humanities 3
GE Area UD-D: Upper-Division Social Sciences 3
Spring Semester
ASTR 697 Senior Project (Major Culminating Experience) 3
ASTR 770 Observational Techniques in Astronomy Research (Graduate Core, Major Core) 3
Graduate Elective 4,6 3
U.S. and California Government 3
SF State Studies or University Elective 3
Fifth Year
Fall Semester
PHYS 897 Research (Graduate Research) 3
Graduate Core 5 3
Graduate General Elective 7 3
Spring Semester
Graduate Core 5 3
Graduate General Elective 7 3
Select One (Culminating Experience): 3
Culminating Project
Culminating Experience Examination (and additional Graduate General Elective)
Master's Thesis
 Total Units138

ENG 114 can only be taken if you complete Directed Self-Placement (DSP) and select ENG 114; if you choose ENG 104/ENG 105 through DSP you will satisfy A2 upon successful completion of ENG 105 in the second semester; multilingual students may be advised into alternative English courses.


To determine the best B4 course option, students should complete the online advising activity at Questions? Contact Gator Smart Start.


To avoid taking additional units, it is recommended that you meet the SF State Studies (AERM, GP, ES, SJ) requirements within your GE or major.



For this SF Scholars program, the following graduate requirements may double-count with the listed undergraduate requirements:


Graduate Core:

ASTR 722 Radiative Processes in Astrophysics (3 units)

ASTR 742 Galaxies and Cosmology (3 units)

PHYS 701 Classical Mechanics (3 units)


Graduate Physics and Astronomy Electives (6 units)

Select from graduate PHYS and ASTR courses numbered 700 to 799. A list of recommended elective options can be found in the degree requirements.


General Electives (6-9 units)

Advanced upper-division (numbered 400 and above) or graduate courses (numbered 700 to 885) in physics, astronomy, or appropriately related subjects, selected after advisement and approved by the Graduate Coordinator.

Students who select ASTR 896EXMASTR 896EXM for their culminating experience must complete 9 units of electives. Students who select  ASTR 895ASTR 895 or ASTR 898 for their culminating experience must complete 6 units of electives.

No additional supervision units are allowed. Maximum of 3 units in related fields outside physics & astronomy.

Students who plan to teach as Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) are strongly encouraged to take PHYS 885 (Inclusive Pedagogy for the Physical Sciences).


Given catalog rights, fall 2023 transfer students do not need to complete an Area F course.