Physics BS + 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
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
GE Area D 3
Third Year
Fall Semester
PHYS 320 Modern Physics I (Major Core) 3
PHYS 321 Modern Physics Laboratory (Major Core) 2
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)
U.S. and California Government 3
Spring Semester
PHYS 360 Electricity and Magnetism I (Major Core) 3
PHYS 370 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (Major Core) 3
PHYS 457 Introduction to Analog Electronics (Major Core) 4
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
PHYS 460 Electricity and Magnetism II (Major Core) 3
PHYS 491GW Advanced Laboratory Techniques I - GWAR (Major Core) 3
Graduate Core 4,5 3
GE Area UD-C: Upper-Division Arts and/or Humanities 3
Spring Semester
Graduate Core - Take Two 4,5 6
Graduate Elective 5,6 3
GE Area UD-D: Upper-Division Social Sciences 3
SF State Studies or University Elective 2
Fifth Year
Fall Semester
PHYS 897 Research (Graduate Research) 3
Graduate Core 4 3
Graduate General Elective 7 3
Spring Semester
Graduate Elective 6 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.


Graduate Core:

PHYS 704 Electrodynamics (3 units)

PHYS 706 Quantum Mechanics (3 units)

PHYS 775 Statistical Mechanics (3 units)

PHYS 785 Theoretical Physics (3 units)


Students can double-count up to 12 units of Graduate Core/Elective courses towards the BS Major Elective requirement.


Graduate Physics and Astronomy Electives (6 units)

  • Select from graduate PHYS and ASTR courses numbered 700 to 799.
  • Students interested in theoretical physics are strongly encouraged to take PHYS 701; students interested in experimental physics are strongly encouraged to take PHYS 710.

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