Bachelor of Science in Physics Roadmap

120 Total Units Required
Minimum Number of Units in the Major: 71

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 SemesterUnits
ENG 114 Writing the First Year: Finding Your Voice (A2) 1 3
MATH 226 Calculus I (Major Lower-Division Prerequisite, B4) 2 4
GE Area A 3 3
GE Area C 3
GE Area D 3
Second Semester
CSC 309 Computer Programming (Upper-Division Core) 4 3
MATH 227 Calculus II (Major Lower-Division Prerequisite) 4
PHYS 220
PHYS 222
General Physics with Calculus I
and General Physics with Calculus I Laboratory (Major Lower-Division Prerequisite, B1, B3)
GE Area E 3
Third Semester
MATH 228 Calculus III (Major Lower-Division Prerequisite) 4
PHYS 230
PHYS 232
General Physics with Calculus II
and General Physics with Calculus II Laboratory (Major Lower-Division Prerequisite)
GE Area A 3
Select One: 3
Linear Algebra (if selecting MATH 376)
Fourth Semester
Select One (Major Lower-Division Prerequisite): 3
Elementary Differential Equations and Linear Algebra (Major Lower-Division Prerequisite)
Ordinary Differential Equations I
PHYS 240
PHYS 242
General Physics with Calculus III
and General Physics with Calculus III Laboratory (Major Lower-Division Prerequisite)
GE Area B: Life Science (B2) 3
GE Area C 3
GE Area D 3
Fifth Semester
PHYS 320
PHYS 321
Modern Physics I
and Modern Physics Laboratory (Major Upper-Division Core)
PHYS 330 Analytical Mechanics I (Major Upper-Division Core) 3
PHYS 385 Introduction to Theoretical Physics I (Major Upper-Division Core) 3
GE Area C 3
Sixth Semester
PHYS 360 Electricity and Magnetism I (Major Upper-Division Core) 3
PHYS 370 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (Major Upper-Division Core) 3
Major Elective (10 Units Total) - Take One 5 3
GE Area F ± 3
GE Area UD-B: Upper-Division Physical and/or Life Sciences 3
Seventh Semester
PHYS 430 Quantum Mechanics I (Major Upper-Division Core) 3
PHYS 460 Electricity and Magnetism II (Major Upper-Division Core) 3
PHYS 490 Physics Project Laboratory (Major Upper-Division Core) 2
Major Elective (10 Units Total) - Take One 5 4
GE Area UD-C: Upper-Division Arts and/or Humanities 3
Eighth Semester
PHYS 457 Introduction to Analog Electronics (Major Upper-Division Core) 4
PHYS 491GW Advanced Laboratory Techniques I - GWAR (Major Upper-Division Core) 3
PHYS 695 Culminating Experience in Physics (Major Upper-Division Core) 1
Major Elective (10 Units Total) 5 3
GE Area UD-D: Upper-Division Social Sciences 3
U.S. and California Government 3
 Total Units121

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.


Additional upper-division elective units in astronomy, mathematics, or physics may be substituted for CSC 309 by students proficient in computer programming, subject to approval by the department chair.


Major Electives (10 units)

Upper-division astronomy, physics, mathematics, or related sciences courses. If MATH 325 was taken, those units can be applied to this requirement.


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