Bachelor of Science in Physics Roadmap

120 Total Units Required
Minimum Number of Units in the Major: 72

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
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
Second Semester
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 A 3
GE Area E 3
Third Semester
Select One (Upper-Division Core): 3
Computer Programming
Mathematical Computing
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 C 3
Fourth Semester
Select One (Major Lower-Division 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 Lower-Division Prerequisite)
GE Area B: Life Science (B2) 3
GE Area C 3
GE Area D 3
Fifth Semester
Select One: 3
Ordinary Differential Equations I (if MATH 225 was taken)
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
Sixth Semester
PHYS 360 Electricity and Magnetism I (Major Upper-Division Core) 3
PHYS 370 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (Major Upper-Division Core) 3
PHYS 457 Introduction to Analog Electronics (Major Upper-Division Core) 4
Major Elective (8-11 Units Total) - Take One 4 3
GE Area F ± 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 491GW Advanced Laboratory Techniques I - GWAR (Culminating Experience) 3
GE Area UD-B: Upper-Division Physical and/or Life Sciences 3
GE Area UD-C: Upper-Division Arts and/or Humanities 3
Eighth Semester
Major Elective (8-11 Units Total) 4 5
Select One: 3
Major Elective (8-11 Units Total) 4
GE Area UD-D: Upper-Division Social Sciences 3
U.S. and California Government 3
 Total Units120

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.


Electives (8-11 units)

Choose enough upper-division PHYS and/or ASTR courses to reach 72 units for the major. A maximum of 5 units of 600-level PHYS and/or ASTR can be used as electives. A maximum of 3 units outside of ASTR or PHYS, with prior permission of a faculty advisor.


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