Undergraduate Program


Important program updates starting in the 2024-2025 academic year:

  • The undergraduate program for the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Physics will be discontinued for future students. 
  • The undergraduate program with a Biophysics Option will be discontinued for future students.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Physics may be used as preparation for graduate work or as a qualifying degree for professional employment. Undergraduate student participation in research is strongly encouraged, and a selection of electives in astronomy provide a substantial background for students planning graduate study in that field. The total number of units required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Physics is 120 units, of which  81-84 units are in the major.

Programs in physics are built on a foundation of high school studies in mathematics and physical sciences. For completion of a Bachelor of Science degree program in 8 semesters (4 years), high school preparation is recommended in physics, chemistry, geometry, trigonometry, and algebra (two years). Students interested in physics and/or astronomy but lacking the high school preparation, or even those with a background in the arts and humanities, are able to succeed in our program, as well, with additional guidance.

Undergraduate Program Details

University Catalog Details*

* Please note the 2024-2025 University Catalog link may open slowly and contains certain out-of-date information regarding the Department Faculty, the discontinued B.A. degree for future students, and the discontinued Biophysics Option.

Physics Bachelor Degree Roadmap

Physics Bachelor Degree Roadmap for Transfer Students

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers an honors program for qualified students. Students may apply in their junior year after completing PHYS 2100-2200 and PHYS 3300-3400. Candidates must maintain a B (3.0) grade point average both in their major and overall. Completion of the honors program requires  2 units of independent, research-oriented study (PHYS 3960) and presentation of the work in a colloquium. Graduation with honors in Physics is conferred upon those students whom the faculty of the department deem worthy after presentation of the colloquium. Diplomas and transcripts of honors program graduates are designated: “Graduated with Departmental Honors in Physics.”

Sample of undergraduate honors talks from Spring 2024:

Upon graduating from California State University, Los Angeles, with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Physics, our students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the key foundational concepts of classical and quantum physics by using them to accurately predict the outcomes of realistic physical situations.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to model physical phenomena, using both analytical techniques and computational methods.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to apply a range of laboratory skills and the ability to reliably and accurately collect, analyze, and interpret data.
  4. Communicate physics-related topics clearly and logically in both oral and written expression to diverse audiences.

A Minor in Physics, available for students majoring in other fields, requires 36 units in physics and mathematics, of which 22 are in lower division and 14 are in upper division courses. Students majoring in fields that require the same courses as those required for the Physics minor need take only those courses in the minor that are not incorporated into their major.