Physics, B.S.



Bachelor of Science Degree Requirements

Physics Major

1. Physics Major requirements (47 units)
(see note 1)
Physics core (36 units)
PHYS 4A, 4AL, 4B, 4BL, 4C, 102, 104, 105A, 105B, 107A, 110, 115, 140

Upper-division electives (11 units)
Includes courses in physics and, with approval, in related fields. Students planning to pursue graduate study in physics are strongly encouraged to take courses from the following list: PHYS 107B, 135, 136, 137, 150, 151, 155, 156, 157, 158, 162, 163, 168S, 170A, 171, and 180 (see note 2)

Additional requirements (28-29 units)*
(see notes 1, 3, and 4)
MATH 75, 76, 77, 81; CHEM 1A, 1AL, 1B, 1BL (25 units)

Plus one of the following
CSCI 40 (4 units) or ECE 71 (3 units)

2. General Education requirements (49 units)*

3. Other requirements (6 units)
Upper-division writing and Multicultural and International (MI)

4. Sufficient elective units to meet required total units (varies)

5. Total units (120)**

*7 units will be satisfied by the following two courses in additional requirements: 4 units of CHEM 1A/1AL in G.E. Breadth B1 and 3 units of MATH 75 in G.E. Foundation B4.

** G.E. and MI courses can be double-counted with major requirements. The writing requirement may be met by taking the upper-division writing exam. See advisor for details.


Advising Notes

  1. CR/NC grading is not permitted in the physics major. Additional requirements, however, may be taken CR/NC (see Credit/No Credit Grading).
  2. PHYS 190 and PHYS 175T as well as courses outside the Department of Physics may be substituted for physics upper-division electives with prior approval of the department chair.
  3. It is important to fulfill the upper-division writing skills requirement by exam or W class after completing 60 units which a student may request 1 unit of credit.
  4. All math and physics prerequisites for the physics major should be completed with a grade of C or better.

Suggested Sequence of Courses for the B.S. in Physics

The list below is a suggested schedule of courses for the major for students planning to complete the suggested pregraduate study sequence in four years.

In addition to the specific courses listed below, General Education requirements and electives should be included to bring the average total of units to 15 per semester. A minimum total of 120 units must be completed for the Bachelor of Science degree. (See Degree Requirements.)

1st Year: PHYS 4A, 4AL; CHEM 1A, 1B; MATH 75, 76; Computer Programming
2nd Year: PHYS 4B, 4BL, 4C; MATH 77, 81
3rd Year: PHYS 102, 104, 105A, 105B, 110, 150, 151, 170A
4th Year: PHYS 107A, 107B, 115, 140, 162,171; plus upper-division electives


Our faculty members are here to teach and to do research. Several faculty members have research projects involving students.

Our classes are small: our upper-division and graduate classes usually have 10-15 students or less. Physics majors get to know each other very well. They develop friendships with peers, faculty, and staff, which extend well beyond graduation.

There are eight research/creative activity areas that are part of our current efforts: (1) Computational Physics, (2) High Energy Physics (HEP), (3) Strongly Correlated Electron Physics, (4) Nanotechnology, (5) Astronomy and Astrophysics, (6) Microbeam X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), (7) Theoretical Physics, (8) Physics Outreach. 

For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.



A Roadmap identifies the specific set of courses students must complete in their major in sequential order. Information on corequisites or prerequisites is listed along with other pertinent information to assist students in completing courses towards the major.

Click here for roadmap.

Please note: Roadmaps are not a guarantee of course availability.

If you are looking for archived roadmaps, please click here.


student in a lab

The B.S. in Physics offers preparation appropriate to employment in government and industry involving a range of activities from laboratory work to technical sales. It also offers appropriate background preparation for graduate study in physics and a large number of other fields. With an appropriate choice of electives, it provides a very strong premedical, predental, or preoptometry program.

Beyond professional goals, the study of physics provides a deep understanding of fundamental processes which underlie our physical world and fosters methods of inquiry which promotes intelligent analysis.

What You Can Earn

Radiation Physicist $164,036

Physicist I $59,260

Source: HR Reported data as of December 2012

HS Physics Teacher $63,640 (Average) $38,875 (beginning)

Sources: American Federation of Teachers

Interesting Classes You Might Take

  • Nuclear Medicine
  • General Relativity (learn about black holes)
  • Astrophysics/Observational Astronomy (find black holes)

What You Can Learn

  • The nature of space and time
  • Why at the smallest scales nature is random
  • Do research at the Large Hadron Collider to discover new particles
  • Learn how physics can be used in medicine
  • What’s on the other side of a black holes’ event horizon

About the College

TheCollege of Science and Mathematics provides professional training at the undergraduate and graduate levels to serve as a foundation for a career in science or mathematics, to provide preprofessional training in preparation for careers in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine and other professions or for continued study at the graduate level.

College Contact Info

The office of the Dean is located in Science II, Room 301.
Telephone: (559) 278-3936

Department Contact Information

Department of Physics
California State University, Fresno 
2345 E. San Ramon Ave., M/S MH37
Fresno, CA 93740-8031

Phone: (559) 278-2371 
Fax: (559) 278-7741