Physics, B.S.


Department of Physics

Bachelor of Science Degree Requirements Physics Major

1. Physics Major requirements (45 - 46 units)
Physics core (36 units) (see note 1)
PHYS 4A, PHYS 4AL, PHYS 4B, PHYS 4BL, PHYS 4C, PHYS 102, PHYS 104, PHYS 105A, PHYS 105B, PHYS 107A, PHYS 110, PHYS 115, PHYS 140

Upper-division electives (9 - 10 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, PHYS 135, PHYS 136, PHYS 137, PHYS 150, PHYS 151, PHYS 155, PHYS 156, PHYS 157, PHYS 158, PHYS 162, PHYS 163, PHYS 168S, PHYS 170A, PHYS 171, and PHYS 180 (see note 2)

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

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

2. General Education requirements (48 units)*

3. Other requirements (9 units)
American Government and Institutions (PLSI 2), Multicultural and International (MI), and Upper-division writing. Note: Physics majors are exempt from the M/I requirement.

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.

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. All math and physics prerequisites for the physics major should be completed with a grade of C or better.


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.

For the most up-to-date roadmap, please contact the College Advising Center or check your My Degree Plan.

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