Login
 

Physics Bachelor of Science Degree Programs in California

Research physics Bachelor of Science degree programs in California, which currently has more than 50 schools offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for the ten largest schools and decide which program is right for you.

View popular schools

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Acoustics
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Optical Sciences
  • Solid State Physics
  • Theoretical Physics

Essential Information

Bachelor of Science programs in physics are available throughout the state, and most require students to earn at least 120 credits to obtain a degree. These programs feature courses in math and other science disciplines in addition to major-specific coursework. Some of these schools offer specialized tracks, such as astrophysics or engineering physics. Undergraduate research options are available in some physics programs. Below find summaries of the ten largest schools in California that offer Bachelor of Science (BS) programs.


California State University - Fullerton

The Department of Physics at California State University - Fullerton has a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree program in physics that requires students to complete 120 units, 73 of which are core physics courses and other science, math and engineering courses. Some major courses include classical mechanics, kinetic theory and electromagnetic theory. Students can select an emphasis in business that can prepare them for technology management positions. They may take additional courses to qualify for a science teaching credential. The physics department has five faculty members, and it hosts a physics club.

California State University - Long Beach

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at California State University - Long Beach offers both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree programs in physics. The BS prepares students for employment. It requires students to complete 120 units in physics, mathematics and general education coursework. Courses in the program include heat mechanics, electricity and magnetism, physics of light, analytic mechanics, quantum physics and electronics. There are 15 professors of physics.

California State University - Northridge

BA and BS degree programs in physics are available at California State University - Northridge. The BS degree program requires 120 units. Students may select the astrophysics option, which includes courses on dynamics of the universe, radiation of the universe, particle physics, astronomy, lasers and optics. An honors option is also available.

San Diego State University

San Diego State University has many degree program options in physics, including a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Physics. The BS requires students to complete 120 units in physics, mathematics and general education courses. Courses include computational physics, physical measurements, thermal physics and quantum mechanics. Students in this program can complete a track in modern optics. SDSU also has a BS in Chemical Physics.

San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University's BS in Physics requires students to complete 71 units in mathematics and physics courses. Courses in the major include modern physics, analytical mechanics, statistical mechanics and computer programming. It has an astrophysics concentration that includes courses on the Big Bang, the Milky Way, stellar astrophysics and observational astronomy. A concentration in teaching physics is available as well. Students can pair up with faculty to work on research projects.

San Jose State University

San Jose State University has a Bachelor of Science in Physics program that trains students for professional employment in research physics or applied physics. Courses cover physical properties of waves, heat, light, magnetism and electricity. Students take a course on laboratory electronics and one other advanced area of lab work.

University of California - Berkeley

The University of California - Berkeley offers a BS in Physics. Topics covered in lower-division courses include mathematics, mechanics, wave motion, heat, electricity, magnetism, quantum physics and electromagnetic waves. Upper-division physics courses include analytic mechanics, electromagnetism, optics, thermal physics and quantum mechanics. Additionally, the school offers a special major in engineering physics, and an honors program is offered.

University of California - Davis

The Department of Physics at the University of California - Davis has many degree programs in physics. Students in the Bachelor of Science in Physics program must complete the university's general education requirement and a total of 180 quarter units to qualify for the degree. The school also has a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics with many concentration options, including chemical physics, geophysics, computational physics and atmospheric physics.

University of California - Los Angeles

Three Bachelor of Science majors in physics can be pursued at the University of California - Los Angeles. The general BS program includes courses in analytic mechanics, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics and thermodynamics. The BS in Biophysics provides training in molecular biology along with physics to prepare students to study systems behavior. The BS in Astrophysics teaches student about the Big Bang as well as properties of and changes to the universe.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California in Los Angeles has a large selection of physics degree programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Physics. Major courses in the program include chemistry, calculus, physics principles, mechanics, thermodynamics, condensed matter physics, electricity and magnetism. Students who would like a research career in physics or who plan to enter a PhD program are encouraged to complete an undergraduate research assignment, working as a lab or a research assistant.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Physics Degree Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)
California State University - Fullerton Four-year; public; large suburb BS in Physics $6,437 in-state; $17,597 out-of-state*
California State University - Long Beach Four-year; public; large city BS in Physics,
BA in Physics
$6,452 in-state; $17,612 out-of-state*
California State University - Northridge Four-year; public; large city BS in Physics,
BA in Physics
$6,569 in-state; $17,729 out-of-state*
San Diego State University Four-year; public; large city BS in Physics,
BS in Chemical Physics,
BA in Physics
$6,976 in-state; $18,136 out-of-state*
San Francisco State University Four-year; public; large city BS in Physics,
BA in Physics
$6,476 in-state; $17,636 out-of-state*
San Jose State University Four-year; public; large city BS in Physics,
BA in Physics,
$7,378 in-state; $18,538 out-of-state*
University of California - Berkeley Four-year; public; midsize city BS in Physics,
BS in Engineering Physics
$13,431 in-state; $38,139 out-of-state*
University of California - Davis Four-year; public; small suburb BS in Physics,
BS in Applied Physics,
BA in Physics
$13,951 in-state; $38,659 out-of-state*
University of California - Los Angeles Four-year; public; large city BS in Physics,
BS in Biophysics,
BS in Astrophysics,
BA in Physics
$12,763 in-state; $37,471 out-of-state*
University of Southern California Four-year; private, non-profit; large city BS in Physics,
BA in Physics,
BS in Physics and Computer Science
$50,277*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma of GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?