Physics at UC Davis



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Detailed Major/Minor Requirements

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Major and minor

From subatomic particles to galaxies with billions of stars, physics studies what the universe is made of and how it works. As a physics major at UC Davis, you will learn about our present understanding of the universe and also have the opportunity to join with our faculty in research that pushes forward the frontier of knowledge. This research ranges from the very smallest distances associated with elementary particle physics through nanophysics and superconductivity and on to the structure and evolution of the entire universe. We offer A.B. and B.S. degrees in physics as well as a B.S. with astrophysics specialization.

Real World Outcomes

Physics majors pursue careers and graduate study in a broad range of fields. A.B. majors often enter such areas as teaching at the pre-college level, management and administration in industrial laboratories and government agencies or production and sales in industry. B.S. majors are well prepared to continue their study of physics at the graduate level; many also study such related fields as astrophysics and astronomy, biophysics, computer science and materials science.


Physics majors begin with a sequence of courses in classical and modern physics along with six quarters of calculus and other mathematics. After the initial preparation, you will be ready for more advanced courses in dynamics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, optics, nuclear and particle physics, condensed matter physics, cosmology, and advanced experimental techniques.