Quarter to Semester Conversion

CSUSB is switching to semesters in Fall 2020. The last quarter term will be Summer 2020. Being on the semester calendar, which will begin in August and end in May, will put us in alignment with the other California State University campuses, our California Community Colleges, and more than 90% of colleges and universities nationwide.  This will make it easier for transfer students to apply course credits toward degree completion.  It will also make it easier for all students to compete on the summer job market because CSUSB students will now be available at the same time as those attending other universities.  The semester calendar will also align better with the K-12 school-year calendar, supporting those of you who are also caregivers or parents of younger children.

In addition to aligning our calendar with other schools, semesters will also create more opportunities to participate in internships, field experiences, and community engagement projects on and off the campus and more time to absorb and learn course material.

Another benefit will be that students will only need to register for classes, pay fees, and complete other administrative tasks twice a year rather than three times a year.

Academic Year 2019-2020

This will be the final year on quarters and some typically offered courses might not be offered. Below is our anticipated course offering each quarter as of May 1, 2019.
Fall 2019Winter 2020Spring 2020Summer 2020
ASTR 103
PHYS 100
PHYS 121
PHYS 123
PHYS 221
PHYS 223
PHYS 318
PHYS 324
PHYS 350
PHYS 373
PHYS 421
ASTR 311
PHYS 100
PHYS 121
PHYS 122
PHYS 221
PHYS 222
PHYS 224
PHYS 306
PHYS 313
PHYS 350
PHYS 422
PHYS 430
PHYS 473
PHYS 100
**PHYS 123QBR
PHYS 123
PHYS 150
**PHYS 223QBR
PHYS 223
PHYS 225
PHYS 307
PHYS 314
PHYS 352
PHYS 430
PHYS 100
**For those students who cannot finish a year-long sequence (PHYS 121-122-123 or PHYS 221-222-223) before the semester transition should take a Quarter Bridge course (designated QBR). The new semester courses will cover half of the content provided in the 3 quarter sequence. Therefore to complete the full year, students who have taken PHYS 121, but will not complete PHYS 123 by Spring 2020 should take PHYS 123 QBR in Spring 2020 and PHYS 2010 and 2010L in Fall 2020 to complete the sequence. Students who have taken PHYS 221, but will not complete PHYS 223 by Spring 2020 should take PHYS 223 QBR in Spring 2020 and PHYS 2510 and 2510L in Fall 2020 to complete the sequence.

Transitional Students - started under quarters and graduating under semesters

Students who are graduating under the semester system with a BA or BS in Physics or BS in Applied Physics from the quarter system should consult with their faculty advisor to see which semester courses will fufill their quarter-based graduation requirements. In most cases, the course susbtitutions should be straight forward, but depending on which courses have already been completed, individual cases may require more consideration in order to not require any additional units or time than originally required for the degree. 

Students have the option to update their degree requirements to the new semester curricula, but doing so will switch ALL major, minor, and general education requirements to the new semester requirements and doing so should be done after consultation with your faculty advisor. 
 

Academic Year 2020-2021 and beyond - Semester Courses

Below are 4-yr roadmaps for the two physics degrees, the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Bachelor of Science (BS). Deciding which degree to persue should be done win consultation with your faculty advisor and based upon what you want to do after graduation. In general, the BA degree is much more flexible and can prepare students for a variety of careers. The roadmaps should both give students an idea of when courses are offered and when they should them.  

Both of the roadmap options assume that students are ready to enter Calculus in their first semester at CSUSB. If that is not the case, then students will take longer than 4 years to graduate with a physics degree. Many students do this successfully and it should not be considered a deterent to choosing physics as a career path. 

Transfer students will typically take the courses listed in Years 3 and 4 with some small modifications. Transfer students should consult their faculty advisor for more information, as their specific academic plan will depend on the specific courses they transfer into CSUSB.

BA in Physics*

FallSpring
Year 1MATH 2210 - Calculus I
PHYS 1500 - Tools for Physicists
CHEM 2100 - General Chemistry I
CHEM 2100L - General Chemistry I Lab
General Education course
MATH 2220 - Calculus II
PHYS 2500 - General Physics I
PHYS 2500L - General Physics I Lab
Two General Education courses
Year 2MATH 2310 - Applied Linear Algebra
PHYS 2510 - General Physics II
PHYS 2510L - General Physics II Lab
Two General Education courses
MATH 2320 - Multivariable Calculus
PHYS 2600L - Introduction to Electronics
PHYS 2700 - Modern Physics
Two General Education courses
Year 3PHYS 3100 - Math Methods for Physics
PHYS 3200 - Classical Mechanics
PHYS 3300 - Computational Physics
General Education course
PHYS 3400 - Electricity & Magnetism
PHYS 3500 - Statistical and Thermal Physics
PHYS 3800 - Intermediate Physics Lab
General Education course
Year 4Physics Elective course
Three General Education courses
PHYS 4800 - Senior Thesis (WI)**
Physics Elective course
Three General Education courses
* Students who graduate with the BA Physics will be required to complete additional units of coursework of the student's choosing across the university in order to graduate with 120 units. This is in addition to the courses listed above and includes the General Education requirements. Completing the requirements of the BA Physics will simultaneously satisfy the following General Education requirements: GE Math (Area B4), GE Physical Science (Area B1), GE lab (Area B-lab), and 1 out of the 2 requirement Writing Intensive (WI) courses. Students will need to complete another Writing Intensive course of their choosing, lower or upper division, from anywhere across the university.
** Students can substitute ASTR 4000 - Observational Astronomy (WI) for PHYS 4800 - Senior Thesis (WI). This will require that students have already completed the pre-requisites for ASTR 4000.

The BA roadmap assumes students take 14-17 units per term. Taking less than this will require additional terms to graduate. 
 

BS in Physics*

FallSpring
Year 1MATH 2210 - Calculus I
PHYS 1500 - Tools for Physicists
CHEM 2100 - General Chemistry I
CHEM 2100L - General Chemistry I Lab
General Education course
MATH 2220 - Calculus II
PHYS 2500 - General Physics I
PHYS 2500L - General Physics I Lab
Two General Education courses
Year 2MATH 2310 - Applied Linear Algebra
PHYS 2510 - General Physics II
PHYS 2510L - General Physics II Lab
Two General Education courses
MATH 2320 - Multivariable Calculus
PHYS 2600L - Introduction to Electronics
PHYS 2700 - Modern Physics
Two General Education courses
Year 3PHYS 3100 - Math Methods for Physics
PHYS 3200 - Classical Mechanics
PHYS 3300 - Computational Physics
General Education course
PHYS 3400 - Electricity & Magnetism
PHYS 3500 - Statistical and Thermal Physics
PHYS 3800 - Intermediate Physics Lab
Physics Elective course
General Education course
Year 4PHYS 4400 - Electricity & Magnetism II
PHYS 4700 - Quantum Mechanics
Physics Elective course
Two General Education courses
PHYS 4800 - Senior Thesis (WI)**
Physics Elective course
Three General Education courses
* Students who graduate with the BS Physics will be required to complete additional units of coursework of the student's choosing across the university in order to graduate with 120 units. This is in addition to the courses listed above and includes the General Education requirements. Completing the requirements of the BS Physics will simultaneously satisfy the following General Education requirements: GE Math (Area B4), GE Physical Science (Area B1), GE lab (Area B-lab), and 1 out of the 2 requirement Writing Intensive (WI) courses. Students will need to complete another Writing Intensive course of their choosing, lower or upper division, from anywhere across the university.
** Students can substitute ASTR 4000 - Observational Astronomy (WI) for PHYS 4800 - Senior Thesis (WI). This will require that students have already completed the pre-requisites for ASTR 4000.

The BS roadmap assumes students take 14-17 units per term. Taking less than this will require additional terms to graduate. 
 

Physics & Astronomy Courses for majors and minors

Only courses numbers 3000 and above can be used as electives for the BA or BS Physics degree. However, some may be required pre-requisites for other physics and astronomy electives. Courses required for the BS degree, but not the BA degree can be used as elective courses for the BA and are not listed below. Any individual course is not guarenteed to be offered in any specific term. Planned offerings are listed below, when known.

 

ASTR 2300 - Introduction to Astronomy for Scientists

A brief history of the development of astronomy followed by modern physical descriptions of our planetary system, extrasolar systems, stars, galaxies, and models of the universe. Discussions of methods of extending knowledge of the universe. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory. Materials fee required.
 

ASTR 3300 - Astrophysics of Planetary Systems

Physical principles of planetary systems and their formation, stellar structure and evolution. Formerly PHYS 370; students may not earn credit for both courses.
 

ASTR 3310 - Astrophysics of Galaxies and Cosmology

Physical principles of stellar evolution, galactic structure, extragalactic astrophysics, and cosmology.
 

PHYS 2951-2953 - Special Projects in Physics (Units 1-3)

Individual investigation, research, study, or survey of selected problems. May be repeated for credit. Department consent required. Formerly PHYS 295.
 

PHYS 3600 - Data Acquisition and Control

An introduction to computer-based data acquisition, control, and analysis. Topics include instrument control, graphical programming, algorithm development, feedback control algorithms, and computer-based data analysis. One hour lecture and three hours laboratory. Materials fee required. Formerly PHYS 350; students may not earn credit for both courses.
 

PHYS 4600 - Electronics

Electronics for science and engineering. Topics may include modular circuit design, linear systems theory, electronic design software, high frequency techniques, communication theory, and control theory. Two hours lecture and three hours laboratory. Materials fee required. Formerly PHYS 352; students may not earn credit for both courses.
 

PHYS 4851-4853 - Special Projects in Physics (Units 1-3)

A lecture course on a specialized topic in physics. May be repeated for credit as topics change.  Department consent required. Formerly PHYS 485.
 

PHYS 4851L-4852L - Special Projects in Physics Lab (Units 1-2)

A laboratory course to coincide with a special topics lecture course. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Department consent required. Materials fee required.
 

PHYS 5100 - Math Methods of Physics II

Topics may include functions of a complex variable, tensor analysis, Hilbert spaces, Bayesian statistics, group theory. Emphasis on techniques applicable to the problems of physics and engineering. Formerly PHYS 473; students may not earn credit for both courses.
 

PHYS 5400 - Optics

Applications of propagating electromagnetic fields to optical systems. Topics may include physical optics, holography, adaptive optics, lasers, quantum optics, photonics, and non-linear optics. Formerly PHYS 315; students may not earn credit for both courses.
 

PHYS 5500 - Solid State Physics

An introduction to solid state physics, including structural, electrical, and thermal properties. Topics may include crystal structure, bonding, phonons, electronic states, band structure, and nanomaterials. Formerly PHYS 450; students may not earn credit for both courses.
 

PHYS 5700 - Quantum Mechanics II

Continued study of the principles of quantum mechanics introduced in PHYS 4700. Topics may include perturbation theory, density functional theory, exchange interactions, scattering, and path integrals. Formerly PHYS 422; students may not earn credit for both courses.
 

PHYS 5751-5753 - Internship in Physics (Units 1-3)

Supervised work and study in private or public setting. May be repeated for credit. Department consent required. Graded credit/no credit. Only 3 units of PHYS 5751-5753 may be counted towards the Physics degree. Formerly PHYS 585D.
 

PHYS 5851-5853 - Special Topics in Physics (Units 1-3)

A lecture course on a specialized topic in physics. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Department consent required.
 

PHYS 5851L-5852L - Special Topics in Physics Lab (Units 1-2)

A laboratory course to coincide with a special topics lecture course. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Department consent required. Materials fee required.
 

PHYS 5951-5953 - Independent Study (Units 1-3)

Investigations conducted under the direction of a faculty member. PHYS 5951-5953 may be repeated for credit up to a total of 6 units. Department consent required. Only 3 units of PHYS 5951-5953 may be counted towards the Physics degree. Formerly PHYS 595A.

Physics & Astronomy Courses Offered in Service to other Majors and/or the General Education Program

Some courses listed below have been created for specific majors, such as liberal studies. Any individual course is not guarenteed to be offered in any specific term. Planned offerings are listed below, when known.
 

ASTR 1000 - Introduction to Planetary Astronomy

A brief history of the development of astronomy followed by modern descriptions of our planetary system, extrasolar systems, and the possibilities of life in the universe. Discussions of methods of extending knowledge of the universe. No previous background in natural sciences is required. Satisfies GE Category B1. Formerly offered as ASTR 103.
 

ASTR 1000L - Introduction to Planetary Astronomy Lab

Laboratory associated with Introduction to Planetary Astronomy (ASTR 1000). Satisfies GE Category B3. Materials fee required.
 

ASTR 1010 - Introduction to Galaxies and Cosmology

A brief history of the development of astronomy followed by modern descriptions of stars, galaxies, and structure, evolution, and eventual fate of the universe. Discussions of methods of extending knowledge of the universe. No previous background in natural sciences is required. Satisfies GE Category B1. Formerly offered as ASTR 103.
 

ASTR 1010L - Introduction to Galaxies and Cosmology Lab

Laboratory associated with Introduction to Galaxies and Cosmology (ASTR 1010). Satisfies GE Category B3. Materials fee required.
 

ASTR 3000 - Life in the Cosmos

Life in the cosmos is discussed using the findings of astronomy, biology, chemistry and physics. Topics include the development of life and its environment, the search for life, interstellar communications and travel, and the effects of contact. Satisfies GE Category B5.Formerly NSCI 314, students may not receive credit for both.
 

PHYS 1000 - Physics in the Modern World

Introduction to the physical world, including Newtonian mechanics, electromagnetism, relativity, quantum theory, and nuclear and particle physics. Implications of physics for society. Intended for students with little background in science. Satisfies Category B1. Formerly PHYS 100.
 

PHYS 1000L - Physics in the Modern World Lab

Laboratory associated with Physics in the Modern World (PHYS 1000). Satisfies GE Category B3. Materials fee required.
 

PHYS 2000 - Introduction to Physics I

First course of a year long sequence surveying the basic concepts of physics, primarily for natural science students. Students majoring in physics, computer science or engineering, or closely related fields should enroll in PHYS 2500. This course will cover the basic principles of mechanics, oscillations, thermodynamics and fluids. Satisfies GE Category B1. Formerly part of the PHYS 121, 122, and 123 sequences. Offered both Fall and Spring semesters.
 

PHYS 2000L - Introduction to Physics I Lab

Laboratory associated with Introduction to Physics I (PHYS 2000). Student majoring in physics, computer science or engineering, or closely related fields should enroll in PHYS 2500 and PHYS 2500L. Formerly part of the PHYS 121, 122, and 123 sequences. Satisfies GE Category B3. Materials fee required. Offered both Fall and Spring semesters.
 

PHYS 2010 - Introduction to Physics II

Second course of a year long sequence surveying the basic concepts of physics, primarily for natural science students. Students majoring in physics, computer science or engineering, or closely related fields should enroll in PHYS 2510. This course will cover the basic principles of electricity, magnetism, waves, optics, and modern physics.Formerly part of the PHYS 121, 122, and 123 sequence. Offered both Fall and Spring semesters.
 

PHYS 2010L - Introduction to Physics II Lab

Laboratory associated with Introduction to Physics II (PHYS 2010). Students majoring in physics, computer science or engineering, or closely related fields should instead enroll in PHYS 2510 and PHYS 2510L. Formerly part of the PHYS 121, 122, and 123 sequence. Materials fee required. Offered both Fall and Spring semesters.
 

PHYS 2500 - General Physics I

First course of a two-course sequence in introductory calculus-based physics for scientists and engineers. This sequence is intended for students with a strong background in mathematics and the sciences. Topics include mechanics and oscillations. Satisfies GE Category B1. Formerly part of the PHYS 221, 222, and 223 sequences. Offered both Fall and Spring semesters.
 

PHYS 2500L - General Physics I Lab

Laboratory for General Physics I (PHYS 2500). This sequence is intended for students with a strong background in mathematics and the sciences. Formerly part of the PHYS 221, 222, and 223 sequence. Satisfies GE Category B3. Materials fee required. Offered both Fall and Spring semesters.
 

PHYS 2510 - General Physics II

Second course of a two-course sequence in introductory calculus-based physics for scientists and engineers. This sequence is intended for students with a strong background in mathematics. Topics include electromagnetism and optics. Formerly part of the PHYS 221, 222, and 223 sequence. Offered both Fall and Spring semesters.
 

PHYS 2510L - General Physics II Lab

Laboratory for General Physics II (PHYS 2510). This sequence is intended for students with a strong background in mathematics. Formerly part of the PHYS 221, 222, and 223 sequence. Materials fee required. Offered both Fall and Spring semesters.
 

PHYS 3000 - Pop Culture Physics

Introduction to the concepts of physics through popular media such as movies, television, books, and video games. Intended for students having little background in science but who wish to understand what is possible in this universe and what is not. Satisfies GE Category B5.
 

PHYS 3010 - The Science of Digital Sound and Music

This course will use the physics and mathematics of waves and sound in order to understand how digital sound and music can be created, shaped, and used to express creative ideas. Topics will include sound and waves, the study of electronics and programs that can be used to shape and filter waveforms, and how these applications can be used to create different types of sound and music. Satisfies GE Category B5. A course in the Digital Life GE Pathway.
 

PHYS 3040 - Physics and Astronomy in the Classroom

Basic concepts of physics and astronomy as related to the elementary and middle school classroom. Topics include mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, thermodynamics, and astronomy. Course content and practices are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and specially designed for students interested in teaching grades K-8. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory. Materials fee required. Formerly a combination of PHYS 100 and part of ASTR 311; credit may not be earned for this course and both PHYS 100 and ASTR 311.