Physics and Astronomy

Undergraduate Study

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a choice of four undergraduate majors: the BS degree program in Astrophysics, the BS degree program in Biophysics, the BS degree program in Physics, and the BA degree program in Physics. Each course taken to fulfill any of the requirements for the majors must be taken for a letter grade.

Astronomy Courses

The department offers general courses to all UCLA students, including those who are not science oriented.

Astronomy 3 is the fundamental one-term course for students who do not major in physical sciences and should be taken in the first or second year.

Astronomy 4, 5, and 6 develop the topics covered in course 3 to somewhat greater depths but are still aimed at nonscience majors. Course 4 discusses stellar and supermassive black holes; course 5 concentrates on the problem of life in the universe; course 6 discusses the structure and evolution of the universe.

Astronomy 81 and 82 are general survey courses recommended for science majors in their second year. They systematically introduce astrophysics and require a good background in physics and mathematics (at least two terms of the Physics 1 series and two terms of the Mathematics 31and 32 series).

Students of junior and senior standing in Physics or related sciences are invited to select any of these courses: Astronomy 115, 117, 127, 140, 180.

Physics Courses

Students who wish to use physics to satisfy part of the general education requirements in the physical sciences and who have no mathematics background beyond the high school mathematics required for admission to UCLA may take Physics 10.

Physics 1Q is intended for entering freshman Physics majors and other interested students. Although it is not a required course or a part of or requisite to any general physics sequence of courses, its purpose is to indicate the nature of current research problems in physics on a level intended to be attractive to entering students with a good high school science and mathematics background.

Physics 1A, 1B, and 1C, or 1AH, 1BH, and 1CH form sequences of courses in general physics for majors in Physics.

The department takes into account prior preparation in physics. If students feel their background would permit acceleration, they may be exempted from one course in the 1A, 1B, 1C sequence by taking the final examination with a class at the end of any term. This serves as a placement examination. A satisfactory score on one or both parts of the College Board Advanced Placement Physics C Test may also serve as a placement examination, but placement is not automatic. Students should discuss such possibilities with their departmental adviser.

Physics 5A, 5B, 5C form a one-year sequence of courses in basic physics for students in the biological and health sciences.

Any two or more courses from Physics 1A, 1AH, and 5A, are limited to a total of 6 units of credit.