View information for the Department of Physics, Physical Sciences, and Geology , including Learning Objectives for the department and its programs.
This interdisciplinary degree prepares students for a greater diversity of professions requiring an understanding of the fundamentals of the physical sciences, including courses in: astronomy, chemistry, environmental sciences, geology, marine sciences, meteorology, and physics.
A student may pursue a Physical Sciences major by electing one of the following three concentrations: applied physics, earth and space sciences, or environmental sciences. The major may also be pursued without a concentration by completing sufficient upper-division units in two areas of interest chosen from astronomy, chemistry, environmental sciences, geology, marine science, and physics. Consult with a departmental adviser as to the areas of interest and to the proper selection of courses.
Students interested in environmental design, technical administration in government and industry, laboratory technology, legal work pertaining to patents, or scientific librarianship and journalism may elect this major as an opportunity to acquire an education tailored to their individual needs.
The Physical Sciences major whose interest is in marine geology and physical oceanography will be required to enroll in upper-division coursework at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories for fulfillment of major requirements. Please refer to the Marine Sciences section of this catalog.
Physical Sciences majors interested in medical school, dental school, and other health professions such as pharmacy, physical therapy, or optometry should work out a plan of study as soon as possible with their major adviser and the Pre-Health Professions Committee. See the Pre-Health Professions section of this catalog within the Biological Sciences section.
View the degree program Roadmap, which provide recommended advising maps to complete the degree program. Please consult your academic advisor as you develop your academic plan.
Program Learning Outcomes
Physics and Physical Sciences majors will be able to:
- Our graduates will master material in advanced courses, which presuppose understanding of physics at a more fundamental level.
- Our graduates will think critically when analyzing problems in physics, including appropriate use of advanced mathematical tools.
- Our graduates will demonstrate the ability to work effectively in a laboratory environment, including the use of advanced technologies.
- Our graduates will be satisfied with the overall quality of their physics education.
- Our graduates will have a strong command of the nature of oral and written communication and of intra-group interactions in the traditions of physics.
- Our graduates will have the skills necessary to pursue a career in physics or a related field, or to enter a graduate program.
1. Complete the Baccalaureate Degree Requirements.
A student must comply with all University regulations and satisfy the following requirements:
- Units and Residency (minimum of 120 units: 40 units of upper division coursework and 30 semester units at Stanislaus State. At least 24 of these 30 units must be earned in upper-division courses, at least 12 must be in the major, and at least 9 must be applicable to General Education-Breadth requirements)
- Grade Point Average (minimum grade point average of 2.0 (C) or better)
- General Education (minimum of 49 units)
- Upper Division Writing Proficiency (minimum of 3 units)
- Writing Proficiency (WP) Course (may double count in the major)
- United States Constitution and California State and Local Government (minimum of 3 units)
- Multicultural Requirement (minimum of 3 units) (may double count with General Education requirements or in the major)
Subsequently all students must submit an application for graduation and receive approval from the major advisor, department chair, and Director of Academic Advising. For more information see the Baccalaureate Degree Requirements .
2. Complete the following prerequisites to the major:
a. Choose one of the following sequences:
b. Complete the following:
c. Complete the following:
3. Complete the major of not less than 24 upper-division units of physical sciences.
4. No courses graded CR may be counted toward the major except for 8 units taken in courses graded exclusively CR/NC.
Complete upper-division courses of not less than 24 units by satisfying either 1 or 2 below:
- The student who pursues a Physical Sciences major without a concentration must select two areas of interest in Physical Sciences and complete upper-division courses of not less than 12 units from these areas. The student may, in consultation with the adviser, complete any other courses in Physical Sciences or Mathematics to meet the total required for the major of 24 upper-division units.
- The student also may pursue a Physical Sciences major by completing one of the following concentrations and other appropriate upper-division courses to satisfy the total required units for the major of 24 upper-division units
1. Applied Physics Concentration
1. Complete the following courses:
2. Select 12 upper-division units in Physical Sciences or Mathematics, in consultation with the adviser.
2. Earth and Space Sciences Concentration
1. Select from the following:
2. Select 12 upper-division units in physical sciences or mathematics, in consultation with the adviser.
One elective course may be chosen from the following:
3. Environmental Sciences Concentration
1. Complete the upper-division requirements of the Environmental Sciences concentration
See the Environmental Sciences page.
2. Select an additional 11 upper-division units of courses in consultation with the adviser.