Physics Undergraduate Option Requirements

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Please refer to the Caltech Catalog (Section 3, Information for Undergrads) for detailed information about the core institute degree requirements. The information below outlines the course requirements for an undergraduate physics degree which are above and beyond the core institute requirements.The first five requirements should be completed by the end of the second year. In planning a program, note that Ph 6 and Ph 7 are each offered only once per year, in the second and third terms, respectively.

  1. Ph 3(1)
  2. Ma 2 and Ma 3
  3. Ph 12 abc
  4. Ph 6
  5. Ph 7
  6. 27 units of Ph 78 (experimental), or 18 units of Ph 77, or 9 units of Ph 77 and 9 units from APh 77 or Ay 105
  7. Ph 70(2)
  8. Ph 106 abc
  9. Ph 125 abc
  10. Ph 127 a
  11. Ph 21 or Ay 190

(1) Other laboratory courses may be substituted for the Ph3 requirement, including Ph 5, Ph 8bc, or APh 9a.

(2) Other communication courses (e.g., AY 30 and 31 or MA 10 and 11 may be substituted for Ph 70)

Required Electives

  1. 72 units of Advanced Physics Electives, in addition to the above, including any of the following: any Ph, APh, or Ay, course numbered 100 or above, or any of Ph 5, Ph 22, Ph 78, Ph 79, ACM 95, ACM 101, Ma 5, Ma 108, or up to 10 units of Ay 20–21. Nine units toward the 72-unit requirement will be given for taking three terms of Ph 77. Students are encouraged to take ACM 95 as part of this requirement. The pass/fail option cannot be exercised on any courses used for this requirement, with the exception of ACM 95 and courses that do not offer grades. No more than 36 units of Ph courses numbered 200 or above taken on a pass/fail basis may apply toward this requirement. No more than 18 units of Ph 171–173 may apply toward this requirement without permission from the Physics Executive Officer. Additionally, Ph 171-173 may only apply towards this requirement if taken in increments of six units or more. Students may also petition the Executive Officer to request that other courses with suitable physics content apply toward this requirement, as part of a specified overall list of Advanced Physics Electives.
  2. Nine units of science or engineering electives outside of Ph, Ay, APh, Ma, and ACM. These units are in addition to the required Core science electives.
  3. Passing grades must be earned in a total of 486 units, including the courses listed above.

Typical Course Schedule

All tracks follow the typical course schedule for second year.

Condensed Matter/QI/AMO Track Course Schedule

High Energy Track Course Schedule