Caltech Home > PMA Home > Research & Academics > Physics > Physics Undergraduate Studies > Course Recommendations for Freshmen
open search form

Course Recommendations for Freshmen

Photos of Books on a Shelf Credit: Caltech Strategic Communications

Physics 1abc - Ph1 is an Institute requirement, so you must either take Ph1abc or place out of the course via the advanced placement exams

Physics 3 - This is a one-term freshman physics lab that includes mechanics and E&M, along with statistical analysis of data. It is open to students who have completed or placed out of Ph 1a. Ph3 is often taken by students who do not intend on majoring in physics.

Physics 8bc - This is a take-home lab course covering experiments in electromagnetism.

Physics 9 - This course, open only to freshmen, focuses on the physics of sound, how musical instruments make it, and how we hear it.

Physics 10 - This is a seminar course designed to introduce 1st-year students to physics research that is happening at Caltech. 

Physics 11 - This unique course provides students with the opportunity to discuss current scientific research with their peers and faculty mentors. It also provides students with a summer research job. Many students find it to be an incredibly rewarding experience. 

Physics 20, 21 and 22 - These are three parts of a computational physics lab. The lab is not about how to program, but rather how to use computers to solve problems in physics. Physics 20 requires completion of or placement out of Computer Science 1.

Physics 50 - This course serves as the undergraduate physics club. Students meet weekly with a faculty member to discuss and analyze real world physics problems.