In physics, students discover, formulate, explain, and apply the basic laws of nature. Physicists work in areas as diverse as astrophysics, relativity, the properties of materials, and the standard model of fundamental particles and interactions. The principles of physics also provide the foundation for other sciences and engineering.

The Department of Physics offers students a choice between a B.A. and B.S. degree. The B.S. degree offers a comprehensive curriculum with a hands-on philosophy to learning that includes numerous laboratory courses and a strong emphasis on undergraduate research with faculty designed to give students an in-depth and focused understanding of the fundamentals of physics and prepare them for careers in basic research, the defense industry, clean energy, science education, and all technology-related sectors.

The B.A. degree also provides hands-on learning with lab-based coursework but requires fewer courses, and as such, this program can be finished in an accelerated time frame. In addition, the B.A. program provides students with experience and breadth of study to prepare them for careers in all technology-related sectors.


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Your Future

Career Opportunities Include:

Astronomer • Biochemical Engineer • Device Engineer • Electrical Engineer • Electric Power Administrator • Geophysicists • Laboratory Assistant • Laser Technician • Mechanical Engineer • Pharmacologist • Physics Teacher • Pollution Control Technician • Professor • Renewable Energy Manager • Research Scientist • Satellite Engineer • Security Researcher • Software Engineer • Technical writer


Future Income:

Visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics to learn more about the outlook for your future career.


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Department of Physics

University Catalog

Courses You Might Take

PHYS 230 - Physical Reasoning

A focus on the elements of sound physical reasoning as expressed through clear scientific writing. Students write detailed solutions to challenging problems, summaries of research articles, and reviews of important topics of physics.

PHYS 330 - Analytic Mechanics

Solve problems applying Newton and conservation laws and Lagrange’s equations. Topics include central force inertial reference frames, rotational motion of rigid bodies, and coupled oscillators.

PHYS 340 - Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics

Explore connections between macroscopic properties of light and matter and microscopic characteristics of their constituent particles. Topics include energy, temperature, heat, entropy, chemical equilibrium, and phase transitions.

PHYS 350 - Quantum Mechanics I

Explores relationships between quantum measurements and the postulates of quantum mechanics. Apply Schrodinger’s equation and the Heisenberg uncertainty relation to problems.

PHYS 450 - Electromagnetism I

A focus on electrostatics and magnetostatics, with an emphasis on the properties and sources of vector fields both in vacuum and in the presence of matter.

PHYS 460 - Astrophysics

Studies the behavior of astronomical objects, the study of their origin, evolution, and composition, and fate of the Universe as a whole. Topics include main-sequence stars, collapsed stars, supernovae, galaxies, and cosmology.

Contact Us

Department of Physics
  • California State University, East Bay
  • North Science 231
  • Hayward, CA 94542