Physics is a foundational science aimed at discovering the laws of nature. It provides an understanding of our physical world. All phenomena, ranging from the study of the nature of the universe to subatomic interactions to complex molecular theory, are of interest to physicists. Because it is so encompassing, physics is the foundation of all other sciences.
Specialties well represented in UCLA Physics & Astronomy include Condensed Matter Physics, Elementary Particle Physics, Plasma Physics, Nuclear Physics, Atomic-Molecular-Optical Physics, Accelerator Physics, Biophysics, and Astrophysics. We offer four different undergraduate majors.
BS in Physics. This option provides majors with a solid preparation to universally-acknowledged core physics concepts, both in the classroom and in the laboratory setting.
BA in Physics. This specialization is intended to provide a strong background in physics, yet allows students flexibility for study in other fields as well. It will be of particular interest to students who want to choose a double major or who want to teach science.
BS in Biophysics. This major provides the scientific training in physics plus studies in molecular biology, both necessary for intellectual integration of those two fields. Molecular biophysics is emerging as an important area of scientific research and aims at understanding the complicated behavior of microbiological and macromolecular systems.
BS in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Astrophysics is the application of physics to the cosmos. It answers questions concerning the nature, workings, origin, and evolution of the universe. Skills aquired by our majors include analytical thinking, problem-solving techniques, a fundamental understanding of the physicsal universe, a strong foundation in mathematics, and a familiarity with technical scientific equipment and computing.
Careers for physics majors are extremely varied. Among these many exciting pathways: academic, governmental, or corporate research, engineering, teaching hardware and software development. Our majors are often accepted to medical and law schools, and many find themselves in fields such as banking, finance, management, entertainment, and government.