Introductory Physics Sequences

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers two different introductory physics sequences. These courses cover topics including classical mechanics (motion, forces, and energy), electricity and magnetism, waves, and optics. Course descriptions and prerequisites for these courses are given in the UCI General Catalogue.

Physics 3 Sequence

The Physics 3A-3B-3C sequence is primarily designed for students majoring in Biological Sciences or related fields, and students intending to apply to medical school. Students taking Physics 3B and 3C will also concurrently enroll in the laboratory courses 3LB and 3LC.

Physics 2/7 Sequence

The Physics 2-7C-7D-7E sequence is primarily designed for students planning to major in the Physical Sciences, Engineering, or related fields.

Physics 2, Introduction to Mathematical Methods for Physics, provides an introduction to problem-solving techniques for physics, with applications to basic kinematics. Students planning to enroll in the Physics 2/7 sequence must first take the online Math Assessment for Physics Placement exam to determine whether they need to take Physics 2 or not. Students scoring 12 or higher on this 16-point exam are then eligible to enroll in Physics 7C, while students with scores below 12 must earn a passing grade in Physics 2 before taking Physics 7C.  Exemptions to the MAPP exam are possible for students who have earned high scores on AP Physics and AP Mathematics exams: see the MAPP web page for details.

Students taking 7C and 7D will concurrently enroll in laboratory courses 7LC and 7LD.


More information on the Physics 3 and 7 course sequences and labs can be found on the Course Information page.


The courses 3A, 3B, 3C, 7C, 7D, and 7E also satisfy UCI General Education requirements in Category II (Science and Technology) and Category Va (Quantitative Literacy).


Introductory physics courses are typically offered each year during UCI Summer Session as well as during the academic year. For summer course listings, check WebSOC or the UCI Summer Session course catalog. Select the Physics department, and be sure to check Summer Session 1, Summer Session 2, and 10-Week Summer for a complete list of course offerings.

Questions about enrollment in any of these courses should be directed to the staff of the Physics Student Affairs Office.