Prospective Undergraduates

Why major in physics at UCI? With a UCI degree in physics or applied physics, you can develop a deep knowledge about how the universe works and prepare yourself for graduate school or a career in fields as diverse as engineering, programming, or law. The analytical problem solving skills and focus on fundamental issues that are the core of our discipline are highly valued by employers and graduate programs. Salary surveys show that Physics bachelor’s degree holders have among the highest earnings of any major.

We’re very proud of our Physics and Astronomy program. We offer Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics and Applied Physics. Within these degree programs there are many areas in which you can focus to get an edge for graduate school or develop skills for your future career. These include the Astrophysics, Business/Law, Engineering Physics, Biomedical Physics, Computational Physics, Philosophy of Physics, and Physics Education. Learn more about career and graduate school options for physics and applied physics majors on the career planning page.

The mission of a research university is to teach and disseminate knowledge, but also to create new knowledge at the frontiers of understanding.  There are many opportunities in the Department of Physics and Astronomy for you to participate in this exciting endeavor, and we strongly encourage you to get involved. Many of our undergraduates engage in research or independent study under the direction of a faculty member. A significant fraction of those publish their results in top scientific journals. You can browse our database of research projects available to our current undergraduates on the undergraduate research page.

We hope you’ll decide to join us as a Physics major at UCI! We support our students in many ways including classes reserved for Physics majors only, free tutoring, the Society of Physics Students (SPS) club, and an Honors Program in Physics. As an incoming freshman, you may qualify to participate in UCI's Summer Science Academy for incoming first-year students. As a transfer student, you will receive one-on-one faculty advising and can sign up for professional academic mentoring. You can read more about our degree programs and courses in the UCI general catalog or see our course planning page to get an idea of the things you will get to learn as a physics or applied physics major. You can apply for admission to UCI through the UCI Admissions Office and for financial aid through the UCI Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact one of the School of Physical Sciences academic counselors.  After learning more about your specific interests, they can connect you with a Physics and Astronomy faculty member who can describe our programs in more detail.

Best regards,
Manoj Kaplinghat, Chair
Department of Physics and Astronomy