If you are interested in majoring in physics, you should take the calculus-based physics sequence and also continue your study of mathematics through the calculus sequence (MATH 400-401-402), Linear Algebra (MATH 410), and Differential Equations (MATH 420) to prepare yourself for post-transfer upper division physics course work. ARC offers the A.S. in Physics for Transfer (AS-T) degree which can give you a preferential advantage in transferring.
Helpful Course Sequences
Conceptual Physics (PHYS 310) is a lecture course intended to give you a first introduction to the study of the physical world. You need only Pre-Algebra (Math 32) as a prerequisite to this course. You may also take the Conceptual Physics Lab (PHYS 312) concurrently with PHYS 310. Together, PHYS 310/312 can be used to fulfill one of your lecture/lab GE requirements: ARC Area IV (Natural Sciences), CSU Areas B1/B3 (Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning), and/or IGETC Areas 5A/5C (Physical and Biological Sciences). Additionally, Basic Physics (PHYS 311) is a lecture course that can provide you with extra optional preparation for our general physics and our calculus-base physics sequences (see below). This course can also fulfill one of your lecture GE requirements: ARC Area IV, CSU Area B1, and/or IGETC Area 5A. You may also want to consider the many GE options offered in Astronomy (see below).
The other courses listed below can also satisfy some of your GE requirements, but you would usually take these courses only if your specific major requires them.
(Also known as “Algebra-Based Physics”, “Algebra/Trigonometry-Based Physics”, and “College Physics”)
If you are a life science major, or majoring in a pre-health field, you will normally be required to take one or both semesters of the general physics sequence (PHYS 350-360); this varies depending on your transfer institution and/or health profession graduate program. Both courses have lecture and lab components which you must take concurrently.
To enter the PHYS 350-360 sequence, you are not required to have any previous physics coursework, but you need to have completed the prerequisite of MATH 373 or the equivalent so that you are proficient with algebra and trigonometry. As additional optional preparation for PHYS 350, you may wish to take PHYS 310 or PHYS 311 prior to starting this sequence. We recommend that you discuss this with the PHYS 350 course instructor and/or Physics department chair to see if/what extra preparation is most appropriate for you.
(Also known as “Physics for Scientists and Engineers”, “Majors physics”, and “University physics”)
If you major in physics, engineering, computer science, or a physical science such as chemistry or geophysics, you will be normally be required to take one, two, or three semesters of the calculus-based physics sequence (PHYS 410-421-431); this varies depending on your transfer institution. All three of these courses have lecture and lab components which you must take concurrently.
To enter the PHYS 410-421-431 sequence, you are not required to have any previous physics coursework, but you will need calculus (Math 400 and/or 401) pre- and/or co-requisites for these courses; consult the course catalog for details. If you feel that you need additional optional preparation, you may wish to take PHYS 310, PHYS 311, or PHYS 350, depending on your comfort level. We recommend that you discuss this with the PHYS 350 course instructor and/or Physics department chair to see if/what extra preparation is most appropriate for you.
Phone: (916) 484-8107
Monday - Friday:
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The Science Success Center
offers individualized instruction in reading and study skills geared to support students' efforts in various science classes.