uc davis physics students work on lab assignment together


College of Letters and Science

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Master of Arts

How does the universe work? How do we know? From the basic laws of physics to the resulting emergent behavior, physics studies what the universe is made of and how it works. As a physics major at UC Davis, you will have the opportunity to join with our faculty in research that pushes forward the frontier of knowledge. This research ranges from the very smallest elementary particles to the matter that surrounds us to the structure and evolution of the entire universe.

Major Requirements

Physics majors begin with a sequence of courses in classical and modern physics along with six quarters of calculus and other mathematics. After the initial preparation, you will be ready for more advanced courses in dynamics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, optics, nuclear and particle physics, condensed matter physics, cosmology, and advanced experimental techniques.

Contact Information

Degree Outcomes


  • Research and Development Specialist
  • Patent Lawyer
  • Marine/Oceanographic Scientist
  • Aerospace Engineer
  • State Department Engineer
  • High School Teacher

Graduate Study

  • Physics
  • Atmospheric studies
  • Law
  • Medical physics
  • Oceanography
  • Engineering

Alumni Employers

  • Facebook
  • State of California
  • DreamWorks Studios
  • Microsoft
  • Sandia Corp.
  • Subaru Telescope
  • General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
Two students inspect a photo on a window.
Internship opportunities

Explore internships and jobs on campus and beyond.

Learn more


Students smile and listen in a lecture.
Your course roadmap

Find the detailed course requirements for your program and map out your path to graduation.

Learn more


Two people in safety goggles inspect a test.
The faculty you will work with

Our undergraduates work directly with our faculty through research projects and labs.

Learn more


study abroad student explores europe
Global learning programs

Expand your horizons by studying abroad or pursuing global learning on campus.

Learn more


rebecca hernandez examines plants as part of her energy ecology work
Undergraduate research

Get hands on with your interests. Participate in one of our hundreds of research opportunities.

Learn more


A student wears a cap and gown.
What can I do with my physics major?

Learn how to connect your physics major to career opportunities.

Learn more