Engineering Physics

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Science (BS)

The engineering physics major offered through the Engineering Science Program interweaves classical and modern physics, chemistry, and mathematics with their engineering applications. Chief among the attractions of the major is its flexibility in that students have the ability to take diverse engineering, math, and science classes based on individual research goals. The solid base in physics and mathematics is augmented with a selection of engineering course options that prepare students to tackle complex problems faced by society.

Admission to the Major

Prospective undergraduates in the College of Engineering must apply to one specific major/degree program. For further information, please see the College of Engineering's website.

Admission to engineering via a Change of College application for current UC Berkeley students is very competitive as there few open spaces in engineering for students admitted to other colleges at UC Berkeley. For further information regarding a Change of College to Engineering, please see the College's website.

Minor Program

There is no minor program in engineering physics.

Other Majors offered by the Engineering Science Program

Energy Engineering (Major and Minor)
Engineering Mathematics and Statistics (Major)
Environmental Engineering Science (Major)

Visit Program Website

Major Requirements

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, students must fulfill the requirements listed below specific to their major program.

General Guidelines

  1. All technical courses taken in satisfaction of major requirements must be taken for a letter grade.

  2. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student’s major and minor programs.

  3. A minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for all work undertaken at UC Berkeley.

  4. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for all technical courses taken in satisfaction of major requirements.

For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.

For a detailed plan of study by year and semester, please see the Plan of Study tab.

Lower Division Requirements

MATH 1ACalculus4
MATH 1BCalculus4
MATH 53Multivariable Calculus4
MATH 54Linear Algebra and Differential Equations4
or PHYSICS 89 Introduction to Mathematical Physics
CHEM 1A
1AL
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory 3
5
or CHEM 4A General Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis
ENGIN 7Introduction to Computer Programming for Scientists and Engineers3-4
or COMPSCI 61A The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
or COMPSCI 61B Data Structures
or PHYSICS 77 Introduction to Computational Techniques in Physics
PHYSICS 5AIntroductory Mechanics and Relativity3-4
or PHYSICS 7A Physics for Scientists and Engineers
PHYSICS 5B
5BL
Introductory Electromagnetism, Waves, and Optics
and Introduction to Experimental Physics I
5
or PHYSICS 7B Physics for Scientists and Engineers
PHYSICS 5C
5CL
Introductory Thermodynamics and Quantum Mechanics
and Introduction to Experimental Physics II
5
or PHYSICS 7C Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Lower division technical electives, select three from the following:11-14
Introduction to Astrophysics [4]
Introduction to Astrophysics [4]
General Biology Lecture
and General Biology Laboratory
General Biology Lecture and Laboratory [4]
General Chemistry [4]
Chemical Structure and Reactivity
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
General Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis [5]
Discrete Mathematics and Probability Theory [4]
Designing Information Devices and Systems I [4]
Designing Information Devices and Systems II [4]
Properties of Materials [3] (MAT SCI 45L recommended)
Introduction to Solid Mechanics [3]
ENGIN 92Perspectives in Engineering (Optional)1

Upper Division Requirements

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this major, electives must be selected and approved in consultation with a faculty adviser.

MEC ENG 104Engineering Mechanics II3-4
or PHYSICS 105 Analytic Mechanics
MEC ENG 185Introduction to Continuum Mechanics3
or MEC ENG 106 Fluid Mechanics
PHYSICS 137AQuantum Mechanics4
PHYSICS 137BQuantum Mechanics4
Take one of the following math series:8
Introduction to Analysis
and Introduction to Complex Analysis
Mathematical Tools for the Physical Sciences
and Mathematical Tools for the Physical Sciences
Take one of the following series:7-8
Electromagnetism and Optics
and Electromagnetism and Optics
Electromagnetic Fields and Waves
and Introduction to Optical Engineering
MAT SCI 111Properties of Electronic Materials4
or PHYSICS 141A Solid State Physics
ENGIN 40Engineering Thermodynamics4
or PHYSICS 112 Introduction to Statistical and Thermal Physics
PHYSICS 111AInstrumentation Laboratory 13-4
or EL ENG 143 Microfabrication Technology
or NUC ENG 104 Radiation Detection and Nuclear Instrumentation Laboratory
Technical Electives 2

College Requirements

Students in the College of Engineering must complete no fewer than 120 semester units with the following provisions: 

  1. Completion of the requirements of one engineering major program of study. 
  2. A minimum overall grade point average of 2.00 (C average) and a minimum 2.00 grade point average in upper division technical coursework required of the major.
  3. The final 30 units and two semesters must be completed in residence in the College of Engineering on the Berkeley campus.
  4. All technical courses (math, science, and engineering) that can fulfill requirements for the student's major must be taken on a letter graded basis (unless they are only offered P/NP). 
  5. Entering freshmen are allowed a maximum of eight semesters to complete their degree requirements. Entering junior transfers are allowed five semesters to complete their degree requirements. Summer terms are optional and do not count toward the maximum. Students are responsible for planning and satisfactorily completing all graduation requirements within the maximum allowable semesters. 
  6. Adhere to all college policies and procedures as they complete degree requirements.
  7. Complete the lower division program before enrolling in upper division engineering courses. 

Humanities and Social Sciences (H/SS) Requirement

To promote a rich and varied educational experience outside of the technical requirements for each major, the College of Engineering has a six-course Humanities and Social Sciences breadth requirement, which must be completed to graduate. This requirement, built into all the engineering programs of study, includes two Reading and Composition courses (R&C), and four additional courses within which a number of specific conditions must be satisfied. Follow these guidelines to fulfill this requirement:

  1. Complete a minimum of six courses from the  approved Humanities/Social Sciences (H/SS) lists
  2. Courses must be a minimum of 3 semester units (or 4 quarter units).
  3. Two of the six courses must fulfill the College's Reading and Composition (R&C) requirement. These courses must be taken for a letter grade (C- or better required). The first half (R&C Part A) must be completed by the end of the freshman year; the second half (R&C Part B) must be completed by no later than the end of the sophomore year. Please see the Reading and Composition Requirement page for a complete list of R&C courses available and a list of exams that can be applied toward the R&C Part A requirement. Students can also use the Class Schedule to view R&C courses offered in a given semester.  Note: Only R&C Part A can be fulfilled with an AP, IB, or A-Level exam score. Test scores do not fulfill R&C Part B for College of Engineering students.
  4. The four additional courses must be chosen from the five areas listed in #13 below. These four courses may be taken on a pass/no pass basis.
  5. Special topics courses of 3 semester units or more will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  6. Two of the six courses must be upper division (courses numbered 100-196).
  7. One of the six courses must satisfy the campus American Cultures (AC) requirement. Note that any American Cultures course of 3 units or more may be used to meet H/SS.
  8. A maximum of two exams (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or A-Level) may be used toward completion of the H/SS requirement. View the list of exams that can be applied toward H/SS requirements.
  9. No courses offered by any engineering department other than BIO ENG 100, COMPSCI C79, ENGIN 125, ENGIN 157AC, ENGIN 185, and MEC ENG 191K may be used to complete H/SS requirements.
  10. Language courses may be used to complete H/SS requirements. View the list of language options.
  11. Courses may fulfill multiple categories. For example, CY PLAN 118AC satisfies both the American Cultures requirement and one upper division H/SS requirement.
  12. Courses numbered 97, 98, 99, or above 196 may not be used to complete any H/SS requirement.
  13. The College of Engineering uses modified versions of five of the College of Letters and Science (L&S) breadth requirements lists to provide options to our students for completing the H/SS requirement. The five areas are:
  • Arts and Literature
  • Historical Studies
  • International Studies
  • Philosophy and Values
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences

Within the guidelines above, choose courses from any of the Breadth areas listed above. (Please note that you cannot use courses on the Biological Science or Physical Science Breadth list to complete the H/SS requirement.) To find course options, go to the Class Schedule, select the term of interest, and use the Breadth Requirements filter.

Class Schedule Requirements

  • Minimum units per semester: 12.0
  • Maximum units per semester:  20.5
  • Minimum technical courses: College of Engineering undergraduates must include at least two letter graded technical courses (of at least 3 units each) in their semester program. Every semester students are expected to make satisfactory progress in their declared major. Satisfactory progress is determined by the student's Engineering Student Services Advisor. (Note: For most majors, normal progress will require enrolling in 3-4 technical courses each semester). Students who are not in compliance with this policy by the end of the fifth week of the semester are subject to a registration block that will delay enrollment for the following semester. 
  • All technical courses (math, science, engineering) that satisfy requirements for the major must be taken on a letter-graded basis (unless only offered as P/NP).

Minimum Academic (Grade) Requirements

  • Minimum overall and semester grade point averages of 2.00 (C average) are required of engineering undergraduates. Students will be subject to dismissal from the University if during any fall or spring semester their overall UC GPA falls below a 2.00, or their semester GPA is less than 2.00. 
  • Students must achieve a minimum grade point average of 2.00 (C average) in upper division technical courses required for the major curriculum each semester.
  • A minimum overall grade point average of 2.00 and a minimum 2.00 grade point average in upper division technical course work required for the major are required to earn a Bachelor of Science in the College of Engineering.

Unit Requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, students must complete at least 120 semester units of courses subject to certain guidelines:

  • Completion of the requirements of one engineering major program of study. 
  • A maximum of 16 units of special studies coursework (courses numbered 97, 98, 99, 197, 198, or 199) is allowed to count towards the B.S. degree, and no more than 4 units in any single term can be counted.
  • A maximum of 4 units of physical education from any school attended will count towards the 120 units.
  • Passed (P) grades may account for no more than one third of the total units completed at UC Berkeley, Fall Program for Freshmen (FPF), UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), or UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) toward the 120 overall minimum unit requirement. Transfer credit is not factored into the limit. This includes transfer units from outside of the UC system, other UC campuses, credit-bearing exams, as well as UC Berkeley Extension XB units.

Normal Progress

Students in the College of Engineering must enroll in a full-time program and make normal progress each semester toward the bachelor's degree. The continued enrollment of students who fail to achieve minimum academic progress shall be subject to the approval of the dean. (Note: Students with official accommodations established by the Disabled Students' Program, with health or family issues, or with other reasons deemed appropriate by the dean may petition for an exception to normal progress rules.) 

UC and Campus Requirements

University of California Requirements

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing Requirement. Satisfaction of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all Reading and Composition courses at UC Berkeley.

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a U.S. resident graduated from an American university should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

Campus Requirement

American Cultures

The American Cultures requirement is a Berkeley campus requirement, one that all undergraduate students at Berkeley need to pass in order to graduate. You satisfy the requirement by passing, with a grade not lower than C- or P, an American Cultures course. You may take an American Cultures course any time during your undergraduate career at Berkeley. The requirement was instituted in 1991 to introduce students to the diverse cultures of the United States through a comparative framework. Courses are offered in more than fifty departments in many different disciplines at both the lower and upper division level.

The American Cultures requirement and courses constitute an approach that responds directly to the problem encountered in numerous disciplines of how better to present the diversity of American experience to the diversity of American students whom we now educate.

Faculty members from many departments teach American Cultures courses, but all courses have a common framework. The courses focus on themes or issues in United States history, society, or culture; address theoretical or analytical issues relevant to understanding race, culture, and ethnicity in American society; take substantial account of groups drawn from at least three of the following: African Americans, indigenous peoples of the United States, Asian Americans, Chicano/Latino Americans, and European Americans; and are integrative and comparative in that students study each group in the larger context of American society, history, or culture.

This is not an ethnic studies requirement, nor a Third World cultures requirement, nor an adjusted Western civilization requirement. These courses focus upon how the diversity of America's constituent cultural traditions have shaped and continue to shape American identity and experience.

Visit the Class Schedule or the American Cultures website for the specific American Cultures courses offered each semester. For a complete list of approved American Cultures courses at UC Berkeley and California Community Colleges, please see the American Cultures Subcommittee’s website. See your academic adviser if you have questions about your responsibility to satisfy the American Cultures breadth requirement.

Plan of Study

For more detailed information regarding the courses listed below (e.g., elective information, GPA requirements, etc.), please see the College Requirements and Major Requirements tabs.

Freshman
FallUnitsSpringUnits
CHEM 4A or 1A and 1AL15MATH 1B4
MATH 1A4PHYSICS 5A or 7A3-4
Reading & Composition Part A Course24ENGIN 7, COMPSCI 61A, COMPSCI 61B, or PHYSICS 773-4
Humanities/Social Sciences Course23-4Technical Elective33-5
Freshman Seminar or ENGIN 92 (optional)0-1 
 16-18 13-17
Sophomore
FallUnitsSpringUnits
MATH 534MATH 544
PHYSICS 5B
5BL
4-5PHYSICS 5C
5CL
4-5
or
 
or
 
  
Technical Elective33-5Technical Elective33-5
Reading & Composition Part B Course24Humanities/Social Sciences Course23-4
 15-18 14-18
Junior
FallUnitsSpringUnits
MEC ENG 104 or PHYSICS 1053-4ENGIN 40 or PHYSICS 1124
PHYSICS 137A4PHYSICS 137B4
Math Series Course 144Math Series Course 244
Humanities/Social Sciences Course23-4Technical Elective33-4
 14-16 15-16
Senior
FallUnitsSpringUnits
EL ENG 143, NUC ENG 104, or PHYSICS 111A53-4MEC ENG 185 or 1063
MAT SCI 111 or PHYSICS 141A4Electromagnetics & Optics Series course 263-4
Electromagnetics & Optics Series Course 164Technical Elective33-4
Technical Elective33-4Humanities/Social Sciences Course23-4
Free Elective3Free Elective4
 17-19 16-19
Total Units: 120-141

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

Ilan Adler, Professor. Financial engineering, optimization theory, combinatorial probability models.
Research Profile

Ana Claudia Arias, Associate Professor. Physical Electronics (PHY), Flexible and Printed Electronics, Energy (ENE).
Research Profile

David Attwood, Professor-in-Residence. Short wavelength electromagnetics, Soft X-ray microscopy, Coherence, EUV lithography.
Research Profile

James Casey, Professor. Continuum mechanics, finite elasticity, continuum thermodynamics, plasticity, theories of elastic-plastic materials, history of mechanics, dynamics.
Research Profile

Alexandra von Meier, Adjunct Professor. Energy, Electric Grids, Power Distribution .
Research Profile

Scott Moura, Assistant Professor. Optimal control, PDE control, estimation, adaptive control, dynamic system modeling, energy management, battery management systems, vehicle-to-grid, smart grid .
Research Profile

Kara L. Nelson, Professor. Water and wastewater treatment, water reuse, detection and inactivation of pathogens in water and sludge, appropriate technologies .
Research Profile

Junqiao Wu, Associate Professor. Semiconductors, nanotechnology, energy materials.
Research Profile

Alex Zettl, Professor. Physics, condensed matter physics, fullerenes, condensed matter experiments, characterize novel materials with unusual electronic and magnetic ground states, low-dimensional and nanoscale structures, superconductors, giant magnetoresistance materials, nanotubes, graphene, boron nitride nanostructures, neural probes, NEMS .
Research Profile

+ Tarek Zohdi, Professor. Finite element methods, computational methods for advanced manufacturing, micro-structural/macro-property inverse problems involving optimization and design of new materials, modeling and simulation of high-strength fabric, modeling and simulation of particulate/granular flows, modeling and simulation of multiphase/composite electromagnetic media, modeling and simulation of the dynamics of swarms.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Engineering Science Program

Visit Program Website

Faculty Advisor

David Attwood, PhD

568 Cory Hall

attwood@eecs.berkeley.edu

Faculty Advisor

Junqiao Wu, PhD

322 Hearst Memorial Mining Building

wuj@berkeley.edu

Faculty Advisor

Alex Zetti, PhD

341 Birge Hall

Undergraduate Staff Advisor

Felicia Bautista

750 Davis hall

http://engineeringscience.berkeley.edu/

fbautista3@berkeley.edu

Engineering Student Services Advisor

Bryan Jones

Phone: 510-642-7594

http://engineering.berkeley.edu/ESS

bkjones@berkeley.edu

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