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 are 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 14
or EL ENG 143 Microfabrication Technology
or NUC ENG 104 Radiation Detection and Nuclear Instrumentation Laboratory
Technical Electives 2
1

Students planning to pursue graduate school in physics are advised to complete PHYSICS 111B (for 3 units) to satisfy the laboratory requirement. Note: Students will need to obtain consent of the PHYSICS 111B instructor if they have not completed the prerequisites of PHYSICS 111A and PHYSICS 137A.

2

Technical electives must include:

  • 15 units of upper division courses in engineering. Upper division engineering units cannot include: any course taken on a Pass/No Pass basis, any course that counts as H/SS, and any of the following courses:  BIO ENG 100, DES INV courses (except DES INV 190E), ENGIN 125, ENGIN 157AC, ENGIN 180, ENGIN 183 series, ENGIN 185, ENGIN 187, ENGIN 195 series, IND ENG 172, IND ENG 185, IND ENG 186, the IND ENG 190 series, IND ENG 191, IND ENG 192, IND ENG 195, MEC ENG 191AC, MEC ENG 190K, and MEC ENG 191K. 

  • A minimum of 14 units of upper division physics.
  • The 15 units of upper division engineering and 14 units of upper division physics DO include all required upper division engineering and physics units completed. If in selecting options to meet upper division requirements the totals do not come to 15 units of engineering and 14 units of physics, additional units (chosen in consultation with a faculty adviser) must be added. 
  • At least 40 units of approved upper division technical subjects (mathematics, statistics, science, and engineering). These 40 units DO include all required upper division technical course work taken for the major.
3

CHEM 4A is intended for students majoring in chemistry or a closely related field.

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. See the humanities and social sciences section of our website for details.

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 satisfying the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR). The UC Entry Level Writing Requirement website provides information on how to satisfy the requirement

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions (AH&I) requirements are based on the principle that a US 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.

 

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
5PHYSICS 5C
5CL
5
or
 
or
 
  
Technical Elective33-5Technical Elective33-5
Reading & Composition Part B Course24Humanities/Social Sciences Course23-4
 16-18 15-18
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 111A54MEC 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
 18-19 16-19
Total Units: 123-141
1

CHEM 4A is intended for students majoring in Chemistry or a closely-related field.

2

The Humanities/Social Sciences (H/SS) requirement includes two approved Reading & Composition (R&C) courses and four additional approved courses, with which a number of specific conditions must be satisfied. R&C 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. The remaining courses may be taken at any time during the program. See Humanities and Social Science Requirements for complete details and a list of approved courses.

3

Technical electives must include:

  • Three courses from the following lower division technical electives: ASTRON 7A, ASTRON 7B, BIOLOGY 1A plus BIOLOGY 1AL, BIOLOGY 1B, CHEM 1BCHEM 3A plus CHEM 3AL, CHEM 4B, COMPSCI 70EECS 16A, EECS 16B, MAT SCI 45 (MAT SCI 45L recommended), MEC ENG C85/CIV ENG C30.
  • 15 units of upper division courses in engineering. Upper division engineering units cannot include: any course taken on a Pass/No Pass basis; any course that counts as H/SS; BIO ENG 100, DES INV courses (except DES INV 190E), ENGIN 125, ENGIN 157AC, ENGIN 180, ENGIN 183 series, ENGIN 185, ENGIN 187, ENGIN 195 series, IND ENG 172, IND ENG 185, IND ENG 186, the IND ENG 190 series, IND ENG 191, IND ENG 192, IND ENG 195, MEC ENG 191AC, MEC ENG 190K, and MEC ENG 191K.
  • A minimum of 14 units of upper division physics.
  • The 15 units of upper division engineering and 14 units of upper division physics DO include all required upper division engineering and physics units completed. If in selecting options to meet upper division requirements the totals do not come to 15 units of engineering and 14 units of physics, additional units (chosen in consultation with a faculty adviser) must be added. 
  • At least 40 units of approved upper division technical subjects (mathematics, statistics, science, and engineering). These 40 units DO include all required upper division technical course work taken for the major.
4

Math Series: Select one sequence from the following: MATH 104 and MATH 185; or MATH 121A and MATH 121B.

5

Students planning to pursue graduate school in physics are advised to complete PHYSICS 111B (for 3 units) to satisfy the laboratory requirement. Note: Students will need to obtain consent of the PHYSICS 111B instructor if they have not completed the prerequisites of PHYSICS 111A and PHYSICS 137A.

6

Electromagnetic & Optics Series: Select one sequence from the following: PHYSICS 110A and PHYSICS 110B; or EL ENG 117 and EL ENG 118.

Major Map

Major Maps help undergraduate students discover academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities at UC Berkeley based on intended major or field of interest. Developed by the Division of Undergraduate Education in collaboration with academic departments, these experience maps will help you:

  • Explore your major and gain a better understanding of your field of study

  • Connect with people and programs that inspire and sustain your creativity, drive, curiosity and success

  • Discover opportunities for independent inquiry, enterprise, and creative expression

  • Engage locally and globally to broaden your perspectives and change the world

  • Reflect on your academic career and prepare for life after Berkeley

Use the major map below as a guide to planning your undergraduate journey and designing your own unique Berkeley experience.

View the Engineering Physics Major Map PDF.

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, 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, Chair of Engineering Science. 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

Sayeef Salahuddin, Professor.

David Sedlak, Professor.
Research Profile

Junqiao Wu, Professor. Semiconductors, nanotechnology, energy materials.
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

Engineering Science Chair

Scott Moura, PhD

625 Davis Hall

smoura@berkeley.edu

Engineering Student Services Advisor

Kendra Van Nyhuis

Phone: 510-642-7594

http://engineering.berkeley.edu/ESS

kendravn@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Staff Advisor

Jessica Zhang

750 Davis hall

http://engineeringscience.berkeley.edu/

jesszhang@berkeley.edu

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