Frequently Asked Questions

For Non-majors and Majors Taking Physics or Astronomy Courses

Physics (PHY) Courses

Physics 7

All PHY 7 courses have waitlists. Please register normally for your PHY 7 course when possible. Some Frequently Asked Questions regarding PHY 7 and registration are below.

1. I tried to register for Physics 7 and it says I need a PTA number. How do I acquire one?
2. I am registered for one section of PHY 7 but want to switch to another, how do I do this?
3. I need PHY 7 for my major and I took some Physics at a community college. What course in PHY 7 should I take?
4. I am repeating PHY 7. Do I need to retake the Discussion/Lab (D/L)?

Physics 9

Note for all answers below, PHY 9 does not include PHY 9D. All PHY 9 courses have waitlists. Please register normally for your PHY 9 course when possible. Some Frequently Asked Questions regarding PHY 9 and registration are below.

1. I tried to register for PHY 9 and it says I need a PTA number. How do I acquire one?
2. I am registered for one section (Lab/Lecture/Discussion) of PHY 9 but want to switch to another, how do I do this?
3. I need PHY 9 for my major and I took some Physics at a community college. What course in PHY 9 should I take?
4. I am repeating PHY 9. Do I need to retake the Lab?
5. I took PHY 9HA, can I drop down to the regular PHY 9 series?

Upper Division Physics Courses

1. I need an upper division PHY course for my major and it is full after pass 1, what do I do?

Astronomy (AST) courses

1. I previously have taken a PHY 9 course. Can I take AST 10S or AST 10G?
2. I previously have taken a PHY 7 course. Can I take AST 10S or AST 10G?
3. I'm trying to add AST 10L or AST 25 and it says I need a PTA number. How can I acquire one?
4. I need a 1 unit course; can I take AST 10L without another AST course?
5. I previously have taken an AST course, can I also take AST 25?

Additional questions? Email Student Services for the quickest response time.

Physics (PHY) Courses

Physics 7

All PHY 7 courses have waitlists. Please register normally for your PHY 7 course when possible. Some Frequently Asked Questions regarding PHY 7 and registration are below.

1. I tried to register for Physics 7 and it says I need a PTA number. How do I acquire one?

Answer: The Physics department freezes registration permanently for PHY 7 during the Registrar's Registration Freeze (See the Academic Calendar for Dates). Once registration has been frozen you need to attend all parts of the course, including Lecture and Discussion/Lab (D/L). In the D/L, the TA will issue PTA numbers to students if there is space. You should attend as many D/L sections as possible; this will increase your chances of getting into the course. PTA numbers will not be issued before the beginning of the quarter. As a reminder, all PHY 7 courses are offered every quarter and both summer sessions at UCD. The lecturer will not issue PTAs.

2. I am registered for one section of PHY 7 but want to switch to another, how do I do this?

Answer: Do not drop your registered section. You should speak with the TA of the D/L you want to get into. If there is space, the TA will issue you a PTA number for the new section. PHY 7 is a 10 day drop course. If the switch is requested after the drop date (See the Academic Calendar for Dates), do not add the course using a PTA number. You will have to switch sections using the Course Section Switch Form, obtainable from the Physics department main office, 174 Physics. The D/L TA of the section you want to switch into will sign as the instructor.

3. I need PHY 7 for my major and I took some Physics at a community college. What course in PHY 7 should I take?

Answer: You should discuss all course requirements with your major advisor. Your major advisor may send you to the Physics department to get a PHY 7 equivalency. Some departments have forms or email protocols for this. Forms with catalog descriptions of the course (with institution of attendance and course number) and syllabi (if you have it) can be dropped off at the Department main office, 174 Physics. Email inquiries with the same information can be sent to Jason Sison, the Undergraduate Advisor at: jcsison@ucdavis.edu. PHY 7 equivalencies will not be done in person.

4. I am repeating PHY 7. Do I need to retake the Discussion/Lab (D/L)?

Answer: Yes. You must retake all parts of PHY 7 if you are retaking the course.

Physics 9

Note for all answers below, PHY 9 does not include PHY 9D. Please register normally for your PHY 9 course when possible. Some Frequently Asked Questions regarding PHY 9 and registration are below.

1. I tried to register for PHY 9 and it says I need a PTA number. How do I acquire one?

Answer: The Physics department freezes registration permanently for PHY 9 during the Registrar's Registration Freeze (See theAcademic Calendar for Dates). Once registration has been frozen you need to attend all parts of the course, including Lecture, Discussion and Lab. In the Lab, the TA will issue PTA numbers to students if there is space. You should attend as many Lab sections as possible; this will increase your chances of getting into the course. The lecturer and discussion TA will not issue PTAs. PTA numbers will not be issued before the beginning of the quarter.

2. I am registered for one section (Lab/Lecture/Discussion) of PHY 9 but want to switch to another, how do I do this?

Answer: Do not drop your registered sections. You should speak with the TA of the Lab or Lecture/Discussion section you want to get into. If there is space, the TA of the Lab will issue you a PTA number for the new section. PHY 9 is a 10 day drop course. If the switch is requested after the drop date (See the Academic Calendar for Dates), do not add the course using a PTA number. You will have to switch sections using the Course Section Switch Form, obtainable from the Physics department main office, 174 Physics. The TA of the section you want to switch into will sign as the instructor.

3. I need PHY 9 for my major and I took some Physics at a community college. What course in PHY 9 should I take?

Answer: You should discuss all course requirements with your major advisor. PHY 9 courses at the Community College (CC) level in California generally articulate one to one, meaning the course you took at your CC is likely directly equivalent to one of our PHY 9 courses. You should check Assist.org for your PHY equivalency. If your Physics course at the CC articulates to the level of PHY 7 according to Assist.org, you will need to take the entire PHY 9 series (or whichever is required by your major). If you are from out of state or transferring from a 4 year institution, you may need to have your courses verified by staff in the Physics department. Some departments have forms or email protocols for this. Forms with catalog descriptions of the course (with institution of attendance and course number) and syllabi (if you have it) can be dropped off at the Physics Department main office, 174 Physics. Or email inquiries with the same information can be sent to Jason Sison, the Undergraduate Advisor at: jcsison@ucdavis.edu. PHY 9 equivalencies will not be done in person.

4. I am repeating PHY 9. Do I need to retake the Lab?

Answer: You do not need to repeat the Lab portion of PHY 9 if you have received a Pass (P) or High Pass (HP) in the lab portion of the course within the past 2 years (Example: a lab grade received in Fall 2007 may be used in Fall 2009 but not Winter 2010). You must come to the department office in 174 Physics at the beginning of the quarter you are repeating the class and obtain a Permission to Use Prior Lab Grade form. The advisor will verify that you received a P or HP in the lab and keep the form on file for the instructors. You must attend the first lab and let the TA know that you are repeating the course and using a Prior Lab Grade. After the first day, you will not need to attend the lab portion of the course but must continue attending all other parts.

If you received a Low Pass (LP) or a No Pass (NP), you must repeat the lab.

5. I took PHY 9HA, can I drop down to the regular PHY 9 series?

Answer: Yes. After taking PHY 9HA, you can continue the PHY 9 series by taking PHY 9BCD. After 9HB, you cannot switch down to the regular PHY 9 series and should complete the PHY 9 Honors series.

Upper Division Physics Courses

1. I need an upper division PHY course for my major and it is full after pass 1, what do I do?

Answer: Make sure you waitlist for all upper division PHY courses you need during pass 2 registration. The department will determine if we need to request a larger room for the course based on waitlist information. Often times for small waitlists, students will drop before the course begins or during the first week which will automatically register you for the course. If you are still on a waitlist in an upper division PHY course after the first week, make sure you speak with the instructor of the course to request a PTA number. Majors will be added to all upper division PHY courses.

Astronomy (AST) courses

1. I previously have taken a PHY 9 course. Can I take AST 10S or AST 10G?

Answer: No. You cannot take AST 10S or AST 10G after you have taken any PHY 9 or PHY 9H, or upper division Physics course other than 137 or 160.

2. I previously have taken a PHY 7 course. Can I take AST 10S or AST 10G?

Answer: Yes. If you have taken any or all of the PHY 7 series, you can still take AST 10S or AST 10G. You can also take AST 25.

3. I'm trying to add AST 10L or AST 25 and it says I need a PTA number. How can I acquire one?

Answer: The Physics department freezes registration permanently for AST 10L and AST 25 during the Registrar's Registration Freeze (See the Academic Calendar for Dates). Once registration has been frozen you need to attend the first Lab and ask the Lab TA to issue you a PTA number. If there is space in the course, the TA will add you. No students will be added after the first Lab. The lecturer will not issue PTAs.

4. I need a 1 unit course; can I take AST 10L without another AST course?

Answer: No. You must take AST 10S or AST 10G prior or concurrently with AST 10L.

5. I previously have taken an AST course, can I also take AST 25?

Answer: AST 25 is not open to students who have received credit for AST 10G or AST 10L. If you have taken AST 10S, you may take AST 25.

Additional questions? Email Student Services for the quickest response time.