Transfer Student Requirements

Physics Junior Level Transfer Requirements

Transfer requirements can be extremely confusing, especially since rules may vary across different campuses. A physics student applying to UC Davis should understand three sets of courses: the UC Transfer pathway, the UC Davis physics admissions standards, and the UC Davis physics graduation requirements.

Courses Equivalency

Please note section three below which specifically addresses how incoming transfer students would be prepared to take junior level physics courses in the Fall Quarter.

I) UC Transfer Pathway in Physics

The Transfer Pathway prepares you for admission to every UC campus. Completing the courses

does not guarantee admission; certainly your grades in the classes matter. However, no campus can require additional coursework in the major in its admissions decision. These are the Transfer Pathway Courses in Physics, with their UC Davis equivalents:

  • Calculus-based physics for scientists and engineers (full introductory sequence of three semesters/five quarters through modern physics, with labs) -- Physics 9(A-D) or 9H(A-E)
  • Single variable calculus (full sequence) -- Math 21(A-C)
  • Multivariable calculus (one semester course) -- Math 21D
  • Linear algebra (one course) -- Math 22A
  • Differential equations (one course) -- Math 22B
  • General chemistry (full sequence with labs) -- Chemistry 2(A-C)

II) UC Davis Physics Admissions Standards

No campus can require courses outside the Transfer Pathway for admission, but any campus may omit one or more of the Transfer Pathway courses from its decisions; thus, we do NOT require General Chemistry (Chemistry 2ABC).

At UC Davis we now have selective major requirements. These are requirements in addition to general admission requirements and TAG requirements:

  • Complete the following courses and maintain a 3.00 GPA in the entire group of courses:
    • Physics 9A/B/C/D OR Physics 9HA/HB/HC/HD/HE*
    • Mathematics 21A/B/C/D
    • Mathematics 22A/B
    *Please note that if the equivalent of PHY 9D (Modern Physics) is not offered at your college, we will waive the requirement.

III) UC Davis Physics Graduation Requirements

The Transfer Pathways refer only to admissions and omit some classes that will be required for graduation. These classes are often prerequisites for upper-level coursework. Students who do not complete the lower-level courses required for graduation before they transfer may delay their time to degree by one year or more. To be prepared for junior level physics courses, transfer students should finish the entire Transfer Pathway except Chemistry, as well as an introductory programming course. Physics 9D can be taken at UC Davis over the summer before transferring. Chemistry 2A is also required for graduation but can be completed at the student's convenience.

  • Physics 9 ABCD - Introductory calculus-based physics. Must include Modern Physics as a separate course, minimally 10 weeks, not a few weeks in a broader course.
  • Math 21 ABCD - Single and multivariable calculus
  • Math 22 AB – Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
  • PHY 40 or course in C or C++ Programming

Transfer Students Recommendations:

Some C or Python programming experience to take PHY 102.

Excellent free online C and C++ resources and tutorials:

MIT OCW - Effective Programming C and C++



Phy 9D is a firm prerequisite for Phy 151 or 152 offered in Fall Quarter. A student will be removed from these course without Phy 9D or equivalent. Offered in Summer I annually.