physics students

Math Science Division

Jeff Courchaine, Dean

For more information contact:
The Division Office
MathSciOffice@gwc.cccd.edu
714-895-8990

PHYSICS

Physics is the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy. The subject matter of physics, distinguished from that of chemistry and biology, includes mechanics, heat, light and other radiation, sound, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms.

Associate In Science Degree In Physics For Transfer

Required courses | Semester at a Glance

Associate In Arts Degree In Physics

Required courses | Semester at a Glance


Associate in Science Degree in Physics for Transfer

The goal of the physics program at Golden West College is to develop a student’s ability in analyzing and understanding the physical world in which we live through the use of mathematical analysis and laboratory experimentation using qualitative and quantitative reasoning, and to prepare our students for upper division and graduate level physics programs, and ultimately for a career in physics or any STEM related field. A physics education that emphasizes problem solving and critical thinking, as well as hands on experimentation makes physics graduates very desirable to government agencies and to private employers in all science related fields as well as in other specialized areas such as medicine, law, and financial institutions. The Associate in Science in Physics for Transfer Degree will help a student to seamlessly transfer to the CSU in a baccalaureate degree program.

Program Level Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Understand the basic principles and concepts of physics.
  • Use these principles and concepts in solving problems in the various areas of physics.
  • Understand the methods of physicists.
  • Appreciate the importance of physics.
  • Appreciate that physics is an active, unfinished area of work in which many people are, today, actively engaged.
  • This is the major pattern for students planning to transfer to a CSU. It is strongly recommended that students contact a GWC counselor to develop an official Student Educational Plan to discuss non-CSU universities.
Required courses

Semester at a Glance – Associate in Science Degree in Physics for Transfer

Semester 1
Physics G185 (Core) – Calculus-based Physics: Mechanics – 4 units
Math 180 (Core) – Calculus I – 5 units
General Education – TBD

Semester 2
Physics G280 (Core) – Calculus-based Physics: Electricity and Magnetism – 4 units
Math 185 (Core) – Calculus II – 5 units
General Education – TBD

Semester 3
Physics G285 – Calculus-based Physics: Optics & Modern – 4 units
Math G280 – Calculus 3 – 5 units
General Education – TBD

Semester 4
General Education – TBD

Major total: 27 units
Total units that may be double-counted: 7 units
CSU General Education Breadth or IGETC Pattern: 37-39 units
Transferable Electives (as needed to reach 60 transferable units): 1-3 units
DEGREE TOTAL UNITS (max): 60 units

( ) Description in parentheses indicates credit earned in AST.


Associate In Arts Degree In Physics

Program Level Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Understand the basic principles and concepts of physics.
  • Use these principles and concepts in solving problems in the various areas of areas of physics.
  • Understand the methods of physicists.
  • Appreciate the importance of physics.
  • Appreciate that physics is an active, unfinished areas of work in which many people are today actively engaged.
Required courses

Physics G185 – Calculus Based Physics: Mechanics – 4 units
Physics G280 – Calculus Based Physics: Electricity/Magnetism – 4 units
Physics G285 – Calculus Based Physics: Modern – 4 units
Mathematics G180 – Calculus 1 – 5 units
Mathematics G185 – Calculus 2 – 5 units

Total units: 22


Semester at a Glance – Associate In Arts Degree In Physics

Semester 1
Math G180 – Calculus I – 5 units
General Education – TBD

Semester 2
Physics G185 – Calculus Based Physics – Mechanics – 4 units
Math G185 – Calculus II – 5 units
General Education – TBD

Semester 3
Physics G280 (Offered Spring) – Calculus Based Physics – Elec/Mag – 4 units
General Education – TBD

Semester 4
Physics G285 (Offered Fall) – Calculus Based Physics –Light/Atomic – 4 units
General Education – TBD

Major Total: 19-23 units
GWC GE Pattern, CSU General Education Breadth or IGETC Pattern: 21-39 units
DEGREE TOTAL UNITS (maximum): 60 units

To view all courses (opens new window)

PHYSICS G110 – 3 Units
Course Outline (opens new window)
Conceptual Physics
(Formerly known as: Conceptual Physics: Mechanics and Modern Physics)
A course designed for non-science majors which considers the everyday applications of physics. This course is a non-mathematical approach to the basic concepts of physics. Open to students with or without high school physics, but not open to those who have credit for any college physics course. It covers the subjects of motion, energy, waves, music, electromagnetism, relativity and nuclear energy. UC Credit Limitations: No credit if taken after G120 or G185. Lecture. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU; UC.

PHYSICS G111 – 1 Unit
Course Outline (opens new window)
Conceptual Physics Lab
Corequisites: Enrollment in or completion of Physics G110
This course is designed to supplement Physics G110. The student will do laboratory exercises which illustrate some of the phenomena discussed in Physics G110. UC credit limitations. No credit given if taken after G120 or G185. Lab. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU; UC.

PHYSICS G120 – 4 Units
Course Outline (opens new window)
Algebra-Based Physics: Mechanics
(Formerly known as: General Physics: Mechanics, Heat and Sound)
Prerequisites: Mathematics G120 or concurrent enrollment, or Mathematics Placement Assessment
This is an algebra/trigonometry-based physics course in mechanics, heat and sound. Topics studied include force, motion, energy, heat transfer, effects of heat and the nature and properties of waves. Three hours lecture and demonstration, three hours laboratory a week. UC Credit Limitations: Physics G120, G125 and G185, G280, G285 combined—maximum credit, one series; deduct credit for duplication of topics. C-ID PHYS 105 Lecture & lab. Letter grade only. Transferable to CSU; UC. Offered fall semester only.

PHYSICS G125 – 4 Units
Course Outline (opens new window)
Algebra-Based Physics: Electricity/Magnetism
(Formerly known as: General Physics: Light, Magnetism, Electricity, At)
Prerequisites: Physics G120
This is an algebra/trigonometry based general physics course in the areas of electricity, magnetism, light and modern physics. Topics studied include electric charges and fields, DC circuits, magnetic fields, electromagnetic induction, reflection, refraction, interference of light, quantum theory, matter waves, radioactivity and nuclear reactions. Three hours lecture and demonstration, three hours laboratory a week. This course may not be offered each semester. UC credit limitations. Physics G120, G125 and G185, G280, G285 combined—maximum credit, one series; deduct credit for duplication of topics. Lecture & lab. Letter grade only. Transferable to CSU; UC. Offered spring semester only.

PHYSICS G185 – 4 Unit
Course Outline (opens new window)
Calculus-Based Physics: Mechanics
(Formerly known as: General Physics: Mechanics and Sound)
Prerequisites: Mathematics G180
Advisories: Mathematics G185
This is an introductory course in physics using calculus. Topics studied include vectors, motion, forces, energy, momentum, oscillators and properties of waves. Physics G185, G280 and G285 are required for students majoring in physics, chemistry or engineering. UC Credit Limitations: Physics G120, G125 and G185, G280, G285 combined—maximum credit, one series; deduct credit for duplication of topics. C-ID PHYS 205 Lecture & lab. Letter grade only. Transferable to CSU; UC.

PHYSICS G280 – 4 Units
Course Outline (opens new window)
Calculus-Based Physics: Electricity/Magnetism
(Formerly known as: General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism)
Prerequisites: Physics G185 and Mathematics G185
This is a calculus based physics course which covers the topics of electric charge, electric fields, potential dielectrics, DC circuits, magnetic fields, magnetic forces, electromagnetic induction, electromagnetic oscillators, and waves. UC Credit Limitations: Physics G120, G125 and G185, G280, G285 combined—maximum credit, one series; deduct credit for duplications of topics. C-ID: PHYS 210 Lecture & lab. Letter grade only. Transferable to CSU; UC. Offered spring semester only.

PHYSICS G285 – 4 Units
Course Outline (opens new window)
Calculus-Based Physics: Modern
(Formerly known as: General Physics: Heat, Light, Modern Physics)
Prerequisites: Physics G185 and Mathematics G185
This is a calculus based physics course including the topics of measurement of heat and temperature, effects of heat, kinetic theory of gases, thermodynamics, propagation of light, reflection, refraction, interference, diffraction, relativity, quantum theory and matter waves. UC Credit Limitations: Physics G120, G125 and G185, G280, G285 combined—maximum credit, one series; deduct credit for duplications of topics. C-I D PHYS 215 Lecture & lab. Letter grade only. Transferable to CSU; UC. Offered fall semester only.

The Associate in Arts Degree for Transfer (AA-T) in Physics will transfer to the following California State Universities:

CSU Bakersfield
CSU Chino
CSU Dominguez Hills
CSU East Bay
CSU Fresno
CSU Fullerton
CSU Humbolt
CSU Long Beach
CSU Los Angeles
CSU Northridge
CSU Pomona
CSU Sacramento
CSU San Bernadino
CSU San Diego
CSU San Francisco
CSU San Jose
CSU San Luis Obispo
CSU San Marcos
CSU Sonoma
CSU Stanislaus

The list of CSU campuses for this major was provided by the California State University’s A Degree with a Guarantee website: http://adegreewithaguarantee.com/

Most of the courses in this program also transfer to the University of California (UC) System and Private Universities. Please see your GWC Counselor early in your studies to choose the transfer option that is right for you.

Common job titles for physics and engineering physics bachelor’s degree recipients include:

  • Accelerator Operator
  • Applications Engineer
  • Data Analyst
  • Design Engineer
  • High School Physics Teacher
  • IT Consultant
  • Lab Technician
  • Laser Engineer
  • Optical Engineer
  • Research Associate
  • Software Developer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Technical Specialist
  • Web Developer