Physics is the scientific study of nature and seeks to answer fundamental the questions of the universe. Some areas of study include forces, electricity and magnetism and electromagnetic radiation, heat and thermodynamics, light and optics, special relativity and time dilation, atoms and quantum mechanics, transistors and solid-state interactions, astrophysics, and astronomy. Physics is a subject that spans many disciplines, mathematics, chemistry, biology, engineering, and medicine to name a few. If you wonder about how the universe works, why the earth rotates, or how the shadow of the sun move across the ground then physics may be for you.

View Transfer Options, Degrees & Certificates

Physics covers a broad range of ideas that can greatly enhance you carreer options. There are a large range of carriers available to students with degrees in physics: National Labs, university research, medical physics, engineering, government positions with NASA and private positions with companies like Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Teaching positions at universities, colleges, and high schools.

Program Length

While the length of time depends on your chosen interest area (medical physics, engineering physics, etc.) programs are generally arranged so that students can finish degrees within 2-4 years depending on the specialization within the physics discipline.

Transfer Options

The student in this program is well prepared to transfer to physics programs around the world.  Examples include the University of California (UC) System, the California State University (CSU) system, most other US state university systems, Harvard, MIT, and many more.

Program Specific Support

Tutoring programs are available in Business Science Technology & Innovation Center (BSTIC).

Your Support Team

Your success is our priority! Whether you are just starting, in the middle of, or completing your time at IVC, we have a team of people in your corner to help keep you on-track to reach your goals at IVC and beyond! 

Coming Soon: Completion Teams to get students from start to goal! Look for your team beginning fall 2021!

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Transfer Options, Degrees and/or Certificates

Sample Academic Plans

  • This is only a sample academic plan. Some UC majors may have additional required or recommended courses for transfer. Please see a counselor to create a customized My Academic Plan (MAP) that will best meet your specific academic goals.
Semester 1
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleIGETC Area/MajorUnits
WR 1College Writing 11A4
MATH 3A*Analytic Geometry and Calculus I2A & Major5
COMM 1Communication Fundalmentals1C3
Arts or Humanities or Social & Behavioral SciencesArts or Humanities or Social and Behavior Sciences GE Course3A or 3B or 43
Semester 2
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleIGETC Area/MajorUnits
WR 2College Writing Critical Thinking 1B4
MATH 3BAnalytic Geometry and Calculus II2A & Major5
PHYS 4AGeneral Physics5A and Major4
Summer
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleIGETC Area/MajorUnits
MATH 4A Analytic Geometry and Calculus III2A & Major5
Semester 3
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleIGETC Area/MajorUnits
PHYS 4BGeneral Physics5A and Major4
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry I5A and Major5
MATH 26 Introduction to Linear Algebra2A & Major4
Semester 4
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleIGETC Area/MajorUnits
PHYS 4CGeneral Physics5A and Major4
CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry II5A and Major5
MATH 24Elementary Differential Equations2A & Major4
  1. This sample academic plan assumes that student is eligible for Math 3A in the first semester.            
  • This is only a sample academic plan. Some CSU majors may have additional required or recommended courses for transfer. Please see a counselor to create a customized My Academic Plan (MAP) that will best meet your specific academic goals.
Semester 1
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleCSU GE Area/MajorUnits
WR 1College Writing 1A24
MATH 3A*Analytic Geometry and Calculus IB4 & Major5
ArtsArts GE Course C13
Learning & Self DevelopmentLifelong Learning and Self Development GE CourseE3
Semester 2
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleCSU GE Area/MajorUnits
Critical ThinkingCritical Thinking GE CourseA33-4
MATH 3BAnalytic Geometry and Calculus IIMajor5
PHYS 4AGeneral PhysicsB1/B3 & Major4
COMM 1Communication FundamentalsA13
Semester 3
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleCSU GE Area/MajorUnits
MATH 4AAnalytic Geometry and Calculus IIIMajor5
PHYS 4BGeneral PhysicsB1/B3 & Major4
HumanitiesHumanities GE CourseC23
PS 1American GovernmentD3
Semester 4
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleCSU GE Area/MajorUnits
PHYS 4CGeneral PhysicsMajor4
HIST 20 or HIST 21American History CourseD3
Social ScienceSocial Science GE CourseD3
Life ScienceLife Science GE CourseB23
Arts/HumanitiesArts or Humanities GE CourseC1 or C23
  1. This sample academic plan assumes that student is eligible for Math 3A in the first semester.      
  • This is only a sample academic plan. Please see a counselor and check IVC's catalog to create a customized My Academic Plan (MAP) that will best meet your specific academic goals.
Semester 1
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleAS GE Area/MajorUnits
WR 1College Writing 11A4
MATH 3AAnalytic Geometry and Calculus I1C & Major5
Arts/HumanitiesArts or Humanities GE Course43
ElectiveDegree Applicable Elective (Courses 1-299)3
Semester 2
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleAS GE Area/MajorUnits
Communication/ThinkingCommunication/Analytical Thinking GE Course1B3-4
MATH 3BAnalytic Geometry and Calculus IIMajor5
PHYS 4AGeneral PhysicsMajor4
ElectiveDegree Applicable Elective (Courses 1-299)3
Semester 3
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleAS GE Area/MajorUnits
MATH 4AAnalytic Geometry and Calculus IIIMajor5
PHYS 4BGeneral PhysicsMajor4
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry I2 & Major5
ElectiveDegree Applicable Elective (Courses 1-299)1
Semester 4
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleAS GE Area/MajorUnits
PHYS 4CGeneral PhysicsMajor4
CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry IIMajor5
Social SciencesSocial Sciences GE Course33
ElectiveDegree Applicable Elective (Courses 1-299)3
  1. This sample academic plan assumes that student is eligible for Math 3A in the first semester.      
  • Note: This sample academic plan does not account for the Ethnic Studies requirement for the AS degree.

*Students may be eligible for one or more AA/AS/AA-T/AS-T degrees if they complete a GE transfer pattern, have specific courses, and have 60 transferable units. Please see a counselor for degree options and advisement.

  • AA = Associate of Arts
  • AS = Associate of Science
  • AA-T = Associate of Arts for Transfer
  • AS-T = Associate of Science for Transfer
  • COA = Certificate of Achievement
  • COP = Certificate of Proficiency

Explore Careers Related to Physics

Astronomers

Median Salary

$170,101

Job Growth

+15%

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 5%
  • Master's Degree
  • 5%
  • Doctoral or More
  • 91%
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Atmospheric and Space Scientists

Median Salary

$128,333

Job Growth

+24%

Education

  • Some College
  • 5%
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 50%
  • Master's Degree
  • 30%
  • Doctoral or More
  • 15%
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Biochemists and Biophysicists

Median Salary

$85,897

Job Growth

+25%

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 25%
  • Master's Degree
  • 10%
  • Doctoral or More
  • 65%
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Materials Scientists

Median Salary

$113,375

Job Growth

-72%

Education

  • Certificate
  • 5%
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 38%
  • Master's Degree
  • 33%
  • Doctoral or More
  • 24%
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Natural Sciences Managers

Median Salary

$162,212

Job Growth

+13%

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 50%
  • Master's Degree
  • 17%
  • Doctoral or More
  • 33%
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Nuclear Engineers

Median Salary

$140,903

Job Growth

+51%

Education

  • Certificate
  • 4%
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 89%
  • Master's Degree
  • 7%
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Nuclear Equipment Operation Technicians

Median Salary

$115,254

Job Growth

-33%

Education

  • H.S. Diploma or Less
  • 31%
  • Certificate
  • 18%
  • Some College
  • 8%
  • Associate's Degree
  • 37%
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 6%
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Nuclear Monitoring Technicians

Median Salary

$115,254

Job Growth

-33%

Education

  • H.S. Diploma or Less
  • 27%
  • Certificate
  • 17%
  • Some College
  • 11%
  • Associate's Degree
  • 29%
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 16%
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Physicists

Median Salary

$105,731

Job Growth

-1%

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 4%
  • Master's Degree
  • 8%
  • Doctoral or More
  • 88%
View Career

Postsecondary Physics Teachers

Median Salary

$102,837

Job Growth

+8%

Education

  • Master's Degree
  • 25%
  • Doctoral or More
  • 75%
View Career

Secondary School Teachers

Median Salary

$88,561

Job Growth

-17%

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 67%
  • Master's Degree
  • 28%
  • Doctoral or More
  • 4%
View Career

Not sure if Physics is the right fit?

That's OK!

Begin with the Exploratory Interest Area and explore Physics while still working toward your academic goals.

Learn More

Or speak to one of IVC’s Academic Counselors to learn more about all of your options.

Contact Counseling

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