First-Year Course Advice

Recommended Classes for First-Year Students:

PHY-021 (General Physics I with lab). Fulfills Common Inquiries: Exploring the Physical Sciences. If the student has passed the AP Physics exam talk with Ken Kihlstrom ( to make sure that the second semester course (PHY-023, offered Spring semester) is appropriate. Dr. Kihlstrom will let the student review the final exam to check for understanding of the material so the student can make the best choice (since ultimately the choice is theirs).

MA-009 (Calculus I), MA-010 (Calculus II), or MA-019 (Multivariable Calculus). Fulfills the Common Inquiries: Reasoning Abstractly as well as Common Skills: Quantitative and Analytical Reasoning. If the student has not taken or passed the AP exam, register for MA-009. If the student has passed Calculus AB then register for MA 010, and if the student has passed Calculus BC then register for MA-019 (Multivariable Calculus).

Students are encouraged to take at least 16 units and consider taking CHM-005 if they are interested in a double-major in Biology or Chemistry (since CHM-005 is already a required class for the Physics major).

Recommended Classes for Transfer Students:

These are evaluated on a case by case basis - student needs to meet with an advisor within the Physics Department to confirm course selection.

In general, however, begin with classes recommended for the first year students along with GE courses.

Preferences on Advisor Assignments:

Ken Kihlstrom - Engineering/Physics or Pre-Engineering (3/2 Program)

Warren Rogers - Physics

Michael Sommerman - no new advisees (on sabbatical for the Fall)