<p>Hello, I may possibly be a future physics major at UCSB for Fall of 2014. My question regarding to the amazing physics program at UCSB is that do students who study Physics at UCSB have a particular focus when they reach their Junior Level? For example, I saw Astrophysics and Cosmology, Biophysics, Condesnsed Matter Experimental Physics, Condensed Matter Theory, High Energy Experimental Physics, High Energy Theory, Gravity and Relativity, and Mathematical Physics for the research opportunities listed at the Physics Department. I was hoping to study Physics with the emphasis on Mathematical Physics if that was possible. Do Physics Major have an emphasis on specific aspect like the Mathematical Physics that I want to do or is it just research? It seems to me that the physics major follow the traditional route without any focus. If it does not have any emphasis, will having research experience help me with job opportunities? I don't mind if it's a job that does not focus on physics. I want to work where math is used a lot so I was wondering if I can do that with my physics major.

Also, I'm wondering if i should switch my major to mathematical science at UCSB? How is the program? I want to take many math courses that I can work as an software engineer or something related. Will this be possible with the mathematical science major? Thank you for answering my question. </p>

<p>The degree requirements for the BS are listed at</p>

<p><a href=“http://my.sa.ucsb.edu/catalog/Current/Documents/2013_Majors/LS/Phys/Physics-BS_2013.pdf”>http://my.sa.ucsb.edu/catalog/Current/Documents/2013_Majors/LS/Phys/Physics-BS_2013.pdf</a></p>

<p>Comparison against the course descriptions at</p>

<p><a href=“UC Santa Barbara General Catalog - Physics”>UC Santa Barbara General Catalog - Physics;

<p>will give you your answer. Question: what is “mathematical physics?” Besides quantum and thermo, most of the upper-division coursework simply extends, using mathematics, what you learned in lower-division courses. You can obviously choose whatever topics you wish to emphasize for your elective coursework (e.g., mathematical methods like 102, 106).</p>

<p>Note that many physics majors enroll in some of the UD applied math courses offered by the math dept (ODEs (second/third course), PDEs (second/third course), numerical analysis(first/second course))</p>

<p>That would be an excellent question to call and ask them. Honestly, I wish I had a do over, so * I* could study physics at UCSB. The more I’ve looked at it, the more jealous I am of my kids who don’t even intend to use their skills in that direction…</p>

<p>Hi thank you for all your information! I’m debating because physics is known to be very rigorous and hard major that basically not everyone does well. I myself have only taken physics honors with a grade of B and A on them, which I’m not sure if I am strong enough in physics to continue it in college. Mathematical science on the other hand might be a little less rigorous than physics I assume… The difficulty of physics concern me </p>

<p>It might be easier to drop out of a top program (Physics) than to transfer into one downline, you might want to ask physics majors about that. If it is too tough, you can change majors to math easier, I imagine. A lot of people change majors. I’d start with what you really want, and physics at UCSB looks wonderful.</p>

<p>You absolutely must* complete the listed requirements to graduate with a BS in physics (the BA has fewer mandated courses). Do not go into physics if you are not interested in physics. Be warned that the math program at UCSB is geared toward pure mathematicians, rather than applied (though there is a Mathematical Science degree: <a href=“http://my.sa.ucsb.edu/catalog/Current/Documents/2013_Majors/LS/Math/Mathematical-Sciences-BS-2013.pdf”>http://my.sa.ucsb.edu/catalog/Current/Documents/2013_Majors/LS/Math/Mathematical-Sciences-BS-2013.pdf</a>).</p>

<p>Unless you are in CCS or engineering, to enter a major you must simply complete the major prerequisite courses with a specified average GPA. For physics, this is Phys 20-25 + some math. If you want to be a software engineer, then major in computer science (this is in the college of engineering at UCSB and so you are not guaranteed entrance unless you were admitted to CS as a freshman or transfer).</p>

<p>*CCS physics may allow you to replace one or two courses with equally or more rigorous courses in the same subfield.</p>

<p>I was talking about mathematical science major, not mathematics major. Mathematical science is a similar major to computational mathematics, isn’t it? I saw many mathematical science major work for a software company. I might change my major due to the difficulty of the physics major since I have to get a good gpa and do research! </p>

<p>If you look at the link I provided in my previous post, the title of the major *is* Mathematical Sciences. And it is composed of mostly mathematical methods courses, but there are a couple pure math requirements (e.g., minimum two quarters real analysis). You can do one or two lower-division computer science courses at UCSB as a non-major, but the vast majority of CS courses are restricted to CS majors. A program that may fit better with your notion of mathematical science is provided at the Univ. of Washington. You can read more at the below link if interested.</p>

<p><a href=“Applied and Computational Math Sciences Program (ACMS) | College of Arts and Sciences - University of Washington |”>http://www.math.washington.edu/acms/</a></p>

<p>A specific list of what the required upper-division courses are in the Mathematical Sciences degree (previous post) at UCSB:</p>

<ul>

<li>2 terms linear algebra</li>

<li>2-3 terms numerical analysis (likely proof-based, have not taken)</li>

<li>2 terms intro to proofs/analysis</li>

<li>2-3 terms real analysis</li>

<li>1 term complex variables</li>

<li>1 term differential geometry or ODEs</li>

<li>3 electives</li>

</ul>

<p>Edit: I cannot speak for mathematical science people working at software companies. I recommend asking them.</p>

<p>Hi! Thank you for these information! So, what can I possibly do with the major? Specifically what is it I will be doing with it? </p>

<p>There’s computer science and computer engineering, in the engineering department, and they find great industry jobs. Or there is physics which is entirely different, but is truly a top tier program taught by nobel laureates. They are doing groundbreaking stuff, but so is the engineering department. These guys are inventing, discovering and creating stuff. I guess you could kind of call it research. <a href=“College of Engineering News | College of Engineering - UC Santa Barbara”>College of Engineering News | College of Engineering - UC Santa Barbara; <a href=“http://www.physics.ucsb.edu/”>Department of Physics - UC Santa Barbara; <a href=“http://www.news.ucsb.edu/2014/014086/materials-research-partnership-renewed-between-uc-santa-barbara-and-mitsubishi-chemical”>http://www.news.ucsb.edu/2014/014086/materials-research-partnership-renewed-between-uc-santa-barbara-and-mitsubishi-chemical</a></p>

<p>Thank you!!</p>