The Physics Associate in Science degrees from Bakersfield College are programs designed to provide students with a foundational understanding of the principles of physics.

Through a combination of theoretical coursework and practical laboratory exercises, students in these programs will develop their problem-solving and critical thinking skills, as well as their ability to communicate scientific concepts effectively. Topics covered may include mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, optics, and modern physics. Graduates of these programs will be well-prepared to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor's degree in physics or a related field, or to enter the workforce in a variety of technical or scientific roles.

What is Physics?

Physics is the branch of science that deals with the study of matter, energy, and their interactions. It seeks to understand the fundamental principles that govern the behavior of the universe, from the smallest particles to the largest structures. Physicists use a combination of mathematical models, experimentation, and observation to uncover the underlying laws of nature and develop theories that can explain and predict the behavior of physical systems. Some of the key subfields of physics include classical mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and relativity. Physics has many practical applications, including the development of new technologies, the exploration of space, and the study of the natural world.

Is Studying Physics Right for Me?

An associate degree in Physics can be beneficial for a variety of individuals with different goals and interests. Students who enjoy science, mathematics, and problem-solving can benefit from this program, as it provides a solid foundation in the fundamental principles of physics. Additionally, individuals who wish to pursue careers in technical or scientific fields such as engineering, research, or data analysis may find this degree useful as it helps them develop the analytical and critical thinking skills necessary for success in these fields. This degree can also serve as a steppingstone for students who wish to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor's degree in physics or a related field.

Studying physics can be challenging but rewarding. Here are some key traits and skills that would make someone a good fit for studying physics:

  • Strong analytical skills
  • Curiosity
  • Persistence
  • Creativity
  • Good communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Interest in technology
  • Self-motivation

Physics Degrees and Certificate

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The Physics Associate in Science for UC Transfer (UCTP) is a degree for students interested in transferring to a University of California school as a major in physics. 
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The Physics Associate in Science for UC Transfer (UCTP) is a degree for students interested in transferring to a University of California school as a major in physics. This major will provide students with a full two years of physics education as well as a strong foundation in math and chemistry. 
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Modern Energy COC is a consolidation of non-credit courses that are intended to introduce students to emerging topics in energy. The topics include carbon neutrality, capture, and storage; data analysis; and renewable energy.
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Physics Careers

An associate degree in physics can provide a foundation for many different careers in technical and scientific fields. Here are a few examples of careers that someone with a physics associate degree may be qualified for:

  • Laboratory technician: Laboratory technicians assist scientists and engineers in conducting experiments and analyzing data. They may also be responsible for maintaining laboratory equipment and supplies.
  • Engineering technician: Engineering technicians work alongside engineers to develop and test new products and systems. They may also be involved in the design, installation, and maintenance of equipment.
  • Technical writer: Technical writers create documentation and instructional materials for scientific and technical products and processes. They may write manuals, user guides, and training materials.
  • Quality control inspector: Quality control inspectors ensure that products meet certain standards of quality and safety. They may use a variety of tools and techniques to test products and identify defects.
  • Science educator: A physics associate degree can also provide a foundation for a career in education. With additional coursework or training, graduates can become science teachers in middle or high schools.

It's important to note that while an associate degree in physics can prepare students for entry-level positions, many careers in physics may require a bachelor's degree or higher.

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Beyond BC

Transfer to a University

Graduates with an Associate in Arts for Transfer or an Associate in Science for Transfer from Bakersfield College may choose to continue their education at a university to earn a 4-year degree. Students with an Associate in Arts/Science for Transfer degree are guaranteed admission with junior standing somewhere in the CSU system and given priority admission consideration to their local CSU campus or to a program that is deemed similar to their community major. See your Counselor and/or a Transfer Specialist for specific questions, options, and opportunities.

Academic Department: Physical Science

Career & Learning Pathway: Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) Pathway

Courses: Physics (PHYS)


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