From doing some research online, a number of people received some pretty decent answers to related questions here on Physics Forums. So I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm graduating from the University of Maryland in May with two BA's in Art History and Philosophy. Though I enjoyed the subjects, my interests have narrowed back in on a core passion: physics, obviously. Unfortunately, I have little recent background or coursework that I can use at the moment. The process to getting from where I am now to a graduate program in physics is confusing at best, particularly in California. If anyone can help me figure this out, I'd greatly appreciate it. My plan is to start working full time while taking a couple of lower-division courses during the evenings, which can easily be done at one of the many community colleges. Of course, these lower-division courses will only get me so far, and after Calculus I, II, and III, as well as Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, and Waves, Optics, and Modern Physics, I'll have exhausted what the community colleges can provide. From here my next step becomes incredibly unclear. Most California campuses (both UC and CSU system schools) do not allow second baccalaureate degrees due to high enrollment at their campuses. The two UC's that do are Irvine and Davis; even then, it's very rare for this to happen. Another option is to take courses at a four-year institution by doing continuing education. Unfortunately, I will not be able to receive student loans (which I'll need), and you can only take courses on a space available basis. This leaves my only other option as trying to get conditionally classified as a graduate student in one of the graduate programs. This also has its downsides and looming questions. First, it seems unclear and unlikely that programs will accept someone who needs the whole cocktail of upper-division courses. Second, it seems like it would be incredibly difficult to get accepted without a lot of background in physics (read: good physics GPA). And finally, I'm not sure I want to lock myself into a lesser graduate program right off the bat. Also, I'll spare you all the details of my personal life, but the decision will be made a bit harder because of my girlfriend's grad school plans. We are limited to specific areas in CA; San Diego, in and reasonably around LA, and also in and reasonably around SF. This is an unavoidable restriction. Any ideas or suggestions, or some answers for me? I've tried talking to some of the programs directly, but it's spring break at the moment and it's difficult to reach anyone. I also talked to an adviser here, but the situation is so different in CA that it makes his advice largely moot. Thanks in advance for your help!