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Post-Bac Physics Programs in LA

  1. Oct 20, 2013 #1
    I graduated from USC with a BA in English Lit and a minor in Neuroscience. I have since taken general physics courses at a community college, following my passion for physics and astrophysics. In addition I took one Astronomy course and some math at the undergraduate level.

    There seem to be many post-bac programs for pre-med students. But as I grow more and more inclined to pursue a graduate degree in Astrophysics, I am not sure how to go about the journey. I don't think community colleges offer advanced enough courses. But I haven't found any post-bac Physics programs at Cal States. I think I can take open or extension courses to fulfill the requirements, but is there a more formal or organized way to go about this without getting another Bachelor's Degree? I do realize this will take 2 or 3 years, but I am willing to put the work in if there is a way.

    Any advice for programs/options in the SoCal area would be greatly appreciated!

    THANK YOU!!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2013 #2


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    Have you heard of Palomar College? It's a CC in San Marco that has probably the toughest undergrad intro to physics courses around. I think if I remember right they're 230, 231, 232. Supposedly only 3 to 4 students pass a semester. You might just want to enroll there, do the physics and math, maybe a programming language and then even though you dont want to id say apply for a BS somewhere else.

    I think unfortunately the UC system is closed to you since you already have a UG degree. You may have to do a private school or state school like SDSU if you do decide to do a BS.

    Without doing the BS I'm not sure, I'd still take the intro to physics and math at a CC.

    I know they have premed stuff here at UCSD, but I haven't heard of any physics programs.

    This is all advice from my little area of SoCal, I'm not sure about LA.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  4. Oct 24, 2013 #3
    If you want to take UC classes (and get credit), you should consider enrolling in a community college. Most UCs allow community college students to cross-enroll if they are enrolled for 6 or more units at their community college. I can only speak for UCSD, but the fee was only ~$100 and I could take whatever classes I wanted to (you can only officially take one per quarter though). But you will have to be attentive to how many university credits you can have when transferring from community college.
  5. Oct 24, 2013 #4
    Dustbin, thank you for this! I was trying to figure out a way to basically take "open" or extension courses at either UCLA or a Cal-State. I didn't know about this cross-enrollment system. Definitely looking into it! Did you have to formally apply to UCSD? Or did it all go through the CC?

    Thanks a lot.
  6. Oct 24, 2013 #5
    No, it's all through the community college. You have to get cross enrollment paperwork straightened out with the CC registrar office (easy... you just have to get them to do it!). Then you crash the UC class on the first day, get the professor's permission (they sign the paperwork), and then you take it to the UC registrar office and pay the fee. Then you're done!
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