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About the Program

Physics, the fundamental science, conceptualizes the basic principles of the universe and establishes the foundation for astronomy, chemistry and geology. The beauty of physics lies in a small number of powerful concepts which expand our view of the world around us and which lead to many engineering applications from which we derive many benefits. 

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We also perform the wildly popular Foothill College Physics Show in fall and winter.  See dates at


What you can do with a degree in physics

  • Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Engineering physics
  • Nuclear physics
  • Space physics
  • Physics education

Degree & Program Types

Check out this list for a quick view of our physics programs. For program requirements and full course listings, view degrees and certificates information.

Associate in Science Degree

  • Physics

Associate Degree for Transfer



The Physics department at Foothill College offers a variety of classes that meet the community needs and satisfy transfer requirements. The level of classes taken typically depends on the individual’s mathematics background.

The goal of all physics classes at Foothill College is to develop an understanding and appreciation of the laws that govern the world we live in through improved problem solving skills and laboratory investigations.

For a complete description of the Physics program, please the the Curriculum Sheet.


Physics 2 (A, B, and C)

Physics 2 (A, B, and C) is a 3 quarter sequence designed for students in the life sciences (biology, medicine, physical therapy, and related fields). Trigonometry (Math 51) is a prerequisite for this course.

Physics 4 (A, B, C, and D)

Physics 4 (A, B, C, and D) is a 4 quarter, calculus based sequence designed for students in engineering, physics, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and other physical sciences. Math 1B is a prerequisite for this course (may be taken concurrently). High school physics is also a prerequisite for Physics 4. Students without high school physics may take Phy 6 (one quarter) or Phy 2A and 2B (two quarters) to satisfy this requirement.

Physics 6

Physics 6 is a one quarter overview of physics with emphasis on preparing students with no exposure to physics for the Physics 4 sequence.

Physics 10 and 12

Both Physics 10 and 12 are geared for the non-science major and assume little or no mathematical background. Physics 10 concentrates on classical physics, the principles that explain our everyday experiences. Physics 12 emphasizes modern physics, the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics. Both classes rely heavily on demonstrations, analogies, and the student’s personal experiences. Physics 10 does require intermediate algebra (Math 105) and includes a laboratory, in order to satisfy UC and CSU general education transfer requirements. Physics 12 also asks for the algebra pre-requisite but this can be waived by application to the Dean.

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Questions?We're Here to Help!

Physical Sciences, Math & Engineering Division


RM 4118, Main Campus

Division Office Contacts

Office: Building 4100, Room 4118
Ram Subramaniam, Division Dean
Phone: 650.949.7472
Ru Yu Chen
Division Administrative Assistant
Phone: 650.949.7259
Fax: 650.239.3626
PSME Division
STEM Success Center

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