Study Abroad for Physics Majors

The Physics Department encourages its students to broaden their educational experiences by studying abroad through the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP). This program provides students the opportunity to study physics, while gaining an international perspective and expanding their academic horizons. College is an ideal time to take advantage of the opportunity to live abroad for a summer, a semester, or a year. In addition to developing your self-confidence, independence and perspectives, your international experience can benefit your career goals and/or graduate school opportunities. Please see the department's Study Abroad in Physics web page!

Why study abroad?

Opportunities abound for enhancing your understanding of physics when studying abroad. Exceptional students are encouraged to apply either for a term or a full academic year.

Studying abroad can help you:

• Take advantage of unique academic and research opportunities
• Participate in a different educational system
• Advance cross-cultural and problem-solving skills
• Expand your world perspective
• Develop self-confidence and independence
• Prepare for a internationally competitive career
• Enhance your resume and/or graduate school applications

Returning UCEAP students often describe their experience abroad as a life-changing and uniquely valuable one for future choices of professional and personal goals.

Where should I study abroad?

The Physics department has approved courses at these select UCEAP partners: University of Edinburgh and University of St. Andrews, Scotland, the University of Hong Kong, and Lund University, Sweden.

Programs conducted in English produce the most success in terms of providing coursework that integrates well with the UCSB physics curriculum. Some examples of programs that provide instruction in English are in the United Kingdom at the Universities of Manchester and King’s College of the University of London and Singapore at the National University of Singapore. However, students proficient in another language may find excellent programs in other counties and universities.

For a summary and links to programs for physics majors, go to this UCEAP website. If search all of the available UCEAP programs, go here. There are many summer possibilities as well as programs during the academic year. 

When should I study abroad?

The best time for physics majors to study abroad during the academic year is during their junior year. By this time, they should have completed preparatory classes for the major and be in the process of completing upper division courses. It is very important to meet with a physics faculty advisor prior to studying abroad to ensure the completion of the major in a timely manner.

What classes should I take?

Check out these re-approved physics courses at select UCEAP partners: University of Edinburgh and University of St. Andrews, Scotland, University of Hong Kong and Lund University, Sweden. 

Physics majors will most likely want to take upper division physics classes while studying abroad. In order to count for the major, courses will need to be very similar in content and level to the UCSB course they would be replacing. Application of credit to major requirements will be subject to the discretion of the department and approval of the college.

Students are strongly encouraged to review their course choices with their physics faculty advisor to maximize the number of UCEAP units that may apply towards the major.

Keep in mind that students in the College of Letters and Science must complete at least 20 units of upper-division major coursework (or 12 upper-division minor units) in residence at UCSB along with other residence requirements. Consult an advisor in the College of Letters & Science for more information.

How do I get started?

  • Stop by the UCSB EAP office at 2431 South Hall.
  • Go the UCSB EAP website, Getting Started.
  • Consult the UCEAP website for program details.  
  • Go see your department undergraduate advisor. 

Department of Physics
Broida Hall
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9530
Phone: (805) 893-4567
physics.ucsb.edu