Education   Undergraduate

Undergraduate Studies in Space Physics at UCLA

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Space scientists teach in three UCLA departments: Earth and Space Sciences (ESS), Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, and Physics, but only the Earth and Space Sciences offers an undergraduate program in space science leading to the Bachelor of Science degree. This program is their Bachelor of Science in Geophysics and Space Physics. The requirements for the major are described below. For those interested in a single lower division or upper division course your attention is directed to the courses ESS 7, ESS 9, ESS 154 and ESS 155. The complete UCLA class schedule is available through UCLA's main WWW server.

Requirements the Major

Requirements for the Space Physics program is available through the UCLA Registrar's website.

Students planning to do graduate work in specialized careers in Earth sciences should, when possible, take appropriate courses in departments outside the major in addition to those already specified. Suggested graduate programs for various fields of emphasis are available in the Student Affairs Office, 3683 Geology, and provide guidelines in selecting upper division courses.

Qualified undergraduate students may, with consent of their advisers and the instructor, take Earth and Space Sciences graduate courses numbered from 200A through 249.

Courses for General Interest

ESS 7 - Perils of Space: Introduction to Space Weather.
Lecture, four hours. Concepts of plasma physics. Dynamic sun, solar wind, and Earth's magnetosphere and ionosphere. Space storms and substorms and their impacts on astronauts, spacecraft, and surface power and communication grids.

ESS 9 - Origin and Evolution of the Solar System
Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Properties of sun, planets, asteroids, and comets. Astronomical observations relevant to understanding the solar system and its origin. Dynamical problems including examination of fallacious hypotheses. Meteoritic evidence regarding earliest history of the solar system. Chemical models of solar nebula. Space exploration and planning.

ESS 154 - Solar Terrestrial Physics.
Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Prerequisite or corequisite; Physics 110B. Particle and electromagnetic emissions from the sun under quiet and under disturbed conditions. Solar wind. Magnetospheres and ionospheres of Earth and other planets. Geomagnetic phenomena and the aurora.

ESS 155 - Planetary Physics
Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Prerequisites: Mathematics 31A, 31B, 32A, Physics 8A, 8B and 8C, or consent of instructor. Formation of solar nebula; origin of planets and their satellites; comets, asteroids, and meteorites; celestial mechanics and dynamics; physics of planetary interiors, surfaces and atmospheres.

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Last updated: June 14, 2010.