Study with us
The Physics and Astronomy Department, which celebrated its centenary in 2004, is a medium-sized, research-intensive department. Our faculty are leading experts in their fields and are recognized for the important role they play in numerous committees of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) and the granting arm of NATO as well as those of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP).
Access state-of-the-art equipment
Students have access to our on-site planetarium and research laboratories containing state-of-the-art equipment including:
- High-resolution mass spectrometers
- Helium liquefier
- Dilution refrigerator for milikelvin temperatures
- Ultrasonics research laboratory
Students also have access to international research facilities, such as, TRIUMF (Canada’s national sub-atomic physics lab), Compute Canada, National high-performance computing system, Jefferson National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory in the United States.
See our facilities and resources.
Participate in cutting edge research
Every year, research labs in the Department of Physics and Astronomy recruit highly motivated undergraduate students to participate in active research programs and see the real cutting edge of science. Opportunities range from visiting particle accelerators to studying galaxies and synthesizing nanoparticles.
Learn more about our opportunities in research.
Join the Organization of Physics Undergraduate Students (OPUS)
The purpose of OPUS is to promote interest in the study of physics amongst the student body and general public and to provide tutoring services for first-year physics courses. OPUS members have regular social and academic events including an annual trip of representatives that present their research work at the Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference.
Meet Dr. James Peebles
Dr. James Peebles, one of the winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics, obtained his Bachelor of Science (Hons) from the University of Manitoba in 1958 and is one of the key architects in the field of physical cosmology and the study of the universe’s origin, structure and evolution. His work has led to worldwide recognition and awards, including the Shaw Prize and the Crafoord Prize. In 2017, Dr. Peebles was recognized with the highest honor in the province, the Order of Manitoba.
Read Dr. Peebles' inspiring story in UM Today.
Image courtesy of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers multiple programs of study leading to a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Astronomy.
BSc degrees at a glance
BSc Major: 4 years, approx. (120 credit hours) of study earned with a minimum degree GPA of 2.00. Students may select a minor to complement their major area of study. Eligible students may also choose to join the Co-op program. Graduates of the major program who demonstrate high academic performance may be eligible for entrance to graduate or professional studies. This program can be completed on a part-time basis.
BSc Honours: 4 years, approx. (120 credit hours) of study with a minimum degree GPA of 3.00. Students will engage in advanced studies through coursework and/or research projects. Eligible students may also choose to join the Co-op program. This is the preferred program for students looking to pursue graduate studies. This program must be completed on a full-time basis.
Bachelor of Science (Major)
Expected duration: 4 years, approx. (120 credit hours) of study, plus three four-month Co-op work terms, if chosen
The Major program provides students with an extensive program in this field while allowing for educational breadth through other subjects of their choice. Unlike the Honours program, the Major program offers more scheduling flexibility and opportunities to select electives from other disciplines. This flexibility means that the Major program doesn’t provide the same level of professional training as the Honours program. Graduate Program Admissions would normally expect the selection of electives that are required by an Honours program along with a GPA representative of an Honours degree.
Major students are eligible for the Co-op program, which provides exposure to the industry and valuable work experience.
To earn a Bachelor of Science Major degree a student must successfully complete 120 credit hours with minimum grades as outlined in the Academic Calendar. To remain in the Major program, students must maintain a minimum degree GPA of 2.00.
You can complete this degree on a part-time basis.
Bachelor of Science (Honours)
Minimum duration: 120 credit hours of study (plus three four-month Co-op work terms, if chosen)
Our most advanced, in-depth Honours program allows you to make the smoothest transition to graduate studies. An Honours program is regarded as professional training. Students are generally involved in research opportunities and complete a project or research course as part of the curriculum.
Honours students are eligible for the Co-op program, which provides exposure to the industry and valuable work experience. Students normally enter the program after first or second year after earning a minimum of 30 credit hours including the designated courses and grades.
To earn a Bachelor of Science Honours degree a student must successfully complete 120 credit hours or more of study with minimum grades as specified in the Academic Calendar on all courses and a minimum degree GPA of 3.00.
You must complete this degree on a full-time basis.
Bachelor of Science (Joint Honours)
Joint Honours programs are offered with other departments in the Faculty of Science for students with a desire to delve deeper into how Physics and Astronomy works with other disciplines.
- Physics and Astronomy + Chemistry: For students interested in learning about what matter is made of and how it interacts.
- Physics and Astronomy + Computer Science: For students looking to explore a wide variety of subjects, including hardware and software interfaces and programming.
- Physics and Astronomy + Mathematics: For students wanting to understand concepts such as climate change, celestial mechanics and computational biophysics.
See the Program list tab in the Academic Calendar for full details.
Sample course offerings
Here are some examples of the courses offered for this program:
- ASTR 1810: Introduction to Astronomy: The Magnificent Universe
- ASTR 1830: Life in the Universe
- ASTR 2000: Foundations of Astrophysics
- ASTR 3180: Stars
- ASTR 4020: Cosmology and Black Holes
- PHYS 1018: The Mechanics of Nature
- PHYS 2010: Computational Modeling of Natural and Human-Created Systems
- PHYS 2350: Energy Sources: Physical Aspects
- PHYS 3670: Classical Thermodynamics
- PHYS 4386: Quantum Mechanics
For a full list of courses and descriptions of each, please visit the Academic Calendar.
Earn while you learn — Co-operative Education
The Faculty of Science Co-operative Education program is an excellent way for students to enhance their classroom learning with on-the-job experience. Available in most Major and Honours programs, Co-operative education is a form of experiential learning that integrates academic education with relevant, supervised and paid work experience. Co-op students gain valuable skills to guide them through their academic education and prepare them for future careers after graduation. Students who enrol in the Co-operative Education program will complete their four-year (approx.) Major or Honours degree in five years (approx.), allowing them to complete three or four work terms. Each work term is completed within a four-month period beginning in January, May or September.
Learn more about the Science Co-operative Education program.
To declare the BSc Major or Honours in Physics and Astronomy, you first must be accepted into the Faculty of Science. The following are the minimum requirements for entry into the Faculty of Science.
Direct entry means you are applying to the program directly out of high school or have completed fewer than 24 credit hours at a recognized university or college.
Missing some requirements? Students who do not meet the direct entry admission requirements may apply to University 1 to prepare for entry into the Faculty of Science. You may be able to declare your specific Major when you transit or you can transit to the General degree. University 1 students who qualify may transit to the Faculty of Science using Aurora Student. See the Academic Calendar for entry requirements specific to this program.
Advanced entry Applicants are those who have completed one year (24 credit hours) or more of studies in another faculty at the University of Manitoba or another recognized post-secondary institution.
Note: When you apply to the Faculty of Science as a Direct or Advanced entry student, you do not select your Major areas of study (e.g., Biochemistry, Computer Science, Statistics, etc.). Each Major or Honours program has specific entry requirements and may be declared once you have completed a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework, generally at the end of your first or second year of studies. For full details, please visit the Academic calendar.
How to apply
Domestic student application fee: $100
International student application fee: $120
Applications to the University of Manitoba are completed online. To begin your application, select the "Start or continue your application" button. The online application includes several parts, and you may be required to submit transcripts, proof of English Language proficiency and other documents.
If you are a University 1 student wishing to transit to the Faculty of Science, you are not required to submit an application. You may transit to the Faculty of Science student using Aurora Student. There is no application fee.
Admission and application inquiries
424 UMSU University Centre
University of Manitoba
66 Chancellors Circle
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada
Room 424 UMSU University Centre
65 Chancellors Circle
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Faculty of Science Academic Advising
230 Machray Hall
186 Dysart Road
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2
Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
In-person appointments (pre-book)
We are using a virtual queueing system. Please use one of the following websites to join the queue.