Faculty of Science - Physics

Program description

Physics is the science which explores and identifies basic principles governing the structure and behaviour of matter, the generation and transfer of energy, and the interaction of matter and energy. Knowledge of physics is essential in other natural sciences, such as chemistry and geology, and to professions such as engineering, medicine, and dentistry. 
Medical physics is the application of physics to medicine. It generally concerns physics as applied to medical imaging and radiotherapy, although a medical physicist may work in many environments.

Program options

Degree options

B. Sc. Bachelor of Science, Honours Physics and Astronomy – 4 years
B. Sc. Bachelor of Science, Major Physics and Astronomy – 4 years
B. Sc. Bachelor of Science, General - Physics & Astronomy – 3 years

Program options

B. Sc. Joint Honours Programs:
Physics/Computer Science with Co-op option

B. Sc. Double Honours:

Visit Programs in Science to learn about more program options.

Interesting courses and unique opportunities

Interesting courses

  • Electromagnetic Theory
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Medical Physics
  • Optics and lasers
  • Nuclear Physics and Applied Nuclear Science
  • Stars and Phenomenology of Galaxies
  • Computational Physics

Professional opportunities

  • Research Scientist
  • Teacher/Instructor
  • Medical Physicist
  • Industrial Development
  • Engineer (process and instrumentation development, software development)
  • Quantitative Analyst (finance / banking)
  • Computer scientist
  • Management and Administration

Students who go on to complete Ph.D. studies aim eventually to become professors at universities or researchers in industrial and government laboratories or hospitals.

Admission Requirements

Visit the Science Direct Entry (high school applicants) or Advanced Entry (post-secondary applicants) application for admission page to learn more about admission requirements, application dates and how to apply.

What is unique about this program at the U of M?

The Physics and Astronomy Department, which celebrated its centenary in 2004, is a medium-sized research intensive department. Graduates from its various programs currently hold prestigious positions in institutions in North America and Europe. The expertise of its 22 full-time faculty members is recognized by the role they play in numerous committees of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) and the granting arm of NATO, and those of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP), the International Astronomical Society, and the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA). At present they attract in excess of $2.5 million in annual funding from a variety of sources including NSERC, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), both the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Canadian Space Agency among others. These funds help underwrite the support offered to graduate students in numerous areas, both experimental and theoretical, ranging from studies in the subatomic and atomic regimes, through large biological molecules to macroscopic, highly correlated systems, mathematical physics and medical physics.
The department of Physics and Astronomy offers its undergraduate students the opportunity of having summer research positions starting in the second year so that students can participate in summer research projects under the supervision of professors. This is a unique opportunity for students to have early exposure to a research experience.

Important links

Faculty of Science 
Programs in Science
Physics and Astronomy
Graduate Programs
Canadian Association of Physicists
Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists