The Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Physics provides a basic foundation in biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and a solid education in classical and modern physics.
The program meets the rapidly increasing demand for graduates with knowledge and skills in technology-oriented fields such as energy, materials science, microelectronics, health, photonics and communication technologies and astrophysics.
The Physics program offers optional specializations in Astrophysics , and Nanotechnology and Clean Energy .
The Faculty of Business and Information Technology offers a Finance minor specifically for students in Physics.
The Faculty of Science offers separate Honours Bachelor of Science degrees in Applied and Industrial Mathematics and in Physics . Students with interest in both disciplines may wish to complete the academic requirements of both programs and be awarded a single degree, Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied and Industrial Mathematics and Physics. Eligibility requirements and academic information can be obtained from the academic advisor.
Admission is competitive. The specific average or standing required for admission varies from year to year. Students are selected by taking into consideration a wide range of criteria including school marks, distribution of subjects taken, and performance in subjects relevant to the academic program. Possession of the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Preference will be given to applicants with the best qualifications.
Current Ontario secondary school students must complete the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with six 4U or 4M credits including English (ENG4U), Advanced Functions (MHF4U), and two of Biology (SBI4U), Calculus and Vectors (MCV4U), Chemistry (SCH4U), or Physics (SPH4U). In addition, a combined minimum 70 per cent average in math and science courses is required. It is recommended that all four MCV4U, SBI4U, SCH4U and SPH4U be taken. All other applicants should refer to admissions for the requirements for their specific category of admission.
Program details and degree requirements
The requirements for the four-year Physics program are detailed in the following program map. In addition to the regular program, a co-op program is also available. Students interested in the co-op program should contact the Faculty of Science Co-op Coordinator as early as the fall of their second year.
Although reasonable efforts will be made to adhere to the following program map, course requirements and term offerings may change.
No more than 42 credit hours may be taken at the first-year level.
*Electives and breadth requirements
All students must complete 36 elective credit hours including 12 credit hours in a Senior Physics electives. Students not accepted to take PHY 4410U and PHY 4420U must take an additional two Senior Science electives for a total of 42 elective credit hours. At least 18 elective credit hours must be in courses offered by the Faculty of Science including 12 credit hours in a Senior Physics electives. The additional two Senior Science electives required for students who are not enrolled in thesis cannot be used to meet this requirement. In order to satisfy breadth requirements, no more than 18 elective credit hours may be in Physics (PHY) courses; at least 12 elective credit hours must be in courses outside the Faculty of Science. Students must take the remaining 6 elective credit hours in a general elective (offered by the Faculty of Science or outside the Faculty of Science).
**Thesis Project or Senior Science electives
Students in clear academic standing who have completed 90 credit hours of their program and six third-year required PHY courses may optionally apply to take a two-course sequence consisting of PHY 4410U – Physics Thesis Project I and PHY 4420U – Physics Thesis Project II.
Students not accepted to take the thesis courses must complete two additional Senior Science electives instead. A Senior Science elective is defined as any 3000- or 4000-level science course not specified in the program map, excluding SCIE and ENVS courses. A student meeting the above requirements who does not take PHY 4410U and PHY 4420U may optionally apply to take PHY 4430U – Directed Studies in Physics as one of the required Senior Science electives.
Opportunities for the Thesis Project and Directed Studies options are limited; students must apply through Science Advising by March 30 following completion of the first three years of the program.
Recommended Senior Science electives that students may choose to take include: