Physics (BSc Program)

Ahmed Hussein, Professor Emeritus
Mark Shegelski, Professor Emeritus

Ian Hartley, Professor and Acting Chair
Erik Jensen, Professor
Elie Korkmaz, Professor 
Matthew Reid, Professor
Jean-Sebastien Bernier, Assistant Professor
George Jones, Senior Lab Instructor

Physics is the study of nature at its most fundamental level. As such it is the science upon whose principles all other sciences and technologies are based. Because it is so basic, a major in physics is ideal preparation, not only for further study in physics, but also for advanced study in such diverse fields as biophysics, medicine, astrophysics, chemical physics, engineering, meteorology, and computer science. 

Major in Physics

A major in Physics requires students to complete 58 credit hours of Physics; 36 credit hours of these must be at the upper-division level. 
The minimum requirement for completion of a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Physics is 120 credit hours.

Program Requirements

Lower-Division Requirement

100 Level
CHEM 100-3 General Chemistry I
CPSC 100-4 Computer Programming I
     or CPSC 110-3 Introduction to Computer Systems and Programming
MATH 100-3 Calculus I
MATH 101-3 Calculus II
PHYS 110-4 Introductory Physics I: Mechanics
PHYS 111-4 Introductory Physics II: Waves and Electricity

200 Level
MATH 202-3 Multivariable Calculus I
MATH 204-3 Multivariable Calculus II
MATH 220-3 Linear Algebra
MATH 230-3 Ordinary Differential Equations and Boundary Value Problems
PHYS 200-3 Thermal Physics
PHYS 202-4 Electromagnetism and Optics
PHYS 205-3 Modern Physics I
PHYS 206-4 Modern Physics II
Upper-Division Requirement

300 Level
MATH 301-3 Introduction to Complex Analysis
MATH 336-3 Intermediate Differential Equations
PHYS 300-3 Classical Mechanics
PHYS 302-3 Quantum Mechanics I
PHYS 310-3 Classic Electromagnetism I
PHYS 390-3 Advanced Physics Laboratory

400 Level
PHYS 400-3 Quantum Mechanics II
PHYS 401-3 Seminar on Contemporary Topics in Physics
PHYS 404-3 Solid State Physics
PHYS 407-3 Statistical Mechanics
PHYS 410-3 Classic Electromagnetism II
Nine additional credit hours of Physics at the 300 or 400 level.

Elective and Academic Breadth Requirement
Elective credit hours must be taken as necessary to ensure completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours including any additional credit hours necessary to meet the Academic Breadth requirement of the University (see Academic Regulation on Academic Breadth).

Recommended electives include:
CHEM 101-3 General Chemistry II
CHEM 200-3 Physical Chemistry I
CPSC 101-4 Computer Programming II
MATH 335-3 Introduction to Numerical Methods
STAT 371-3 Probability and Statistics for Scientists and Engineers

BSc Honours - Physics

The Honours Program in Physics offers students a higher level of physics education and physics research experience for proceeding to postgraduate studies in physics or related fields. Honours students must complete the program requirements for the BSc degree in Physics (Major in Physics). In addition, they must complete PHYS 402 for a minimum of 3 credit hours and submit for approval an undergraduate thesis or research project report under the supervision of a faculty member.  

Students can seek entry to the Honours program after the completion of 60 credit hours with a Cumulative GPA of at least 3.33, and their continuance in the program also requires maintaining a Cumulative GPA of 3.33 or better.  Entry to the Honours Program is at the discretion of the Physics Department. 

Joint Major in Chemistry and Physics (BSc)

Joint Major in Computer Science and Physics (BSc)

Joint Major in Mathematics and Physics (BSc)

Minor in Physics

Students interested in obtaining a minor in Physics must complete 27 credit hours of Physics, of which 12 must be at the upper level. 

A maximum of four courses (consisting of two 100 level courses plus two courses at the 200 level or beyond to a maximum of 15 credit hours) which are used to fulfill requirements for a major (or another minor) may also be used to fulfill requirements for a minor in Physics. 

The following courses are required:
PHYS 110-4 Introductory Physics I: Mechanics
PHYS 111-4 Introductory Physics II: Waves and Electricity
PHYS 202-4 Electromagnetism and Optics
PHYS 205-3 Modern Physics I
Twelve credit hours of 300 or 400 level PHYS.

The upper-division courses are selected in consultation with an advisor from the Physics Department to reflect the student’s specific interests. 

Updated: July 10, 2023