Chemical Physics

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Regular and Co-op

Physics and chemistry are combined in this major, which includes classes in such areas as materials science and the quantum mechanical basis of molecular structure.

What's Unique?


Students combine physics and chemistry for a unique interdisciplinary experience with an emphasis on applied skills building with lab work. Working in the laboratory with state-of the-art equipment, students acquire the skills and knowledge of a variety of techniques, including x-ray diffraction and nuclear magnetic resonance. Students will have access to some of the world's most respected scientists and researchers in a high-tech setting, and to a wide variety of possible careers in industry, government or academia.

Get Involved in Physics at University of Guelph:

Program Details 

The chemical physics major is the best of two highly sought-after physical sciences – chemistry and physics, and students who graduate have applied, top skills in the field. Students take an integrated MATH and PHYS course in first year along with the chemistry and biology taken by other science students. Second through fourth year, students will focus on chemistry and physics courses equally. Students will acquire exceptional lab skills in both chemistry and physics labs. Unique to the University of Guelph, students will also take a Science Communications course where they develop activities to help people understand the concepts of physics. Students must complete a research component with a faculty member in either chemistry or in physics.

  • Experimental Techniques in Physics
  • Quantum Chemistry
  • Topics in Advanced Physical Chemistry

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Admission Requirements

~80 - 83%* average, ~83 - 85% average for co-op

  • 12U English
  • Calculus and Vectors
  • 2 courses from: 12U Biology, Chemistry, Physics
  • 2 additional 12U or M courses

All three sciences are recommended

*Please note that admission cut-offs stated above is an approximate based on previous years applicant pool. This cut-off range will vary from year-to-year and can be higher or lower based on the applicant pool. Meeting the minimum average does not guarantee an offer of admission. Admissions averages are calculated using the six required courses. 



You can expect to learn how to:

  • Demonstrate mastery in advanced Electricity and Magnetism, Mechanics, Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, Optics, and Quantum Mechanics
  • Apply Intermediate level Mathematics techniques to enhance understanding in the aforementioned major subject areas
  • Demonstrate advanced laboratory skills in order to practically realize concepts in Electricity & Magnetism, Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Quantum Physics, Optics, Nuclear Physics, Spectroscopy, and Electronics and apply these skills in self-directed learning
  • Apply modern computational techniques to investigate various physical phenomena and demonstrate proficiency in mathematical software such as Maple, MatLab, and/or Mathematica


Career Options

Enjoy challenging careers in academic research, regulatory work, research and development or in related business fields. Our chemical physics program provides you with a degree that is truly interdisciplinary, and hands-on ensuring that upon graduation you have acquired an expertise and proficiency in great demand by employers.


Chemical Physics co-op is a five-year program, which includes five work terms. Below is an example of how the academic and work sequence will look for a Chemical Physics major.*

*Please note this sequence may change. The current undergraduate calendar will house the most accurate sequence that students must follow. 

Students in this co-op major complete a course, COOP*1100, in the fall semester of second year.  This course helps students prepare for their work term by developing professional attitudes and skills for the workplace. This course also provides students with a toolkit of resume and cover letter writing as well as interview skills, which helps students to apply, interview and secure their work term positions.

What our Alumni are working as:

Chemical Physicists

Forensic Technicians

Quality Assurance Operations   |   Abbott

Materials and Devices Integration Scientist | Xerox



Chemical Physics is supported by the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

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Research & Faculty

Find out more about the research and faculty involved in the Chemical Physics major.

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Course List

A complete listing of all courses required for this major can be found in the Schedule of Studies located in the undergraduate calendar.

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