Regular and Co-op
Students will study elements of physics including the exotic aspects of the universe, such as black holes and subatomic particles, or be involved in the development of exciting modern devices such as particle accelerators and gamma-ray spectrometers.
With an emphasis on hands-on lab work, the physics major covers the fundamentals of mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum physics, grounding students in foundational physics while preparing them for more specialized study in upper years. The strong analytical, computational, and lab skills developed during the degree provide the flexibility to pursue a broad range of careers upon graduation.
Why Physics at Guelph:
"When I visited Guelph, I immediately fell in love with the campus. The people, the atmosphere, the food. My love for physics wasn’t as sudden. I started in a different program and hesitantly took a first-year physics for the biological sciences course. It sparked my drive to understand the world around me through this discipline. I switched majors and haven’t looked back. I’ve also developed a passion for science communication and physics education research. I strongly believe that undergrad should be used as a time to discover your passions and explore different things, and the University of Guelph gave me the support to do that."
Physics major, Mathematical Science minor
The major builds upon nationally recognized expertise in teaching and research with many of our faculty members having received both national and international awards. 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 physics specialty courses with an emphasis on hands-on, laboratory learning. 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.
- Experimental Techniques in Physics
- Computational Methods in Materials Science
- Electricity and Magnetism
View full courselist
~80-83% average, ~83- 85% for co-op option
- 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
Physics major graduates have well-rounded skillsets to prepare them for high-tech careers in industry, government, and academia. Many U of G physics graduates have gone on to have exciting, unique careers around the world.
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 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:
Senior Manager, Model and Market Risk | RBC
Nuclear Operator | Bruce Power
Research and Development Scientist | MesoMat
Research & Faculty
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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