Theoretical Physics

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About Theoretical Physics

With an emphasis on mathematical foundations during early semesters, students will gain the advanced mathematical agility required to work in modern theoretical physics. Apply special expertise to fields as diverse as black-hole structure calculations, theory of superconductivity, the physics of nuclei and neutron stars, or stock market analysis.

What's Unique?


The theortical physics major has small class sizes to support student learning from internationally renowned, award-winning faculty and researchers. As a result, students graduate with exceptional laboratory experience and this program has a high rate of student award reception and authoring/co-authoring papers in respected physics research journals such as Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Physical Review, and others.

What do University of Guelph professors wish they knew in first-year?

Program Details 

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 courses but will include mathematics courses as well, giving them the skills needed to understand the fundamental basis of topics such as black holes, the internal quark structure of protons and neutrons, and the underpinnings of high-temperature super-conductivity. 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.

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics
  • Statistical Physics
  • Complex Analysis

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Admission Requirements


  • 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

Students graduating from this major may go on to traditional careers in physics or embark on careers requiring strong mathematics foundations.

  • Stock Market Analyst
  • Risk Analyst
  • IT Consultant
  • Financial Modelling Consultant
  • Quantum Computer Researcher


Where our Alumni are working:




Theoretical 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 Theoretical 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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