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David J. Gross, a string theorist, particle physicist and Physics Laureate, once said, “Physics is the king of all sciences because it helps us understand the way nature works.” This couldn’t be more true as the subject covers a vast range of topics and discoveries, whether they be about space or time or particles or the universe on the whole. These discoveries affect the development of other fields.
Those interested in this field can choose from a wide array of specializations, some of which include astrophysics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, atomic physics and electricity. Specialists usually find work in the government, industry, universities and scientific businesses.
A few possible career options for those specializing in physics include medical physicists, astronomers, astrophysicists, geophysicists, environmental auditors, particle physicists, geologists, air traffic controllers, risk managers, satellite developers and cancer researchers.
Degree Options in Physics
While there are a number of degree options with Physics offered by Canadian universities, here are a few to give you an idea.
This program is designed for students wanting to learn Physics as part of a general education, or combine physics with other disciplines. Usually, students in this program are allowed to pick from a range of options such as a career in medical physics, education, high technology, business, or science journalism. Students, who decide to take this program, will have a good base for future professional degree in fields such as Architecture, Commerce, Education, Law and Medicine. The large number of electives allow you to obtain significant background in another field such as Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Physical Geography, Oceanography, Geophysics or Geology.
#2 Physics and Astronomy
This program is a good option for students intending to pursue post-graduate studies in Astronomy or Astrophysics. For those who wish to graduate school in any area of Physics, this can be done by selecting relevant electives. An advanced degree (Ph.D.) is now generally a requirement for a scientist position at most observatories and academic institutions and as a result, this program’s admission requirements are usually a bit strict.
#3 Physics and Computer Science
This program combines both computational physics and informatics. Students will develop a strong interdisciplinary background that covers relevant topics in both fields. A few of the many interesting subjects that can learned in this program include experimental physics and computational physics.
The aim of this program is to give students a solid foundation in a branch of biological sciences while possessing a strong grasp of the basic concepts and quantitative skills of physics. Students who take up this program can go on to procure a master’s degree in either biological sciences or physics.
While this program provides students with future career options in either biology or physics, it also opens up opportunities in fields that combine both subjects. Pharmaceutical companies and hospitals hire these specialists.
#5 Physics and Mathematics
Modern theoretical physics, is an exciting field which includes such topics as cosmology, string theory and superconductivity. Theoretical physics requires a high level of mathematical understanding, especially in areas such as linear algebra, complex analysis, differential equations, differential geometry and group theory. Those who opt for this program usually go on to study further in one of these areas, but many also gain great employment opportunities in diverse high-tech industries that require a high degree of analytical skills in addition to knowledge in mathematical finance and scientific computing.
#6 Structural Biology
Structural biology is the study of how biological molecules are built. Using a variety of imaging techniques, scientists view molecules in three dimensions to see how they are assembled, how they function, and how they interact. That has helped researchers understand how the thousands of different molecules in each of our cells work together to keep us healthy. Structural studies have also shown how misshapen molecules make us sick, and as a result, these studies have prompted new treatments for many diseases.
#7 Chemical Physics
There is a rich boundary region between Chemistry and Physics, particularly in areas such as materials science, condensed matter physics, nuclear chemistry and surfaces science. As a result, this is a challenging program which will provide students with a strong foundation for an advanced degree in either area with interests that lie in within the intersection of these subjects.
#8 Physics and Education
This combination is ideal for students who love physics and enjoy teaching. Students will learn all those interesting concepts in Physics and will be taught the best ways to pass on the knowledge that they acquire. On completion of this program, in addition to being able to become a physics teacher, they can also branch out into either a purely physics program or pursue education in another area.
Top Schools for a BS in Physics in Canada
|School||Global Ranking for Physics|
|University of Toronto||62|
|University of British Columbia||1|
|University of Waterloo||235|
|University of Alberta||210|
|University of Calgary||204|
Application Fee: 85-125 CAD
Minimum IELTS range: 6-6.5
Minimum TOEFL score range: 90-95
Minimum GPA range: 3-4
University of British Columbia
University of Toronto
University of Alberta