The basic laws of physics are applied in advancements in many areas including modern medical and space-related technologies, climate research as well as energy generation and storage. As the study of physics continues to evolve through new discoveries, we need inquisitive minds to explore the connections between traditional and emerging research areas, including medical and nano-scale physics, and biophysics.
The PhD in Physics provides you with broad degree training for you to investigate fundamental and applied concepts that reflect faculty research specializations. Our cross-listed faculty members are experts in fields as varied as bioengineering and chemistry, and contribute to an environment that stresses strong student-supervisor relationships. For example, in collaboration with the PERFORM Centre, biomedical physics-related projects include using different imaging technologies to improve medical diagnostics and to investigate the effects of exercise on aging.
Benefit from cutting-edge research centres that promote interdisciplinary collaborations in nanoscience, and the molecular and life sciences. For example, projects currently underway at the Centre for NanoScience Research examine the optical properties of nanomaterials, the link between light-induced electron transfer and accompanying protonational reactions, and the structure-function relationships in photosynthetic pigment-protein complexes.
Our PhD students are looking at topics such as:
The quantum behaviour of electrons in graphene transistors
Understanding the evolution of photosynthesis
Photosynthesis as a tool to detect explosives
Improving brain imaging by combining different approaches
Design, fabrication, and characterization photonic devices
The normal requirement for admission is a Master of Science degree in Physics with high standing from a recognized university. Meritorious students enrolled in the Master of Science program in Physics at this university who have completed all requirements except for the thesis may apply for permission to proceed directly to doctoral studies without submitting a master's thesis.
Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.
Credits. A fully-qualified candidate, entering the doctoral program with a master’s degree, is required to complete a minimum of 90 credits.
Courses. The candidate is required to take the following:
9 credits chosen from PHYS 601, 602, 603, 609, 636, 637, 639, 642, 644, 646, 648, 649, 660, 663, 665 and 679.
Students may, with permission of their supervisor, substitute up to two courses from the following list:
CHEM 620 Selected Topics in Organic Chemistry
CHEM 630 Selected Topics in Physical Chemistry
CHEM 677 Enzyme Kinetics and Mechanism
CHEM 678 Protein Engineering and Design
CHEM 690 Selected Topics in Instrumentation
CHEM 692 Experimental Protein Chemistry
MAST 689 Variational Methods
MAST 694 Group Theory
MAST 840 Lie Groups
MAST 841 Partial Differential Equations (P.D.E.'s)
MAST 851 Differential Geometric Methods in Physics
MAST 854 Quantization Methods
MAST 855 Spectral Geometry
MAST 856 Selected Topics in Mathematical Physics
MAST 857 Selected Topics in Differential Geometry
PHYS 861: Doctoral Seminar on Selected Topics I (3 credits), in which the candidates must present a pedagogical talk on a topic from physics to an advanced-level undergraduate student audience.
PHYS 862: Doctoral Seminar on Selected Topics II (3 credits), in which the candidates must present a talk related to their thesis research to a critical audience.
PHYS 870: Comprehensive Examination and Research Proposal (6 credits): The purpose of this course is to satisfy the department that the student is sufficiently prepared, in terms of background and ability, to pursue the research required for a PhD. Each student is required to prepare a written project in his/her field of research. The topic is general, and not part of the thesis work. The oral examination is based on the contents of this report. The Graduate Program Committee appoints an examination committee in consultation with the thesis supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for the subject chosen and also acts as a member of the examining committee for the oral presentation. The comprehensive examination must be completed within four months after the candidate's initial registration in the PhD program. The grade for this course is a Pass or Fail. In case of failure in the first attempt, only one more attempt is allowed to take place.
PHYS 890: Doctoral Research and Thesis (69 credits): A student who has passed the comprehensive examination is admitted to candidacy for the PhD degree. The student is allowed to continue working on a research project under the direction of a faculty member of the department only after passing the comprehensive examination. The research is in areas which reflect the interests of the faculty and the facilities of the department. The thesis must make a distinct and original contribution to knowledge, and be presented in acceptable literary form.
2. An admission offer will not be issued until a supervisor match has been made. Students are encouraged to review the list of faculty members' field of interests and directly contact those with whom you would like to work. Please apply online.
Prospective graduate students must be selected by one or two (in case of joint supervision) faculty member(s) as a condition for final admission. Upon admission the research supervisor(s) and the department accept the responsibility for ensuring and arranging the financial support for the student for at least two years contingent upon satisfactory performance.
A Supervisory Committee is appointed for each student. This committee consists of two faculty members in the department and the research supervisor(s). The committee is responsible for monitoring the student’s academic progress and reports to the Graduate Program Committee.
A PhD in Physics prepares you for careers in various industries, including photonics, opto-electronics, semiconductors, biomedical and biophysics, advanced materials, nanotechnology, energy production, flight simulation, aeronautics, space science, and engineering. You’ll also be qualified for certain governmental and teaching positions. Physics graduates are also sought by employers for non-technical positions such as those in law, administration, business, journalism, financial analysis and publishing.