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Physics (BSc)

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Bachelor of Science (BSc)
Program type
Major, Minor, Honours, Specialization
Primary campus
Sir George Williams (SGW)
3 to 4 years
Start term
Fall, Winter
Experiential learning
Co-op, Internship

Why study Physics?

Studying Physics sends you on a journey to the end of the universe or into the centre of an atom. When you study the science of energy and matter, you examine the dynamics of a relationship that has kept great thinkers busy for millennia. Today physicists build lasers, design medical imaging machines and develop applications for nanotechnology. So if you’re ready, sharpen your reasoning skills and open your mind — physics is a discipline that demands as much curiosity as it does strength in mathematics.

As a Physics student, you’ll choose the Physics option, or examine the role of physics in the life sciences in the Biophysics option. You’ll receive a thorough foundation in all branches of physics, including mathematics, classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, waves and optics, quantum mechanics and modern and theoretical physics.

Graduates leave the program with the knowledge and creative thinking skills required for graduate studies or a career in the pure or life sciences.

Program highlights

  • The Science First-Year Experience Program → for students from other Canadian provinces. Connect with other first-year science students and engage in interdisciplinary, research-based approaches to the foundational sciences. Learn more

Program structure

A Bachelor of Science degree takes a minimum of three or four years (90 – 120 credits) of full-time study, depending on your academic background.

Program options

  • Specialization in Physics – Physics option (66 credits)
  • Specialization in Physics – Biophysics option (66 credits)
  • Major in Physics (45 credits)
  • Minor in Biophysics (24 credits)
  • Honours in Physics – Physics option (69 credits)
  • Honours in Physics – Biophysics option (69 credits)


Co-op program

The Co-op program gives you the chance to complete paid work terms that last 12 to 16 weeks. As a Co-op student, you will work for firms where you may:

  • Perform spectroscopy work
  • Take measurements of solar cells
  • Develop software or computer interfacing protocols
  • Develop models to predict the behaviour of lasers and optics systems
  • Test survey hypotheses

Students interested in applying for the Physics co-op should refer to the Undergraduate Calendar where a full description of the admission requirements is provided.

Academic content is very similar to that of the regular programs, with some specific recommendations for courses to improve the students' job skills. While it is hoped that most of the positions will be in the Montreal area, students must be prepared to work in other parts of Canada.

Students are supervised personally and must meet the requirements specified by the Faculty of Arts and Science and the Institute for Co-operative Education in order to continue their studies in the co-op format.

Liaison between the student, the employers, and the Institute for Co-operative Education is provided by the Physics co-op committee, which includes the student's advisors.

Admission requirements

Minimum cut-off averages

  • Quebec CEGEP: 24
  • High School: C+ overall, C+ in math / sciences
  • University Transfers (internal/external): C overall, C in math / sciences
  • Bacc. français: 11 overall, 11 in math / science
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma: 26 overall, 4 math, 4 science

Course requirements for admission

  • CEGEP STUDENTS: Calculus 1 and Calculus 2 and Linear Algebra – Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism and Wave, Optics and Modern Physics – General Chemistry and Chemistry of Solutions – General Biology OR Natural Science DEC OR DEC intégré en sciences, lettres et arts.
  • HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: one math and two of either biology, chemistry or physics
  • BACC FRANÇAIS STUDENTS: Science programs require the completion of Série S (Sciences) Bacc. français
  • IB STUDENTS: one math, one science (HL preferred but SL acceptable). SL grade requirement may vary. Science HL or SL acceptable.
  • UNIVERSITY TRANSFERS: one math, one science (if courses are completed during previous studies, they may be considered as the basis of admission)

Minimum cut-off averages should be used as indicators. The cut-off data may change depending on the applicant pool. Applicants who meet the stated minimum requirements are not guaranteed admission to these programs.

After your degree

Graduates leave the program with the knowledge and creative thinking skills required for graduate studies or a career in the pure or life sciences.

Montreal is a hotbed of startup culture and health research. Many Physics alumni pursue graduate studies and work at the forefront of technological innovation. They have established careers in a variety of scientific fields that include:

  • Nanotechnology
  • Medical imaging and radiation treatment
  • Energy
  • Telecommunications
  • Laser and satellite design

Biophysics graduates will be in a powerful position when it comes to taking a leadership role in a team of scientists and engineers, since they will be trained in big-picture thinking, with the knowledge and tools to cross the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines.

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