Why is our world the way it is? How can we understand and explain what we observe around us, from the smallest sub-atomic particles to the largest galaxies? How can we apply this understanding to manipulate our world? Studying physics gives insight into the fundamental laws of nature. 

But an education in physics gives so much more. The rigorous training our students receive in analyzing and understanding complex problems is valuable in many future careers. While many of our graduates have established careers in universities and in the high tech sector as research and development scientists, others have used their physics degrees as a springboard to careers in finance, administration, medicine, management or education. The range of career opportunities is perhaps wider than for any other students with a science education. 

Physicists have revolutionized the way we live our lives, with groundbreaking discoveries and new technologies, transferable to other fields such as biology or finance. Our professors and graduates are an important part of this chain. Many of our professors have also been recognized for their teaching and are seen as world-class researchers in their fields of expertise. 

The research conducted by the professors in the Department of Physics is concentrated in several sub-specialties, including the physics of biological and complex systems, condensed matter physics, photonics and the physics of geomaterials. Depending upon your choice of program, you have the opportunity to take courses and participate in research projects in these specialized areas. 

In addition to the Honours BSc in Physics, we offer three other Honours BSc programs. The first is in physics-mathematics, which provides enriched mathematics training within a physics program. The second is the option in photonics, which gives students a solid training in physics and a more applied and industry-related training in photonics. The third is the option in biological physics, which teaches students to apply a rigorous education in physics to various areas of life sciences. We also offer a Major in Physics that can form the core of an Honours BSc when combined with a major or a minor in another discipline in the Faculty of Science, or in another faculty. Finally, starting in fall 2016, we will offer a five-year integrated program in physics (BSc) and electrical engineering (BASc), jointly with the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (SEECS). This unique program will offer a full education in physics and electrical engineering. Graduates will be sought after by industry and academia, as they will have the capacity to develop technology from a basic physics idea to the final product. 

The Department of Physics also has strong graduate programs, leading to an MSc or PhD. They give students the opportunity to work on cutting edge science in a research group led by one or more department professors.

This program is offered in English and in French.

Co-operative education is available with this program.

The extended French stream is available with this program.

3 course units from: 13 Units
Fundamentals of Engineering Computation
Introduction to Computing I
MAT 1320Calculus I3 Units
3 course units from:3 Units
Calculus II
Calculus II and an Introduction to Analysis
MAT 1341Introduction to Linear Algebra3 Units
PHY 1121Fundamentals of Physics I3 Units
PHY 1122Fundamentals of Physics II3 Units
3 course units from:3 Units
Multivariable Calculus
Calculus III for Engineers
3 course units from:3 Units
Ordinary Differential Equations and the Laplace Transform
Ordinary Differential Equations and Numerical Methods
PHY 2104Introduction to Circuit Theory and Electronics3 Units
PHY 2311Waves and Optics3 Units
PHY 2323Electricity and Magnetism3 Units
PHY 2333Mechanics3 Units
PHY 2361Modern Physics3 Units
PHY 3310Photonics Measurement Techniques3 Units
PHY 3320Electromagnetic Theory3 Units
PHY 3341Theoretical Physics3 Units
PHY 3350Thermodynamics3 Units
PHY 3355Statistical Thermodynamics3 Units
PHY 3370Introductory Quantum Mechanics3 Units
PHY 3902Physics and Applied Physics Laboratory I3 Units
ELG 4178Optical Communications and Networking3 Units
PHY 4311Introduction to Photonics - Lasers3 Units
PHY 4320Introduction to Quantum Optics3 Units
PHY 4370Quantum Mechanics3 Units
PHY 4375Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics3 Units
PHY 4382Introduction to Solid State Physics3 Units
One option from the following:6 Units
Option 1:
Physics Research Project
Option 2:
Physics Project
and 3 optional course units at the 2000, 3000 or 4000 level from the Faculty of Science or the Faculty of Engineering
12 elective course units from the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Education, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Social Sciences or the Telfer School of Management12 Units
24 elective course units 224 Units
Total: 120 Units



ITI 1120 is a prerequisite for most further computer science (CSI) courses. GNG 1106 is recommended for students not taking further computer science courses (CSI).


Of the 24 elective course units, some breadth in other sciences is recommended. In particular, the following courses are recommended: CHM 1311, (MAT 2141 or MAT 2342), (MAT 2371 or MAT 2377).

This message is intended for students registered in the Faculty of Science. If the components of your program of study require common compulsory courses, you will have to replace the units as follows:

  1. 1000-level courses must be replaced with elective course units;
  2. 2000-level courses and above must be replaced with optional course units from either discipline at the same level or above.

Please note that all programs in the Faculty of Science require a minimum of 12 elective course units from the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Education, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Social Sciences or the Telfer School of Management. Once you have decided on the replacement courses, please inform the Office of Undergraduate Programs of the Faculty of Science by email at infosci@uOttawa.ca so that we may amend your Academic Advisement accordingly.