Courses for your Mathematical Physics degree

First-year courses and beyond

Faculty of Science

September to December

January to April

  • CHEM 123 - Chemical Reactions, Equilibria and Kinetics
  • PHYS 10 - Physics Seminar
  • PHYS 122/122L - Waves, Electricity and Magnetism/Laboratory
  • PHYS 124 - Modern Physics
  • MATH 136 - Linear Algebra 1 for Honours Mathematics
  • MATH 138 - Calculus 2  for Honours Mathematics

*Note: Year-one CHEM may be replaced by year-one BIOL or EARTH courses.

Faculty of Mathematics

You may select advanced-stream courses for algebra, calculus, and computer science if you meet the requirements. 

September to December

  • MATH 135 - Algebra for Honours Mathematics 
  • MATH 137 - Calculus 1 for Honours Mathematics 
  • PHYS 121 - Mechanics
  • Choose one of:
    •  CS 115 - Introduction to Computer Science
    •  CS 135 - Designing Functional Programs
  • One communication skills course

January to April

  • MATH 136 - Linear Algebra 1 for Honours Mathematics 
  • MATH 138 - Calculus 2 for Honours Mathematics 
  • PHYS 122 - Waves, Electricity and Magnetism
  • Choose one of:
    •  CS 116 - Introduction to Computer Science 2
    •  CS 136 - Elementary Algorithm Design and Data Abstraction
  • One communication skills course

After first year

About half of the classes you’ll take will be Physics courses, with roughly the other half being Applied Mathematics and Math courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

Sample upper-year courses

AMATH 373 – Quantum Theory 1
AMATH 390 – Mathematics and Music
AMATH 391 – From Fourier to Wavelets
PHYS 359 – Statistical Mechanics


What will you learn?

Types of courses you'll take

32% physics, 32% math, 5% chemistry, 15% program electives, 13% free electives, 3% communications

This is a general guideline. The ratio of courses may change slightly from year to year.

Skills you'll develop with this major

  • Advanced mathematical skills
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis
  • Systemic, rigorous, and flexible problem solving
  • Applied programming and data analysis
  • Creative application of knowledge to design new technologies

This isn't an exhaustive list – rather a glimpse into the skills a Mathematical Physics major can provide.

Your experience will be unique, and the skills you develop will depend on your goals; which courses you take; and your involvement with any clubs, jobs, or research projects.


Advisors are here to help

With so much flexibility, you might have a lot of questions. We're here to help! If you're applying for admission, contact our Faculty of Science recruitment co-ordinator.

Once you're a Waterloo student, you'll have access to academic advisors who can help you

  • choose your courses,
  • select minors and specializations,
  • ensure that you're meeting the requirements for your degree, and more.

Next steps