Biological and Medical Physics

Rocket science, meet medical science

A student in the Life Physics program at the University of Waterloo.

If you enjoy biology and physics and want a career in medical technology or health research, Biological and Medical Physics at Waterloo is for you.

Run by the Department of Physics and Astronomy — one of the largest and most innovative physics departments in Canada — this flexible and interdisciplinary program is based on a solid foundation of physics, chemistry, and biology. Not to mention that students have the opportunity to gain paid work experience through their co-op work terms.

You’ll enjoy small classes, hands-on labs, and the opportunity to get involved in research and teaching.

Join a program that fosters curious minds to question the smallest particles, the largest forces, and everything in between. Be part of a community that includes Nobel Prize laureate professor Donna Strickland and professor Avery Broderick, part of the team to take the first image of a black hole.

Program highlights

Learn from top researchers. Get the scoop on the latest research in the physics seminar, which brings together all Waterloo physics students for talks from top scientists.

Make friends for life. Plan to live in residence? Join the Science Living Learning Community to connect with students who share your passion (and get study support).


Person taking a pulse reading.

What will you learn?

First-year courses

In your first year, you'll take a mixture of Physics, Biology, Mathematics, and Chemistry courses to give you the foundations for your upper-year classes. After first year, most of your classes will be Physics courses with some Biology courses.

Learn more about courses you'll take for your Biological and Medical Physics degree.

Customize your degree

You can add additional areas of interest and expertise by including one of the minors available to all Waterloo students.


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Monthly topics include how to choose a university program, what it's like to be a Waterloo student, and more.

Questions? Ask a student!

Contact a Science student ambassador to learn about their experience.

Ask them questions such as why they chose their program, what the classes are like, and how you can get involved on campus.


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

Waterloo's co-op program, the largest in North America, is an amazing way to explore potential careers, learn to interview for jobs, graduate with up to two years of valuable experience – and make money! 

Sample co-op job titles

  • Medical device design assistant
  • Ultrasound image reconstruction specialist
  • X-ray diffraction technologist
  • Science and math peer tutor
  • Undergraduate research assistant
  • Quality assurance analyst

Co-op work-study sequence

Starting in second year, you'll normally alternate between school and work every four months, integrating your classroom learning with real-world experience. You can return to the same employer for a couple of work terms to gain greater knowledge and responsibility or work for different employers to get a broad range of experience.

Year September to December (Fall) January to April (Winter) May to August (Spring)
First Study Study Off
Second Study Co-op Study
Third Co-op Study Co-op
Fourth Study Co-op Co-op
Fifth Study Study -

Your first work term will be halfway through second year (January to April 2026).

Learn more about co-op →


Admission requirements

Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including

  • English (ENG4U) (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Advanced Functions (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Calculus and Vectors (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Two of: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Mathematics of Data Management, or Physics

Admission averages: Low 80s

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.

How to apply

Apply to Physical Sciences and select Biological and Medical Physics as your major in first year.

Connect with us

Questions about courses, programs, requirements, or careers?

Please contact Alisia, our Science recruitment coordinator who can answer any questions you have.

Alisia Mar


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