Rocket science, meet medical science
If you enjoy biology and physics and want a career in medical technology or health research, Life 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.
You’ll enjoy small classes, hands-on labs, and the opportunity to get involved in research and teaching.
When you graduate, you can put your knowledge to work in cancer treatment centres, pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies, university research labs, and many other settings.
Learn from top researchers
Get the scoop on the latest research in the Physics Seminar, which brings together all Physics students for talks from top investigators.
Make friends for life
Plan to live in residence? Join a Science Academic Cluster to connect with students who share your passion (and get study support).
About the Life Physics program
Apply to Physical Sciences, select Life Physics as your major
Earn a Bachelor of Science in Honours Life Physics
Life Physics admission requirements
- Apply to Physical Sciences and select Life Physics as your major in first year.
Careers in Life Physics
Graduates of Life Physics often pursue work in fields such as medicine, radiation oncology, and medical imaging.
Possible career fields
- Senior Scientist, Drug Discovery, Merck Canada
- Medical Physicist, Cancer Centres
- Health and Safety Officer, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
- Customer Support, Scientific instrumentation, Olympus
- Product Developer, Christie Medical
September to December
PHYS 10 - Physics Seminar
BIOL 130/130L - Introductory Cell Biology/Laboratory
CHEM 120/120L - Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter/Laboratory
MATH 127 - Calculus 1 for the Sciences
ENGL 193/SPCOM 193 - Communication in the Sciences
• PHYS 121/121L - Mechanics/Laboratory
• PHYS 111/111L - Physics 1/Laboratory
January to April
PHYS 10 - Physics Seminar
BIOL 239 - Genetics
CHEM 123/123L - Chemical Reactions, Equilibria and Kinetics/Laboratory
MATH 128 - Calculus 2 for the Sciences
Choose one of:
• PHYS 122/122L - Waves, Electricity and Magnetism/Laboratory
• PHYS 112/112L - Physics 2/Laboratory
If you're considering the Biophysics specialization, you should select MATH 114 as a first-term elective. If you're considering the Medical Physics specialization, select PHYS 124 as your elective in winter.
What other courses will you take?
- About half of the classes you’ll take will be Physics courses with some Biology Courses. With your remaining classes you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas.
- You can also add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor/minors or a specialization as part of your degree. Specializations are listed above.
- View a list of all the courses required for your degree.
Gain relevant work experience through co-op
By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.
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
Sample co-op employers
- National Research Council of Canada
- TRIUMF particle accelerator centre
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
- CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research
- SNOLAB neutrino and dark matter physics lab
- Antibody Healthcare Communications