Mathematical Physics

Study the very big to the very small. This math is universal.

In Mathematical Physics, you’ll combine theoretical physics with high-level math courses in differential equations, vector calculus, and applied mathematics. You’ll also get plenty of chances to apply that learning with hands-on labs in mechanics, electricity and magnetism, computer programming, optics, and more.

You won’t find a better place to study than Waterloo. Our Faculty of Mathematics is the largest in Canada. Meanwhile, the Department of Physics is one of Canada’s largest and most innovative, and this program comes with a co-op option so students can gain up to two years of paid work experience while pursuing their degree.

Join a program that fosters curious minds to question the smallest particles, the largest forces, and everything in between. Where you'll get the support needed to succeed (and possibly win a Nobel Prize in Physics (like Waterloo professor Donna Strickland).

Whatever door you choose, Waterloo offers the key to open it.

Program highlights

  • Learn from top researchers. Catch a lecture at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, just south of campus, or spend a research term at Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing.
  • Make friends for life. Plan to live in residence? Live in a Science Academic Cluster and meet other first-year Science students. Form a study group or walk to class together with your new classmates.

  • Available as a regular or co-op program
  • Graduate with a Bachelor of Mathematics or a Bachelor of Science
  • Offered by the Faculties of Mathematics and Science

Female mathematical physics student writes formulas on white board.

Study the theoretical side of physics and be well-prepared to embark on a career in research and development or to pursue specialized graduate studies.

What will you learn?

First-year courses

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

Learn more about courses you'll take for your Mathematical Physics degree.

Customize your degree

You can add additional areas of expertise to your degree by including one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students.

Once you're a student, advisors can help you explore which minors or specializations may fit into your plans.


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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.


megaphone icon"Between the Institute for Quantum Computing, the nearby Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and other cool research on campus, Waterloo is a great environment if you're interested in physics!"Eric, fourth-year Mathematical Physics student

Admission requirements

Apply to Mathematics or Physical Sciences and choose Mathematical Physics as your major.

Choose your focus

You can earn your Mathematical Physics degree through the Faculty of Mathematics or the Faculty of Science. What's the difference?

  • While most of your first-year courses will be similar, you'll take more science or math courses in your upper years depending on which entry program you choose.
  • The degree you earn will be either a Bachelor of Mathematics (BMath) through the Faculty of Mathematics or a Bachelor of Science (BSc) through the Faculty of Science.
  • Depending on your interests and whether you'd like to earn a math or science degree, you'll apply to one of two entry programs: Mathematics or Physical Sciences (which have different admission requirements).
  • You'll then choose Mathematical Physics as your major within one of these entry programs.
  • The courses required to earn your degree will focus more on math or science.

Connect with us

Questions about courses, programs, requirements, or careers?

Contact the Math recruitment coordinator or the Science recruitment coordinator, who can answer any questions you have.


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