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 to possibly win a Nobel Prize in Physics (like Waterloo professor Dr. Donna Strickland) or be part of the team to take the first image of a black hole (like professor Avery Broderick).

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

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.


Female mathematical physics student writes formulas on white board. 

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

trophyWaterloo ranks top 10 in Canada for Physics and Astronomy

BreifcaseAvailable as a co-op and regular program

CapEarn a Bachelor of Mathematics or Bachelor of Science degree


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?

  • The degree you earn will be either a Bachelor of Mathematics (BMath) or a Bachelor of Science (BSc).
  • 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.

Get tips from Waterloo students

Sign up for insider advice that can help you now and in the future. Topics include

  • tips for a successful senior year of high school,
  • how to choose a university program,
  • differences between high school and university, and more.

First-year Mathematical Physics courses

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


BeakerOffered by the Faculties of Science and Mathematics

ribbonWaterloo ranks among the top 50 universities in the world for math


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

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

  • Design engineer-quality assurance
  • Project engineering support
  • Performance engineering co-op student
  • Science & math peer tutor
  • Undergraduate research assistant
  • Application programmer
  • Quality assurance analyst

Sample co-op employers

  • Ontario Power Generation Inc.
  • Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.
  • 360 Education Labs Inc.
  • CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research
  • Ontario Ministry of Government & Consumer Services

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.

What can you do with a degree in Mathematical Physics?

Mathematical Physics graduates commonly pursue careers in industry analysis and modelling, software development and theoretical physics research with nuclear power companies, tech companies, engineering firms, and more. Many graduates also pursue specialized master's and PhD studies.

Recent graduates

  • Programmer/Research Assistant – Grand River Hospital
  • Teacher – Nancy Campbell Academy
  • Specialist – Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada 
  • Shopping Operations Specialist – Google 
  • Lecturer – McGill University
  • Front End Engineer – Sandvine
  • Assistant Engineer – General Dynamic Canada

Learn about the future of careers in math, coding, and data.

Ready to learn more?