The program information below is valid for the spring 2022 term (May 1, 2022 - August 31, 2022).

The Graduate Studies Academic Calendar is updated 3 times per year, at the start of each academic term (January 1, May 1, September 1). Graduate Studies Academic Calendars from previous terms can be found in the archives.

Graduate research fields

  • Astrophysics and Gravitation
  • Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics
  • Biophysics
  • Chemical Physics
  • Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
  • Industrial and Applied Physics
  • Quantum Computing
  • Subatomic Physics

Graduate specializations

  • Quantum Technology
  • Admit term(s) 
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Spring
  • Delivery mode 
    • On-campus
  • Program type 
    • Joint
    • Master's
    • Research
  • Registration option(s) 
    • Full-time
    • Part-time
  • Study option(s) 
  • Additional program information 
    • Note: the coursework study option is only open to students at the University of Waterloo.
  • Minimum requirements 
    • An Honours Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in Science with at least a 75% standing.
  • Application materials 
    • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Physics subject test scores for all students who have completed their post-secondary education outside of Canada.
    • Supplementary information form
    • Transcript(s)
  • References 
    • Number of references:  3
    • Type of references: 

      2 of which are normally from academic sources

  • English language proficiency (ELP) (if applicable)

    Thesis option:

  • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
  • Courses 
    • Students must complete the following 4 one-term courses (0.50 unit weight):
      • 1 Physics core course
      • 2 graduate level courses
      • 1 graduate level or 300 or 400 level undergraduate course. Undergraduate courses must be approved by the student’s supervisor, the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies, Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Associate Dean of Science for Graduate Studies prior to enrolment in the course.
      • Physics core courses:
        • PHYS 701 Quantum Mechanics 1
        • PHYS 703 Introduction to Quantum Field Theory
        • PHYS 704 Statistical Physics 1
        • PHYS 706 Electromagnetic Theory
        • PHYS 767 Quantum Information Processing
        • PHYS 781 Fundamentals of Astrophysics
        • PHYS 782 Fundamentals of Astrophysics II: Observational Techniques and Data Analysis
    • An average of at least 70% must be obtained in the required courses. A minimum grade of 65% is required for a pass in each course. If a student does not meet these minimum grade requirements, or receives a failing grade in any course, the student may be required to withdraw from the program.
  • Link(s) to courses
  • Academic Integrity Workshop
    • This is a milestone requirement for all full-time students. Part-time students are not required to complete this workshop. This is a mandatory workshop on academic integrity and intellectual property which will be offered to all new incoming graduate students within the Faculty of Science during the first term of each Fall and Winter.
    • Note: students will be required to complete both the Academic Integrity Module as a required course along with the Academic Integrity Workshop milestone. The Module will appear on the student's transcript as a course. The Workshop will appear on the student's transcript as a milestone.
  • Master’s Thesis
    • Students must complete a thesis based on original research. The subject of research must be approved by the candidate's supervisor.
    • Acceptance of the thesis requires the approval by an Examining Committee following an oral defence of the thesis.
  • Other requirements 
    • Advisory Committee meetings: it is required that the student meet formally with their Advisory Committee within the first six months of registration and subsequently at least once per year. If the student receives more than one unsatisfactory evaluation from an Advisory Committee meeting, they may be required to withdraw from the program.
    • The MSc Advisory Committee must consist of at least three members, including:
      • The student’s supervisor(s); the primary supervisor acts as the Committee Chair.
      • At least one Committee member that is a regular faculty member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo. Note: This requirement does not apply for MSc students who are supervised by a Perimeter Institute faculty member with ADDS status.
      • At least two Committee members that are regular, adjunct, or cross-listed faculty members of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo or the Department of Physics at the University of Guelph.
    • The MSc Defence Committee must consist of a minimum of three voting faculty members, including:
      • The supervisor(s).
      • Two other faculty members, of which one must be a regular faculty member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo.
  • Master's Research Paper option:

  • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
  • Courses 
    • Students must complete 7 one-term courses (0.50 unit weight) acceptable for graduate credit.
    • At least 4 courses must be PHYS graduate level courses.
    • 2 of the courses may be upper level undergraduate courses. The supervisor must submit a memo justifying why the undergraduate course(s) are acceptable for graduate credit, and approval must be received from the Physics and Astronomy Graduate Officer and the Associate Dean of Science for Graduate Studies prior to enrolment in the course.
    • An average of at least 70% must be obtained in the required courses. A minimum grade of 65% is required for a pass in each course. If a student does not meet these minimum grade requirements, or receives a failing grade in any course, the student may be required to withdraw from the program.
  • Link(s) to courses
  • Academic Integrity Workshop
    • This is a milestone requirement for all full-time students. Part-time students are not required to complete this workshop. This is a mandatory workshop on academic integrity and intellectual property which will be offered to all new incoming graduate students within the Faculty of Science during the first term of each Fall and Winter.
    • Note: students will be required to complete both the Academic Integrity Module as a required course along with the Academic Integrity Workshop milestone. The Module will appear on the student's transcript as a course. The Workshop will appear on the student's transcript as a milestone.
  • Master’s Research Paper
    • The Master's Research Paper will have to be approved by the candidate's Supervisory Committee.
  • Other requirements 
    • Progress report: At least once per academic year, students must compete an activity progress report. The report will contain an account of past achievements, and an outline of the work to be completed in the period between this and the subsequent submission. The activity report is reviewed and evaluated by the student’s supervisor and the Graduate Officer.
  • Coursework option:

  • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
  • Courses 
    • At this time, the only MSc in Physics coursework option includes a Graduate Specialization in Quantum Technology.
    • A Graduate Specialization is a University credential that is recognized on the student’s transcript but not on the diploma and is intended to reflect that a student has successfully completed a set of courses that together provide an in-depth study in the area of the Graduate Specialization. Students must complete the following 8 one-term courses (0.50 unit weight) acceptable for graduate credit in order to obtain the Graduate Specialization in Quantum Technology on their transcript:
      • PHYS 701 Quantum Mechanics 1
      • PHYS 760/QIC 860 Laboratory on Control of Quantum Technology
      • PHYS 761/QIC 861 Laboratory on Photonic Quantum Technology
      • PHYS 762/QIC 862 Laboratory on Low Temperature Quantum Technology and Nanofabrication
      • PHYS 763/QIC 863 Independent Project in Quantum Technology or 1 QIC 800 level elective
      • PHYS 767/QIC 710 Quantum Information Processing
      • QIC 750 Quantum Information Processing Devices
      • 1 PHYS 700 level or QIC 800 level elective
    • Substitutions of courses are possible subject to approval from the Graduate Officer.
    • It is recommended that students who wish to go on to PhD programs choose the PHYS 763/QIC 863 Independent Project in Quantum Technology course to develop their research capabilities.
    • An average of at least 70% must be obtained in the required courses. A minimum grade of 65% is required for a pass in each course. No more than 2 courses, of the first 4 taken, can have averages of less than 70%. If a student does not meet these minimum grade requirements, or receives a failing grade in any course, the student may be required to withdraw from the program.
  • Link(s) to courses
  • Academic Integrity Workshop
    • This is a milestone requirement for all full-time students. Part-time students are not required to complete this workshop. This is a mandatory workshop on academic integrity and intellectual property which will be offered to all new incoming graduate students within the Faculty of Science during the first term of each Fall and Winter.
    • Note: students will be required to complete both the Academic Integrity Module as a required course along with the Academic Integrity Workshop milestone. The Module will appear on the student's transcript as a course. The Workshop will appear on the student's transcript as a milestone.