The program information below is valid for the fall 2020 term (September 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020).

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 4 one-term courses (0.50 unit weight) acceptable for graduate credit.
    • 1 of the 4 courses must include at least 1 of the following:
      • 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
    • 1 of the 4 courses may be an upper level undergraduate course. The supervisor must submit a memo justifying why the undergraduate course is 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. 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.
  • Master’s Thesis
    • Students must complete a thesis based on some original research. The subject of research must be approved by the candidate's supervisor and the thesis must be read and approved by the supervisor and two other faculty members. Part of the research may be conducted off-campus at a collaborating laboratory. The supervisor based at that laboratory will be an adjunct member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and a member of the joint Physics graduate program with the University of Guelph. There will also be an on-campus co-supervisor.
    • An acceptable thesis on a research topic must be submitted. Detailed specifications of the format of the thesis are available from the appropriate Graduate Office. Acceptance of the thesis requires the approval by an Examining Committee following an oral defence of the thesis.
  • Other requirements 
    • Supervisory Committee meetings: it is required that the student meet formally with their Supervisory Committee within the first six months of registration and subsequently at least once every six months. While one meeting in a year must be a formal one, the other meeting may be held informally; in the latter case, the meeting may simply take the form of a brief discussion of the student's academic progress, but, apart from the student and the supervisor, the meeting must involve at least one other member of the Committee.
    • A student in the MSc in Physics program, who shows a particular aptitude for research, may be permitted under certain circumstances to transfer to the PhD program without writing an MSc thesis.
  • 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.
    • 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. 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.
  • Master’s Research Paper
    • The Master's Research Paper will have to be approved by the candidate's Supervisory Committee.
  • Other requirements 
    • Supervisory Committee meetings: it is required that the student meet formally with their Supervisory Committee within the first four months of registration and subsequently at least once every six months. While one meeting in a year must be a formal one, the other meeting may be held informally; in the latter case, the meeting may simply take the form of a brief discussion of the student's academic progress, but, apart from the student and the supervisor, the meeting must involve at least one other member of the Committee.
  • 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.