Physics and Astronomy

The study of planets, moons, stars, and galaxies — as well as their origin, evolution, and how they interact with each other.

students going to observe the night sky

The University of Waterloo's Gustav Bakos Observatory is open to the public for scheduled tours - normally on the first Wednesday of the month. Check out the schedule and come see our amazing solar system for yourself!

The sky is not the limit.

Astronomy is the oldest of the natural sciences — dating all the way back to the earliest recordings of history. So much of our modern life is based upon the works of ancient astronomers, from our yearly calendar to navigational systems.

Study our vast universe, from subatomic particles to planets, stars, and galaxies, as well as the origin, evolution, and fate of the whole cosmos. Engage with professors who are using state-of-the-art satellites and telescopes to explore space, while you prepare for careers in astrophysics and space science.                                                                                                                                                              

Physics and Astronomy Ambassadors - We'd love to meet you!

Find out more about life as a Waterloo Physics and Astronomy student. Come in for a tour or to one of our open houses and you might even meet us in person!

This major is available in the co-op and regular stream of study


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  • Applied programming and data analysis
  • Image analysis and manipulation
  • Building and working with detector technology
  • Statistical analysis techniques applicable to a wide range of disciplines
  • Telescope operation



  • Searching for faint satellite galaxies
  • Measuring star formation rates using the Very Large Telescope
  • Understanding dark matter structures
  • Simulating the survey strategy of the Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer
  • Star formation in galaxy groups

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