Department of Physics

Programs in Physics and Physics/Electrical Engineering

Physics is the study of how the world around us works, from its most fundamental particles to the technology permeating our daily life. Recently, the physics world has taken tremendous thrust towards technological innovation: from bio-labs on a chip (the ability to control physics on the level of single molecules) to quantum computing and communication. Our physics programs enable you to experience hands-on learning to develop the analytical, design, mathematical, and computational skills required to understand the building blocks of nature, the universe and human inventions.

We offer two programs, one in Physics and the other in Physics and Mathematics. We have also extended our Physics program to offer two exciting new options—photonics and biophysics. Students benefit from being exposed to world-class teachers and researchers in these areas, giving a competitive advantage when establishing a career in their fields. Find a program that will work for you on this page.

Why uOttawa Physics?

This is your chance to learn how the Universe works.

  • Global warming, the Big Bang, Neurons, the Stock market, and more…
  • Learn how to break a problem down into basic principles to analyze it
  • Skills: Quantitative reasoning, Applied Computing, Technical communication

Bio-Physics: Top 5 in Canada

  • Cellular mechanics
  • Medical sensors
  • Neurophysics
  • Microfluidics

Material Science: New specialty

  • Super materials
  • Graphene
  • Artificial atoms
  • Nanophysics

Photonics: #1 in Canada

  • Telecommunications
  • Environmental Sensing
  • Computing

STEM Complex: $115 million, opened in 2018

  • uOttawa Makerspace : encouraging students from all fields of study to “invent-build-play”
  • Open-Concept Entrepreneurship Hub (E-Hub): help multi-disciplinary startups launch new products expertise on regulations, patenting and venture capital
  • Cutting-edge Labs: Discovery labs that expand on the latest digital infrastructure and state of the art equipment

Advanced Research Complex: $88 million, opened 2014

  • Geophysics, Photonics, Material Physics
  • 200 Researchers
Programs and Suggested Course Sequences

Our Department and Programs: 30 Professors (all with PhDs)

  • Honours BSc in Physics
  • Biological physics option
  • Photonics option
  • Minor in Biophysics
  • Honour BSc in Physics-Mathematics
  • BSc in Physics - BASc in Electrical Engineering Dual Degree:
    • Five-year integrated program (159 units)
    • Two Degrees: Honours BSc in Physics and a BASc in Electrical Engineering
    • Wider career opportunities as a scientist, product researcher, or engineer
  • Honours Bsc in Geology-Physics
  • Co-op available for all programs

For all physics courses, please consult the catalogue.

Honours BSc in Physics:

  • 1st year courses (30 units):
    • 2 Physics
    • 2 Calculus
    • 1 Computer Programming
    • 1 Linear Algebra
    • 3 - 4 Elective Courses
  • General topics: astronomy, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, optics
  • Special training: contact and experience with world-class research in photonics, biophysics, and materials science
  • Advanced topics: lasers, astrophysics, general relativity, quantum field theory

X-Projects Course

  • Taught by Bio-hacker and TED fellow, Physics Professor Andrew Pelling.
  • Groups propose and build their own science projects.
  • Learn and apply coding and electronics skills. Learn to hack!
  • Examples: Pollution sampling by drones, pattern analysis in bee traffic, room mapping by ceiling lights.
CO-OP Program
  • 100% placement rate in Physics (Summer 2019)
  • Opportunities to earn > $2,000 per month
  • Positions:
    • Research in University Labs
    • Data Analyst
    • Technical Writer
    • Mathematical Modelling
    • Laboratory Technician
  • Direct Admission:
    • 80% admission average from high school or 75% after 2 years of CEGEP
  • Second entry Admission:
    • Apply at the start of your second year with average > 6.0/10.0.

Learn more about the CO-OP Program

Career Opportunities

Physics Majors Get Great Jobs!

  • Undergraduate and graduate physics students are in high demand in many areas including:
    • Academic and industrial research and development, Teaching, Computing, Health sciences, Finance, Law, Tech startups and more.
  • Physics Majors in Top-Ten for Salary: With inflation, in 2018 the median starting salary is $82,000$ (CAD).
  • Physics Majors get into Medical School
    • Physics majors have the highest Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores (2016)
  • Physics Majors Ace Professional Examinations
    • GRE (Graduate Record Exam)
    • GMAT (Grad. Management Admission Test)
    • LSAT (Law School Admissions Test)

What can I do with my studies in Physics?

Student Life
  • Physics Society
  • Physics Trivia Nights
  • Pizza and Profs
  • Physics Fest
  • Pizza and Movies
  • Science Students Association
  • Science Job Fair
  • Science Talks and Conferences

Student Astronomical Observatory

  • Take your own pictures of solar flares, the moon, planets, eclipses
Five Reasons #WhyuOttawaPhysics
  1. Research opportunities: do real scientific research while here
  2. Bilingualism: courses are offered in French & English, separately
  3. Strong co-op program: 100% placement rate in Physics (Summer 2019)
  4. Top instructors: world-renowned and award winning researchers
  5. Interaction: small class sizes (1:5 faculty to student ratio)
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