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4.11.1 Program Information 4.11.1 Program Information

Physics is the discipline that by experiment and logical analysis examines the laws of nature that form the basis for all relationships and interactions between matter and energy. Knowledge of physics is also essential in other natural sciences, such as chemistry and geology, and to professions such as engineering, medicine and dentistry. Astronomy, the other focus of this department, examines the universe, the earth and the planets, as well as phenomena such as quasars, pulsars, comets, and asteroids; a planetarium and an astronomical observatory are part of this program. In both Physics and Astronomy mathematical skills are developed simultaneously.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have defined focus areas of study within their own programs. Students taking the courses recommended for these focus areas will find it easier to transfer between programs in Physics and Astronomy and Electrical and Computer Engineering programs. Students interested in obtaining more information about transferring to a Physics program from Electrical Engineering should consult with the Head of the Physics department.

Honours

To enter the Honours programs in Physics and Astronomy, a student must have completed at least 24 credit hours with a minimum DGPA of 3.00, and also obtained a minimum grade of B in PHYS 1070, or a B+ in PHYS 1030.  Students are strongly encouraged to complete MATH 1300, MATH 1500, and MATH 1700 in Year 1.  Not only are these courses required in the Physics and Astronomy programs, they are required prerequisites to several second year Physics and Astronomy required courses.   

To continue in the Physics and Astronomy Honours program, students must maintain a minimum DGPA of 3.00, and complete a minimum of 9 credit hours during each Fall and Winter Term.

To graduate with the B. Sc. Honours degree, a student must achieve a minimum DGPA of 3.00 and minimum grade of “C” in each course that contributes to the 120 credit hours of the degree.

There are a number of awards — the Coish, the C.P. Loewen, the Neamtan, the Roulston, and the Sen Scholarships — available in this program.

Joint Honours

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers joint honours programs in conjunction with the Departments of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Chemistry.

To enter the Joint Honours Mathematics-Physics program the student must have a minimum grade of “B” in: MATH 1232 or MATH 1690 or a minimum grade of "A" in MATH 1700, PHYS 1050 (or “B+” in PHYS 1020) and PHYS 1070.

To enter the Joint Honours Computer Science-Physics program, the student must have a minimum grade of “B” in: PHYS 1050 (or “B+” in PHYS 1020), PHYS 1070, MATH 1300, MATH 1500 (or equivalent), MATH 1700 (or equivalent), and COMP 1020.

To enter the Joint Honours Chemistry-Physics program, the student must have a minimum grade of “B” in: PHYS 1050 (or “B+” in PHYS 1020), PHYS 1070, CHEM 1300, CHEM 1310, MATH 1500 and MATH 1700.

Double Honours

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a double honours degree in conjunction with the Biochemistry program.

Four Year Major

The program is intended for students who wish to learn Physics as part of a general education, or combine Physics with other disciplines. There are many options with this degree which might include a career in education, high technology, business, or science journalism. The large number of electives will allow the students to obtain significant background in another field such as Chemistry, Life Sciences, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physical Geography, Geophysics or Geology. In some cases, these can be recognized formally as a minor or part of a double major program.

To enter the four year Major program in Physics and Astronomy, a student must have PHYS 1050 (C+) or PHYS 1020 (B).  In addition, students must have satisfied the faculty requirements for entry to the four year Major program.  Students are strongly encouraged to complete PHYS 1070 or PHYS 1030 as well as MATH 1300, MATH 1500, and MATH 1700 in Year 1.  Not only are they required courses in the Physics and Astronomy programs, these courses are required prerequisites to several required second year Physics and Astronomy courses.

Honours and Major Co-operative Options

A co-operative education option is available to both Major and Honours students. Students should refer to Section 3.5 of this chapter for further information on the Co-op programs.

Honours Co-op

The course, grade requirements and the minimum DGPA requirement for entry and continuation in the Co-operative Option are the same as that for the regular Honours program.

Major Co-op

The course and minimum grade requirements for entry and continuation in the Co-operative Option are the same as those required for the regular Major program. However, the entry and continuation DGPA requirement is set at a minimum of 2.5.

Three Year General

As prescribed with all other faculty regulations in Section 3.2, students in this program must select 36 credit hours of 2000 and (or) 3000 level courses from two Science departments. To satisfy the requirement in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, students must select a minimum of 18 credit hours from the list in the chart below.

Variations in any of the programs listed above may be possible, but must be approved by the head of the department and the Science general office.