You are reading the 2024/25 Academic Calendar. The 2023/24 version remains in effect until August 31, 2024 and is available here.




Degrees Offered: Ph.D., M.Sc.


Professors Emeriti

I. Affleck, A. MacKay, J. M. Matthews, W. McCutcheon, G. Sawatzky, J. Young.


M. Aronson, M. Berciu, D. A. Bonn, D. Bryman, M. Choptuik, A. Damascelli, S. Dierker, J. Folk, M. Franz, C. Gay, B. Gladman, M. Halpern, M. D. Hasinoff, C. Hearty, J. S. Heyl, P. Hickson, G. Hinshaw, D. J. Jones, R. Kiefl, A. Lister, A. Marziali, J. McKenna, C. Michal, S. M. Oser, S. Plotkin, A. Rahmim, J. Rottler, M. Rozali, D. Scott, G. W. Semenoff, V. Sossi, I. Stairs, P. Stamp, W. Unruh, M. Van Raamsdonk, L. Van Waerbeke, C. Waltham, L. Whitehead, A. Zhitnitsky, F. Zhou.

Associate Professors

A. Boley, S. Burke, J. Karczmarek, S. R. Leslie, K. W. Madison, T. Mattison, V. Milner, A. Rauscher, S. Reinsberg, K. Schleich, K. Sigurdson.

Assistant Professors

A. Hallas, J. McIver, J. Parra Martinez, A. C. Potter, Z. Ye, K. Zou.

Program Overview

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is a broad-based department with a wide range of research interests covering many key topics in contemporary physics, astronomy, and applied physics. See elsewhere in the Calendar for graduate program descriptions of Astronomy and Engineering Physics. In addition, an accredited Master of Science program is offered with a sub-specialization in Medical Physics. Departmental research activities are supported by several computing and experimental facilities, and excellent electronics and machine shops. Much of the Department's research is enhanced by local facilities such as the TRIUMF National Laboratory, the Advanced Materials and Process Engineering Laboratory (AMPEL), and the BC Cancer Agency, UBC, and associated teaching hospitals, in addition to many specialized research laboratories housed within the Department. There is a great deal of collaboration and overlap of interests among the various groups, and incoming graduate students are currently attracted to research opportunities in many subfields of physics:

  • Applied Physics
  • Medical Physics
  • Biophysics
  • Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Theoretical Physics

Full details on research programs and facilities are available at the Department and AMPEL.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Students are normally admitted to the Ph.D. program after obtaining an M.Sc. or M.A.Sc. and meeting the admission requirements set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Alternatively, well-qualified students admitted to the M.Sc. program may transfer to the Ph.D. program after a year's residence at UBC if they have at least 12 credits in 500-level coursework with an overall average of at least 85%, clear evidence of research ability, and approval of the dissertation supervisor.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 12 credits in graduate level courses in any Science or Applied Science department are required for the Ph.D., with details of the course load determined in consultation with the dissertation advisor and supervisory committee. These credits may be from an M.Sc. degree at UBC or elsewhere. Student's programs must satisfy the Department's course requirements.

Students who do not already have credit for the required master's degree courses for their program or the equivalent graduate level courses from another university (approved by Graduate Chair) must take these courses in the Ph.D. program.

Students admitted with an M.Sc. or M.A.Sc. require a further 6 credits of graduate-level coursework in any Science or Applied Science department at UBC for the Ph.D.

All doctoral students are required to successfully complete a comprehensive examination. The major requirement for the Ph.D. is completion of a research dissertation meeting the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requirements.

Master of Science

Admission Requirements

The prerequisite for the program is either: a B.Sc. in physics (single or combined), astronomy, or mathematics; or, a B.A.Sc. in engineering physics or electrical engineering. An overall average of 80% or better in third- and fourth-year courses is expected for entry into the program.

Program Requirements

The M.Sc. program requires a minimum of 30 credits, including an 18-credit thesis. The remaining 12 credits must be graduate courses in any Science or Applied Science department. All M.Sc. students are required to satisfy the Department's course requirements.

The Medical Physics streams within the Physics degree programs are no longer accepting new students; students should instead enter the programs for M.Sc. in Medical Physics or Ph.D. in Medical Physics.

 M.Sc. students must give a public presentation of their research work. This can be done at a research seminar in the department, or as an oral presentation at a conference, workshop, or meeting.

Contact Information

Department of Physics and Astronomy
6224 Agricultural Road
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z1
Tel: 604.822.4245
Fax: 604.822.5324
Shiho Mehrhoff, Graduate Program Coordinator

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