IX. Graduate Programs


PhD Program

The PhD program is research-based and offered in the fields of: 1) astrophysics and gravitation; 2) atomic, molecular and optical physics; 3) biophysics; 4) chemical physics; 5) condensed matter and material physics; 6) industrial and applied physics; 7) subatomic physics; and 8) quantum computing.

Admission Requirements

There are three pathways for admission to the PhD program:

  1. An MSc degree in physics from an approved university or college with at least a B standing (75%) is normally required for entrance into the PhD program. Other requirements are the same as those described above for the MSc program (see web-site https://www.physics.uoguelph.ca/graduate-studies/graduate-studies-in-physics/how-to-apply).

  2. Students with an undergraduate degree in Physics may apply for admission directly to the PhD program. Successful applicants will have an outstanding academic record, breadth of knowledge in physics, previous research experience, and strong letters of recommendation.

  3. Students wishing to be considered for transfer to a PhD program prior to completion of the MSc program must request the transfer up to 3 full-time terms after initial registration and have an excellent academic record as well as a strong aptitude for research.

Program Requirements

Three cores courses or their equivalent must be completed by end of the first year of the PhD program. This requirement may be satisfied, in full or in part, by courses taken during the M.Sc. The core courses for the program are Quantum Mechanics 1 PHYS*7010, Introduction to Quantum Field Theory PHYS*7030, Statistical Physics 1 PHYS*7040, Electromagnetic Theory PHYS*7060, Introduction to Quantum Information Processing PHYS*7670, and Fundamentals of Astrophysics PHYS*7810. One of the core courses must include Quantum Mechanics 1 PHYS*7010, Statistical Physics 1 PHYS*7040, or Electromagnetic Theory PHYS*7060. Exception: Biophysics students within the Physics PhD program are required to take only one core course by the completion of the first year of the program, which must include one of Quantum Mechanics 1 PHYS*7010, Statistical Physics 1 PHYS*7040, or Electromagnetic Theory PHYS*7060.

A minimum of two one-term courses are required to be taken for the PhD degree, which may include or be in addition to the core courses required as specified above. One of the required courses may be an undergraduate course outside the student's main field of study and must be approved by the student's advisory committee and the Graduate Program Coordinator. No undergraduate course in physics may be taken for credit. No courses taken for MSc credit may be used to satisfy the minimum course requirement. However, courses taken during the MSc program and in excess of those required for the MSc program will be allowed for PhD credit. The extra courses must be identified prior to admission to the PhD program.

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 two courses, of the first four taken, can have a grade of less than 70%. If a student does not meet these minimum grade requirements, or receives a failing grade in any course, they may be required to withdraw from the program.

Students who transfer to the PhD, or who enter the PhD directly, will need to complete the course work requirements of both the MSc and PhD degrees, a total of six one-term graduate courses. Three of the core courses including one of Physics 7010, Physics 7040 or Physics 7060 will have been taken by the end of the first year of the PhD program.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1