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Information for Prospective Graduate Students

Points of Contact

  • Dr. Todd Andrews (Chair Graduate Studies) can answer questions regarding graduate studies in the Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography.
  • Information about specific research programs in the Department can be obtained from If you are interested in the research of a specific faculty member, you may contact him or her directly to ask about opportunities in his or her group.


To apply on-line visit the School of Graduate Studies Graduate Application Page.

To obtain an application form:

Admission to this program is competitive. All application materials, including application forms, letters of reference, official transcripts, etc. are submitted to the School of Graduate Studies. Complete applications are reviewed as they are received. There is no specific deadline for admission but applications should be submitted at least three months (four months for foreign students) before the beginning of the semester in which registration is intended. Normal registration takes place at the beginning of September, January, and May.
For students for whom the language of instruction in their previous degree was not English, an acceptable Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score is required. A minimum score of 550 is required on the paper-based test or 213 on the computer-based TOEFL. Official documentation of a score of band 7 or higher on the English Language Testing Service test (ELTS) is also acceptable. A GRE score is not required but if one is submitted, it will be taken into account in the assessment of that application.

All students admitted to graduate studies in this department are guaranteed a competitive stipend that is intended to help cover living expenses and tuition. The stipend is made up of a contribution from the supervisor's research grant, teaching assistantship stipends, and university fellowship support for qualified students. Admission is contingent on a supervisor accepting a student into his or her research group. Eligibility for fellowship support (equivalent to marks over 75% for Canadian students) increases the likelihood that an application for admission will be successful. Any research experience that an applicant can document will also be helpful in assessing his or her application and making the case for fellowship support.

Degree Programs and Regulations

The Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography offers graduate programs leading to M. Sc. degrees in Physics or Physical Oceanography and Ph. D. degrees in Atomic and Molecular Physics, Condensed Matter Physics or Physical Oceanography.

Admission to an M. Sc. program is normally restricted to candidates holding an honours B. Sc. degree in physics (or equivalent); however, depending on background and area of specialization, other baccalaureate degrees in science or mathematics may be accepted (particularly in reference to Physical Oceanography). M. Sc. programs include a minimum of four one-semester courses and the submission of a thesis on a topic of original research. The M. Sc. in Physics is available in any of the areas of research currently being conducted by a member of the department. Programs leading to an M. Sc. in Physical Oceanography can be multi-disciplinary in nature.

Normally a student wishing to enter the Ph. D. program in physics should have or expect to receive an appropriate master's degree. However, an applicant who is able to furnish evidence of outstanding ability may apply for admission to the Ph. D. program directly from the B. Sc. level. Exceptional candidates already enrolled in the M. Sc. program may transfer to the Ph. D. program after one year upon completion of the M. Sc. course requirements. The Ph. D. program requirements include at least three one-semester courses, a comprehensive examination and the submission and oral defence of a thesis on a topic of original research.

Financial Assistance

All graduate students in the Department are offered a minimum level of financial support. The current minimum rates are:

  • M.Sc. students, $17,000 per annum for two years
  • Ph.D. students, $18,500 per annum is guaranteed for one year and normally renewable for three additional years.

This support is derived from several sources, including fellowships from the School of Graduate Studies, teaching assistantships from the Department and research assistantships. For M.Sc. students, the stipend is guaranteed for 2 years as long as the student maintains eligibility. For PhD students, the stipend is guaranteed for 4 years as long as the student maintains fellowship eligibility.

Tuition fees at MUN for domestic and international students are lower than most other Canadian universities. For up-to-date information about tuition fees please consult the University Calender.

The stipend offered by this department is competitive with that for comparable programs in Canada. Because tuition and living expenses are actually a little lower here than at many other Canadian institutions, our experience is that students do find the package offered by this department to be comparatively attractive. Memorial University is committed to graduate education and also offers a number of professional development opportunities for graduate students including a Graduate Program in Teaching, a Graduate Research Integrity Program, and professional development programs for teaching assistants. You can find more information about the Graduate School at "Become a graduate student." The link to "Minimum Expenses" on that page should give you some idea regarding living costs in St. John's.

We have many international students and the International Student Advising Office and important information for international students can be found at "Welcome International Students."