Information for Prospective Graduate Students

Graduate Degree Programs

The Department offers M. Sc. degree programs in Physics or in Physical Oceanography and Ph.D. degree programs in Physics or in Physical Oceanography.

The M. Sc. program involves four graduate courses and a thesis based on research completed under the supervision of a faculty member.  M. Sc. degrees are normally completed in two years of full-time study. The Ph. D. program involves three graduate courses (usually), a comprehensive exam, and a thesis, and can be completed in four years of full-time study.

Minimum admission requirements

To be considered for admission an applicant will normally hold at least a high second class Honours Degree (an overall average of at least 72% in the Canadian grading system).

For the M.Sc. program in Physical Oceanography, preference will be given to applicants with a B.Sc. Honours degree who have taken senior undergraduate courses in fluids, oceanography, and mathematical physics. 

For the M.Sc. program in Physics, preference will be given to applicants with a B. Sc. Honours Degree in Physics. Students should normally have taken senior undergraduate courses in electricity and magnetism, statistical physics, quantum mechanics, or experimental physics.

Normally a student wishing to enter the Ph. D. program 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 a M. Sc. program in our Department program may transfer to a Ph. D. program after one year upon completion of the M. Sc. course requirements.

Admittance to our programs is competitive, and depends both on the qualifications of the applicant and the willingness of a faculty member to be a supervisor. Not all applicants who meet our minimum requirements are admitted.

Interdisciplinary Degree Programs

Departmental members also supervise students in the following interdisciplinary programs:

Application Procedure

Applications are normally submitted online to the School of Graduate Studies. Detailed instructions, including required documents and fees can be found at this link: Become a Graduate Student.

Students usually begin their programs in September (Fall semester), however registration can also occur in January (Winter semester) or May (Spring semester).
Application deadlines are seven months before the start of the program: 

  • September (Fall) Admissions: February 1
  • January (Winter) Admissions: June 1
  • May (Spring) Admissions: October 1

These deadlines are not strict; late applications will be considered if a supervisor is available.

All students who are admitted to graduate programs are assigned a supervisor when they are admitted. Prospective students do not need to find a supervisor before applying, however, students are encouraged to visit the Department's webpages to learn about research being carried out in the Department and to mention by name potential supervisors in their applications.  A list of graduate supervisors and research areas is here.

An application for graduate studies in our Department is reviewed in two steps.  It is first reviewed by faculty members of our Department, and then the Department makes a recommendation to offer admission, or not, to the School of Graduate Studies.  The recommendation is based on the student's academic record and on the availability of a faculty member who is willing to supervise the student. Final decisions concerning applications are made by the School of Graduate Studies and communicated to the applicants by the School of Graduate Studies. Some applicants who do not receive an offer of admission may be offered the opportunity to have their application reconsidered for the following semester.

To learn more about what happens after you apply, or how to check the status of your application, visit this link.

Financial Assistance

All graduate students in the Department are offered a minimum level of financial support to cover the cost of tuition at Memorial University and the cost of living in St. John's, provided that eligibility criteria are met and maintained. The minimum rates for 2023-2024 are:

M.Sc. students: $20,466 per annum for up to two years
M. Sc. students (international students enrolling in fall 2018 or later): $20,866
Ph.D. students: $22,066 per annum for up to four years.

This support is derived from several sources, including fellowships from the School of Graduate Studies, teaching assistantships from the Department, and research assistantships. The above stipends are minimum levels; additional support may be offered.

Recipients of NSERC graduate scholarships also receive the Dean’s Excellence Award, valued at $5,000 per year for the duration of the scholarship, and may also have two units of teaching assistantship, included in the amounts above.


Tuition fees at MUN for domestic and international students are lower than most other Canadian universities. For official information about tuition fees please consult the University Calender. Tuition fees are explained here.

Additional costs include accommodation and personal expenses. A detailed outline of graduate student expenses at MUN can be found here.

International Students

There are many international students enrolled in our graduate programs. Information for prospective international graduate students can be found here.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about our graduate programs in Physics or Physical Oceanography, you may write to If you have general questions concerning the application process, you should contact the School of Graduate Studies at