Science

Physics

Through physics we attempt to understand natural phenomena in the world around us, ranging from the very small atomic nuclei and elementary particles to the very large scale of the universe. Physics is concerned with how fundamental laws influence observed phenomena which might include anything from batting a baseball to rocket dynamics. It includes fundamental theories such as those of dynamics, relativity, electricity, magnetism, thermodynamics, nuclear and elementary particles, and quantum mechanics.

Physics at Memorial

Many of our undergraduates are actively involved in physics research programs. This experience provides both summer employment and an excellent preparation for a career in industrial or university research.

The Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography is a member of the Atlantic Computational Excellence Network (ACEnet) for high performance computing and hosts several multi-processor machines locally. Facilities at most other universities in Atlantic Canada are linked by ACEnet’s Access Grid.

The Ocean Observatory at the Bonne May Marine Station includes an underwater station for the observation of water properties and marine ecology. The station is operated by Memorial University and the Gros Morne Co-operating Association.

In addition to the major, minor and honours options in physics, joint programs are offered in:

  • applied mathematics/physics (B.Sc. major and honours)
  • biochemistry/physics (B.Sc. honours)
  • chemistry/physics (B.Sc. honours)
  • computer science/physics (B.Sc. major and honours)
  • earth sciences/physics (B.Sc. major and honours)
  • geophysics/physical oceanography (B.Sc. honours)

Physics majors and honours students have the option to complete a minor in applied science (process engineering) through the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. 

Sample first year

Wondering what courses you would take in your first year? Check out a sample program of suggested courses for physics students.

Admission to the major

Students interested in completing the physics major should apply for the bachelor of science. Direct entry into the Faculty of Science from high school is subject to meeting the general admission requirements for Memorial University.

In order to declare the physics major, students must complete 30 credit hours (10 courses) which must include:

  • six credit hours in critical reading and writing (CRW) courses, including at least three credit hours in English
  • six credit hours in mathematics
  • six credit hours in physics
  • six credit hours in a second science subject, other than mathematics and physics

Upon completion of these courses, students should contact the Department of Physics to declare their major.

Sample courses beyond first year

PHYS 2055 - Electricity and Magnetism
PHYS 2820 - Computational Mechanics
PHYS 3150 - Astrophysics I

 

Career opportunities

A bachelor of science degree, with a major in physics, prepares students for a variety of careers including:

  • educator
  • geophysicist
  • special effects coordinator
  • health physicist
  • meteorologist
  • photonics specialist

Note: some of these careers may call for supplementary education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential learning or professional courses and exams.

Program Information
Faculty/School:

Faculty of Science

Department:

Physics

Degree:

Bachelor of Science

Campus:

St. John's

Honours Option:

Yes

Co-op Available:

No

Duration:

4 years

Intake:

Fall, winter and spring semesters

Application Deadline:

Applications are considered on a rolling basis. Students are encouraged to apply by:

  • March 1 for fall admission
  • Oct. 1 for winter admission
  • Feb. 1 for spring admission

Supplementary Application:

No


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Contact

Undergraduate Admissions and Programs

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000