May 30, 2023  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Calendar 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Calendar [ARCHIVED CALENDAR]

Physics – Astrophysics specialization

General information

This Astrophysics specialization within the Physics program  allows students to gain a fundamental background in physics and astronomy that emphasizes the current advances and newest technologies in the field of astrophysics. This specialization will prepare students for graduate work and a wide variety of career options in astronomy and physics.

In addition to the regular program, a co-op program is also available. Students in Astrophysics interested in the co-op program , should contact the Faculty of Science Co-op Coordinator as early as the fall of their second year.

The Faculty of Business and Information Technology offers a Finance minor  specifically for students in Physics.

Admission requirements

Admission is competitive. The specific average or standing required for admission varies from year to year. Students are selected by taking into consideration a wide range of criteria including school marks, distribution of subjects taken, and performance in subjects relevant to the academic program. Possession of the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Preference will be given to applicants with the best qualifications.

Current Ontario secondary school students must complete the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with six 4U or 4M credits including English (ENG4U), Advanced Functions (MHF4U), and two of Biology (SBI4U), Calculus and Vectors (MCV4U), Chemistry (SCH4U), or Physics (SPH4U). In addition, a combined minimum 70 per cent average in math and science courses is required. It is recommended that all four MCV4U, SBI4U, SCH4U and SPH4U be taken. All other applicants should refer to admissions  for the requirements for their specific category of admission.

Program details and degree requirements

Although reasonable efforts will be made to adhere to the following program map, course requirements and term offerings may change.

Year 4 (30 credit hours)


No more than 42 credit hours may be taken at the first-year level.

*Electives and breadth requirements

All students must complete 30 elective credit hours including 6 credit hours in senior physics electives and 6 credit hours in Senior Astrophysics electives. Students not accepted to take both PHY 4410U  and PHY 4420U  must take an additional two Senior Science electives for a total of 36 elective credit hours. At least 18 elective credit hours must be in courses offered by the Faculty of Science including 12 credit hours in Senior Physics electives. The additional two Senior Science electives required for students who are not enrolled in thesis cannot be used to meet this requirement. In order to satisfy breadth requirements, no more than18 elective credit hours may be in Physics (PHY) courses; at least 12 elective credit hours must be in courses outside the Faculty of Science.

Recommended Senior Astrophysics electives that students may choose to take include:

**Thesis Project or Senior Science electives

Students in clear academic standing who have completed 90 credit hours of their program and six third-year required PHY courses may optionally apply to take a two-course sequence consisting of PHY 4410U – Physics Thesis Project I and PHY 4420U – Physics Thesis Project II.

Students not accepted to take the thesis courses must complete two additional Senior Science electives instead. A Senior Science elective is defined as any 3000- or 4000-level science course not specified in the program map, excluding SCIE and ENVS courses. A student meeting the above requirements who does not take PHY 4410U and PHY 4420U may optionally apply to take PHY 4430U – Directed Studies in Physics as one of the required Senior Science electives.

Opportunities for the Thesis Project and Directed Studies options are limited; students must apply through Science Advising by March 30 following completion of the first three years of the program.