Erudera's Complete Guide to Studying Physics in Canada
Physics education in Canada will provide you with countless professional opportunities in Canada as well as abroad. Physics will allow you to figure out how the world around you works. You will gain skills that will lead you to numerous (rewarding) career paths. Your physics degree from Canadian institutions will be valued across the globe, especially considering Canadian universities have an excellent standing for physics education.
Here’s everything you need to know about studying physics in Canada:
Reasons to Study Physics in Canada
Canadian universities are committed to producing confident and highly qualified graduates. Rest assured that you will be able to enter the workforce with the skills, knowledge, and confidence you need to tackle the challenges of an ever-changing world. A physics degree requires hard work, a passion for studying physics, and an increasing curiosity to keep learning. Canadian universities make sure to encourage students towards achieving their dream careers by allowing them to grasp all the beauty that the discipline has to offer—through internships, campus involvement, personal projects, student teaching, etc.
Networking gives you access to professional opportunities you might have never thought of. Although your physics degree is quite important on its own (by giving you an official qualification and skills), you must understand the value of creating professional contacts. One way to create valuable professional connections is through networking. Through internships, workshops, campus involvement, and the relationships Canadian universities have with the industry, you will be able to network, exchange knowledge and advice, and gain new insights into the world of physics and beyond.
Physics is one of the in-demand careers in Canada, which means your qualifications will be valued and appreciated before and after you enter the workforce. Physics is listed among the main professional job groups in Canada for immigration purposes. If you’re an international student and wish to remain in Canada and find employment after graduation, your career path will make it easier for you to do so. Generally, physics graduates may find employment across a wide range of career paths, both in traditional physics areas and elsewhere.
Top Universities to Study Physics in Canada
Here are some of the best universities in Canada to study physics:
- University of Toronto
- University of British Columbia
- McGill University
- University of Waterloo
- University of Alberta
- University of Montreal
- McMaster University
- Queen's University at Kingston
- University of Calgary
- University of Ottawa
Generally, you will need to meet the following requirements to apply to a physics program in Canada:
- High school diploma.
- Undergraduate degree (for master’s programs).
- Completed required courses:
- Proof of English language proficiency*. Depending on the university.
- Proof of French language proficiency. Depending on the university.
*If your first language is not English, you will need to prove your English language level of proficiency through tests like TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or others, depending on the university.
Remember that the admission requirements will vary from university to university. Therefore, as soon as you decide on the university you would like to attend, you must contact its admissions team.
The steps you need to take to apply to study physics in Canada include:
- Submit an online application (fill out an application form).
- Submit the required documents:
- Academic transcripts.
- English language test scores.
- Personal essay.
- Academic achievements (such as science contests).
- Other extracurriculars.
- Receive letter of acceptance.
- Apply for a study permit (if applicable).
Remember to apply within the deadlines set by the university.
Generally, Canadian higher education institutions have their individual online application portals. However, if you want to apply to a university in the province of Ontario, you must submit an application through the common application portal known as the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (ouac.on.ca).
Degree Duration: How Long Does It Take to Study Physics in Canada?
It will take approximately four years to complete an undergraduate degree in physics in Canada. A graduate degree at the master’s level takes around two years to complete; meanwhile, a doctorate level degree takes a minimum of three to four years to complete. The duration, however, varies depending on commitment and whether you’re enrolled in full-time or part-time programs. It goes without saying, part-time programs will take longer to complete.
Your undergraduate degree in physics will strengthen your problem-solving skills, reasoning skills, as well as advance you in the field of physics, chemistry, and mathematics, to name a few. If you decide to further your education through a Master of Science degree in physics, you will learn so much more about the mathematical magic of the world around you as well as increase your professional prospects.
Tuition Fees: How Much Does It Cost to Study Physics in Canada?
You can expect the following average tuition fees for physics university programs in Canada:
|Student/Study Level||Average Annual Tuition Fee|
|Domestic Student (Undergraduate)||CAD 6,156 (~USD 4,850)|
|Domestic Student (Graduate)||CAD 6,785 (~USD 5,350)|
|International Student (Undergraduate)||CAD 34,763 (~USD 27,400)|
|International Student (Graduate)||CAD 15,959 (~USD 12,580)|
Keep in mind that tuition fees are usually higher in highly competitive universities. Make sure you also search for scholarship options, considering many Canadian universities provide scholarship opportunities or other means of financial aid.
Physics Career Prospects in Canada
Physics graduates have an advantage considering they can find employment in numerous areas. In addition, physics is one of the in-demand careers in Canada, which means employment prospects are rather good.
Your physics education will allow you to find employment in the following areas:
- Research and Development
- Computer Hardware/Software
- Health Sciences
Common job titles for physics graduates include:
- Systems Engineer
- Electrical Engineer
- Project Engineer
- Software Engineer
- Systems Analyst
- Data Analyst
- Research Assistant
- Research Associate
The great thing about studying physics is that you can use your degree in all kinds of professions. For example, you can use a background in physics for further education in architecture, medicine, engineering, pharmacy, or even law. Of course, it all depends on what your aspirations are.
Your salary will depend on the job title, education level, professional experience, and company. However, physicist salaries in Canada are pretty satisfactory. For example, the average hourly pay for a physicist in Canada is CAD 50 (~USD 40) per hour.