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Physics

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers opportunities for study leading to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. For information on advanced degrees, see graduate Physics.

Students may select their electives so as to obtain a concentration in an area of their interest. See the Physics and Astronomy Specialization Guide for an outline of appropriate courses and other information. Students wishing to enter second year in a Physics or Astronomy Major, Honours, Combined Majors, or Combined Honours specialization must apply using the online process administered by the Faculty of Science. Students will receive an email communication regarding the process in late May or early June. Details on how to apply to the different specializations can be found on the department website. Continuing third- and fourth-year physics or astronomy students making satisfactory progress do not require program approval. Students wishing to transfer into physics or astronomy in third year must contact the Department to obtain specialization approval.

Students in the General Science program are invited to consult a departmental advisor concerning appropriate courses.

A dual degree program in Physics and Education, that offers qualified students the opportunity to earn a B.Sc. degree in Physics (Major) and a B.Ed. degree in Secondary Education, in five winter sessions with some academic requirements in term 1 of the summer sessions. After completing all the requirements, students are normally eligible for a British Columbia Professional Teaching Certificate. Admission to the dual degree program requires application in the fall of second year and successful completion of a teaching practicum at the end of second year. See the Dual Degree Program in Science and Education for more information on admission and continuation requirements.

Courses Primarily for First-Year Science Students

Physics 11 (BC secondary school) or equivalent is a prerequisite for all students entering the Faculty of Science. Students lacking Physics 11, but wishing to enter, should submit a special appeal to Enrolment Services with their application to take PHYS 100.

Science students with Physics 11, but not Physics 12 are required to take 3 credits of physics. Normally this requirement is met by taking PHYS 100. PHYS 101, 107, and 117 require Physics 12 or PHYS 100. Credit will be given for only one of PHYS 107 or 117.

PHYS 107 is open to students who have obtained an A in Physics 12 and Mathematics 12, and who are particularly interested in physical science and/or its application to other fields or disciplines.

Students planning to go into Astronomy, Physics or Applied Science (and some other specializations) are required to take PHYS 102, or PHYS 108 plus PHYS 109, or PHYS 118 plus PHYS 119, in addition to PHYS 101 or 107 or 117. Credit will only be given for one of PHYS 102, 108 or 118. Science One satisfies the entrance requirement for all Physics and Astronomy specializations.

Non-science students without Physics 11 may take PHYS 100 in a later year.

Courses for Students Not Specializing in Physics

PHYS 330 (3) is primarily for students in the Faculty of Science who are not specializing in physics.

PHYS 340 (3), 341 (3), and 343 (3) are for students not in the Faculty of Science. PHYS 318 (3) is recommended for general science, pre-architecture, and education students.

Co-operative Education Program

Co-operative education is a process of education that integrates academic study with related and supervised work experience in co-operating employer organizations.

A Co-operative Education program is available for students in Physics and Astronomy. The program is intended to help prepare interested and qualified students for research careers in industry with at least four work placements (each placement is normally 16 weeks long) supervised by practicing professionals. Faculty advisors or Co-op coordinators also visit students at their place of work and provide advice on technical reports required of all students in the program.

To be eligible, students must be admissible into the second-year Physics or Astronomy Bachelor of Science program with an average above 68%. Admission is by application to the Co-op Office. Selection of students will be based on academic performance and general suitability to the work environment as determined by their resume and interview. Enrolment is subject to the availability of appropriate work placements and faculty advisors. The work placements are arranged by mutual agreement between the students and the employing organizations. Participating students will register for PHYS 298, 299, 399, 498, or 499 as appropriate, and pay the co-operative education program fee per course and Co-op workshop fees (see Co-operative Education Program Fees).

Graduation in the program requires a student to complete at least four of PHYS 298, 299, 399, 498 and 499, in addition to the normal academic requirements. Not all of the work terms may be in summer. Students will have each satisfactorily completed course noted on their academic record.

Detailed information on the program may be obtained from the Department of Physics or the Co-operative Education Program.

Specializations

Major (0524): Physics (PHYS)

First Year
Communication Requirement1 6
CHEM 121 (111)2 4
MATH 100 (102 or 104 or 110 or 120 or 180 or 184)3 3
MATH 101 (103 or 105 or 121)3 3
PHYS 117 (or 101 or 107)4 3
PHYS 118, 119 (or 102) (or 108, 109)4 4
Electives5 7
Total Credits 30
Second Year6
MATH 2007 3
MATH 215, 221 6
PHYS 2008, 2168 7
PHYS 219, 229 3
PHYS 2109 3
Electives5 8
Total Credits 30
Third Year10
MATH 3177 3
PHYS 20311 4
PHYS 309 or 319 3
PHYS 312, 304 6
PHYS/ASTR 300-level and above12 3
Electives5 11
Total Credits 30
Fourth Year10
PHYS 301 3
6 credits from PHYS 348, 409, and 42013 6
PHYS/ASTR 300-level and above12 6
Electives5 15
Total Credits 30
Total Credits for Degree 120
1 For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 Students without Chemistry 12 must take CHEM 111. Students interested in senior chemistry courses or who are planning to enter a career in teaching should take a second introductory chemistry course as an elective.
3 MATH 110 is 6 credits, MATH 120 and 121 are 4 credits; students should adjust elective credit accordingly.
4 Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 prior to other PHYS courses. Qualified students are encouraged to take PHYS 107/108/109. PHYS 102 is 3 credits; students should adjust elective credit accordingly. Students are advised to take PHYS 117 in second year if they did not take it or PHYS 107 in first year.
5 The number of elective credits in each year is chosen to make the yearly total be 30. Some course alternatives have different credit values. Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. At least 24 credits must be completed each year for majors, 30 for honours. Electives must be taken to ensure that all Faculty of Science requirements are met:
(a) At least 3 credits of BIOL or equivalent (see Biology Requirement).
(b) At least 12 credits must be from the Faculty of Arts, in addition to Arts credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirement (see Arts Requirement).
(c) An additional 9 credits must be from Arts or Science outside the field of major to satisfy the Breadth Requirement.
(d) At least 120 total credits, including at most 18 credits from faculties other than Science or Arts. At least 48 upper-level credits, including at least 30 upper-level credits from the Faculty of Science (see General Degree Requirements).
6 For admission to the specialization, students must be in good standing and should be competent in MATH and PHYS. It is advisable that a student entering any specialization in physics or astronomy have a minimum average of 60% in first-year PHYS and 60% in first-year MATH. See also Second Year Application, Promotion to Second Year, and Admission as a Post-Secondary Transfer.
7 Qualified students may take MATH 217 and 2 credits of electives instead of MATH 200 and MATH 317.
8 Students may opt to take PHYS 200 or PHYS 216 in third-year, in exchange for an additional 3 credits of electives in second-year.
9 Computing skills at the level of PHYS 210 are required in the specialization. With written permission of an undergraduate physics and astronomy advisor, students who already have these skills may replace PHYS 210 with 3 credits of electives.
10 Consultation with a Physics Department advisor is recommended before entering third- and fourth-year. See also Promotion Requirements and Courses Required for Promotion.
11 The combination CHEM 201 and CHEM 304 may replace PHYS 203.
12 To be chosen from ASTR or PHYS courses 300-level and above. See the department website for the list of suggested courses. Some courses intended for Honours students require approval from appropriate instructor(s). Students interested in teaching are encouraged to consider PHYS 420.
13 Note it is possible to take more than 6 credits from PHYS 348, 409, 420 since these are not credit excluded. Excess credits can be used towards the 9 credits of PHYS/ASTR 300 level and above courses.

Combined Major (1391): Computer Science and Physics

See Computer Science section.

Combined Major (3126): Oceanography and Physics

See Oceanography Combined Major Oceanography and Physics section.

Dual Degree Program: B.Sc. (Physics), B.Ed. (Secondary)

First Year (Winter)
Communication Requirement1 6
CHEM 121 (111)2 4
CHEM 123 (113) 4
MATH 100 (102 or 104 or 110 or 120 or 180 or 184)3 3
MATH 101 (103 or 105 or 121)3 3
PHYS 117 (101 or 107)4 3
PHYS 118, 119 (or 102)(or 108, 109)4 4
Elective5 4
Total Credits 31
Second Year (Winter)6
MATH 2007, 215, 221 9
PHYS 200, 2168 7
PHYS 2109, 219, 229 6
Electives5 8
Total Credits 30
Second Year (Summer)
EDUC 31910 1
Total Credits 1
Third Year (Winter)11
EDST 403 1
EDST 401 2
LLED 360 3
MATH 3177 3
PHYS 20312, 3127 7
PHYS 309 or 319 3
PHYS 304 3
Electives5,13 8
Total Credits 30
Third Year (Summer)
EDUC 39910 1
Total Credits 1
Fourth Year (Winter)11
EPSE 308 3
EDCP 352 3
EDCP 357 3
PHYS 301 3
PHYS or ASTR 300-level or higher14 9
Elective5,13 9
Total Credits 30
Fourth Year (Summer)
LLED 361 3
EPSE 317 3
EDST 402 1
EDST 404 1
EDUC 440 3
Total Credits 11
Fifth Year (Winter)
EDUC 315 2
EDUC 421 12
EDUC 450 3
EDUC 451 3
EPSE 310 2
EPSE 311 1
6 credits from PHYS 348, 409, or 42015 6
Total Credits 29
Fifth Year (Summer)
EDUC 452 3
Total Credits 3
Total Credits for Dual Degree 166
1 For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement. The Faculty of Education does not accept SCIE 113 or APSC 176 to meet their English requirement, but they do accept ASTU 100, ASTU 150, WRDS 150 to be equivalent to ENGL 112. However students are required to take a minimum of 3 credits of literature coursework from ENGL 100, 110, 111, 120, 121. Some of the acceptable courses are not available for students enrolled in the Faculty of Science but might have already been taken by students that transferred to the Faculty of Science.
2 Students without Chemistry 12 must take CHEM 111.
3 MATH 110 is 6 credits, MATH 120 and 121 are 4 credits; students should adjust elective credit accordingly.
4 Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 prior to other PHYS courses. Qualified students are encouraged to take PHYS 107/108/109. PHYS 102 is 3 credits; students should adjust electives accordingly. Students are advised to take PHYS 117 in second year if they did not take it or PHYS 107 in first year.
5 Some course alternatives have different credit values. The number of electives in each year is chosen to balance the total number of credits. Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. At least 24 credits must be completed each year for majors, 30 for honours. Electives must be taken to ensure that all Faculty of Science requirements are met:
(a) At least 3 credits of BIOL or equivalent (see Biology Requirement).
(b) At least 12 credits must be from the Faculty of Arts, in addition to Arts credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirement (see Arts Requirement).
(c) An additional 9 credits must be from Arts or Science outside the field of major (physics, astronomy or mathematics credits are therefore excluded) to satisfy the Breadth Requirement.
(d) At least 166 total credits. At least 48 upper-level credits, including at least 30 upper-level credits from the Faculty of Science (see General Degree Requirements and Dual Degree in Science and Education).
6 For admission to the specialization, students must be in good standing and should be competent in MATH and PHYS. It is advisable that a student entering any specialization in physics or astronomy have a minimum average of 60% in first-year PHYS and 60% in first-year MATH. See also Second Year Application, Promotion to Second Year, Admission to Dual Degree in Science and Education, and Admission as a Post-Secondary Transfer.
7 Qualified students may take MATH 217 and 2 credits of electives instead of MATH 200 and MATH 317. In this case 3 additional upper-level science credits will be required to satisfy Faculty of Science requirements. Students considering graduate studies in Physics are advised to replace MATH 200, 317, and PHYS 312 with MATH 217, 300, and 316.
8 Students may opt to take PHYS 200 or PHYS 216 in third year, in exchange for an additional 3 credits of electives in second year.
9 Computing skills at the level of PHYS 210 are required in the specialization. With written permission of an undergraduate physics and astronomy advisor, students who already have these skills may replace PHYS 210 with 3 credits of electives.
10 EDUC 319 and EDUC 399 are one-week and two-week teaching practica, respectively, during the month of May in Year 2 and Year 3. Successful completion of EDUC 319 and EDUC 399 are normally required to continue in the B.Ed. program.
11 Consultation with a Physics departmental advisor is recommended before entering third and fourth year. See also Promotion Requirements and Courses Required for Promotion.
12 The combination CHEM 201 and CHEM 304 may replace PHYS 203.
13 MATH 302, 307, 308, 309, 312, 313 and 342 are recommended mathematics electives for students who are interested in teaching mathematics.
14 PHYS 306 and PHYS 401 or 408 are recommended for students considering graduate study in physics. Some courses intended for Honours students require approval from appropriate instructor(s).
15 Note it is possible to take more than 6 credits from PHYS 348, 409, 420 since these are not credit excluded. Excess credits can be used towards the 9 credits of PHYS/ASTR 300-level and above courses.

Honours (0344): Physics (PHYS)

First Year
Communication Requirement1 6
CHEM 121 (111)2 4
MATH 120 (100 or 102 or 104 or 180 or 184)3 4
MATH 121 (101 or 103 or 105)3 4
PHYS 107 (117 or 101)4 3
PHYS 108, 109 (or 102)(or 118, 119)4 4
Electives5 8
Total Credits 33
Second Year6
MATH 2177 4
MATH 223 (221)8 3
MATH 215 3
PHYS 200, 203, 2109, 216 14
PHYS 219, 229 3
Electives5 6
Total Credits 33
Third Year10
MATH 300, 316, 318 9
PHYS 301, 30611 6
PHYS 304, 402 6
PHYS 309 or 319 3
PHYS 40111 or 40812 3
Electives5,14 6
Total Credits 33
Fourth Year10
MATH 40013 3
PHYS 449 6
PHYS 305 or 403 or 474 3
PHYS 409 3
Electives5,14 18
Total Credits 33
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 Students without Chemistry 12 must take CHEM 111. Students interested in senior chemistry courses or who are planning to enter a career in teaching should take a second introductory chemistry course as an elective.
3 MATH 120 and 121 are 4 credits, the alternatives are 3 credits; students should adjust electives accordingly.
4 Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 prior to other PHYS courses. PHYS 102 is 3 credits; students should adjust elective credits accordingly. Students are advised to take PHYS 117 in second year if they did not take it or PHYS 107 in first year.
5 The number of elective credits in each year is chosen to make the yearly total be 33. Some course alternatives have different credit values. Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. Honours and combined honours options require a Winter Session load of at least 30 credits. Electives must be taken to ensure that all Faculty of Science requirements are met:
(a) At least 3 credits of BIOL or equivalent (see Biology Requirement).
(b) At least 12 credits must be from the Faculty of Arts, in addition to Arts credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirement (see Arts Requirement).
(c) At least 132 total credits, including at most 18 credits from Faculties other than Science or Arts. At least 48 upper-level credits, including at least 42 upper-level credits from the Faculty of Science (see General Degree Requirements).
6 For admission to the specialization, students must be in good standing with no courses failed and a grade of at least 68% in each first-year physics and mathematics course. An average standing of at least 68% must be obtained in each year to remain in the Honours program. See also Second Year Application, Promotion to Second Year, and Admission as a Post-Secondary Transfer.
7 Students who are interested in mathematical physics are encouraged to take MATH 320, 321 (Real Variables I, II) later in their program. They are advised to substitute MATH 226, 227 (Advanced Calculus I, II) for MATH 217 (Multivariable and Vector Calculus). MATH 200, 317 (Calculus III, IV) can also be substituted for MATH 217. Either substitution would require using 3 credits of science elective.
8 Students with credit for MATH 152 prior to entering this specialization can substitute it for MATH 223. MATH 223 or MATH 221 can be taken in first year. Eligible students are recommended to take MATH 223.
9 Computing skills at the level of PHYS 210 are required in the specialization. With written permission of an undergraduate physics and astronomy advisor, students who already have these skills may replace PHYS 210 with 3 credits of electives.
10 Consultation with a Physics Department advisor is recommended before entering third- and fourth-year. An average standing of at least 68% with no failures must be obtained in each year to remain in the Honours program. See also Promotion Requirements and Courses Required for Promotion.
11 Students who choose to take PHYS 401 may take PHYS 306 and PHYS 401 in two different years if course timetable conflicts do not allow them to be done in the same year.
12 PHYS 401 is 3 credits, PHYS 408 is 4 credits; students should adjust electives accordingly.
13 With permission of an undergraduate physics and astronomy advisor, another course may replace MATH 400.
12 The specialization requires at least 9 credits of upper-level PHYS or ASTR courses including at least 6 credits at the 400-level or higher. Suggested upper-level electives are ASTR 403, 404, 406; EECE 480; MATH 301, 345, 401, 402, 405, 418, 420, 450; PHYS 400, 405, 407, 410, 437, 447, 473, 474. Qualified students are encouraged to take 500-level physics courses for which they must have permission of the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Honours (1093): Biophysics (BIOP)

First Year
Communication Requirement1 6
PHYS 107 (or 101 or 117)2,3 3
PHYS 108, 109 (or 102) (or 118, 119)2,5 4
BIOL 112, 1402,4 5
CHEM 121 (111) 4
CHEM 123 (113)2 4
MATH 100 (120 or 102 or 104 or 180 or 184)2,5 3
MATH 101 (121 or 103 or 105)2,5 3
Elective5,6 1
Total Credits 33
Second Year7
BIOL 200, 201 6
CHEM 233, 235 4
CHEM 205 (213)8 3
MATH 2179 4
MATH 223 (221) 3
MATH 215 3
PHYS 200, 219, 229 7
PHYS 203 4
Total Credits 34
Third Year10
BIOC 30211 3
MATH 300, 316 6
MATH 318 3
PHYS 301, 305, 216 9
PHYS 309 or 319 3
Bio-Science elective11 3
Electives5,6 6
Total Credits 33
Fourth Year10
PHYS 44912 6
PHYS 304 3
Bio-Science electives11 15
Electives5 8
Total Credits 32
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 First-year physics, biology, chemistry, and mathematics can be replaced by Science One (25 credits) and BIOL 140.
3 Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 prior to other PHYS courses. PHYS 102 is 3 credits; students should adjust electives accordingly. Students are advised to take PHYS 117 in second year if they did not take it or PHYS 107 in first year.
4 BIOL 112 is recommended as the prerequisite for BIOL 200. Students without Biology 11 or 12 must take BIOL 111 prior to BIOL 112.
5 The elective credits taken throughout the program must include at least 12 credits in the Faculty of Arts, in addition to Arts credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirement (see Arts Requirement). Some course alternates have different credit value. The number of electives in each year is chosen to balance the total number of credits (i.e., make the yearly total close to 33). However, since the number of available elective credits may not be a multiple of three, students are permitted to move elective credits between years. A minimum of 30 credits must be taken each Winter Session.
6 PHYS 210 or CPSC 110 is highly recommended for students planning to apply for co-op in the third year. Also computing skills are often required in the undergraduate thesis course.
7 For admission to the specialization, students must be in good standing with an overall standing of at least 68% in each first-year physics and mathematics course. An average standing of at least 68% must be obtained in each year to remain in the Honours program. See also Second Year Application, Promotion to Second Year, and Admission as a Post-Secondary Transfer.
8 CHEM 205 or 213 is a prerequisite for BIOC 302 and BIOC 303. Qualified students who are interested in taking upper level organic chemistry courses should take CHEM 213.
9 MATH 200 plus MATH 317 can replace MATH 217 by using 3 elective credits.
10 Consultation with a Physics Department advisor is recommended before entering third- and fourth-year. An average standing of at least 68% with no failures must be obtained in each year to remain in the Honours program. See also Promotion Requirements and Courses Required for Promotion.
11 See Bio-Science Electives below. Note that 3 credits of bio-science electives may be used to replace BIOC 302 (3) with BIOC 303 (6). Students considering the co-op option are highly recommended to take BIOC 301 as one of the Bio-Science Electives in their third year.
12 It is possible for students to replace PHYS 449 with BIOC 449, BIOL 449, or MICB 449 with approval from both the Biophysics Advisor and the other department.

Bio-Science Electives

The 18 credits of bio-sciences in the third and fourth years must include at least one laboratory course from the following recommended list or approved by the Biophysics advisor: BIOC 301, BIOL 337, BIOL 340, BIOL 341, BIOL 351, BIOL 352, BIOL 363, BIOL 437, MICB 322, MICB 323. The electives should concentrate mainly on one of the following broad categories:

  1. Molecular and Cell Biology
  2. Macrobiology (Biology on the level of organisms)
  3. Applied Biology (mainly medical applications)

The student's list of electives must be approved by the Biophysics advisor, who will direct the student to the appropriate Life Science advisors. The specialization should give the student good working knowledge of one sub-field in the biological sciences. Most of such electives have prerequisites; early consultation with an advisor is, therefore, recommended.

The following is a list of suggested bio-science electives:

  • Anatomy: CAPS 390, 391
  • Biochemistry: BIOC 301, 303 (in place of 302), 402, 403, 410
  • Biology: BIOL 301, 320, 325, 327, 330, 331, 335, 336, 337, 340, 341, 351, 352, 361, 362, 363, 364, 415, 425, 430, 431, 433, 434, 437, 447, 454, 455, 458, 463
  • Chemistry: CHEM 305, 313, 405, 413, 435
  • Mathematics: MATH 361
  • Microbiology: MICB 201, 202, 301, 306, 308, 322, 323, 325, 405, 424, 425
  • Pharmacology and Therapeutics: PCTH 305, 325. Only one of these may count towards the required 18 credits of bio-sciences electives.
  • Physiology: CAPS 301, 426
  • Physics: PHYS 404, 405

Combined Honours (0009): Physics and Astronomy (PHYS, ASTR)

First Year
Communication Requirement1 6
CHEM 121 (111)2 4
MATH 120 (100 or 102 or 104 or 180 or 184)3 4
MATH 121 (101 or 103 or 105)3 4
PHYS 107 (or 101 or 117)4 3
PHYS 108, 109 (or 102) (or 118, 119)4 4
Electives5 8
Total Credits 33
Second Year6
ASTR 200, 205 6
MATH 2177 4
MATH 223 (221)8 3
MATH 215 3
PHYS 200, 203, 216 11
PHYS 2109, 219, 229 6
Total Credits 33
Third Year10
ASTR 300, 407 6
MATH 300, 316 6
MATH 318 3
PHYS 304, 306 6
PHYS 301, 408 7
Electives5 5
Total Credits 33
Fourth Year
ASTR 404, 406 6
ASTR 405 or PHYS 40911 3
ASTR 449 or PHYS 449 6
PHYS 402, 403 6
Electives5,12 12
Total Credits 33
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 Students without Chemistry 12 must take CHEM 111. Students interested in senior chemistry courses or who are planning to enter a career in teaching should take a second introductory chemistry course as an elective.
3 MATH 120 and 121 are 4 credits, the alternatives are 3 credits; students should adjust electives accordingly.
4 Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 prior to other PHYS courses. PHYS 102 is 3 credits; students should adjust elective credit accordingly. Students are advised to take PHYS 117 in second year if they did not take it or PHYS 107 in first year..
5 The number of elective credits in each year is chosen to make the yearly total be 33. Some course alternatives have different credit values. Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. Honours and combined honours options require a Winter Session load of at least 30 credits. Electives must be taken to ensure that all Faculty of Science requirements are met:
(a) At least 3 credits of BIOL for students without Biology 11 or 12 (see Biology Requirement.
(b) At least 12 credits must be from the Faculty of Arts, in addition to Arts credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirement (see Arts Requirement).
(c) At least 132 total credits, including at most 18 credits from faculty other than Science or Arts. At least 48 upper-level credits, including at least 42 upper-level credits from the Faculty of Science (see General Degree Requirements).
6 For admission to the specialization, students must be in good standing with no courses failed and a grade of at least 68% in each first-year physics and mathematics course. An average standing of at least 68% must be obtained in each year to remain in the Honours program. See also Second Year Application, Promotion to Second Year, and Admission as a Post-Secondary Transfer.
7 Students who are interested in mathematical physics are encouraged to take MATH 320, 321 (Real Variables I, II) later in their program. They are advised to substitute MATH 226, 227 (Advanced Calculus I, II) for MATH 217 (Multivariable and Vector Calculus). MATH 200, 317 (Calculus III, IV) can also be substituted for MATH 217. Either substitution would require using 3 credits of science elective.
8 Students with credit for MATH 152 prior to entering this specialization can substitute it for MATH 223. MATH 223 or MATH 221 can be taken in first year. Eligible students are recommended to take MATH 223.
9 Computing skills at the level of PHYS 210 are required in the specialization. With written permission from an undergraduate physics and astronomy advisor, students who already have these skills may replace PHYS 210 with 3 credits of electives.
10 Consultation with a Physics Department advisor is recommended before entering third- and fourth-year. An average standing of at least 68% with no failures must be obtained in each year to remain in the Honours program. See also Promotion Requirements and Courses Required for Promotion.
11 Any Honours Physics and Astronomy student who does not have the course prerequisite should consult an undergraduate physics and astronomy advisor for permission to take PHYS 409.
12 ASTR 403 and PHYS 407 are recommended. MATH 400 is recommended. Suggested upper-level electives are EECE 480; MATH 301, 345, 401, 402, 405, 418, 420, 450; PHYS 400, 405, 407, 410, 437, 447, 473, 474.

Combined Honours (0517): Chemical Physics (PHYS, CHEM)

First Year
Communication Requirement1 3
CHEM 121 (or 111) 4
CHEM 123 (or 113) 4
MATH 1202 4
MATH 1213 4
PHYS 107, 108, 1094 7
Electives5 6
Total Credits 32
Second Year
CHEM 2036 4
CHEM 208 3
CHEM 213, 245 4
MATH 215, 2177, 223 (221)8 10
PHYS 200 4
PHYS 216 3
PHYS 219, 229 3
Electives5 3
Total Credits 34
Third Year
CHEM 211 4
CHEM 3001 3
CHEM 304 3
CHEM 315 1
CHEM 319, 329 2
MATH 316 3
PHYS 210 3
PHYS 301, 304 6
PHYS 309 or 319 3
PHYS and CHEM Electives9 3
Electives5 3
Total Credits 34
Fourth Year
One of BIOC 202, CHEM 305, 327 3
CHEM 412 3
CHEM 449 or PHYS 449 6
PHYS 401 or 40810 3
One of PHYS 306, 402, 403, 474 3
PHYS and CHEM Electives9 9
Electives5 5
Total Credits 32
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 Of the 6 credits required to satisfy the Communication Requirement, 3 credits are specified in third year (CHEM 300). The remaining 3 credits must be chosen from the list of acceptable courses, see Communication Requirement. ENGL credits beyond those needed to satisfy the Communication Requirement may be applied towards the Faculty of Science Arts Requirement.
2 MATH 180 or 184 may substitute for MATH 120. MATH 100 or 102 or 104 may substitute for MATH 120 by increasing the electives by 1 credit. MATH 110 may substitute for MATH 120 by decreasing the electives by 2 credits.
3 MATH 101 or 103 or 105 may substitute for MATH 121 by increasing the electives by 1 credit.
4 PHYS 117, 118, and 119 may substitute for PHYS 107, 108, and 109. Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 before taking other 100-level PHYS courses.
5 Electives must be taken to ensure the Faculty of Science Arts Requirement is met. Elective credits may be redistributed among the years in this specialization, provided the total number remains the same.The year level of an elective does not need to correspond to the year level of the specialization. Note that students in honours specializations must complete a minimum of 30 credits in each Winter Session. Students who do not have credit for Biology 11 or 12 must take 3 credits of 100-level BIOL (usually BIOL 111). Students with credit for Biology 11 or 12 must successfully complete 3 credits of an ASTR, BIOL, EOSC, or GEOB lecture course.
6 Students with CHEM 235 and a score of 76% or higher in CHEM 233 may apply for admission to this specialization and will be allowed to use CHEM 233 and 235 in place of CHEM 203.
7 MATH 217 can be replaced by MATH 200 and 317.
8 MATH 223 (221) may be taken in first year.
9 Chosen from 300- and 400-level PHYS and CHEM lecture courses. At least 3 credits must be chosen from 400-level PHYS lecture courses and at least 3 credits must be chosen from 400-level CHEM lecture courses. PHYS 402, 410 are strongly recommended for students intending to pursue graduate work in physics. Recommended CHEM courses include CHEM 401, 402, 407, 408, 410, 417.
10 Students selecting PHYS 408 decrease the number of PHYS Electives by 1 credit.

Combined Honours (0138): Computer Science and Physics

See Computer Science section.

Combined Honours: Physics and Another Science Subject1

First Year
Communication Requirement2 6
CHEM 121 (111)3 4
MATH 100 or 102 or 104 (120 or 180 or 184)4 3
MATH 101 or 103 or 105 (121)4 3
PHYS 107 (or 101 or 117)5 3
PHYS 108, 109 (or 102) (or 118, 119)5 4
Other subject credits and electives6,7 10
Total Credits 33
Second Year8
MATH 215, 2179 7
MATH 221 or 223 3
PHYS 200, 203, 216 11
PHYS 219, 229 3
Other subject credits and electives6,7 9
Total Credits 33
Third and Fourth Years10
MATH 300, 316 6
Required upper-level credits in the other science subject6 21
PHYS 301, 304, 306 9
PHYS 309 or 319 3
PHYS 401 or 40811 3
PHYS 44912 6
Electives6,7,13 18
Total Credits 66
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 Proposed combinations require written approval of both departments. Some combinations are not possible.
2 For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
3 Students without Chemistry 12 must take CHEM 111. Students interested in senior chemistry courses or who are planning to enter a career in teaching should take a second introductory chemistry course as an elective.
4 MATH 120 and 121 are 4 credits; students should adjust electives accordingly.
5 Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 prior to other PHYS courses. PHYS 102 is 3 credits; students should adjust elective credits accordingly. Students are advised to take PHYS 117 in second year if they did not take it or PHYS 107 in first year.
6 Other subject credits must be chosen in consultation with the advisor from the other department.
7 The number of elective credits in each year is chosen to make the yearly total be 33. Some course alternatives have different credit values. Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. Honours and combined honours options require a Winter Session load of at least 30 credits. Electives must be taken to ensure that all Faculty of Science requirements are met:
(a) At least 3 credits of BIOL for students without Biology 11 or 12 (see Biology Requirement).
(b) At least 12 credits must be from the Faculty of Arts, in addition to Arts credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirement (see Arts Requirement).
(c) At least 132 total credits, including at most 18 credits from faculties other than Science or Arts. At least 48 upper-level credits, including at least 42 upper-level credits from the Faculty of Science (see General Degree Requirements).
8 For admission to the specialization, students must be in good standing with no courses failed and a grade of at least 68% in each first-year physics and mathematics course. An average standing of at least 68% must be obtained in each year to remain in the Honours program. See also Second Year Application, Promotion to Second Year, and Admission as a Post-Secondary Transfer.
9 Students who are interested in mathematical physics are encouraged to take MATH 320, 321 (Real Variables I, II) later in their program. They are advised to substitute MATH 226, 227 (Advanced Calculus I, II) for MATH 217 (Multivariable and Vector Calculus). MATH 200, 317 (Calculus III, IV) can also be substituted for MATH 217. Either substitution would require using 3 credits of science elective.
10 Consultation with an advisor in both departments is recommended before entering third- and fourth-year. An average standing of at least 68% with no failures must be obtained in each year to remain in the Honours program. See also Promotion Requirements.
11 PHYS 401 is 3 credits, PHYS 408 is 4 credits; students should adjust elective credits accordingly.
12 If the honours thesis (449) is chosen from the other discipline replace PHYS 449(6) by PHYS 409(3) and adjust electives accordingly.
13 The following courses are recommended: CPSC 302, PHYS 400, 407, 410, 473, 474; MATH 301, 318, 400.

Combined Honours (0014): Physics and Mathematics (PHYS, MATH)

First Year
Communication Requirement1 6
CHEM 121 (111)2 4
MATH 120 (100 or 102 or 104 or 110 or 180 or 184)3 4
MATH 121 (101 or 103 or 105)3 4
PHYS 107 (or 101 or 117)4 3
PHYS 108, 109 (102) (or 118, 119)4 4
Electives5 8
Total Credits 33
Second Year6
MATH 223 (or 221)7 3
MATH 226 (or 200 and 220)8 3
MATH 227 (317) 3
MATH 215 3
PHYS 200, 203, 216 11
PHYS 219, 229 3
Electives5 7
Total Credits 33
Third Year9
MATH 300, 301 6
MATH 316 3
MATH 3208, 321 6
PHYS 301, 304 6
PHYS 306 3
PHYS 309 or 319 3
Electives5 6
Total Credits 33
Fourth Year9
12 credits from MATH 318, 322, 323, 400-406, 412, 416-429, 433-440, 443, 449, 450 12
PHYS 401 or 40810 3
PHYS 402 3
PHYS 403 or 407 3
PHYS 449 6
Electives5 6
Total Credits 33
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 Students without Chemistry 12 must take CHEM 111. Students interested in senior chemistry courses or who are planning to enter a career in teaching should take a second introductory chemistry course as an elective.
3 See UBC-SFU-UVIC-UNBC Calculus Examination Certificate. MATH 120 and 121 are 4 credits, MATH 110 is 6 credits, the other alternatives are 3 credits; students should adjust elective credits accordingly.
4 Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 prior to other PHYS courses. PHYS 102 is 3 credits; students should adjust electives accordingly. Students are advised to take PHYS 117 in second year if they did not take it or PHYS 107 in first year..
5 The number of elective credits in each year is chosen to make the yearly total be 33. Some course alternatives have different credit values. Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. Honours and combined honours options require a Winter Session load of at least 30 credits. Electives must be taken to ensure that all Faculty of Science requirements are met:
(a) At least 3 credits of BIOL or equivalent (see Biology Requirement).
(b) At least 12 credits must be from the Faculty of Arts,in addition to Arts credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirement (see Arts Requirement).
(c) At least 132 total credits, including at most 18 credits from Faculties other than Science or Arts. At least 48 upper-level credits, including at least 42 upper-level credits from the Faculty of Science (see General Degree Requirements).
6 For admission to the specialization, students must be in good standing with no courses failed and a minimum overall 68% average in each academic session. See also Second Year Application, Promotion to Second Year, and Admission as a Post-Secondary Transfer.
7 Students with credit for MATH 152 prior to entering this specialization can substitute it for MATH 223. MATH 223 or MATH 221 can be taken in the first year. Eligible students are highly recommended to take MATH 223.
8 MATH 320 requires either 68% in MATH 226 or MATH 200 plus 80% in MATH 220. Students taking MATH 200, 220 should reduce electives by 3.
9 Consultation with a Physics Department advisor is recommended before entering third- and fourth-year. An average standing of at least 68% with no failures must be obtained in each year to remain in the Honours program. See also Promotion Requirements and Courses Required for Promotion.
10 PHYS 401 is 3 credits, PHYS 408 is 4 credits; students should adjust electives accordingly.

Minor (1195): Physics (PHYS)

The Minor consists of one of PHYS 200 or PHYS 250 plus 12 upper-level credits of PHYS courses and a further 6 upper-level credits of PHYS and/or ASTR courses. PHYS 301 and/or PHYS 304 must be included. Note that MATH 215 is a prerequisite for many upper-level physics courses.

Page last updated: June 9, 2015

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