Download a PDF of this section: The Faculty of Science Print this page Email this page

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, 102 or 107, 108, 109 constitute a standard first-year physics program.

PHYS 100 is intended primarily for students who have completed only BC secondary school Physics 11 or its equivalent. Credit will not be given to students with credit for Physics 12.

PHYS 101 normally requires Physics 12 or PHYS 100. Credit will be given for only one of PHYS 101, 107.

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 physics or applied science (and some other programs) are required to take PHYS 102, or PHYS 108 plus PHYS 109, in addition to PHYS 101 and 107. PHYS 102 has PHYS 101 or 107 as prerequisite, while PHYS 108 requires either PHYS 107, or PHYS 101 with an A standing. Admission into second-year Honours Physics generally requires PHYS 107, 108, 109, and a clear first-year pass with either overall second-class standing in 30 credits or at least 68% in each of PHYS 107, 108, 109, and MATH 100, 101 (120, 121). Students who were not eligible for PHYS 107, 108 may substitute PHYS 101, 102 provided all other minimum requirements were also met. Credit will only be given for one of PHYS 102, 108. Science One satisfies the entrance requirement for all physics programs.

Non-science students without Physics 11 may take PHYS 100 in their second or 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 Requirement1,4 6
CHEM 121 (111) 4
MATH-100 level2,4 6-9
PHYS 107 (101)3 3
PHYS 108, 109 (102)3,4 4-3
Electives4 4-8
Total Credits 30
Second Year5
MATH 2006 3
MATH 215, 221 6
PHYS 2007, 2167 7
PHYS 209 3
PHYS 2108 3
Electives4 8
Total Credits 30
Third Year9
MATH 3176 3
PHYS 20310 4
PHYS 309 or 319 3
PHYS 312, 304 6
PHYS/ASTR 300-level and above11 3
Electives4,7 11
Total Credits 30
Fourth Year9
PHYS 301 3
6 credits from PHYS 348, 409, and 42011,12 6
PHYS/ASTR 300-level and above11 6
Electives4 15
Total Credits 30
Total Credits for Degree 120
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communications Requirement. ENGL 112 is recommended. Note SCIE 113 can be used to fulfill part of the communication requirement but does not count towards the 18 credit of required Arts courses. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 One of MATH 100, 102, 104, 110, 180, 184, or 120 and one of MATH 101, 103, 105, or 121.
3 Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 prior to PHYS 101 or 107. Qualified students are encouraged to take PHYS 107/108/109.
4 Electives must be taken to ensure that all Faculty of Science requirements are met:
(a) At least 18 credits must be from the Faculty of Arts, including ENGL credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirement.
(b) An additional 9 credits must be from Arts or Science outside the field of major to satisfy the Breadth Requirement.
(c) Up to 18 credits may be taken from any faculty but students must ensure that they have at least 48 upper-level credits, including at least 30 upper-level credits from the Faculty of Science.
Students without Biology 11 or 12 must take 3 credits of 100-level BIOL. For students with Biology 11 or 12, at least 3 credits must be a science course in ASTR, BIOL, EOSC, or GEOB. Students interested in senior chemistry courses or who are planning to enter a career in teaching are reminded that they should take a second course of introductory chemistry. Some course alternatives have different credit value. The number of elective credits in each year is chosen to balance the total number of credits (i.e., make the yearly total equal to 30). Since the number of available elective credits in each year may not be a multiple of three, students are permitted to move elective credits between years.
5 Students intending to continue in any physics or astronomy specialization 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.
6 Students with sufficiently high grades in first-year MATH may take MATH 217 and 2 credits of electives instead of MATH 200 and MATH 317.
7 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. Qualified students may replace PHYS 216 with PHYS 306 in third year.
8 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.
9 Consultation with a Physics Department advisor is recommended before entering third- and fourth-year.
10 The combination CHEM 201 and CHEM 304 may replace PHYS 203.
11 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. The PHYS 490 cannot be used to fill this upper-level selection requirement.
12 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, 123 (or 111, 113) 8
MATH 100-level2,4 6-9
PHYS 107 (101) 3
PHYS 108, 109 (102)3,4 4-3
Elective4,5 1-5
Total Credits 31
Second Year (Winter)6
MATH 2007, 215, 221 9
PHYS 200, 2168,9 7
PHYS 209, 21010 6
Electives4,5 8
Total Credits 30
Second Year (Summer)
EDUC 31911 1
Total Credits 1
Third Year (Winter)12
EDST 403 1
EDST 401 2
LLED 360 3
MATH 3177 3
PHYS 20313, 3129 7
PHYS 309 or 319 3
PHYS 304 3
Electives4,5,14 8
Total Credits 30
Third Year (Summer)
EDUC 39911 1
Total Credits 1
Fourth Year (Winter)12
EPSE 308 3
EDCP 352 3
EDCP 357 3
PHYS 301 3
PHYS or ASTR 300-level or higher15 9
Elective4,5,14 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 42016 6
Total Credits 29
Fifth Year (Summer)
EDUC 452 3
Total Credits 3
Total Credits for Dual Degree 166
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. ENGL 112 is recommended. 3 credits of ENGL 100-level may be deferred until second year. 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 One of MATH 100, 102, 104, 110, 180, 184, or 120 and one of MATH 101, 103, 105, or 121.
3 Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 prior to PHYS 101 or 107. Qualified students are encouraged to take PHYS 107/108/109.
4 Some course alternates have different credit value. The number of electives in each year is chosen to balance the total number of credits. However, since the number of available elective credits may not be a multiple of three, students are permitted to move elective credits between years.
5 Electives must be taken to ensure that all Faculty of Science requirements are met:
(a) At least 12 credits must be from the Faculty of Arts, excluding Arts credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirement (see Arts Requirement).
(b) 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.
(c) Students without Biology 11 or 12 must take 3 credits of 100-level BIOL. For students with Biology 11 or 12 at least 3 credits must be a science course in ASTR, BIOL, EOSC OR GEOB.
(d) Up to 12 elective credits may be taken in any courses in Arts or science, including the field of the major. Enough elective credits in Arts or science numbered 300 or higher must be taken so that the total number of Arts and science credits at the 300-level or higher in the program is at least 48, with at least 30 of these credits being in science.
6 Students intending to continue in any physics or astronomy specialization 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. Refer to Admissions for additional admission requirements.
7 Students with sufficiently high grades in first-year MATH 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.
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. Qualified students may replace PHYS 216 with PHYS 306 in third year (Winter).
9 Students considering graduate studies in Physics are advised to replace PHYS 216 with PHYS 306 in third year (Winter), and to replace MATH 200, 317, and PHYS 312 with MATH 217, 300, and 316. Students are also advised to take one of PHYS 401 or 408.
10 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.
11 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.
12 Consultation with a Physics departmental advisor is recommended before entering third and fourth year.
13 The combination CHEM 201 and CHEM 304 may replace PHYS 203.
14 MATH 302, 307, 308, 309, 312, 313 and 342 are recommended mathematics electives for students who are interested in teaching mathematics.
15 Some courses intended for Honours students require approval from appropriate instructor(s).
16 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 Requirement1,4 6
CHEM 121 (111)2 4
MATH 120 (100 or 102 or 104 or 180 or 184)2,4 4-3
MATH 121 (101 or 103 or 105)2,4 4-3
PHYS 107 (101)2,3 3
PHYS 108, 109 (102)2,4 4-3
Electives4 8-11
Total Credits 33
Second Year5
MATH 2176 4
MATH 223 (221)7 3
MATH 215, 300 6
PHYS 200, 203, 2108 11
PHYS 2099 3
Electives4 6
Total Credits 33
Third Year
MATH 316, 318 6
PHYS 301, 306 6
PHYS 304, 402 6
PHYS 309 or 319 3
PHYS 401 or 4084 3-4
Electives4, 10 9-8
Total Credits 33
Fourth Year
MATH 40011 3
PHYS 449 6
PHYS 305 or 403 or 474 3
PHYS 409 3
Electives4, 12 18
Total Credits 33
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. ENGL 112 is recommended. Note SCIE 113 can be used to fulfill part of the Communication Requirement but does not count towards the 18 credits of required Arts courses. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirements
2 First-year physics, biology, chemistry, and mathematics can be replaced by Science One (25 credits).
3 Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 prior to PHYS 101 or 107.
4 Electives must be taken to ensure that all Faculty of Science requirements are met:
(a) At least 18 credits must be from the Faculty of Arts, including ENGL credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirement.
(b) Up to 18 credits may be taken from any faculty but students must ensure that they have at least 48 upper-level credits, including at least 42 upper-level credits from the Faculty of Science.
Students without Biology 11 or 12 must take 3 credits of 100-level BIOL. For students with Biology 11 or 12, at least 3 credits must be a science course in ASTR, BIOL, EOSC, or GEOB. Students interested in senior chemistry courses or who are planning to enter a career in teaching are reminded that they should take a second course of introductory chemistry. In first year, 2 of the elective credits can be used to take the 4-credit math courses MATH 120 and 121. 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 equal 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.
5 Admission Requirements: A clear pass from first year 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.
6 Students who are interested in taking MATH 320, 321 later in their program are advised to substitute MATH 226, 227 for MATH 217. MATH 200, 317 can also be substituted for MATH 217. Either substitution would require using 3 credits of science elective.
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 first year. Eligible students are highly recommended to take MATH 223.
8 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.
9 Any Physics and Astronomy Co-op student may split PHYS 209 over two years such that the first half is taken in Term 1 of second year and the second half is taken in Term 2 of the next academic year, after returning from a work term. (No re-registration in PHYS 209 is required on return).
10 Students who are interested in mathematical physics are encouraged to take MATH 320 and MATH 321 as electives. At least 3 credits must be a 300- or 400-level physics or astronomy course.
11 With permission of an undergraduate physics and astronomy advisor, another course may replace MATH 400.
12 A minimum of 6 elective credits must be at least 400-level physics or astronomy courses. PHYS 490 is excluded. Suggested upper-level electives are ASTR 402, 403, 404; 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 (101)2,3 3
PHYS 108 and 109, (102)2,5 4-3
BIOL 112, 1402,4 5
CHEM 121, 123 (111, 113)2 8
MATH 120 (or 100 or 102 or 104 or 180 or 184)2,5 4-3
MATH 121 (or 101 or 103 or 105)2,5 4-3
Elective5,6 0-2
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, 209 7
PHYS 203 4
Total Credits 34
Third Year
BIOC 30210 3
MATH 300, 316 6
MATH 318 3
PHYS 301, 305, 30611 9
PHYS 309 or 319 3
Bio-Science elective10 3
Electives5,6 6
Total Credits 33
Fourth Year
PHYS 44912 6
PHYS 304 3
Bio-Science electives10 15
Electives5 8
Total Credits 32
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 A total of six credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. ENGL 112 is recommended. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirements.
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 PHYS 101 or 107.
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, excluding Arts credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirements (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 Admission Requirements: A clear pass from first year 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.
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.
10 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.
11 May be taken in fourth 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 Requirement1,4 6
CHEM 121 (111)2 4
MATH 120 (or 100 or 102 or 104 or 180 or 184)2,4 4-3
MATH 121 (or 101 or 103 or 105)2,4 4-3
PHYS 107 (101)2,3 3
PHYS 108 and 109, (102)2,4 4-3
Electives2, 4 8-11
Total Credits 33
Second Year
ASTR 200, 205 6
MATH 2175 4
MATH 223 (221)6 3
MATH 215, 300 6
PHYS 200, 203 8
PHYS 209, 2107 6
Total Credits 33
Third Year
ASTR 300, 407 6
MATH 316 3
MATH 318 3
PHYS 304, 306 6
PHYS 301, 408 7
Electives4 8
Total Credits 33
Fourth Year
ASTR 404, 406 6
ASTR 405 or PHYS 4098 3
ASTR 449 or PHYS 449 6
PHYS 402, 403 6
Electives4,9 12
Total Credits 33
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 6 credits of coursework are required to meet the Communication Requirement. ENGL 112 is recommended. Note SCIE 113 can be used to fulfill part of the Communication Requirement but does not count towards the 18 credits of required Arts courses. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 First-year physics, chemistry, and mathematics can be replaced by Science One (25 credits).
3 Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 prior to PHYS 101 or 107.
4 Electives must be taken to ensure that all Faculty of Science requirements are met:
(a) At least 18 credits must be from the Faculty of Arts, including ENGL credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirement.
(b) Up to 18 credits may be taken from any faculty but students must ensure that they have at least 48 upper-level credits, including at least 42 upper-level credits from the Faculty of Science. Students without Biology 11 or 12 must take 3 credits of 100-level BIOL. For students with Biology 11 or 12, at least 3 credits must be a science course in BIOL, EOSC, or GEOB.
Students interested in senior chemistry courses or who are planning to enter a career in teaching are reminded that they should take a second course of introductory chemistry. In first year, 2 of the elective credits can be used to take the 4-credit MATH 120 and 121. Some course alternates have different credit value. The number of elective credits is chosen to balance the total number of credits taken each year (i.e., make the yearly total equal 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.
5 Students who are interested in taking MATH 320, 321 are advised to substitute MATH 226, 227 for MATH 217. MATH 200, MATH 317 can also be substituted for MATH 217. Either substitution would require using 3 credits of science elective for MATH 227 or MATH 317.
6 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 highly recommended to take MATH 223.
7 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.
8 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.
9 ASTR 403 and PHYS 407 are recommended. See Honours (0344): Physics (PHYS) table above for a suggested list of fourth-year electives. MATH 400 is recommended.

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

First Year
Communication Requirement1 6
CHEM 121, 123 (111, 113) 8
MATH 1202 4
MATH 1213 4
PHYS 107, 108, 1094 7
Electives5 3
Total Credits 32
Second Year
CHEM 201 3
CHEM 202 3
CHEM 2036 4
CHEM 213, 245 4
MATH 215, 2177, 223 (221)8 10
PHYS 200, 209 7
Electives5 3
Total Credits 34
Third Year
CHEM 211 4
CHEM 304 3
CHEM 320 3
MATH 316 3
PHYS 301, 304 6
PHYS 306 3
PHYS 309 or 319 3
PHYS and CHEM Electives9 6
Electives5 3
Total Credits 34
Fourth Year
CHEM 401 3
CHEM 449 or PHYS 449 6
PHYS 401 or 408 3-4
PHYS 403 or 474 3
PHYS and CHEM Electives9 9
Electives5 8
Total Credits 32
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. ENGL 112 is recommended. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement. SCIE 113 may be used to satisfy part of the Communication Requirement but not part of the 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 any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 3 credits.
3 MATH 101 or 103 or 105 may substitute for MATH 121 by increasing the electives by 1 credit.
4 PHYS 101 and 102 may substitute for PHYS 107, 108, and 109 by increasing the electives by 1 credit. Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 prior to PHYS 101 or 107.
5 There are a number of elective credits in this specialization. Even though these electives are assigned in a specific manner over each of the four years of study, they may be redistributed, and thus any extra elective credit taken in first or second year can be applied to the later elective credit requirements. 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. At least 18 credits must be from the Faculty of Arts, which may include Arts credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirement.
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 402, 407, 408, 410, 417.

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 4
MATH 100 or 102 or 104 (or 120 or 180 or 184)5 3-4
MATH 101 or 103 or 105 (or 121)5 3-4
PHYS 107 (101)3 3
PHYS 108, 109 (102)3,5 4-3
Other subject credits and electives4,5 10-9
Total Credits 33
Second Year
MATH 215, 2176 7
MATH 221 or 223 3
PHYS 200, 203 8
PHYS 209 3
Other subject credits and electives4,5 12
Total Credits 33
Third and Fourth Years
MATH 300, 316 6
Required upper-level credits in the other science subject4,7 21
PHYS 301, 304, 306 9
PHYS 309 or 319 3
PHYS 402 or 4085 3-4
PHYS 4497 6
Electives2,5,8 18-17
Total Credits 66
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 Proposed combinations require written approval of both departments. Some combinations are not possible.
2 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. ENGL 112 is recommended. Note SCIE 113 can be used to fulfill part of the Communication Requirement but does not count towards the 18 credits of required Arts courses. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
3 Students without Physics 12 must normally take PHYS 100 before 101. Qualified students are encouraged to take PHYS 107/108/109.
4 Other subject credits must be chosen in consultation with the advisor from the other department.
5 Electives must be taken to ensure that all Faculty of Science requirements are met:
(a) At least 18 credits must be from the Faculty of Arts, including ENGL credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirement.
(b) Up to 18 credits may be taken from any faculty but students must ensure that they have at least 48 upper-level credits, including at least 42 upper-level credits from the Faculty of Science.
Students without Biology 11 or 12 must take 3 credits of 100-level BIOL. Other students must take 3 credits of electives in BIOL, EOSC, ASTR, or GEOB. CHEM 123 and CPSC courses or PHYS 210 are also recommended.
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 equal 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 MATH 217 can be replaced by MATH 226 and 227 or MATH 200 and 317.
7 If the honours thesis (449) is chosen from the other discipline replace PHYS 449(6) by PHYS 409(3) and both PHYS 402 and 408.
8 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 (or 111)2 4
MATH 120 (or 100 or 102 or 104 or 180 or 184)2,3,5 4-3
MATH 121 (or 101 or 103 or 105)2,5 4-3
PHYS 107 (or 101)2,4 3
PHYS 108 and 109, (102)2,4 4-3
Electives5 8-11
Total Credits6 33
Second Year
MATH 223 (or 221)7 3
MATH 226 (or 200 and 220)8 3-6
MATH 227 (317) 3
MATH 215 3
PHYS 200, 203 8
PHYS 209 3
Electives5,8 7-10
Total Credits6 33
Third Year
MATH 300, 301 6
MATH 316 3
MATH 320, 321 6
PHYS 301, 304 6
PHYS 306 3
PHYS 309 or 319 3
Electives5 6
Total Credits6 33
Fourth Year
12 credits from MATH 318, 322, 323, 400-406, 412, 416-429, 433-440, 443, 449, 450 12
PHYS 401 or 4085 3-4
PHYS 402 3
PHYS 403 or 407 3
PHYS 449 6
Electives5 6-5
Total Credits6 33
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. ENGL 112 is recommended. Note SCIE 113 can be used to fulfill part of the Communication Requirement but does not count towards the 18 credits of required Arts courses. 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).
3 See UBC-SFU-UVIC-UNBC Calculus Examination Certificate. Also, MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified courses by decreasing the electives by 3 credits.
4 Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 prior to PHYS 101 or 107.
5 Electives must be taken to ensure that all Faculty of Science requirements are met:
(a) At least 18 credits must be from the Faculty of Arts, including ENGL credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirement.
(b) Up to 18 credits may be taken from any faculty but students must ensure that they have at least 48 upper-level credits, including at least 42 upper-level credits from the Faculty of Science. Students without Biology 11 or Biology 12 must take 3 credits of 100-level BIOL. Students with Biology 11 or 12 must take at least 3 credits of ASTR, BIOL, EOSC, or GEOB. PHYS 210 or one computer science course is recommended. Students interested in senior chemistry courses or who are planning to enter a career in teaching are reminded that they should take a second course of introductory chemistry. 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 equal 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 Honours specializations require a minimum overall 68% average in each academic session, the completion of all attempted courses, and at least 30 credits in each Winter Session.
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 Students who take MATH 200 or who obtain less than 68% in MATH 226 must take MATH 220 and obtain 80% or higher in order to take the required course MATH 320.

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: March 4, 2014

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Student Services
Vancouver Campus
1874 East Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia