Programs

Undergraduate Programs

For students interested in physics at the undergraduate level, there are a number of options, including a Bachelor of Science (BSc) with a major in Physics or a BSc with Honours in Physics. We offer specializations in a number of physics sub-disciplines. Our Majors and Honours students can opt to complete one of the following physics streams where students select six courses in a given field of interest:

Applied Materials

New materials are needed to respond to any of society's technological challenges, such as clean energy and transportation. This stream gives you exposure to the industrial side of materials physics with hands on courses in materials characterization and simulation. These are complemented with a selection of more fundamental materials courses.

Recommended courses Prerequisites
ENGI 1203:  Mechanics I: Statics  
ENGI 2204: Mechanics of Materials ENGI 1203
MATL 3500: Materials Engineering None
MECH 3660: FEM in Mechanical Design ENGI 2204
Plus two of the following:  
PHYC 3900: Soft Matter  
PHYC 4230: Solid State  
SCIE 4705: Science Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship  
ECED 4350: Semiconductor Materials and Devices  
PHYC 3303: Material Science CHEM 1011, CHEM 1012
PHYC 3250: Computational Methods  
PHYC 4250: Topics in Numerial Computing  
Physics Majors would be expected to also complete the following courses:
PHYC 3640: Quantum I  
PHYC 3210: Stat Mech  
PHYC 3000: Experimental Physics I  
PHYC 3010: Experimental Physics II  

Astrophysics

Astrophysics is the application of physics to the study of the evolution of stars and planets, and the origins of the universe.  This stream provides you with two introductory courses to the subject and the physics background to address these fundamental questions from both theoretical and observational perspectives.  Additional courses could be chosen through St. Mary’s University.

Recommended courses Prerequisites
PHYC 2451: Solar system Astronomy  
PHYC 2452: Stellar and Galactic Astrophysics  
ERTH 2020: Journey Through The Solar System  
PHYC 3540: Optics  
Plus two of the following:  
PHYC 3250: Computational Methods  
PHYC 4250: Topics in Numerial Computing  
PHYC 4660: Cosmology Permission of instructor
PHYC 4650: General Relativity MATH 3045
PHYC 4180: Nuclear Physics PHYC 3640: Quantum I
Physics Majors should consider also completing the following courses that are useful for astrophysicists:
PHYC 3640: Quantum I  
PHYC 3210: Stat Mech  
PHYC 3200: Thermodynamics  

Biophysics

Biophysics is an interdisciplinary field that applies the tools traditionally used in physics to bring a quantitative perspective to biological systems. The stream teaches you how to apply quantitative analysis to living systems. Several of the courses can be used towards a minor in biology.

Recommended courses Prerequisites
BIOL 1010:
Principles of Biology Part I
 
BIOL 1011:
Principles of Biology Part II
 
STAT 2060: Introduction to Probability and Statistics  
PHYC 3900: Soft Matter  
Plus at least two of the following:  
*BIOL 2004: Diversity of Plants and Microorganisms  
MICI 2100: Introductory Microbiology BIOL 1010, BIOL 1011, CHEM 1011, CHEM 1012
*BIOL 2060: Introductory Ecology STAT 2060
*BIOL 2020: Cell biology BIOL 1010, BIOL 1011
ANAT 2160: Introduction to Human Histology BIOL 2020
Computation Courses:  
PHYC 3250: Computational Methods  
PHYC 4250: Topics in Numerical Computing  
STAT 2080: Statistical Methods for Data Analysis and Inference STAT 2060
CSCI 4180: Intro to Computational Biology & Bioinformatics CSCI 2132 - Software Development, and STAT 2060
Other Courses:  
OCEA 4230: Biology of phytoplankton Permission of instructor
BIOE 4391: Polymeric Biomaterials None
*BIOL 3326: Vertebrate Design: Evolution and Function *BIOL 2003 - Animal Diversity and *BIOL 2040 - Evolution
* Six courses at the 2000-level or above meet the requirements for a minor in biology

Computational Physics

Computational physicists perform experiments on computers, which have become increasingly important due to the rise in complexity of problems that physics addresses. The computational techniques learned in this stream are transferable across many disciplines such as biology, oceanography, mathematics, finance, and computer science. Courses in this stream can be used towards a Certificate in Information Technology.

Recommended courses Prerequisites
CSCI 1110: Computer Science Some programming experience
CSCI 2110: Data Structures and Algorithms CSCI 1110
PHYC 3250: Computational Methods  
PHYC 4250: Topics in Numerical Computing  
Plus two from the list of suggested courses:  
CSCI 2114: Mathematical Applications in Computing CSCI 1110
STAT 2080: Statistical Methods for Data Analysis and Inference STAT 2060
CSCI 2132: SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT  
CSCI 4180: Intro to Computational Biology & Bioinformatics STAT 2060 and CSCI 2132
CSCI 3151: Web Intelligence MATH 2112, STAT 2060, CSCI 2141
NOTE: CSCI 3151 has following prerequisits:  
MATH 2112: Discrete Structures I CSCI 1110
STAT 2060: Introduction to Probability and Statistics  
CSCI 2141: Introduction to Database Systems  

Environmental Physics

Climate change is one of the defining problems our time.  This stream provides you with the skills and knowledge to understand our evolving atmosphere.  Many of the courses in this stream can be used towards a Diploma in Meterology.

Recommended courses Prerequisites
PHYC 2310: Energy and the Environment  
PHYC 2800: Climate Change  
*PHYC 4411: Atmospheric Dynamics I  
*PHYC 4570: Radiative Transfer  
PHYC 3250: Computational Methods or
PHYC 4250: Topics in Comp
 
Plus at least one of the following:
PHYC 2270: Intro to Applied Geophysics  
*PHYC 4412: Atmospheric Dynamics II  
OCEA 4220: Numerical Modelling of Atmospheres and Ocean * Recommended that you take a computational course and PHYC 4411 before this course
STAT4390/OCEA4210: Time Series Analysis Instructor's consent (STAT 3340, 3360 and 3460 listed as prereq's, but not required
ENVS 3601: Global Biogeochemical Cycles CHEM 1011 and one of ENVS 1000.06 or ENVS 1100.03 and ENVS 1200.03, SUST 1001.06, ERTH 1080.03, or ERTH 1090.03, or OCEA 2000.06, or OCEA 2001.03 and OCEA 2002.03
*PHYC 4520: Intro to Atmos Science  
*PHYC4505: Atmospheric Physics  
*PHYC4595: Atmospheric Chemistry  
Physics Majors would be expected to also complete the following courses:
PHYC 3200: Thermodynamics  
* These course can be used towards the Diploma in Meteorology. 
  https://www.mathstat.dal.ca/~folkins/meteorology.dalhousie.html



Leadership in Physics

Our society needs leaders who can communicate the importance of the latest technological advances to the public and our politicians, and be part of policy making decisions. These courses help to strengthen your communication skills and to place your field of study in the broader context. The following are a subset of courses that fulfill the Certificate in Leadership and Communication.  The stream can also be used to satisfy the humanities requirements for a BSc degree and can be taken in conjunction with another physics stream.

Recommended courses Prerequisites
PHYC 2850: Science and Economics of Climate Change Any first year science class
SCIE 3111: Communicating science Permission of instructor
PHIL 2680: Ethics in Science None
PHYC 3010: Experimental Physics II  
Choose one of the following:  
HSTC 2400: Science in the Media  
HSTC 2205: Totalitarianism and Science  
HSTC 3411:  Feminism and Science  
HSTC 1801: Technology and Engineering: from Industrial Age to Cybernetic Age  
HSTC 4000:  Science Nature and the Modern Period  
PHIL 2660: Understanding Scientific Reasoning  
PHIL 2480: Environmental Ethics  
Plus a Leadership Porfolio  

Materials Physics

Medical Physics

Medical Physics is the study of the diagnosis and treatment of human disease using fundamental physical principles.  This stream helps to prepare students for our CAMPEP accredited postgraduate medical physics program.  Medical physicists work in a clinical setting applying physics to the practice of medicine.  They find work in areas of radiation oncology, medical imaging, nuclear medicine and radiation protection.

Recommended courses Prerequisites
PHYC 2250: Physics of Medical and Biological Tech  
PHYC 3900: Soft Matter  
PHYC 4180: Nuclear Physics  
Plus three of the following:  
PHYC 3250: Computational Methods  
PHYC 4250: Topics in Numerial Computing  
PHYC 3540: Optics  
BIOE 4391: Polymeric Biomaterials None
ECED 4760: Biomedical Engineering None
BMNG 3000: Technology in Medicine CHEM 1011, CHEM 1012
Physics Majors would be expected to also complete the following courses:
PHYC 3640: Quantum I  

Meteorology (Diploma)

Completed as part of a four-year BSc in Physics, or following the completion of a bachelor's degree in any science, math or other quantitative-based program. See the main Meteorology program page.

Physics Without all the Math

Physics, atmospheric science and astronomy courses beyond the first year, but without math prerequisites past the 1000-level. This course can be used to obtain a minor in physics, which consists of six courses at the 2000-level or above.

Recommended Courses Prerequisites
PHYC 2515: Modern Physics PHYC1190+1290 or PHYC1310+1320
PHYC 2250: Physics of Medical and Biological Tech PHYC1190+1290 or PHYC1310+1320
PHYC 2150: Tools experiment PHYC1190+1290 or PHYC1310+1320
PHYC 2310: Energy and the Environment PHYC1190+1290 or PHYC1310+1320
PHYC 2800: Climate Change None
PHYC 2451: Solar system Astronomy PHYC1190+1290 or PHYC1310+1320
PHYC 2452: Stellar and Galactic Astrophysics PHYC1190+1290 or PHYC1310+1320
PHYC 2850: Science and Economics of Climate Change Any first year science course
NOTE: 6 of these course are sufficient for a minor in physics

Theoretical Physics

Theoretical physics encompasses fundamental theories across all scales, from the quantum world to the massive galactic systems governed by Einstein's theory of General Relativity. This stream provides you with a strong mathematical and computational foundation, giving students the opportunity to pursue interests in advanced theoretical courses.

Recommended Courses Prerequisites
PHYC 3250: Computational Methods  
PHYC 4250: Topics in Comp  
Plus at least two of the following:  
PHYC 3900: Soft Matter  
PHYC 4230: Solid State  
PHYC 4660: Cosmology Permission of instructor
PHYC 4650: General Relativity MATH 3045
Plus at least two of the following:  
MATH 2040: Matrix Theo/Linear Algebra II  
MATH 3045: Curves and Surfaces MATH 2002 and MATH 2040
MATH 4540: Applied Analysis MATH 3120 or MATH 3260 and MATH 3501
MATH 4530: Differential Geometry MATH 3045
MATH 4220: Intro Partial Diff Equations MATH 3120
STAT 3340: Regression Analysis STAT 2080
STAT 2060: Intro Probability & Stats  
Physics Majors would be expected to also complete the following courses:
PHYC 3640: Quantum I  
PHYC 3590: Adv Class Mech  
PHYC 3210: Stat Mech  
MATH 3120: Differential equations  
PHYC 3200: Thermodynamics  
PHYC 3100: Electrodynamics  
PHYC 4151: Quantum II  
PHYC 4160: Math Methods  
Note: Theoretical Physics Stream can be used towards a Minor in Math. The requirements include:
• MATH 1030.03: Matrix Theory and Linear Algebra I
• MATH 2001.03: Intermediate Calculus I
• MATH 2120.03: Methods for Ordinary Differential equations
• twelve additional credit hours of Math at or above the 2000 level


For more information on how to apply, visit the Physics and Atmospheric Science undergraduate program site.

Graduate Programs

Dalhousie's Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science prides itself on providing graduate students with cutting-edge, world-class research opportunities in a collegial environment. For more information on our graduate program, refer to the Graduate Student section.