Master of Science in Physics (MSc)
The Department of Physics & Astronomy at UBC is noted for the excellence of its research and its high academic standards and integrity. We are constantly rated as one of the top Physics & Astronomy programs in the world. Each year, we offer 20 to 30 graduate level Physics and Astronomy courses. We host a full range of presentations and seminars including many on current and emerging topics and technologies, and invite nationally and internationally renowned scientists to participate. We have weekly seminar series on Astronomy, Particle Physics, Condensed Matter, Biophysics, and Theoretical Physics. At our facilities at Vancouver General Hospital, TRIUMF, and AMPEL, seminars are held regularly for faculty and students.
Contact the program
Meet a UBC representative
Faculty of Science Information SessionDate: Tuesday, 24 November 2020
Time: 10:00 to 11:00
UBC’s Faculty of Science is home to an array of outstanding scientists and students who strive to unravel the principles that underlie our universe - from the subatomic to the macroscopic, from pure mathematics to biotechnology, from ecosystems to galactic systems. In this session hosted by Professor Mark MacLachlan, Associate Dean of Research & Graduate Studies, we’ll hear from faculty members and graduate students on some of the exciting research happening within the Faculty of Science. We’ll also take a look at the wide range of graduate programs available, what its like to be a grad student in Science, and also provide some application advice. Be sure to join us and get an insight into how UBC Science is discovering new scientific knowledge and preparing Canada’s and the world’s next generation of scientists.
Admission Information & Requirements
1) Check Eligibility
Minimum Academic Requirements
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.
English Language Test
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based
Overall score requirement: 90
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Overall score requirement: 6.5
Other Test Scores
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
The GRE is not required.
2) Meet Deadlines
January 2021 Intake
Application Open Date29 September 2020
September 2021 Intake
Application Open Date01 October 2020
3) Prepare Application
All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Master of Science in Physics (MSc)
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
4) Apply Online
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,698.56||$2,984.09|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$969.17 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,242.00 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
Program Funding Packages
All students who are accepted to the MSc in Physics are guaranteed at least a minimum level of financial support, sufficient to cover tuition and living expenses.
Applicants who are interested in the production, preparation, and application of nuclear isotopes for science and medicine may consider the IsoSiM program that provides additional funding and professional development opportunities. Applicants who are interested in quantum materials may consider the QuEST program. Applicants who are interested in nanomaterials synthesis, characterization and application, and nanoscience instrumentation may consider the NanoMat program.
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
Teaching Assistantships (GTA)
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Research Assistantships (GRA)
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
Financial aid (need-based funding)
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Foreign government scholarships
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
Working while studying
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats
These statistics show data for the Master of Science in Physics (MSc). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
Completion Rates & Times
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Affleck, Ian Keith (Condensed matter theory, quantum magnetism, quantum impurities, high-Tc superconductivity, low dimensional magnetism, quantum wires and dots, high energy theory, impurities in metals)
Aronson, Meigan (heavy-ferromagnetic compounds; charge density waves; magnetic nanoparticles)
Bagger, Jonathan (High energy physics; String theory; Bagger-Lambert-Gustavsson action; Supersymmetry; Superspace; Supergravity)
Berciu, Mona (condensed matter theory; strongly correlated systems; polarons, bipolarons)
Boley, Aaron (Astronomy and Astrophysics; Planet formation, protoplanetary disk evolution, formation of meteorite parent bodies)
Bonn, Douglas Andrew (Condensed matter, high temperature superconductors, microwave measurements, crystal growth)
Bryman, Douglas (Particle physics, experimental; Experimental Particle Physics; Applied physics; physics)
Burke, Sarah (Scanning probe microscopy, organic materials, nanoscale materials, surface physics, photovoltaics )
Choptuik, Matthew (Theoretical physics, Relativity/Computational Physics )
Damascelli, Andrea (Electronic structure of solids, strongly correlated electron systems, low dimensional spin systems, thin films and nanostructures, transition metal oxides, high-Tc superconductors, linear and nonlinear optical spectroscopies, angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, photoelectron spectroscopy, synchrotron based spectroscopies., Electronic structure of novel complex systems in nanostructured materials)
Dierker, Steve (Collective dynamics of condensed matter systems; Dependence on reduced dimensionality, strong interactions, disorder, and mesoscale structure)
Folk, Joshua (Quantum devices; Majorana fermions; Strongly correlated electronics; Topological phenomena; Fractional quantum Hall effect; Vanderwaals heterostructures)
Franz, Marcel (Condensed matter theory )
Gay, Colin (Experimental subatomic physics, Beyond Standard Model physics, Extra dimensions)
Gladman, Brett (Astronomy, Planetary Science, meteorites, astrobiology, Solar system formation and evolution)
Hallas, Alannah (Quantum Phenomena; Quantum materials; Materials design and discovery; magnetism)
Halpern, Mark (Cosmology, Cosmic background radiation, history of star formation, measuring the geometry and contents of the Universe, satellites, balloon-borne telescopes, the physics of music, Physics of music, Cosmic Microwave Background, Physical Cosmology, Star formation history)
Hasinoff, Michael (Low-energy particle physics)
Hearty, Christopher (Subatomic physics, Experimental Particle Physics Research)
Heyl, Jeremy (Quantum Phenomena; Stellar; Astrophysics; Stellar Physics; Quantum-Field Theory; Neutron Stars; Black Holes)
Hickson, Paul (cosmology, galaxies, telescopes, adaptive optics., Astronomy, astrophysics, Galaxies, clusters, instrumentation, adaptive optics)
Hinshaw, Gary (cosmology, cosmic background radiation, Cosmology, Measuring diffuse background radiations)
Jones, David (Atomic, optical and molecular physics,Ultrafast Optics, Spectroscopy)
Karczmarek, Joanna (String theory; Matrix models; Emergent spacetime and gravity; Noncommutative geometry)
Kiefl, Robert (Quantum Phenomena; condensed matter physics; polarons; multiferroics; superconductivity; magnetism)
Sample Thesis Submissions
Further Program Information
Physics provides research opportunities in many subfields of physics, including
- applied physics: this effort has spawned a number of spin-off companies.
- medical physics: be involved in a broad range of medical physics research in the areas of radiation therapy, medical imaging, biomedical optics and radiation biophysics.
- biophysics: the application of quantitative principles and methods to biological systems.
- nuclear and particle physics: the aim of subatomic physics is to understand matter and the fundamental forces in the universe and ultimately form a Theory of Everything.
- astronomy and astrophysics: study stars, galaxies, the material in between, and the Universe as a whole.
- atomic, molecular, and optical physics: this field is rapidly expanding and serves as the basis for many modern technological innovations.
- condensed matter physics is concerned with understanding and exploiting the properties of solids and liquids and the large area that this covers makes it the largest field of contemporary physics.
- theoretical physics: Gravity and Relativity, String Theory, High Energy Physics, and Condensed Matter Theory, to Quantum Information and Biophysics