Physics & Astronomy

About Program Admission Requirements Request More Information Program Website
Faculty of Science
BSc
Full-Time, Part-Time
Yes
Yes
Yes

York houses one of Canada's leading Physics departments.

There are three streams within the Physics and Astronomy program:

  1. Physics
  2. Applied Physics
  3. Astronomy and Astrophysics

Physics is the most fundamental science discipline. It attempts to understand nature at its deepest level. It develops an understanding and description of all forms of energy and matter and can be said to occupy the middle ground between mathematics and engineering.

Astronomy is the science that deals with the origin, evolution, composition, distance and motion of all bodies and scattered matter in the universe. It includes astrophysics, which discusses the physical properties and structure of all cosmic matter. Participate in world-class research projects led by our professors in fields as diverse as atomic and molecular physics, laser physics, elementary particle and subatomic physics and engineering physics. Students from this program routinely win prestigious grants to support them in all areas of graduate research.

You will gain a strong grounding in physics, astronomy and computer-based physics with a strong experimental physics component. You will not only learn the subject matter, but also learn how to write scientific reports, and deliver oral presentations on a topic of your choice. The physical world is open to you!

  • Work with professors in our research groups like those in experimental high-energy (particle) physics and astronomy and the Centre for Research in Earth & Space Science.
  • It's natural to combine Physics with other disciplines, such as Earth and Atmospheric Science, Chemistry, Computer Science or Biology. Given that physics teachers for high schools are difficult to find, why not combine Physics & Astronomy studies with a teaching degree?
  • York's Astronomical Observatory is actively engaged in a long-term variable star monitoring program. Although clear and dark skies are not as frequent as one would like in Toronto, the results from this on going research have yielded relatively "clean" and valid scientific results. Results are presented at the annual Canadian Astronomical Society meetings each year. Come to a public viewing on Wednesday night or take a virtual tour.
  • The Astronomy Club brings together all those who look to beauty, those who seek knowledge and those who are simply curious to meet, discuss and learn about the cosmos in which we live.

You may also be interested in Space Science.

Sample Schedule (First-year)

  • Physics
  • Astronomy (Astronomy stream)
  • Chemistry
  • Calculus
  • Linear Algebra
  • Computer Programming
  • Non-Science Requirement

Possible Career Paths

Explore what you can do with your degree
  • industrial physicist
  • photonics scientist
  • laser technician
  • nuclear-medicine imaging technician

BScFaculty of Science

Requirements for admission:
  • Alberta High School Diploma
  • ELA30-1 or English 30
  • Physics 30
  • Pure Math 30 or Math 30-2 or Math 30-1
  • Math 31
  • And one additional academic courses numbered 30 or 31 - recommendation(s) below:
    • Chemistry 30
    To gain admission to this program, your academic average should be in the high 70s to mid-80s.Maintaining your offer of admission to this program requires a final academic average of 75.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • British Columbia Secondary School Graduation Diploma
  • English 12 or English 12 First Peoples
  • Physics 12
  • Principles of Math 12 or Foundational Math 12 or Pre-calculus 12
  • Calculus 12
  • And one additional Grade 12 Academic subjects - recommendation(s) below:
    • Chemistry 12
    To gain admission to this program, your academic average should be in the high 70s to mid-80s.Maintaining your offer of admission to this program requires a final academic average of 75.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Baccalauréat Général
  • Terminale physics
  • Terminale math
  • The following course(s) are also recommended:
    • Terminale chemistry
    • A maximum of 30 possible transferable credits may be granted for successful completion of the Baccalauréat Général. Please click here, then click “Transfer Credit Requirements” for details.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Successful completion of the final year of senior studies
    • Minimum overall result of “Bien/Buena/Bueno/Good” on all academic courses.
    • Some programs require a higher GPA.
  • Senior-level physics
  • Senior-level math
  • The following course(s) are also recommended:
    • Senior-level chemistry

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Diploma with a total of at least six units, including prerequisites, and grades of 1, 2 or 3 in each unit.
    • A minimum overall average of 3 out of 7 is required. Higher grades required for certain programs.
  • 2-unit physics
  • 2-unit math
  • The following course(s) are also recommended:
    • 2-unit chemistry
    • CAPE 2-unit courses, with results of 3 or better, are eligible for transfer credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits. Please click here, then click “Transfer Credit Requirements” for details.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • One year of CEGEP
  • 2 semesters of English/anglais
  • Physics 1 and 2
  • Linear Algebra 1
  • Calculus 1
  • And six additional academic courses (high-school equivalent courses not accepted) - recommendation(s) below:
    • Chemistry 1 and 2
    • Extra courses will be assessed for transfer credit. Applicants with the DEC may be awarded up to one full year of transfer credit.
    To gain admission to this program, your academic average should be in the high 70s to mid-80s.Maintaining your offer of admission to this program requires a final academic average of 75.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Senior Secondary School Graduation Certificate
  • Grade 12 physics
  • Grade 12 math
  • The following course(s) are also recommended:
    • Grade 12 chemistry

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Lise Diplomasi
  • Senior-level physics
  • Senior-level math
  • The following course(s) are also recommended:
    • Senior-level chemistry

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • General Certificate of Education (GCE) Examinations
  • A-level physics
  • A-level math
  • The following course(s) are also recommended:
    • A-level chemistry
    • GCE A2 examinations with results of "C" or better, are eligible for transfer credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits. Please click here, then click “Transfer Credit Requirements” for details.
    To gain admission to this program, minimum average of C is required.Maintaining your offer of admission to this program requires a final academic average of C.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)
  • Twelfth Year physics
  • Twelfth Year math
  • The following course(s) are also recommended:
    • Twelfth Year chemistry
    To gain admission to this program, successful completion of the Twelfth Year of senior studies with a minimum overall average of %cutoff.hk%/5.0 required.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
    • IB Diploma with passes in six subjects: three passes at the Standard-level and three passes at the Higher-level, or two passes at the Standard-level and four passes at the Higher-level
  • Standard or higher-level physics
  • Standard or higher-level math (Math Studies will not satisfy this requirement)
  • The following course(s) are also recommended:
    • Standard or higher-level chemistry
    • Transfer credit is granted for IB courses with Higher-level final grades of 5 or better, to a maximum of 30 credits. Please click here, then click “Transfer Credit Requirements” for details.
    To gain admission to this program, minimum IB diploma point scores of 28 is required.Maintaining your offer of admission to this program requires minimum IB diploma point scores of 28.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Completion of one of the following:
    • All-India Senior School Certificate (AISSCE)
    • Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC)
    • Indian School Certificate (ISC)
    • Intermediate Examination Certificate
    • Pre-University Examination Certificate
  • Grade XII physics
  • Grade XII math
  • The following course(s) are also recommended:
    • Grade XII chemistry

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Manitoba High School Diploma
  • English 40S
  • Physics 40S
  • Pre-Calculus Math 40S
  • And two additional 40S level academic subjects (no more than one at the 40G level) - recommendation(s) below:
    • Chemistry 40S
    To gain admission to this program, your academic average should be in the high 70s to mid-80s.Maintaining your offer of admission to this program requires a final academic average of 75.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • New Brunswick High School Graduation Diploma
  • English 120, 121 or 122
  • Physics 121 or 122
  • Math 121 or 122 or Pre-Calc 12B
  • Advanced Math with Intro Calculus 120 or Pre-Calc 12B
  • And two additional Grade 12 academic subjects (college preparatory 120, 121 or 122) - recommendation(s) below:
    • Chemistry 121 or 122
    To gain admission to this program, your academic average should be in the high 70s to mid-80s.Maintaining your offer of admission to this program requires a final academic average of 75.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Newfoundland and Labrador High School Graduation Diploma
  • English 3201
  • Physics 3204
  • Math 3204 or 3205 or 3200
  • Math 3207 or Calculus 3208
  • And three additional credits at the 3000 level - recommendation(s) below:
    • Chemistry 3202
    To gain admission to this program, your academic average should be in the high 70s to mid-80s.Maintaining your offer of admission to this program requires a final academic average of 75.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma
  • English 12
  • Physics 12
  • Advanced Math 12 or Math 12 or Pre-calculus 12
  • Calculus 12
  • And one additional Grade 12 academic subjects (university preparatory academic or advanced) - recommendation(s) below:
    • Chemistry 12
    To gain admission to this program, your academic average should be in the high 70s to mid-80s.Maintaining your offer of admission to this program requires a final academic average of 75.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Nunavut High School Graduation Diploma
  • ELA30-1 or English 30
  • Physics 30
  • Pure Math 30 or Math 30-2 or Math 30-1
  • Math 31
  • And one additional academic courses numbered 30 or 31 - recommendation(s) below:
    • Chemistry 30
    To gain admission to this program, your academic average should be in the high 70s to mid-80s.Maintaining your offer of admission to this program requires a final academic average of 75.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Northwest Territories High School Graduation Diploma
  • ELA30-1 or English 30
  • Physics 30
  • Pure Math 30 or Math 30-2 or Math 30-1
  • Math 31
  • And one additional academic courses numbered 30 or 31 - recommendation(s) below:
    • Chemistry 30
    To gain admission to this program, your academic average should be in the high 70s to mid-80s.Maintaining your offer of admission to this program requires a final academic average of 75.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
  • ENG4U
  • SPH4U
  • MHF4U
  • MCV4U
  • And two additional 4U or M courses - recommendation(s) below:
    • SCH4U
    To gain admission to this program, your academic average should be in the high 70s to mid-80s.Maintaining your offer of admission to this program requires a final academic average of 75.
    OUAC code YSP

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Completion of a diploma program or at least two full semesters or one year of full-time academic study at an accredited college
  • Overall average of 3.0 or better on a 4-point scale (or equivalent)
  • SPH4U*
  • MHF4U*
  • MCV4U*
  • SCH4U (recommended)
  • * Requirement (or equivalent) must have been satisfied within the previous five years
  • BScFaculty of Science

    To be considered a mature student, you must:
  • Be at least 20 years old by the end of the calendar year of admission to the University
  • Have been out of full-time high school studies for at least two years or have returned to upgrade after a two year absence
  • Have attempted less than one full year of studies at an accredited university or college
  • Have demonstrated potential for success through academic, professional or volunteer activities and other accomplishments
  • Requirements for admission:
  • SPH4U*
  • MHF4U*
  • MCV4U*
  • SCH4U (recommended)
  • * Requirement (or equivalent) must have been satisfied within the previous five years
  • BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Completion of at least four full-year courses or one year of full-time degree studies at an accredited university
  • Overall average of 2.3 or better on a 4-point scale (or equivalent)
  • SPH4U*
  • MHF4U*
  • MCV4U*
  • SCH4U (recommended)
  • * Requirement (or equivalent) must have been satisfied within the previous five years
  • BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Prince Edward Island Senior Secondary School Diploma
  • English 621
  • Physics 621
  • Math 621A or 621B
  • Math 611B
  • And one additional Grade 12 academic subjects (numbered 611 or 621) - recommendation(s) below:
    • Chemistry 611 or 621
    To gain admission to this program, your academic average should be in the high 70s to mid-80s.Maintaining your offer of admission to this program requires a final academic average of 75.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Quebec Grade 12 Certificate of Graduation
  • Grade 12 English
  • Grade 12 Physics
  • Grade 12 Linear Algebra
  • Grade 12 Calculus
  • And two additional academic (university preparation level) subjects - recommendation(s) below:
    • Grade 12 Chemistry
    To gain admission to this program, your academic average should be in the high 70s to mid-80s.Maintaining your offer of admission to this program requires a final academic average of 75.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Transcript of Secondary Level Achievement
  • English A30 and English B30
  • Physics 30
  • Math B30 and C30 or Pre-calculus 30
  • Calculus 30
  • And recommendation(s) below:
    • Chemistry 30
    To gain admission to this program, your academic average should be in the high 70s to mid-80s.Maintaining your offer of admission to this program requires a final academic average of 75.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • General Secondary Education Certificate
  • Senior-level physics
  • Senior-level math
  • The following course(s) are also recommended:
    • Senior-level chemistry

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • High School Diploma
  • Senior-level physics
  • Senior-level algebra
  • Senior-level calculus
  • The following course(s) are also recommended:
    • Senior-level chemistry
    • AP College Board examinations are eligible for transfer credit, for results of 4 or 5, up to a maximum of 30 credits. Please click here, then click “Transfer Credit Requirements” for details.

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) or National Examinations Council (NECO)
  • Senior-level physics
  • Senior-level math
  • The following course(s) are also recommended:
    • Senior-level chemistry

    BScFaculty of Science

    Requirements for admission:
  • Yukon High School Diploma
  • English 12 or English 12 First Peoples
  • Physics 12
  • Principles of Math 12 or Foundational Math 12 or Pre-calculus 12
  • Calculus 12
  • And recommendation(s) below:
    • Chemistry 12
    To gain admission to this program, your academic average should be in the high 70s to mid-80s.Maintaining your offer of admission to this program requires a final academic average of 75.