Physics & Astronomy

York houses one of Canada's leading Physics departments.

There are three streams within the Physics & Astronomy program:

  • Physics
  • Applied Physics
  • Astronomy

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.

Possible Career Paths Include: 

By giving you an excellent education in astronomy, as well as the underlying concepts in mathematics and physics, we'll prepare you for a rewarding career in a variety of fields such as astronomical research, astronomical education, remote sensing, digital imaging and applied computing.