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: 
  • industrial physicist
  • photonics scientist
  • laser technician
  • nuclear medicine imaging technician

You are required to provide official evidence of academic achievement in secondary education. This can be demonstrated through:

  • Final grades under the Ontario curriculum (obtained through correspondence, night school or through TVO)
  • Credentials through other curricula, such as results from Advanced Placement (AP) or Advanced-level courses in the General Certificate of Education (Gene). (Students may register to sit for the AP and GCE examinations as private candidates.)

In the absence of final grades in courses:

  • You must submit the results of standardized tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with a minimum of 550 (Reading) and 550 (Math) or a composite American College Testing (ACT) score of 24.
  • Your application will be reviewed by an admissions sub-committee. If admitted, you will not be eligible for entrance scholarships. You will be considered for continuing student scholarships at the end of your first year of study, if you satisfy those criteria.
You may also be required to provide proof of language proficiency. You will be considered for entrance scholarships on the basis of your overall averages in the six 4U/4M (Ontario curriculum) or equivalent courses.

We are adding to our database of admission requirements by country. Please check back in October for additional admission requirements by country. General requirements are currently available by country — note that program-specific requirements may apply in addition to general requirements.