Physics and Astronomy Degree Programs
Not all students have the same needs and interests and our degree programs recognize this. We offer a range of options for students looking to study physics and astronomy, and combinations with other subjects, that may be suitable for a variety of career paths:
Physics and Astronomy Degrees
There are two comprehensive degree programs available:
- Honours degrees are the most comprehensive programs offered by the Department. These programs are intended for students who are planning to pursue further studies and specialization beyond the undergraduate level, providing greater depth and breadth than the other degrees and correspondingly, a greater range of career options.
- Major degrees are less intensive. In the first two years, the course offerings aim to establish a firm grounding in basic physics and mathematics (and the field of the co-major where relevant), with some specialization in the last two years. Graduates from these programs are well prepared to pursue careers in education as well as in industry.
Admission to the Honours program normally occurs at the start of the third year, given departmental consent.
Combined Physics DegreesThere are several combined degree programs that are available:
- Combined Physics and Mathematics [Honours]
This program provides enriched Honours-level content in both Physcs and Mathematics, allowing students to pursue advanced studies in either field. It is offered jointly with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics
- Combined Physics and Earth Sciences (Geophysics) [Major, Honours]
This program provides a comprehensive geophysics degree program, and is offered jointly with the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences.
- Combined Physics and Ocean Sciences (Ocean-Atmosphere Dynamics) [Major, Honours]
This program provides a comprehensive degree program covering physics and its applications to oceanography and atmospheric dynamics, and is offered jointly with the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences.
- Combined Physics and Computer Science [Major, Honours]
This program provides a comprehensive degree program combining physics with the practical tools of computer science, with potential career options in data science, and is offered jointly with the Department of Computer Science.
- Combined Physics and Biochemistry [Major, Honours]
This program provides a comprehensive degree program combining physics, biochemistry, microbiology and medical biophyiscs, and is offered jointly with the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology.
Students wishing to pursue any of these combined degree programs are encouraged to discuss this with one of our undergraduate advisors, for advice on choosing an optimal course sequence.
Students may obtain a Minor in Physics by either completing the requirements for the General Program in Physics together with the requirements for an Honours or Major Program offered by another department, or by completing the requirements for the Minor in Physics together with the requirements for another undergraduate degree offered by the University
We'd particularly like to emphasize that students in Engineering programs may want to consider this option to provide enriched physics content in addition to their engineering degree.
Alternatively, students working toward a Major or Honours degree in Physics, may wish to consider broadening this program by taking a Minor in another subject, or a post-degree program, such as in Education, which provides a path for accreditation as a school teacher. Options include the following:
- Minor in Engineering
- Minor in Mathematics
- Minor in Business
- BEd Post-degree Professional Program in Education (Teaching accreditation)
To find out more about the Course Requirements for all the above programs, see the Physics & Astronomy entry in the UVic Course Calendar.