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Physics and Astronomy

In physics and astronomy, you’ll study the building blocks of our universe. Through dynamic learning, you’ll gain fundamental insights into yourself and your research.

All MSc and PhD degrees are awarded with a major in physics. Specific degree concentrations with different program requirements are also offered in astronomy, medical physics and ocean physics. 

Degree programs offered

In the MSc degree program, you’ll research a thesis that will contribute to our knowledge of the universe. You can pursue one of four concentrations:

  • MSc in physics
  • MSc in physics with a concentration in astronomy
  • MSc in physics with a concentration in medical physics
  • MSc in physics with a concentration in ocean physics

Whichever concentration you choose, you’ll receive support from our faculty and access to our labs and facilities. Our research areas range from the small-scale structure of matter to the large-scale astronomical and cosmological structure of the universe. Students arriving with an existing BSc will usually enter the MSc program.

In our research-focused PhD degree program, you’ll pursue one of four concentrations:

  • PhD in physics
  • PhD in physics with a concentration in astronomy
  • PhD in physics with a concentration in medical physics
  • PhD in physics with a concentration in ocean physics

You’ll work within a community whose research covers a diverse spectrum of areas. You’ll work on a dissertation that will reshape our understanding of the universe. You'll also complete supplemental coursework and a candidacy exam.

The medical physics group offers a CAMPEP accredited certificate program in medical physics. This program is for students who already have a PhD in physics. The certificate program covers six CAMPEP-accredited courses over eight months. Once you complete this program, you’ll be ready for a career in medical physics. You’ll also be qualified to enter a CAMPEP-accredited residency program.

Program Expected length Project and/or thesis Course-based
MA 2 years Yes No
PhD 4 years Yes No
GCMP 8 months No Yes

Quick facts

Program options:
Masters, Doctorate, Certificate
Program delivery:
Dynamic learning:
Co-op optional

Areas of focus

  • Physics
  • Accelerator physics
  • Condensed matter physics
  • Experimental particle physics
  • Theoretical physics
  • Astrophysics
  • Galactic astronomy and astrophysics
  • Stellar astronomy and astrophysics
  • Medical physics
  • Ocean physics

Find a supervisor

All graduate students must have a faculty member who serves as their academic supervisor. When you apply:

  • You can choose to list a potential supervisor on your application.
  • Your application will be reviewed by our faculty members. You will be assigned a supervisor based on your research area and interests when you receive an offer of admission.

To find a supervisor, review the faculty contacts. When you’ve found a faculty member whose research complements your own, contact them by email.

See our complete faculty listing for a full list of contacts for Physics & Astronomy.

Funding & aid

All students who are admitted to a MSc or PhD program in the Department of Physics and Astronomy have access to a funding package that draws from various sources of funding and that complies with our financial support rules.

UVic Fellowship Awards

  • Up to $13,000 per year (master's and PhD)

UVic Graduate Awards

  • Up to $10,000 per year (master's and PhD)


  • The minimum requirement for consideration is an A- average on the last two years of course work
  • Full-time registration (3.0 units) for UVic Fellowship holders and at least part-time registration (1.5 units) for UVic Graduate Award holders
  • Full-time registration for students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) is 1.5 units

You can also join the co-op program or work as a research or teaching assistant.

Funding opportunities

Tuition & fees

Visit our tuition calculator to determine the tuition and fees for your program.

When you apply you will be charged an application fee. Your application will not be processed until this payment has been received.

  • Application fee for documents from within Canada: $131.50
  • Application fee if any documents originate outside Canada: $169

Application deadlines

Canadian and international students:

  • Deadline for September entry: August 1
  • Deadline for January entry: December 1
  • Deadline for May entry: April 1

If you have applied for an NSERC or CIHR scholarship, you must submit your application by December 1. This will also give you full consideration for UVic entrance scholarships.

We encourage you to submit your application earlier than the deadline. Ideally, you should submit your application at least two months before your entry date.

Admission & program requirements

You must meet the minimum graduate school admission requirements.

Review the graduate admission requirements and this program's admission requirements in the Graduate calendar.

If your first language is not English you must provide proof of language proficiency. Learn more about language requirements, including what exemptions and tests are allowed.

Ready to apply?

You can start your online application to UVic by creating a new profile or using an existing one.

Apply now    How to apply

Faculties & departments

Need help?

Contact the graduate secretary or 250-721-7700.

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