Are GRE Scores Required for Canadian Graduate Schools?

In summary, the best physics programs in Canada are likely between McGill University and the University of Toronto, with strong reputations at the University of British Columbia and the University of Waterloo for specific areas like quantum physics and theoretical physics. Cut-off marks for admission vary by university and are not publicly posted. Acceptance into a Master's program in physics generally requires a bachelor's degree in a related field, with research experience and good recommendations being important factors for consideration. Carleton University has a highly cited physics program with connections to prestigious research labs. Engineering degrees from India may not be recognized by Canadian accreditation boards. For theoretical physics, the University of Waterloo has a strong program with connections to the Perimeter Institute, while the University of Toronto is also affiliated
  • #1
Where has the best physics program in Canada? (as in university, of course!)
Physics news on
  • #2
Well it's probably between McGill and UofT I think... I'll say McGill but I am biased because I go there.
  • #3
As a student of UMontreal, I would say that, but it's francophone.

UBC has a great reputation. McGill too, as much as UToronto. I would suggest you check out the course list of each universities and see what you like the most.
  • #4
Thanks, but do you know what the cut off marks are for last year?
  • #5
UBC science cut-off marks when I applied (2005) were 88%. I would imagine that other universities are similar, but don't quote me on that!

edit: That is not last year, but I noticed universities don't post their cut-off numbers publicly anyway. The number is from the letter of acceptance.
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  • #6
What about Waterloo?
  • #7
Waterloo is most known for its quantum physics. The perimeter institute for theoretical physics is right off campus and has a boatload of funding with brilliant minds giving free seminars and lectures. They are also building a new quantum computing and nanotechnology building.

They are not so strong in other areas I believe, though I don't know a lot about it since I am an engineering student.
  • #8
nicksauce said:
Well it's probably between McGill and UofT I think... I'll say McGill but I am biased because I go there.

I go to UT and I agree McGill is probably better.
  • #9
Hi. I'm from India and I'm looking at some of the Physics programs in Canadian universities and 3-4 of them sound good to me. I have a question about the eligibility for a Masters in Physics from Canada. Is a Bachelors Engineering degree going to qualify me for the Masters in Physics? I have also done an MBA post my BE - will that help at all? And most importantly will I be offered financial aid for the MS program?
  • #10
collectedsoul said:
Hi. I'm from India and I'm looking at some of the Physics programs in Canadian universities and 3-4 of them sound good to me. I have a question about the eligibility for a Masters in Physics from Canada. Is a Bachelors Engineering degree going to qualify me for the Masters in Physics? I have also done an MBA post my BE - will that help at all? And most importantly will I be offered financial aid for the MS program?

Generally yes, you can be accepted in a physics programs with a bachelor's degree in engineering. That being said, the university you are applying to needs to recognize the institution you studied at - you have to check with the individual school to see if they do. An MBA is an unrelated degree - so it likely won't help, nor will it hinder you.

Also, it's important to check out the financial aid available for graduate students within a particular program. In general, most programs have some kind of financial support either through teaching or research assistanceships if you do not have external scholarship funding. Keep in mind this is not a lot of money, but can allow you to survive without going deeper into debt if you can accept a freugal lifestyle. However, not all programs guarantee finding for incoming students - so be sure to read the fine print on any offer of admission.
  • #11
I checked on U Toronto and McGill and on paper it seems I qualify. But that's just the basic eligiblity - since I haven't pursued Physics in my undergrad I really have no projects or research or any kind of additional activities in the field of Physics with which I can impress the college. I'm guessing this could be a drawback for my application? Do these universities accept such students?
  • #12
Yes, I know someone in my class at U of T who had a 3.8 GPA but no research experience and he was accepted back into the Master's program.

But it might have helped that he did his undergrad there. So you better have a good GPA and good recommendations. If you had engineering projects/research experience, don't forget to mention those, they do count.
  • #13
Science watch recently showed that Carleton has the highest average citations per paper. The physics program at Carleton also has connections to CERN, SNOlab, and the Canadian Nuclear Research lab.

In relation to the question about the engineering degree from India I doubt that the degree will be worth much in Canada because the CEAB (Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board) does not recognize engineering degrees from India.
  • #14
What about just in theoretical physics?

Wow, Carleton gives out soo much scholarships...

Between Waterloo or UofT, which is better at theoretical physics??
  • #15
What kind of theoretical physics?
  • #16
What about Memorial University of Newfoundland for theoretical condensed matter physics (superconductivity research)?
  • #17
Hi Bright Wang,

if you're looking for theoretical physics, I would certainly go with U of W who has a graduate program in connection with Perimeter Institute if you haven't checked this out, I would. They currently have 6 research areas: Quantum Gravity, Quantum Foundations, Quantum Information, Superstring Theory, Cosmology, Particle Physics. The idea too is to not segregate the different research areas at PI but to have dynamic interactions between the different areas. The research faculty both permanent and visiting are pretty astounding. You can also sample some of their seminars, talks etc on their Archives site Good Luck.
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  • #18
Hi Q2C, thanks for the reply. I know about PI, but how's the waterloo theoretical physics department? And how important is this connection? would UofT have it too?
  • #19
I would agree with other comments made here that perhaps U of W may not have the strongest theoretical physics but they do have a brilliant Quantum Information group (IQC). The connection between PI & U of W is incredibly strong - in fact, there's a shuttle bus that links the two sites (the shuttle also goes to Western and McMaster). U of T is somewhat affiliated as well with PI. There's a new effort to have joint faculty at all the surrounding Universities to PI (Western, Guelph, McMaster, U of T & U of W). For instance they just announced appointment of Luis Lehner in joint effort with U of Guelph. Whatever school you decide to go with make sure they have strong ties with PI.

If you're doing an undergrad, I would check with a site which ranks the universities in the world. If you're not sure which area of research in Theoretical Physics is of interest to you - U of W does have a good general overall undergrad program that allows for learning all the modern physics research areas before deciding which area to pursue for graduate work.

Good luck.
  • #20
UofT has a course that they let 1st year university students do research.
  • #21
my impression (and that of friends I have in other USA universities) is that you can do research at any time! all profs 'love' free-labor and they'll have stuff for one to do. However to get assitanship from their grants, it'd help to do well in courses and attend their group seminars for instance. By en large, all Canadian universities seem to have a handful of top notch profs to work with, competition might be tough though for their 'attention'.
Perimeter does stand out for the number of strong people to work with, as someone said before, their past aim seemed aligned in the 'far-fetched' direction ;-) (strings/quan grav) but recent hires are adding other cool directions to consider (cosmology with Turek and koury, relativity/astrop with lehner) so, the options are not only strong but broader.
CITA is another cool place at UofT but this in the astrophysics direction, if you like anything else, you're as good as any other place elsewhere in Canada
hope this helps!
  • #22
Hello. I am Sahil Aggarwal. I did my BE(Mechanical engineering) from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh,Punjab,India. Now I am moving to Canada as Permanent Resident. I want to do masters & doctorate(Ph.D) in Physics from Canada/ USA. But I will surely do my masters of Physics in Canada. Regarding that, I have few questions/queries-
1. Do I have to take GRE test? If Yes, What subjects should I opt for?
2. Do I have to take TOEFL/IELTS test?
Remember I will be in Canada, NOT with a STUDENT VISA, but as a PERMANENT RESIDENT(PR).
3. What credentials/certificates should I bring with me from INDIA?
4. Do I have to go to college or university? Suggest some.
5. What are the other conditions/criteria to get admission? Do I have to give some other entrance test ?
Please do reply on It will be a great help of you.
  • #23
how about Engineering Physics at Queen's?
  • #24
I disagree about profs loving free labour. Often taking on an undergraduate is a lot of work. Any many experimental labs have a lot of valuable equipment you don't want broken or misused. Also, generally undergrads have to be paired with and taught by a grad student rather than the PI, then you need a willing grad student to basically slow down and give up time for "free" labour.
  • #25
I have listed the "best" schools in Canada according to QS international ranking for Physics and sorted according to tiers based on their placement compared to all international schools. But you always have to be weary with rankings as it is based solely on reputation which is generally related to research and citations and not education and teaching. Some of the "best" schools may be the "worst" places to learn.

Tier 1 (Rank 1-50)
University of Toronto

Tier 2 (51-100)

Tier 3 (101-150)
University of Alberta
University of Victoria
University of Waterloo

Tier 4 (151-200)
University of Calgary
  • #26
AndersonMD said:
Some of the "best" schools may be the "worst" places to
I am planning to attend Uoft (toronto) this septembre. I've definitely heard all the horror stories of 50% of students failing out of first year. If I don't do as well as I'd hope in first year, I'm definitely going to jump ship and transfer to either Ryerson or UOIT.
  • #27
I have also heard that's quite untrue

more like i want it to be i want to go to UT myself because of good research program and having a good geophysic courses
  • #28
victoria is tier 3? :confused:
  • #29
Hello people, I'm from Brazil and I'm planning to apply to phd outside country. Deciding between USA and Canada. Most of USA universities request GRE, i'd like to know if in Canada is the same...
  • #30
Actually there are 3 or so universities who have connections to the Perimeter Institute. You should definitely check it out
  • #31
This thread is almost 5 years old. The original poster would likely have made a decision and probably even graduated by now.

Canadian graduate schools generally do not require GRE results from applicants who have received degrees from Canadian universities. However if the applicants were educated elsewhere (ie Brazil), I believe they generally do require the GRE. Your best bet would be to look up the admission requirements at the specific schools you're interested in.

1. Are GRE scores required for all Canadian graduate schools?

No, not all Canadian graduate schools require GRE scores. Some schools have their own admission criteria and may not consider GRE scores as a requirement for admission.

2. Do all programs within a Canadian graduate school require GRE scores?

No, some programs within a Canadian graduate school may require GRE scores while others may not. It is important to check the specific requirements for the program you are interested in.

3. What is the average GRE score required for admission to Canadian graduate schools?

There is no specific average GRE score required for admission to Canadian graduate schools as it varies by school and program. Generally, a competitive score is considered to be above the 50th percentile for both the verbal and quantitative sections.

4. Are there any exceptions to the GRE requirement for Canadian graduate schools?

Yes, some Canadian graduate schools may waive the GRE requirement for certain circumstances such as if you have a high undergraduate GPA, have relevant work experience, or have completed a graduate degree.

5. Can I submit my GMAT scores instead of GRE scores for Canadian graduate schools?

Some Canadian graduate schools may accept GMAT scores in place of GRE scores, but it is important to check with the specific school and program first. Additionally, some schools may require both GRE and GMAT scores for certain programs.

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