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Best Physics Graduate Schools in Canada

  1. Jan 21, 2005 #1
    Does any one know where UBC [University of British Columbia] and the University of Manitoba stand in terms of Physics for graduate studies? :confused:

    I have heard a fair bit about McGill but any info about good graduate schools around Canada would be much appreciated. :smile:

    I am actually graduating in Physics [BSc] this year and I would like to do my MSc/PhD in Canada.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 21, 2005 #2
    u of victoria (victoria), http://www.phys.ualberta.ca [Broken] (edmonton), u of bc (vancouver), simon fraser u (vancouver/burnaby) & carleton u (ottawa) maybe a couple others operate TRIUMF, canada's national physics lab on campus @ ubc. those schools are also involved in other projects at slac (stanford) & cern (uvic is anyway). any one of those would probably be a really good choice. (i'm not in physics but i was think about doing that at one point)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  4. Jan 21, 2005 #3
    I thought toronto was the best. It's the only canadian school I really see on tv programs that involve physics.
  5. Jan 21, 2005 #4


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    That's true.

    I'd strongly recommend looking for a school that has a strong background in the physics you want to study. Not all schools have every Physics Graduate Program.
  6. Jan 21, 2005 #5
    The UBC site can sometimes make finding information difficult. If you haven't saw the link below, I'd recommend visiting it and viewing the programs that interest you.

    http://students.ubc.ca/welcome/programs.cfm [Broken]

    Here is a physics site on a graduate program of some sort:


    Mcleans magazine usually publishes a yearly issue on school rankings in Canada. You might want to check their website and see if it has anything on physics. I'm unsure of the url, but google would know.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  7. Jan 22, 2005 #6
    Thanks a lot for the information guys. Could somebody possibly explain the GPA grading system to me? :rolleyes:

    Here we have a different grading system:
    First Class - 70-100%
    2:1 Honours - 60-70%
    2:2 Honours - 50-60%
    Pass - 40-50%

    Also, if you have any experience about student life in different parts of Canada, I'd love to hear about it. :smile:
  8. Jan 22, 2005 #7
    There's a bit on GPA here (you've got to scroll down though). Btw Crumbles, which university are you at? :smile:
  9. Jan 22, 2005 #8
    Thanks for the Wiki Link.

    I'm at Birmingham Uni. From your location, I'm guessing you might be too, unless of course you are from Birmingham and go to uni in London! :smile:
  10. Jan 22, 2005 #9
    I would say it depends entirely on what area you want to go into. U of Alberta for example (where I went) has a very strong program and prominent faculty in geophysics (geared mostly towards the oil industry), meteorology and space physics. They currently have a very good medical physics program (mostly radiation therapy) going on. When I was there, Werner Israel was on the faculty so cosmology was also a big thing at the time. Other areas like solid state or QM/QFT weren't as strong. Biophysics was starting to catch on. It's been a number of years, so things may have changed since then.

    UBC has a very good astronomy/astrophysics program as well as nuclear physics (due to the proximity of TRIUMF). U of Western Ontario has a strong program going on in neutrino research (they have the SNO detector project nearby).

    All the department websites should have information on their programs and faculty fairly accessible so you can find out about who is there and gauge the strengths of each of the programs you're interested in. Check out the faculty, find a few people you're interested in and get a list of their papers and publications. Look up a few of the more recent papers and see what kind of research the're up to.

    and despite what others may have said, not all roads lead to Toronto.

    i'd better go put on some heat shields now :smile:
  11. Jan 22, 2005 #10
    oh yeah, those ones i listed were mainly for experimental nuclear/particle physics. uvic has some people doing things like astrophysics (werner israel), medical physics & oceanography also but i'm not sure how it does with those. i know uvic is one of the best anywhere for experimental nuclear/particle physics though.
  12. Jan 22, 2005 #11
    Choosing a school really depends on what field you want to study in.
  13. Jan 22, 2005 #12
    Oh cool, yeah I'm at Birmingham as well!
  14. Jan 22, 2005 #13


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    The University of Victoria has a good Physics Graduate program, as does UBC. UBC has the advantage of having TRIUMF on campus, but UVic also has use of the facility. UVic is also affiliated with CERN in Switzerland, which is a big plus I would think.
  15. Jan 25, 2005 #14
    Just though I'd make a comment on this here...

    The University of Western Ontario has no affiliation with SNO. SNO (Sudbury Neutrino Observatory) is, evidently, in Sudbury and has strong connections to Laurentian University (in Sudbury, ON) and Queen's University (in Kingston, ON).

    Now, being a student at Western (which is in London, ON) I would like to take a minute to plug my own University (hosting Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference next October... yay!). Personally, I'm in astrophysics, so I know more about our strengths in that field, but I know a bit about our physics too. In particular, we're strong in condensed matter physics (several particle accelerators...) and in medical physics (Robarts Research Insitute... premier medical imaging reseach among other things).

    So Western's a good school to be looking at too!
  16. Jan 25, 2005 #15
    one of my friends had gone to do some graduate work on SNO, and I thought it was UWO. I guess it must have been Queens that she went to. Thanks for correcting me.
  17. Mar 31, 2005 #16
    Hey hows the astrophysics there??

    i was there in acs last year... now im at york in math+econ this year... but now i wana be in physics and astronomy and im just curious how the program is.

    thanks... GO STANGS GO!
  18. Mar 31, 2005 #17
    I can't beieve that nobody mentioned University of Waterloo. With its new Quantum Computiong laboritory, it definitely has the best and latest physics program available in Canada. No doubt about it when it comes to classical type physics like fluid dynamis and thermodynamics research. The atrophysics program is excellent as well and the Particle Physics Program is top of the line. There are other schools who have better programs in certain smaller areas, but overall, undoubtably the best in Canada.


  19. Mar 31, 2005 #18
    Waterloo isn't really a physics-oriented university...
  20. Apr 2, 2005 #19
    The Globe and Mail is a pretty reliable source, so here's there information on universities all throughout Canada. Although you may want to check other sources, such as Macleans guide to universities, I hope this helps for now. :smile:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/generated/realtime/specialReportCard.html/ [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  21. Apr 4, 2005 #20
    I go to UBC and am in the physics/astro department. There are a lot of very bright faculty here. The main focus in physics is probably condensed matter theory, mainly superconductivity with some quantum information thrown in as well. Of course there are researchers in almost every field though. The astro department is quite remarkable with some very good researchers. We also have one of the main scientists working on the WMAP project so there's a strong cosmology influence as well.

    Of the faculty I know, 2 went to U. Chicago, 3 went to Princeton, 1 at Caltech, 1 at MIT, and 1 to Cambridge. Those are just the ones I know about :)
  22. Apr 4, 2005 #21
    Do you know how much emphasis UBC lays on GRE subject test scores in regards to admissions?

    I really want to get into UBC but I took my Physics GRE on Saturday and I don't think I did so well. However, I have got very good references and I also have a publication in Condensed Matter Physics.

    Have you heard of any students with low GRE scores but who are good otherwise who got into UBC?
  23. Apr 16, 2005 #22
    Mcmasters a very good school in physics especially in Astrophysics, BioPhysics(med school right on campus), Engineering Phys, Classical(analmech) Physics. Decent in QM too.

    Yeah Waterloo just started up QC but i heard universities in alberta have better programmes(UA, UCal). Not sure about the schools in Qc or NS.
    Heard UBCs AP programme was excellent ot not sure about the rest
  24. Apr 20, 2005 #23
    Best Universities in Canada

    Ultimately I leave it to you to make the final decision but my research seems to indicate that these are the best universities (at least, for science) in Canada:

    > University of Waterloo
    > McGill University
    > Concordia University
    > University of Toronto
    > University of Guelph

    I once spoke with an astrophyiscs/astronomy professor who told me that for graduate studies you should definitely go to one of the 'big' universities. By 'big' I am referring to universities with the best reputations.

    Hope this helps.
  25. Feb 28, 2008 #24
    I am having the same problem determining where to go.
    I recently finished my applications and my main candidates are:

    Waterloo-Guelph Institute of Physics
    McMaster University
    Queens University

    Waterloo has ties with IQC and PI, and I know they actively look for undergrad physics with things such as the SIN test to high schools. I am looking into AMO, and have already received my acceptance from Waterloo, but if I get accepted to all three (which I anticipate) I will have a hard time deciding, I have been trying to find out which is most reputable but there seems to be little to no information on prestige of schools in Canada.
  26. Feb 28, 2008 #25
    I have recently found what appears to be a good ranking site (here is a quote from myself from another thread):
    According to:
    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.u...p?typeCode=146 [Broken]
    For Natural Sciences the TOP Canadian Universities are (with their world standing)

    University of Toronto (16th)
    McGill University (26th)
    University of British Columbia (30th)
    University of Waterloo (47th)

    So those are the top Canadian universities in the Natural Sciences, and the only ones to place in the top 50 worldwide, which is pretty good. [\quote]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
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