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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), u of alberta (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)
  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.


    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: Jan 21, 2005
  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
  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 :)
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