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Schools Which Canadian University to do an undergrad in physics?

  1. Feb 18, 2009 #1
    My daughter is graduating from grade 12 this June and is considering studying physics at university. She has applied to Western, Queens and UBC. Which of these would be the best choice? Or, would you suggest anywhere else? She also does very well in Math, Chemistry, French, and History. She is also taking AP calculus. With thanks for any help you can give us on this matter.
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  3. Feb 18, 2009 #2


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    Of those three, I would UBC would be the best choice. It might also be worth applying to McGill or Toronto if those deadlines have not past, as I would rank them above the 3 you have listed. It might help to know if there is any particular area of physics that interests your daughter, although at this point there might not be one.
  4. Feb 18, 2009 #3


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    All of those are fine schools with reputable physics departments and she would have no trouble getting into a good graduate program provided she does well at any one of them.
  5. Feb 19, 2009 #4


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    It has Perimeter Institute.
  6. Mar 19, 2009 #5
    Waterloo wasn't even on that list.

    As has been suggested above, all are good, so perhaps look more at the undergrad experience and what part of the Country she wants to live in. If getting home to family regularly is desirable, and you are from Southern Ontario, then perhaps Queen's or Western would be a better idea.
  7. Aug 12, 2009 #6
    I don't know much about any of those 3 choices, but would recommend Carleton based on personal experience. Join us... join us...
  8. Aug 12, 2009 #7
    UBC has a beautiful campus, much nicer than UofT's =(
    However, the residences at UBC aren't that great...
  9. Aug 13, 2009 #8

    Vanadium 50

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    Um...did you check the date of the message you are replying to? She surely has made her choice now.
  10. Nov 13, 2009 #9
    Bumping an old thread, but how would you rate University of Alberta, University of Calgary and University of Manitoba, if we're talking about Physics?
  11. Nov 13, 2009 #10
    University of Alberta is a decent uni. Solid researchers and I'd imagine quality undergraduate experience (all undergrad classes are going to be pretty identical no matter where you go, however, the quality of your research/supervisor for your undergrad thesis project is a big deal that will effect your grad applications). I applied to Manitoba for grad school because they had a prof doing work that interested me but I have to say I wasn't impressed with their physics department in general (this isn't sour grapes, I was accepted but went to a different uni in the end). It seemed pretty small and un-organized. As for Calgary their department is VERY small. They don't even have a condensed matter group (being the biggest/most common field of physics). So I really wouldn't consider it. I also applied there for grad school (they're the only school in Canada that has a "complexity science" group, which interested me) but as I looked into the department I also sensed an undercurrent of religious conservatism amongst the faculty (one of the profs in the complexity science group wrote a book about how emergence is like god). For me this was enough for me to drop UofC from the running pretty early in my grad consideration but maybe that's your thing, I don't know.
  12. Nov 13, 2009 #11
    So which universities, aside from UBC, University of Victoria and University of Toronto would you recommend for undegraduate studies of Physics (and Astrophysics?). I cannot get into McGill and Queen's, as the last contact I had with Physics and Maths was in High School (6 years ago) and I did not choose Chemistry in my final year (though I did 3 years of it, nonetheless).

    Thanks in advance.
  13. Nov 13, 2009 #12
    Well I'd plug my alma mater. Waterloo. (Also Western and McMaster have good physics departments)
  14. Nov 13, 2009 #13
    Yeah, I haven't had that much success with contacting those three, as McMaster directed me to the Physics department, which hasn't responded yet, while Waterloo and Western have successfully ignored my questions thus far.
  15. Nov 13, 2009 #14
    I don't really know your situation or what you're trying to get into (i.e. what field) but Mac has a common first year (i.e. you don't choose "physics" until second year) so I don't know why they'd refer you to the physics department for admissions. However, if you've been out of school for awhile you're probably looking at an uphill battle in terms of admissions.
  16. Nov 13, 2009 #15
    Yeah, I haven't been out of school for that long (a year ago I finished my law studies), but it's true that I haven't been in contact with science courses for a longer period of time. You think it'd be that much harder to get into an undergrad programme now, presuming I'd get in if I applied straight after HS?
  17. Nov 19, 2009 #16
    Oh, and how competitive is entry into Canadian universities? I think I've narrowed it down to 6 universities now (University of Victoria, University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, University of Alberta, McMaster University and University of Western Ontario), but if I was sure I'd get in, I'd of course narrow it down even more, as even the costs for applying are not something to be ignored. At the UoA they told me it's enough I meet the criteria and I'm in, but I was wondering whether it's the same with other universities?
  18. Nov 19, 2009 #17


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    I don't have any personal experience of these places - but;
    In spite of the fame, fortune, goupies and high standing in society that awaits physics grads, most places don't have armies of potential students battering down their doors.
    A pulse, a desire to do the subject and whatever mandatory minimum high school certificate your location requires - is now the entry requirement for ugrad physics (and the same has been true for 20years)
  19. Nov 19, 2009 #18
    Of that list UBC and UofT will be the most difficult then approximately decreasing order Western, McMaster, Alberta, Victoria. Give or take.
  20. Nov 19, 2009 #19
    UBC would be the most difficult, typically the entering averages range in the 90s for science.
    UofT would be easier to get into, they just admit a lot more people. Don't know about the others.
  21. Nov 19, 2009 #20
    Ya, UBC requires really high averages which I've always found quite silly.
  22. Nov 19, 2009 #21
    I'm at UofT right now. UofT is great, especially if you want to do astronomy/physics, chemistry/physics or math/physics, since the school is supposedly great in all of these fields (field __ component to physics / field ___ , as listed)
  23. Nov 19, 2009 #22


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    Without wishing to stereotype - it has a large local population of kids with very good academic grades who are so tragically out of touch with reality they think physics is a good idea.
    This tends to the skew the market.
  24. Nov 22, 2009 #23
    Alright, thanks everyone, I guess I'm gonna apply to all of those mentioned, except for University of Western Ontario, for which I don't seem to have the needed pre-requisites for. I'm guessing all of the universities consider the applications independently of which other places you've applied to, so you can get an offer from a number of them and then decide. Or am I in the wrong here?
  25. Nov 22, 2009 #24

    George Jones

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