Physics & Astrophysics Specialist (HBSc)

Admissions Category: Physical & Environmental Sciences

Program Overview

Physics is among the oldest scientific disciplines. It seeks to understand the interactions and evolution of all objects in the universe. This program offers a solid physics and astrophysics background with the opportunity to explore other disciplines. It gives students flexibility in upper-year physics requirements, allowing them to plan their own upper-division courses to fit their individual objectives. We specialize in computational, environmental, and planetary physics.

Complementary Programs:

Major program in Computer Science, Major program in Mathematics, Major program in Geoscience

Check out future career opportunities and skills acquired from completing this program:

Competencies & Skills

  • Apply physical principles to problems and formulate solutions
  • Integrate theoretical approaches
  • Mathematical and computational modelling
  • Design and execute experiments
  • Critical thinking

Careers for Graduates

  • Instrumentation Technologist in Power Generation
  • Junior Policy and Data Analyst in Government
  • Medical Engineering/Technology Sector
  • Junior Associate in Information Technology Service Providers
  • Tester / Developer in Software Solutions
  • Product Tester in Industrial and Electronics Manufacturing

Further Education

  • Physics – Master of Science/Doctorate
  • Computer Science – Masters Degree
  • Software Development
  • Finance
  • Engineering
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Astronomy - Master of Science/Doctorate
  • Earth Science - Masters Degree
  • Ocean and Atmospheric Science - Masters Degree

Program Pathway

Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4

Year 1
Choose Your Courses Wisely

PHYA10H3 Physics I for the Physical Sciences
PHYA21H3 Physics II for the Physical Sciences
[MATA30H3 Calculus I for Physical Sciences or MATA31H3 Calculus I for Mathematical Sciences]
[MATA22H3 Linear Algebra I for Mathematical Sciences or MATA23H3 Linear Algebra I]
[MATA36H3 Calculus II for Physical Sciences or MATA37H3 Calculus II for Mathematical Sciences]
*[CSCA08H3 Introduction to Computer Science or CSCA20H3 Introduction to Programming]

*The preferred and recommended course for this program is CSCA20H3. However, students planning to take upper-level Computer Science courses should take CSCA08H3 instead.


Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • Attend Facilitated Study Groups
  • Use the Physics Aid Centre for support and to develop your problem-solving skills
  • Writing support is available at the Centre for Teaching & Learning  
  • Schedule an appointment with your Program Librarian for research assistance.

Apply Theory to Practice
  • Attend monthly research talks presented by the Centre for Research in Earth System Science (CRESS). 
  • Attend viewing evenings on the UTSC telescope.
  • Start building your Co-Curricular Record  (CCR) and search for Experiential Learning opportunities

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)

Join the Environmental and Physical Sciences Students’ Association (EPSA) and get involved in their activities.

Plan for Your Future Career
  • Volunteer with organizations to explore your interests; check listings on CLNx 
  • Attend the UTSC Get Experience Fair in September and register with SCSU’s Volunteer Network Program to explore opportunities.

Year 2
Choose Your Courses Wisely

ASTB23H3 Astrophysics of Stars, Galaxies and the Universe
PHYB10H3 Intermediate Physics Laboratory I
PHYB56H3 Introduction to Quantum Physics
PHYB21H3 Electricity and Magnetism
PHYB52H3 Thermal Physics
PHYB54H3 Mechanics: From Oscillations to Chaos
MATB41H3 Techniques of the Calculus of Several Variables I
MATB42H3 Techniques of the Calculus of Several Variables II
MATB44H3 Differential Equations I

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • Check the Research Catalogue and jobs on CLNx for possible research opportunities.
  • Drop by the Math & Statistics Learning Centre to have your course-related questions answered

Apply Theory to Practice

Check out Global Research Abroad opportunities through the International Student Centre (ISC) to gain valuable international and research experiences.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
  • Look into ISC’s Global Learning opportunities, such as the Summer Abroad and Explore our Student Exchange Programs. 

  • Consider volunteering for science events, such as the Scarborough Science Fair and Science Literacy Week.

Plan for Your Future Career
  • Gain experience by applying for a summer, part-time or Work Study position via CLNx  (>Jobs & Recruitment).     
  • Considering grad school? Speak to professors and advisors early so you are on track.  
  • Explore careers through the AA&CC’s Job Shadowing and In The Field programs.

Year 3
Choose Your Courses Wisely

Complete 3.5 credits:

PHYC50H3 Electromagnetic Theory
PHYC56H3 Quantum Mechanics I
PHYC11H3 Intermediate Physics Laboratory II
PHYC54H3 Classical Mechanics
PHYB57H3 Introduction to Scientific Computing
MATC34H3 Complex Variables
MATC46H3 Differential Equations II

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills

Take an elective course to expand your academic horizons and skills.
Contact professors about summer research opportunities. (CRESS, USRA, UTEA programs)
Attend the department’s iSPEAC seminar series where invited guests share their cutting-edge research.

Apply Theory to Practice

Build on your skills and knowledge through relevant events offered through your department, student groups , DSL and the AA&CC.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)

Consider running for an elected position in EPSA or another campus club.
Become a tutor at the Physics Aid Centre.

Plan for Your Future Career
  • Plan a career path with a staff member at the AA&CC. 

  • Check CLNx for networking events and employer information sessions to attend. 

  • Attend the Graduate & Professional School Fair in September.


Year 4
Choose Your Courses Wisely

Complete 1.5 credits from the following:
ASTC25H3 Astrophysics of Planetary Systems
PHYC14H3 Introduction to Atmospheric Physics
PHYD26H3 Planetary Geophysics
PHYD27H3 Physics of Climate Modeling
PHYD28H3 Introduction to Magnetohydrodynamics for Astrophysics and Geophysics
PHYD37H3 Introduction to Fluid Mechanics
PHYD38H3 Introduction to Nonlinear Systems and Chaos
PHYD57H3 Advanced Computational Methods in Physics
PSCD50H3 Advanced Topics in Quantum Mechanics
and 0.5 credit from the following:
PHYD01H3 Research Project in Physics and Astrophysics
**PHYD02Y3 Extended Research Project in Physics and Astrophysics
PHYD72H3 Supervised Reading in Physics and Astrophysics
and 0.5 credit from a course in AST or PHY at the C-, D-, 300-, or 400-level or [PSCD02H3 Current Questions in Mathematics and Science]

**A maximum of 0.5 credit from PHYD02Y3 will count against this requirement. The remaining 0.5 credit can be used to satisfy degree-level requirements.

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills

Consider taking a research course (PHYD01 & PHYD72 ).
Enter to win the UTSC Library Undergraduate Research Prize or Poster Forum.
Attend the iSPEAC seminar series.


Apply Theory to Practice

Attend the Summer & Full-time Job Fair in January to meet with potential employers looking to hire students for summer and full-time positions relevant to your field.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)

Participate in the AA&CC’s Partners in Leadership program to learn and network with an alumni mentor about transitioning into the work field or further education.

Plan for Your Future Career

Attend the AA&CC’s Get Hired job search conference in April/May.
Attend a Jobs for Grads orientation for a job search “crash course” and for access to full-time job listings.
Discuss grad school plans early with staff at the AA&CC and your professors; get your Personal Statement reviewed in the AA&CC.


  • AACC - Academic Advising and Career Centre (
  • CCR - Co-Curricular Record (
  • CLNx - Career Co-Curricular Learning Network (
  • CTL - Centre for Teaching and Learning (
  • EPSA - Environmental and Physical Sciences Students Association (
  • SCSU - Scarborough Campus Students Union (



Dr. Julian Lowman

Location: EV


Sarah Guay

Location: EV