Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


Please click on the question of interest.

How do I find out about individual faculty research projects in the department?
The research programs of all faculty members are listed on their individual web pages (see links to these under “Research Groups” above). Feel free to contact individual professors if you want more information about the research projects they offer.
Do I need to take the GRE general and subject exams?
We do not require you to take these, however a good performance in the exams may strengthen your application.
Am I guaranteed financial support? For how long?
If you are accepted into Graduate studies in our department then we guarantee at least the minimum stipends listed in the Financial Consideration page. Master’s students will receive this stipend for a period of two years from their initial registration date; Ph.D. students for a period of four years from this initial date.
Am I expected to teach undergraduate students?
Yes. Teaching is considered an enriching part of the Graduate student experience. A typical TA (Teaching Assistant) requirement is 9 hours per week in the fall and winter teaching terms, and the payment associated with this contributes to your stipend. The 9 hours generally consists of 6 hours face-to-face teaching and 3 hours of preparation/marking time. Scholarship holders (NSERC/OGS/OGSST) are also expected to act as TAs, but typically they are only expected to do 5 hours/week.
Can I transfer from a MSc to a PhD program without submitting an MSc thesis?
Yes. Provided you maintain an 80% or above in your graduate courses and have the support of your supervisor, you can be considered for promotion directly to a Ph.D. Typically this is done after one year of the M.Sc. You will be required to prepare a research proposal outline the work to date as well as your research plan for the PhD.
How many students per year are promoted from the MSc to the PhD without submitting an MSc thesis?
Each year we have between 2 and 5 students who are promoted.
Will I have a supervisory committee?
All PhD students have a supervisory committee that meets once a year to evaluate your work and make sure satisfactory progress has been made. Master’s students do not normally have a supervisory committee, however the student’s work is evaluated yearly to ensure progress is satisfactory.
Can I apply after the deadline of February 15th?
Yes, however openings in many research groups fill up quickly and students applying after February 15th may not receive their first choice of research topic.
Do you accept students for January admission?
Occasionally, in special circumstances. However this makes coursework and TA assignments somewhat problematic both for the student and the department.