Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Queen's University
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Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Getting to know Physics & Astronomy


The Department of Physics at Queen’s is one of Canada’s leading teaching and research institutes in Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy. Our faculty include high-profile, world class physicists and astronomers such as Nobel Laureate Art McDonald. Queen’s has the largest, combined research group in astronomy, astrophysics and astroparticle physics in North America. The Physics Department also created the first Engineering Physics program in Canada. World-leading researchers in quantum optics, nanoscience and nanophotonics merge our strength in applied physics with fundamental research in condensed matter physics and optics.  

Physics at Queen’s combines high calibre research with an intermediate-scale learning setting enabling attention and care towards undergraduate teaching as well as exposure to a broad range of topics and expertise. Our students will learn in an engaging environment with the opportunity to conduct research in state-of-the-art laboratories, including inter-disciplinary research, as well as projects involving international collaborators such as experiments in dark matter and neutrinos at SNOLAB

A Common Start

Students in our Faculty are admitted into Arts, Science or Computing but the focus is on a common first year. Through self-exploration, and while you settle into university life, you have the chance to work with our advisors and faculty to uncover where your real interests and opportunities for success are. Sometimes that discovery happens fairly quickly, and for other students it takes some work and time before the “ah-ha!” happens – either way your first year at Queen’s will be a great experience.

Course Highlights

In 2nd and 3rd years, students study topics such as classical mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, advanced laboratory, relativity and quantum mechanics. In 4th year, students have the opportunity to take specialized courses in current, modern subjects such as nanoscience, medical physics, lasers, nuclear and particle physics, solid state physics and general relativity.

What can I learn studying Physics & Astronomy?

  • Knowledge of physics theories and mathematical models
  • Proficiency in mathematics
  • Facility for quantitative mathematical and computational analysis
  • Experience with laboratory equipment
  • Design experiments and develop and write research proposals
  • Review scientific literature
  • Draw conclusions from data and evaluate sources of error
  • Explain technical information clearly in writing and verbal communication
  • Use statistical software
  • Adopt a systematic, analytical approach to problems