Accelerated MSc

Masters of Science (MSc)

The Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy offers a combined program of a BScH/MSc (Physics). This program offers an opportunity for students in the 4th year of their Honours program (Physics) to take up to 2 courses in Physics at the graduate level which would then allow these students to enter the graduate program with advanced standing. Research begun in the 4th year thesis project could be carried forward as a foundation for the graduate thesis, which would create an opportunity for exceptional students to complete the graduate degree within 4 terms.

Admission to the combined program is a two-step process:

Step 1:

Students with a minimum A- (A minus) average will have the option to apply for admission to the combined program (permission to take graduate level courses) in the winter term of the 3rd year, in parallel with the process for admittance to the Honours year and the thesis research project (PHYS 590). All applications will then be reviewed by the undergraduate chair. If accepted into the combined program, in Year 4 of the BSc (Honours) program students will be permitted to take up to two 3.0 graduate level courses for a total of 3 or 6 credits towards the 12 credits required for the MSc degree.

It is the student’s responsibility to gain admission to these graduate courses following acceptance into the program. These courses will be counted as electives or science options (or as core courses) towards completion of the degree requirements in the BSc(Hons) program. Only 1 of these courses may be a combined undergraduate/graduate (400/800) level course. The second (and all subsequent) graduate courses must be graduate only (800 and/or 900 level).

Step 2:

For admission to the MSc program in Physics with advanced standing, students will be expected to complete the standard SGS application process, have an overall B+ or higher in the previous 2 years of their undergraduate program, and have demonstrated significant research productivity in the 4th year thesis project. In order for the student to be granted advanced standing in the M.Sc. degree program, they must have received a final grade of at least B- (B minus) in the graduate course(s) taken during the 4th year and meet all other requirements for admission to the MSc program in Physics.

Applications: Students should submit their application to the Graduate Assistant and at that time should provide a copy of their transcript, a CV (resume), and the names of their potential Project Supervisors.

For more information, please visit the School of Graduate Studies.

FAQ for Physics & Astronomy Students


Arts and Science Accelerated MSc students may hold an NSERC USRA during the summer when they started their Accelerated MSc research, as students do not have to take any courses.

Either the student or supervisor can choose not to pursue the Accelerated MSc degree after the first summer. The student will still receive the BScH degree assuming successful completion of 4th year course requirements (including counting the graduate courses that were taken).

Yes, just like any 'regular' MSc student, by applying during the fifth term of studies. Students can continue on to a PhD program if they have a first-class average, the supervisor supports the transfer, and they successfully pass a promotion mini-defense.


Accelerated MSc students receive generous research stipends during the summer months after their third and fourth years. For details, please contact your Undergraduate Chair.