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Department of Physics | Faculty of Science Simon Fraser University Calendar | Summer 2023


Master of Science

The MSc program in the Department of Physics provides opportunities for students to undertake advanced research in physics. Students will be exposed to fundamental and applied research in both theoretical and experimental physics. Interdisciplinary research is also possible. Through a combination of coursework and a research-based thesis, students will gain skills necessary to pursue PhD research or careers in physics or related disciplines.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements as stated in Graduate General Regulations 1.3 in the SFU Calendar. A bachelor's degree in physics or a related subject, including advanced undergraduate coursework in quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, and statistical mechanics is required.

Program Requirements

This program consists of required courses, elective courses, and a thesis for a minimum of 33 units. Additional courses may be required by a student's supervisory committee, subject to graduate program committee approval. Students are strongly advised to consult the physics department website and with potential supervisors before choosing MSc courses.

Students must complete all of

PHYS 801 - Student Seminar (1)

Discussion of recent developments in physics, based on student seminars. Attendance is required for all first and second year students proceeding toward MSc or PhD degrees in physics. Course offered regularly. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

PHYS 802 - Introduction to Graduate Studies: Research and Teaching in Physics (2)

Basic skills for research and teaching in physics. Required for all students beginning an MSc or PhD degree in physics. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

and 12 other graduate units in coursework with at least one of the following core courses

PHYS 810 - Advanced Quantum Mechanics (3)

Advanced non-relativistic and some basic relativistic quantum mechanics: symmetries, Schroedinger/Heisenberg pictures, mixtures, variational and perturbative methods, Dirac equation. Prerequisite: PHYS 415, or equivalent.

PHYS 821 - Advanced Electromagnetism I (3)

Advanced topics in classical electromagnetic theory: review of Maxwell's equations in free space and in macroscopic media, with applications in contemporary research; relativistic unification of electromagnetism; Lagrangian and Hamiltonian methods in electromagnetism. Prerequisite: PHYS 421 or equivalent.

PHYS 822 - Advanced Electromagnetism II (3)

Advanced topics in electromagnetic waves: propagation and polarization in free space and in macroscopic media, including dispersive and anisotropic media; conducting and dielectric waveguides and resonators; radiation, scattering, and diffraction. Prerequisite: PHYS 421 or equivalent.

PHYS 841 - Statistical Mechanics (3)

Review of ensembles and thermodynamics, ideal gases, imperfect classical gases, classical and modern theories of phase transitions, renormalization group. Course offered regularly. Prerequisite: PHYS 445 or equivalent.

and a thesis

PHYS 898 - MSc Thesis (18)

Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 TBD
G200 TBD

Other Information

Research and Thesis Requirements

Students are expected to develop the skills necessary to perform independent research through participation in supervised original research. A thesis that demonstrates these skills is submitted and defended at the program's conclusion.

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requirements in six terms (two years).

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.