MSc Program

Admission Requirements

A bachelor’s degree in Physics or a related subject including upper level undergraduate coursework in quantum mechanics, electromagnetic theory, and statistical mechanics is required for admission to the program. Students with insufficient backgrounds in core physics courses who are nonetheless assessed as having the potential for strong graduate performance may be recommended for qualifying admission.

Program Requirements

Course Requirements

The MSc program requires the completion of 15 graduate units of coursework.

All students are required to complete the Professional Development courses:

PHYS 801 - Student Seminar (1 unit)
PHYS 802 - Introduction to Graduate Studies: Research and Teaching in Physics (2 units)

and at least one of the following core physics courses (students intending to continue to a PhD in Physics will typically complete PHYS 810 and PHYS 841, and PHYS 821 or PHYS 822):

PHYS 810 Advanced Quantum Mechanics (3 units)
PHYS 821 Advanced Electromagnetism I (3 units)  
PHYS 822 Advanced Electromagnetism II (3 units)
PHYS 841 Statistical Mechanics (3 units)

Additional courses are selected in consultation with a studentʼs supervisory committee.

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.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the graduate general regulations (residence, course work, academic progress, supervision, research competence requirement, completion time, and degree completion), as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled, as shown above.

MSc Program Timeline

The Physics MSc program is designed for completion within two years (six terms) of study. Here is a typical schedule of milestones for a student beginning a program in September:

Year 1

Term 1: Initiate research; confirm senior supervisor.
Term 2: Confirm second supervisory committee member; develop a research plan for
supervisory committee review.
Term 3: Present MSc plan, including research and any remaining course requirements, for
supervisory committee approval. Students are to hold their first Annual Progress Review during this term. Students may initiate a PhD transfer request within the first six semesters at SFU if they have completed a minimum of 75% (12 units) of their MSc coursework with a CGPA of at least 3.5.

Year 2

Term 1: Continue with research plan. Meet with supervisory committee if any significant
changes to the plan are required.
Term 2: Submit research summary and thesis outline for supervisory committee approval.
Term 3: Submit complete thesis draft to supervisor for approval to defend. Defend thesis.