Prepare to Succeed

The minimum requirements for admission to the University and to the Faculty of Science are found here.  If you are a high school student who is interested in studying physics we'd suggest that you make the most of your high school preparation.  By that we mean taking more courses than the minimum requirements for admission.  Admission to university is not the destination and it makes sense to get the best preparation to be successful not just in university but in your future career.    We suggest completing as many of the following courses (in addition to the minimum admission requirements) as makes sense for your future plans.

  • Calculus 12 (if it is offered by your school)
  • Physics 12
  • Chemistry 12 (most physics programs require first year chemistry)
  • Biology 12 (particularly for students interested in biophysics programs)
  • Computer Science 12 (coding is an increasingly important skill for physics students)

Students who do not complete these subjects may need to complete an additional university course to make up for the deficiency.  For example, if you need to take first-year chemistry (CHEM 121) and you do not complete  Chemistry 12, you will need to first complete CHEM 111.  The same is true for Biology 12 and Computer Science 1.

Suggested reading

There are a lot of great books about physics and we'd recommend those listed below for the interested student.    

  • Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, by James Gleick
  • A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
  • Longitude, by Dava Sobel
  • Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love, by Dava Sobel
  • Cosmos, by Carl Sagan
  • Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality, by Brian Greene
  • Cosmology for the Curious, by Delia Perlov and Alexander Vilenkin
  • The Cosmic Landscape, by Leonard Susskind
  • QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, by Richard Feynman

Physics Videos

Quantum Computing explained at different levels
3Blue1Brown Youtube Channel
Sticky Tape Physics
Powering Light Bulbs without Connecting to Electricity
Physics Girl Youtube Channel
UMDemoLab Youtube Channel
Nicola Tesla Invention: Induction Motor
TED Talk on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Water Stream Light Pipe
Candle in a Beaker of Water

CAP resources for high school students and parents