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About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2020-2021 Program Descriptions Physics and Astronomy PHAS MSc and PhD in Physics and Astronomy
MSc and PhD in Physics and Astronomy
Contact Information

Location: Science B, Room 605
Program number: 403.220.3617
Fax: 403.289.3331
Email address: gradinfo@phas.ucalgary.ca
Web page URL: phas.ucalgary.ca

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science (thesis-based)

Specializations:

Master of Science (course-based)

Specializations:

  • Astrophysics
  • Physics
  • Space Physics

The PhD and MSc degree may be completed on a part-time basis with approval of the Department.

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to Faculty of Graduate Studies and Faculty of Science requirements, the Department requires:

a) A University of Calgary Honours background in Physics, Engineering Physics, Astronomy/Astrophysics, or equivalent.

b) For some applicants, a satisfactory score on the Advanced Physics Graduate Record Examination.

c) Two reference letters.

Master of Science

Applicants to the Master of Science program whose background does not include the equivalent of an undergraduate honours degree in the proposed area of study may require additional make-up courses. Such applicants should consult with the department regarding their admission status.

4. Advanced Credit

The applicant must make advanced credit requests as part of the admission process. See Advanced Credit.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In addition to Faculty of Graduate Studies and Faculty of Science requirements, the Department requires:

That all students register in the Graduate Seminar, Physics 691, during Fall and Winter Terms of the first two years in program.

Master of Science (thesis-based)

a) All students must complete the core courses: 6 units from Physics 609, 611, 613, 615 or 617 (only one of Physics 615 and 617 can be taken as a core course).

b) In addition, students must complete course requirements for their specialization as described below.

Astrophysics, Physics, and Space Physics

  • Elective courses: 6 units at the 500 or 600 level, as approved by the Graduate Program Director.

Medical Physics

  • Specialization courses: Medical Physics 623 and 625; and
  • Elective course: 3 units at the 500 or 600 level, as approved by the Graduate Program Director.

Radiation Oncology Physics

Master of Science (course-based)

Students must complete 30 units of coursework, which will include:

a) Physics 603, 605, 609, 611, 613, and one of Physics 615 or 617; and

b) 12 units within the area of specialization:

Astrophysics – Astrophysics 699 plus 9 units labelled ASPH (two of these may be at the 500 level). Physics 629 and Space Physics 679 may be taken instead of Astrophysics courses.

PhysicsPhysics 699 plus 6 units labelled ASPH, PHYS, or SPPH (these may be at the 500 level) plus 3 units labelled PHYS, at the 600 level or above.

Space Physics – Space Physics 699 plus 9 units labelled SPPH, at the 600 level or above. Physics 509 may replace a SPPH course.

In addition, students must complete a comprehensive examination with a written and oral component.

Doctor of Philosophy

a) A minimum of 6 units at the 600 level or higher for students who hold a master's degree.

b) A minimum of 18 units at the 600 level or higher for those entering the doctoral program without a master's degree.

c) For students specializing in Radiation Oncology Physics who do not hold an accredited MSc degree in Radiation Oncology Physics:

6. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

Credit for a maximum of 6 units may be given for courses taken at the 500 level.

7. Time Limit

Expected completion time is two years for full-time students in a thesis master’s program, three years in a course-based program, and four years in a doctoral program.

Maximum completion time is four years for a thesis master’s program, and six years for a course-based master’s or a doctoral program.

8. Supervisory Assignments

Newly admitted students will normally be supervised by the Graduate Director or an interim supervisor in their field of interest during the first 8 months in program. During this time students will normally complete all of the course work and have an opportunity to become acquainted with the research of potential supervisors within the department. Students are responsible for securing a permanent supervisor from among the researchers in the department within the first four months in program.

The MSc program has a supervisory committee requirement which follows the same requirements and rules as the PhD.

9. Required Examinations

Master of Science (course-based)

Two weeks before the comprehensive oral examination, students must write a three-hour, closed-book comprehensive examination, prepared by the Departmental Graduate Affairs Committee in collaboration with the supervisor.

Master of Science (thesis-based)

Thesis Examination

In addition to Faculty of Graduate Studies regulations for Thesis Examinations, the Department requires:

Scheduling of the Examination
All members of the Supervisory Committee must have reviewed the student’s draft thesis document before an examination can be scheduled.

Composition of the Committee
The Internal Examiner may be internal to the home program.

The thesis examination is open.

Doctor of Philosophy

Candidacy

Doctoral students must complete a written thesis proposal and an oral Field of Study examination. For complete details of the candidacy requirements, see phas.ucalgary.ca/graduate/programs/doctoral_phd_thesis_based/candidacy_exam.

Thesis Examination

In addition to Faculty of Graduate Studies regulations for Thesis Examinations, the Department requires:

Scheduling of the Examination
All members of the Supervisory Committee must have reviewed the student’s draft thesis document before an examination can be scheduled.

Composition of the Committee
The Internal Examiner may be internal to the home program.

The thesis examination is open.

10. Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be available to qualified students. For information on awards, please see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of this Calendar.

Students applying for scholarships must submit their applications to the Department by January 15.