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Prospective Students

student observing computerWhy Study Physics?

Students who choose to study physics love to problem solve, ask questions and understand the natural world. If you are like to ask “why”, if you want to understand the world around you, if you enjoy working with challenging questions and find beauty in math, a degree in a physics-related field might be for you!

Physicists are highly employable (and make good money!). A recent study by the CIBC revealed that physics graduates obtain among the hightest return on their investment compared to other degrees. Physics graduates are 98% employed and enjoy the highest mid-career salaries of any science. Ranked 6 out of 50 Majors according to the Wall Street Journal, Physics graduates out-earn most Engineering graduates and far outperform Buisness and Finance majors.

Physics students learn how to perform experiments and how to construct mathematical models and scientific computing to investigate probing questions. Physics students also learn to communicate their findings to diverse audiences effectively. These skills are immediately transferable to a wide variety of fields. Our graduates have found careers in:

  • Aerospace industry
  • Education
  • Energy sector
  • Finance and financial risk analysis
  • Fundamental research
  • Government labs
  • High-tech industry
  • Industrial R&D
  • Law
  • Manufacturing industry
  • Medicine
  • Medical physics
  • Nuclear industry
  • …and much more!

Graduates of our Honours programs automatically qualify for Teacher’s College at the High School Level (with “teachables” in Physics and Mathematics). They are also well prepared for professional schools such as:

  • Dentistry
  • Law School
  • MBA programs
  • Medical School

Students can pursue graduate school in a number of areas including:

  • Astrophysics
  • Biophysics
  • Economics
  • Engineering Physics
  • Finance
  • Geophysics
  • Materials Science
  • Meteorology
  • Neuroscience
  • Physics
  • Physical Chemistry


Most first-year science students at McMaster enter through one of the 4 Gateway Programs:

  • Chemical & Physical Sciences I
  • Environmental & Earth Sciences I
  • Life Sciences I
  • Mathematics & Statistics I

Some students may also enter directly into a 4-year honours program such as Honours Integrated Science. You can study physics as a concentration within the Honours Integrated Science program and in conjunction with the Arts and Science program. You can enter the Honours Astrophysics, Medical & Biological Physics, and Physics programs from any of the 4 Gateway programs as long as you meet the program admission requirements. Typically, students interested in studying physics or physics-related disciplines enter the Chemical & Physical Sciences I program from high school.

Our high school requirements are: ENG4U, MCV4U, MHF4U, SCH4U, SPH4U. The cut-off average for admission from high school to the Chemical & Physical Sciences I program is typically in the mid 80s range.