Admission and Expectations
Gateway programs and Admission
Students who enter physics at McMaster enter through one of three gateway programs. These programs and their estimated requirements are listed below. For the most up to date requirements, please visit the McMaster future students admission page.
Chemical & Physical Sciences I
This is the program for those interested in pursuing a Degree in Physics or Chemistry. Students should take this gateway program to pursue Honours Physics, Astrophysics, or their CO-OP variants. Medical Physics or Chemistry streams are also available from this program.
Admission Requirements (Ontario): ENG4U, MHF4U, MCV4U, SCH4U, SPH4U with an 82-85% average
Life Sciences I
This is the choice for students who love both Biology and Physics, as it keeps your options open in both fields for your second year. A degree in Medical and Biological physics is usually the choice of students who want to pursue physics through the life sciences gateway, but students can also enter through Honours Physics and Astrophysics. Most students taking this gateway pursue Biology, Psychology, and similar degree choices in their second year.
Admission Requirements (Ontario): ENG4U, MHF4U or MCV4U, SBI4U, One of MHF4U, MCV4U, SCH4U, or SPH4U, with an 87-90% average.
Those pursuing physics are highly recommended to have: SPH4U and MCV4U
Math & Statistics I
This is the choice for students who love math and want to pursue a joint degree in mathematics and physics. If pursuing physics, students usually enter the Combined Honours Math & Physics Program in their second year, but can switch into Honours Physics, Astrophysics, or Medical and Biological Physics.
Admission Requirements (Ontario): ENG4U, MHF4U, MCV4U, with an 85-88% average
Those pursuing physics are highly recommended to have: SPH4U
Integrated Science I
This program focuses on scientific literacy and research-oriented learning. Students who want to continue pursuing physics enter into either Integrated Science - Medical and Biological Physics Concentration or Integrated Science - Physics Concentration.
Admission Requirements (Ontario): ENG4U, MHF4U, MCV4U, two of SBI4U, SCH4U, SPH4U, with a minimum of high 80s average.
Please visit the McMaster Academic Planner (M.A.P.) page
Please visit the Undergraduate Programs page for more details.
What will my first year look like?
- Check out the Level 1 course outlines for more information about the Level 1 courses you will take
- Your exact timetable will depend on what courses you take. A first year Chemical and Physical Sciences student timetable could look something like this:
- In your first year as a student, your time will be roughly broken up in the following ways:
- 8-10 hours in lectures
- 6 hours in lab, plus writing-up time
- 20 hours of independent study
- 2 hours of tutorials