Physics & Astronomy

Getting to know Physics and Astronomy

The Department of Physics at Queen鈥檚 is one of Canada鈥檚 leading teaching and research institutes in Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy. Our faculty include high-profile, world class physicists and astronomers such as Nobel Laureate Art McDonald. Queen鈥檚 has the largest, combined research group in astronomy, astrophysics and astroparticle physics in North America. The Physics Department also created the first Engineering Physics program in Canada. World-leading researchers in quantum optics, nanoscience and nanophotonics merge our strength in applied physics with fundamental research in condensed matter physics and optics.  

Physics at Queen鈥檚 combines high calibre research with an intermediate-scale learning setting enabling attention and care towards undergraduate teaching as well as exposure to a broad range of topics and expertise. Our students will learn in an engaging environment with the opportunity to conduct research in state-of-the-art laboratories, including inter-disciplinary research, as well as projects involving international collaborators such as experiments in dark matter and neutrinos at SNOLAB.

A Common Start

Students in our Faculty are admitted into Arts, Science or Computing but the focus is on a common first year. Through self-exploration, and while you settle into university life, you have the chance to work with our advisors and faculty to uncover where your real interests and opportunities for success are. Sometimes that discovery happens fairly quickly, and for other students it takes some work and time before the 鈥渁h-ha!鈥 happens 鈥 either way your first year at Queen鈥檚 will be a great experience.

First-Year Students going into Physics

Program information and FAQs for first-year students interested in physics can be found in the pdf file from our annual Physics Info Night for ASC1.

Arts and Science Physics - Info Session for ASC1 (9MB PDF)

Course Highlights

In 2nd and 3rd years, students study topics such as classical mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, advanced laboratory, relativity and quantum mechanics. In 4th year, students have the opportunity to take specialized courses in current, modern subjects such as nanoscience, medical physics, lasers, nuclear and particle physics, solid state physics and general relativity.

Physics Degree Plans & Course Lists:

Check out FAS E-Calendar for complete degree options with course listings

What can I learn studying Physics & Astronomy?

  • Knowledge of physics theories and mathematical models
  • Proficiency in mathematics
  • Facility for quantitative mathematical and computational analysis
  • Experience with laboratory equipment
  • Design experiments and develop and write research proposals
  • Review scientific literature
  • Draw conclusions from data and evaluate sources of error
  • Explain technical information clearly in writing and verbal communication
  • Use statistical software
  • Adopt a systematic, analytical approach to problems

Physics and Astronomy Major Maps

For the listing of Major Maps,including Physics & Astronomy, and to plan your own map using tools, visit:

Program Contact Information

Prof. Ryan Martin
Undergraduate Chair in Physics & Astronomy

Office: Stirling 308B
Phone: 613-533-2719

Melissa Balson
Undergraduate Program Assistant

Office: Stirling 205B
Phone: 613-533-2706

Degree Options

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours)
    Major / Minor / Specialization in Physics, Astrophysics, Mathematical Physics
  • Bachelor of Science (General)
  • Bachelor of Arts (General)
  • Combined BScH/MSc
  • Internship option available