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Physics and Astronomy

Master of Science (MSc)

Course-based program

Program overview

A global leader in research, the department of Physics and Astronomy offers exciting, diverse and competitive graduate programs. The course-based MSc in Physics and Astronomy appeals to students wishing to gain research experience in physics, astronomy or radiation oncology. The program connects students with state-of-the-art experimental and computational facilities both here and at collaborating institutions, and with world-renowned researchers in one of several focus areas: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Complexity, Environmental and Isotope Physics, Quantum Information and Quantum, Atomic, and Molecular Optics, and Space Physics. These focus areas lie within program specializations that students apply to: Physics, Astrophysics or Space Physics. 

Admission is competitive, favouring students who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership.

Completing this program

  • Astronomy & Astrophysics: Course topics may include radio, optical, infrared and space astronomy, computational astrophysics, star formation, the interstellar medium, and general relativity.

  • Isotope and Environmental Physics: Course topics may include nuclear decay processes, the effect of human activity on the environment, the development of analytical and instrumental techniques as well as isotope composition of trace gases and aerosols, source apportionment studies, and isotope fractionation.

  • Space Physics: Course topics may include precipitation mechanisms, remote sensing magnetospheric dynamics, and the solar-terrestrial interaction.

  • Complexity: Course topics may include complex networks, self-organized criticality, statistical and computational physics, and non-linear dynamics.

  • Quantum Information and Quantum, Atomic, and Molecular Optics: Course topics may include the study of information, communication and computation using devices that are governed by quantum principles as well as the interaction between light and matter.

  • Comprehensive Exam: Students are required to take a comprehensive exam with written and oral components.


  • Astrophysics
  • Physics
  • Space Physics


Instructor, entrepreneur, environmental consultant, financial analyst, teacher, executive.

A course-based master’s degree in physics and astronomy is usually considered a final degree.

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Two years full-time; six years maximum; part-time is available


A supervisor is required, but is not required prior to the start of the program

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

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Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Paul Barclay

    Paul Barclay

    Seeking Students
    Nanophotonics, quantum optics, nanoscience, nano-optomechanics
  2. Shabir Barzanjeh, Assistant professor.

    Shabir Barzanjeh

    Seeking Students
    Quantum Communication and Quantum Interface (optomechanics, electromechanics, circuitQED), Quantum Sensing and Imaging
  3. Christopher Cully

    Christopher Cully

    Accepting Inquiries
    Space Physics, Space-based, balloon-based and ground-based instrumentation, Van Allen Radiation Belts, Wave-particle interactions, Ion outflow, Kinetic plasma theory, Spacecraft-plasma interactions
  4. Jörn Davidsen

    Jörn Davidsen

    Seeking Students
    Complexity Science, Spreading & triggering processes, Fluid-induced seismicity, Computational neuroscience & the critical brain, Rock fracture & frictional sliding, Statistical seismology, Network neuroscience, Synchronization & chimera states, Sociophysics, Climate dynamics & climate networks
  5. David Knudsen

    David Knudsen

    Seeking Students
    Space Plasma Physics
  6. Placeholder Profile Image

    Denis Leahy

    Accepting Inquiries
    High Energy Astrophysics
  7. Placeholder Profile Image

    Nasser Moazzen-Ahmadi

    Accepting Inquiries
    Molecular Physics, Chemical Physics
  8. Daniel Oblak

    Daniel Oblak

    Accepting Inquiries
    Quantum Information
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    Rene Plume

    Accepting Inquiries
  10. Barry C Sanders

    Barry Sanders

    Accepting Inquiries
    Quantum Information

Admission Requirements


A minimum of 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

An honours BSc degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Engineering physics, Astronomy/Astrophysics, or a related scientific field.

Work samples




Reference letters


Test scores

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

English language proficiency (ELP)

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:

*Please contact your program of interest if you have any questions about ELP requirements.


For admission on September 1:

Canadians and permanent residents: Jan. 15 application deadline

International students: Jan. 15 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Science B 605
834 Campus Place NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4
403. 220.3618

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website


Faculty of Science

Biological Sciences, Room 540
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Science website


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