Which Physics Option is Right For You?

The Department of Physics at UPEI offers multiple degree program options: a Bachelor of Science with a major in Physics; a Bachelor of Science with a major in Physics (with Honours); and, a physics for engineering option.

In addition, each degree may be completed with the Co-operative Education option in Physics. A minors in Physics and a minor in Biomedical Physics are also available.

Choosing Your First Year Physics Stream

Information about specific courses can be found through the Physics Program Page, but students should note that there are two first-year physics streams:

  1. a “Physics 111/112: General Physics” stream for students intending to major in physics, engineering and math; or, 
  2. a “Physics 121/122: Life Sciences” stream for people intending to major in biology or medical fields

 If you intend to major in a field such as chemistry or computer science, either stream works, but the “General Physics” stream normally requires you to have taken secondary school physics.

If you are having problems registering in a particular lab section:

  • please sign up to a waitlist (available when trying to register only if the course is listed as closed) 
  • fill in the Physics Department’s web form. You will need to be logged in with your UPEI username and password to use the form.

The five degrees options available in Physics

Major in Physics: The BSc degree with a “Major in Physics” is designed to produce broadly educated graduates who have an extensive understanding of physics concepts as well as the basic theoretical and experimental skills to apply this knowledge. Graduates of this program go on to careers in pure and applied research, biophysics and medical physics, electronics, materials science, oceanography, meteorology, geophysics, education and civil service.

Honours in Physics: The BSc degree with “Honours in Physics” adds valuable research experience to the coursework of the Major in Physics. This will appeal to students who intend to pursue a graduate degree in physics or related field, or who are planning careers where research experience would be an asset.  Research can be done in either experimental, theoretical and computational areas of physics.

Major in Physics for Engineering Diploma: The BSc degree with a “Major in Physics for Engineering Diploma Students” is of interest to engineering students who seek to fully understand the physical principles which form the basis of both present-day and future engineering practice and design. A student who has received their UPEI Engineering Diploma can take some additional courses and also graduate with a physics degree.

Co-operative Education Program

The Physics Co-op program is an integrated approach to university education which enables students to alternate academic terms on campus with work terms in suitable employment. The success of such programs is founded on the principle that students are able to apply theoretical knowledge from course studies in the workplace and return to the classroom with practical workplace experience. The Co-op option is available for students wishing to any of the three physics streams: Major, Honours, or Physics for Engineering Diploma.

Minor in Physics

A Minor in Physics is available for students who wish to obtain a significant knowledge of physics while majoring in another discipline. This is a popular minor for students interested in broadening their employment prospects or thinking about an education degree.

Affiliated Program: Minor in Biomedical Physics

The departments of Physics and Biology now jointly offer a Minor in Biomedical Physics for life sciences students. The Biomedical Physics minor program aims to expose students to science of biomedical technologies integrated with the underlying anatomy and physiology of tissue systems. The knowledge and skills obtained can be applied to graduate studies, medical school or post-baccalaureate degrees in one of the many health care professions.

Contact UPEI