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Prospective Graduate Students

Admission |  Applications |  Financial Support |  Degree Requirements |

Admission Requirements

To be accepted in a Master's program in the Department of Physics, a student normally must have obtained a first or upper second class honours degree in Physics or Engineering Physics. Students with lower qualifications may be accepted but may have to complete a probationary period which may involve additional course work.
Initial registration in the department for students without a postgraduate degree is usually into the M.Sc. or M.Sc. (Eng.) program. However, the department encourages students who have demonstrated exceptional ability in graduate work, and who wish to obtain a Ph.D., to transfer into the doctoral program in their second year of study.

All graduate programs at Queen's are administered through the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

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Application Procedure

Potential applicants are asked to complete a pre-application that can be found on the School of Graduate Studies web site.

Further inquiries can be made by regular mail addressed to:

Chair of Graduate Studies,
Department of Physics,
Queen's University,
Kingston, Ontario
K7L 3N6

Foreign applicants are strongly encouraged to take Graduate Record Examinations set by the ETS, New Jersey, U.S.A., the most relevant examinations being the Subject Test in Physics. Foreign students whose native language is not English are required to take the the TOEFL test, and must obtain a score of not less than 550.

Refer to "Academic Qualifications" in the School of Graduate Studies Calendar for more information.

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Financial Support

Students registered in graduate programs in the Physics Department receive financial support from three main sources: from government, university and department scholarships, from the department through service as teaching assistants in undergraduate courses, and from supervisors' research grants in the capacity of research assistants.

Graduate scholarships are offered by the Canadian and Ontario governments to Canadian students who have high standing in their courses. Final year undergraduates who are contemplating graduate work are urged to make inquiries and applications at their undergraduate institutions early in the academic year. Students applying for admission to Queen's are automatically considered for major university scholarships, provided their applications are complete before mid-March. A small number of tuition bursaries are available to foreign students to pay the difference between Canadian and visa-student fees.

Most graduate students receive a substantial portion of their total support from the department by assisting in undergraduate laboratory classes or tutorials. The time spent in these classes is relatively short - one or two half days per week during the academic year - and most students welcome the opportunity to impart their knowledge of physics to undergraduates and, in the process, to gain valuable teaching experience.

For the 2006-2007 session, the floors for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students are $21,000 and $22,050 respectively. Scholarship holders receive appreciably more.

Refer to the Fees section of the School of Graduate Studies calendar for the fee schedule for the school year.

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Degree Requirements

For the M.Sc. or M.Sc. (Eng) degree, the requirements are:

A minimum of four graduate half-courses to include at least two half-courses in the Department of Physics. The choice of the courses is to be approved by the candidate's supervisor and the Chair of Graduate Studies. Course work is normally completed by the April following a September start.

Research and Thesis. Students should plan on completing their research and presenting their thesis within two years of initial registration.

For the Ph.D. degree, the requirements are:

An oral candidacy exam will be given early in the Ph.D. program to to ensure that students attempting the PhD program have the potential to successfully complete the research for their thesis in a reasonable length of time; a demonstrated ability to initiate and complete independent research is a principal requirement of the PhD. This examination shall consist of an oral defence of (i) a written thesis proposal, and (ii) a report on an assigned research area question.

A minimum of eight graduate half-courses (4 usually taken at the M.Sc. level), to include the following: PHYS 825 (Quantum Mechanics), PHYS 831 or 832 (Electromagnetism), and the PHYS 901 seminar course. The choice of the remaining courses requires the approval of the supervisor and Chair of Graduate Studies.

Research and Thesis.

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