Mathematical physics connects mathematics to physical phenomena. Its tools allow us to describe how a top spins, how a pendulum swings or how a rattleback rocks and defies normal intuition. Studying mathematical physics reveals the hidden intricacies of relativity and quantum theory.
- Four year degree
- Full or part-time program
- You can enter this program directly from high school
- You can begin this program off-campus
What you will learn
You will study conceptual, mathematical frameworks that describe or explain physical phenomena. You will learn how one builds theories of physical phenomena, accounting for physical features which are then expressed in precise mathematical terms. The deductions of the theory capture essential aspects of physical reality.
A first-year schedule sample
This degree program is flexible and offers you the opportunity to take courses in many different subject areas. Here’s what a typical first-year schedule might look like:
|MATH 110 or MATH 176a||Calculus I or Advanced Calculus I (for students with Calc 30)|
|MATH 164a||Introduction to Linear Algebra|
|PHIL 120b||Knowledge Mind and Existence|
|PHYS 115a||Physics and the Universe|
|CMPT 141d||Introduction to Computer Science|
|MATH 116 or MATH 177a||Calculus II or Advanced Calculus II|
|CMPT 145d||Principles of Computer Science|
|PHYS 125a||Physics and Technology|
|INDG 107c||Introduction to Canadian Indigenous Studies|
|ENG 114b||Literature and Composition Reading Culture|
a Required course for the major
b One of the course options to complete the English Language Writing Requirement
c One of the course options to complete the Indigenous Learning Requirement
d Recommended course option in the Cognate Requirement
The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.
ASTR 411: Gravitation and Cosmology
An introduction to general relativity as a theory of gravitation with applications to cosmology. Includes: principles of special and general relativity, tensor calculus in curved spacetime, Einstein's field equations, Schwarzschild solution, experimental tests of general relativity, black holes, standard cosmological models, unresolved cosmological issues, gravitational waves.
MATH 402.0: Honours Thesis in Mathematics
Students taking an Honours program in Mathematics or a Double Honours program in Mathematics and a second subject are required to submit a written presentation of a topic in mathematics under the supervision of a faculty advisor and deliver a subsequent oral presentation on the topic.
MATH 433: Applied Group Theory
Treats the following topics from group theory: permutation groups, crystallographic groups, kinematic groups, abstract groups, matrix Lie groups, group representations. Specific topics include the rotation group (spinors and quantum mechanical applications), the Lorentz group (representations and wave equations), SU (3) (its Lie algebra and physical relevance).
MATH 450.3: Topics in Geometry
This course introduces students to topics in modern geometry drawn from algebraic, differential, and/or symplectic geometry. The course may focus on major themes and emerging phenomena such as the minimal model program, noncommutative geometry, and mirror symmetry; or upon individual classes of interesting geometric spaces, such as algebraic curves and Riemann surfaces, Calabi-Yau manifolds, minimal surfaces, and moduli spaces.
PHYS 481: Quantum Mechanics II
Linear vector spaces and quantum mechanics; hermitian and unitary linear operators; Schrodinger equation in various representations; the operator method as applied to the harmonic oscillator and to angular momentum eigenvalues; the spin statistics theorem; minimal coupling of electromagnetic fields; time-independent perturbation theory and applications.
The Mathematical Physics program takes its students on a journey from mathematical foundations to cutting-edge topics at the intersection of mathematics and physics, such as quantum physics and the geometry of space and time. You will interact with both mathematicians and physicists. The Department participates annually in undergraduate mathematical competitions that expose students to situations with no classroom counterpart.
Many Honours students, while completing their degree, are also able to find employment in the Departments of Mathematics & Statistics or Physics & Engineering Physics as research assistants, markers or tutorial assistants.
In the age of computers, sophisticated technology, and scientific progress many jobs require a sophisticated knowledge of Mathematics.
Some career opportunities include:
- Mathematical and/or theoretical physics research-stream professor at a university
- Mathematical and/or theoretical physics researcher at a research institute (e.g. Perimeter Institute, AT&T Bell Labs, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Los Alamos National Lab, CERN)
- Applied mathematician or physicist in industry
- Data analyst for large or small software firms (e.g. Google, Facebook, Apple, startups) or government agencies
- Quantum computing / quantum information researcher in academia or industry
- Quantitative analyst for financial firms or government agencies
- Industrial or government analyst using mathematical modeling to understand economic and labour trends, social networks, transportation systems, agricultural production, etc.
- Science policymaker for governments
- University instructor or high-school teacher
|Canadian students||International students|
Tuition will vary depending on the type and number of classes you take in a year. This estimate reflects a typical amount you could expect to pay in your first year if you enroll in a full course load, the maximum number of courses allowed (2022-2023 Canadian dollar rates).
Student fees are used to fund specific student benefits, including health, vision and dental coverage, a bus pass, recreational programs and fitness centre access.
The cost of books and supplies varies widely depending on the courses you choose. It is recommended that you budget between $1,500-$2,500 per year.
The Bachelor of Science Honours (B.Sc. Honours) Mathematical Physics degree is offered by the University of Saskatchewan's College of Arts and Science.
If you are interested in entering this Honours program you should apply for a Bachelor of Science degree and consult advisors in the Mathematics & Statistics department before registering for your second year. If you do not meet Honours standards you will have the option of completing a B.Sc. Four-year in Mathematics or in Physics.
Admission requirements and deadlines
Ready to apply?
Do you want us to send you important reminders, information about our programs or notifications about USask events?