About

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.


Quick facts
  • 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:

Course Description

Fall Term
MATH 110 or MATH 176 Calculus I or Advanced Calculus I (for students with Calc 30)
MATH 164 Introduction to Linear Algebra
CHEM 112* General Chemistry I Structure Bonding and Properties of Materials
PHYS 115* Physics and the Universe
CMPT 141* Introduction to Computer Science

Winter Term
MATH 116 or MATH 177 Calculus II or Advanced Calculus II
CMPT 145* Principles of Computer Science
PHYS 125* Physics and Technology
PSY 120* Biological and Cognitive Bases of Psychology
ENG 114* Literature and Composition Reading Culture

* These are elective courses. You will be able to choose from a variety of electives based on your interests.

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.

Unique opportunities
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.

Careers

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

Tuition estimates

Canadian students International students
Tuition $6,608 $18,040
Fees $947 $947
Books $1,500 $1,500
Total $9,055 $20,487

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 (2019-2020 Canadian dollar rates).
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 $1,000-$2,000 per year.

Program option

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

Deadlines

Start term Application DeadlineInternational Deadline
Winter
January 2020
Dec 1, 2019
Documents due: Dec 15, 2019
Sep 1, 2019
Documents due: Oct 1, 2019
Spring
May 2020
Apr 1, 2020
Documents due: May 1, 2020
Feb 1, 2020
Documents due: Mar 1, 2020
Summer
July 2020
May 1, 2020
Documents due: Jun 1, 2020
Mar 1, 2020
Documents due: Apr 1, 2020
Fall
September 2020
Aug 15, 2020
Documents due: Aug 15, 2020
May 1, 2020
Documents due: Jun 1, 2020
Winter
January 2021
Dec 1, 2020
Documents due: Dec 15, 2020
Sep 1, 2020
Documents due: Oct 1, 2020

Ready to apply?

A non-refundable application fee of $90 CDN is required before your application will be processed.

Explore related programs

If you are looking for graduate level (Master or Ph.D.) programs please consult our graduate students' website.

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