How to Apply

General application information can be found on the Graduate Calendar; specific admissions requirements can be found under each program description within the Graduate Calendar's Physics section.

Our program currently shares applications with the University of Waterloo, the Institute for Quantum Computing, the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology. Your application will be made available to all faculty, listed on the University of Guelph, Department of Physics site, as well as faculty, adjunct faculty and cross-appointed faculty listed on the University of Waterloo, Department of Physics and Astronomy site. You are welcome and encouraged to name any faculty that you are interested in working with from either institutional site. This will help us direct your application to a potential supervisor.


Application Deadlines

Application forms and supporting documents are due by the deadlines outlined in the table below. Students who meet these deadlines and are eligible, will be considered for any major awards and scholarships (OGS, Tri-Agency Scholarships) to which they have applied.

Starting Term Application Deadline**
Fall (September)  February 1st  
Winter (January) June 1st (previous year)
Spring (May) October 1st (Previous year)

** For Domestic students (Canadians and Permanent Residents) applications will be considered after these deadlines, although this may impact your eligibility for major awards and scholarships in your first year.

The department strongly recommends that international students apply at least nine months prior to the start of the term, to allow sufficient time to arrange for a study permit.

Application procedures and deadlines for collaborative and other programs may differ from those for the regular physics MSc and PhD programs listed on this page. Please refer to program websites for details:

Biophysics Interdepartmental Graduate Program (Guelph)
The Institute for Quantum Computing Collaborative Program in Quantum Information (Waterloo)
Perimeter Scholars International (PSI - intensive 10 month MSc) (Waterloo)
Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) Collaborative Program in Nanotechnology (Waterloo)

Students DO NOT need to find a supervisor prior to applying. However, we strongly recommend that they indicate some potential supervisors on their OUAC or Supplementary Information Form. Applicants are also encouraged to contact potential supervisors after submitting their application.  Supervisors looking for graduate students are able to view potential graduate student applications once they are approved by the Admissions Committee. Approved applicants are admitted to either of these research programs ONLY if a supervisor match is found.


Minimum Degree Requirements

An honours degree in physics or equivalent, from an approved institution, with first or upper second class standing (equivalent to minimum of 75% by Ontario standards) is normally required for entry into the MSc program; an MSc degree in Physics is normally required for entrance into the PhD program.

Application Requirements

Applications will NOT be reviewed by the Admissions Committee until ALL application documents have been uploaded and/or completed.

•    OUAC application (complete online); NOTE: be sure to declare ALL post-secondary institutions attended (past and current; this includes incomplete studies and transfer courses). There will be a place to indicate up to 3 areas of study, and a place to list potential supervisors. You are strongly encouraged to indicate potential supervisors even if you haven't contacted them yet.
•    Supplementary Information Form (SIF)
•    Academic Transcripts from each post-secondary institutions attended showing all courses and marks along with a transcript legend/key/grading scale in original language with a certified translation (if not in English); NOTE: transcripts generated from a self-service/web information system must display full name, academic program, university name and logo, and transcript legend/key/grading scale
•    THREE references
•    Physics SUBJECT Graduate Record Exam (GRE); if previous/current degrees were NOT taken at a Canadian university you must submit a physics subject GRE with a minimum score of 800
•    English Language Proficiency (ELP) Certification if your first language is not English; see UW ELP requirements; see UofG ELP requirements.

Note: Applicants who have arranged to take a GRE and/or TOEFL at a future date may apply with these tests pending. As soon as the test results are received, the application package will be reviewed (providing all other documents have been received).

Please contact if you have any questions of concerns.


•    Do I have to provide a GRE?
If you are applying from an institution outside of Canada we require a Physics Subject GRE.
•    Do I have to provide a TOEFL/IELTS?
You must provide an English Language Proficiency (ELP) test if; English is not your first language, your BSc or MSc was completed in English more than two years ago or your previous education was not completed in English. You can refer to the World Higher Education Database for ELP exempt institutions. If English is the only language of instruction listed at your institution on this database you will not need to provide an ELP.
•    My average, PGRE score, TOEFL/IELTS score is below the minimum requirement, can I still apply?
Yes. Your application is considered as a whole package, if one of the metrics is below the minimum requirement you will still be considered.
•    I have a BSc, can I apply directly to the PhD program?
You should apply to the MSc program. Exceptional students may be considered for accelerated MSc or direct entry to PhD programs, but the majority of applicants holding a BSc degree will be made offers into the MSc program.
•    Can I indicate a supervisor without contacting them first?
Yes. Your application will be more successful if you indicate 2-3 supervisors that you are interested in working with as well as areas of research that you are interested in.
•    Can I contact potential supervisors?
Yes. Be specific in your correspondence, let them know about your research experience, publications, presentations and the aspects of their research you are most interested in. Avoid sending generic messages.