Graduate Studies at the Department of Physics at Brock University

Department of Physics welcomes applications into its M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs in Physics.

The programs aim at training highly knowledgeable and skilled graduates, who will be world-class experts in one of the three fields of specialization:

  1. Theoretical Physics,
  2. Experimental Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science, and
  3. Biophysics.

The Brock Physics Department is known nationally and internationally for its research strength in the field of condensed matter physics, both experimental and theoretical. Members of the Physics Department maintained active research programs, with funding from NSERC, CFI, and other external granting agencies. Many have received recognition in the form of special grants, awards and prizes, such as Brock Chancellor's Chair in Research Excellence Awards, John Charles Polanyi Prize, and CFI Awards.

Through the mentorship of our faculty, our graduate students acquire the skills necessary to work as independent researchers as well as in collaboration with other researchers. They learn to identify and solve important and critical problems in their fields, and pose questions of fundamental importance. Our graduate programs set the graduates on track to successful careers in academia, industry, government and private research institutions.

Why pursue a graduate degree?
By investing several years in further education, a student will gain extensive experience in research, critical thinking and essential communication and technical skills. Hands-on use of our sophisticated equipment provides excellent job training and will give you a significant advantage in the higher-paying job market over those students who have only an undergraduate degree (verified in recent surveys).
Admission
[Brock M.Sc. in Physics is for you!] Admission into the M.Sc. program requires a completed Honours BSc with at least a B grade average or equivalent minimum undergraduate GPA of 2nd-class standing. Candidates holding a pass degree without sufficient concentration in physics may, with the consent of the department, enrol in a qualifying year similar to year 4 of the honours program before formally applying for entry to the MSc program. Admission may be on either a full-time or part-time basis. Students from non-English speaking countries are required to demonstrate proficiency in English via the TOEFL exam. Minimum acceptance score for admission is 550. The GRE is recommended for international students but not required. Application for entry into the program may be made at any time. Formal entry into the MSc program occurs on January 1st, May 1st, or September 1st.

Students can be admitted into the Ph.D. program via one of the following three options:

  1. after successful completion of a M.Sc. degree (or equivalent) in Physics or a closely related discipline, with at least 80% grade average;
  2. after one year in the Brock Physics M.Sc. program, students may apply to transfer to Ph.D., if they have completed all required coursework, with at least 80% average.
  3. in exceptional circumstances, students with an outstanding academic record (GPA 85% or more) and who have demonstrated superior aptitude for research, can be admitted directly from a B.Sc. in Physics.
Further details are available through the following links:

Note: if you want to apply for graduate studies at Brock you must do so through the above online application page. Email inquiries to prospective supervisors cannot be responded to until the online application file is complete.

Financial information
Each accepted student is awarded a teaching scholarship that requires grading undergraduate student work and/or participation in undergraduate teaching as a laboratory demonstrator or seminar leader. The teaching scholarship is supplemented by funds from the research grant(s) of the supervisor. In total, through a combination of fellowships and scholarships, our graduate students receive funding of up to $29,000 (2010 figures).
Research
The MSc program offered by the department currently focuses on training in condensed matter physics. Recent research activities have been geared towards applied material science, involving the study of amorphous and quasicrystalline alloys, high-Tc superconductors in the form of single crystals as well as thin films, optical properties of semiconductor oxides, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and neutron scattering studies in model biological membranes.

Click on the Research link to find out more about the research directions at the Department.

Equipment and facilities
The Department of Physics is located in Brock University's Mackenzie Chown Science building (completed in 1983) with research laboratories custom designed for each faculty member's interest. Extensive computer facilities and library services are available for use by all graduate students. The Science Faculty maintains a central technical services unit able to design and construct specialized equipment. The staff includes professional machinists, a glass blower and several electronics personnel including microcomputer specialists.

Click on the Equipment link to find out more about the equipment and facilities at the Department.