TRU Science

Program Information

Bachelor of Science Physics Major

The B.Sc. physics major integrates instruction in the ideas and concepts of the physical world with practical experience in electronics, scientific computing, optics and advanced experimentation techniques. A major in physics provides a strong base for students to expand their expertise in applied science and technology fields. The physics major is also a good starting point for those students who want to enter professions in law, medicine, architecture, and teaching.

The B.Sc. physics major requires four years of full time study to complete. The length of the program increases to five years if a student enters the co-op education option. Study can also be conducted on a part-time basis which will lengthen the period of study. Completion of at least 120 TRU course credits is required (up to 60 credits may be transferred from another institution). For more details, go to Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree.

Apply for Admission

Co-op Option

Co-operative education allows students to enhance their education by acquiring career-related work experience in industry in up to four work terms before graduation. The program also gives students the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills developed in the classroom in a practical work environment. This innovative educational model benefits both the student and employer.

By choosing this option, you will gain practical and invaluable career-related work experience, a network of employer contacts, a better understanding of careers in fields involving physics and the confidence to secure meaningful work upon graduation.

Students enter co-op at various points in their education depending on program requirements. Typically, physics students would complete their first work term in the summer semester following their second year of study. Subsequent work terms would occur in the fall or winter semesters during the third and fourth years of study often spanning two consecutive semesters. Co-op work terms in the fall and winter semesters provide students with additional experience they would not normally receive during the summer.

To achieve the co-op designation, students in a four-year degree program must complete a minimum of three work-terms.

Physics Major Program

Year 1

In first year, students will add mathematical sophistication to their physics knowledge.  Physics and mathematics go hand in hand, so calculus is a must.  Students will also benefit from at least one course in computer science.  To complete the requirements for a degree, chemistry and biology or geology or other elective courses round out the typical first year of studies.

Year 2

Specialization really starts in second year.  In physics you will learn special relativity and be introduced to quantum mechanics.  Electric circuit analysis and other hands-on laboratory work give students a practical aspect.  More thorough mathematical treatments of classical mechanics and electromagnetism complete the physics.  Mathematical studies include linear algebra, calculus approached in 2 and 3 dimensions capped off with study of vector fields, and an introduction to differential equations.

Year 3 & 4

Specialization continues.  Most upper level courses are offered in alternating years so course planning is very important.  Courses include continuations of quantum mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and classical mechanics.  Courses in thermodynamics, optics, fluids and solid state physics expand students’ background knowledge.  Hands-on experience is provided through associated laboratories and the advanced lab course.  Opportunities to complete mentored research are available to all students through the directed studies course.  Students can continue their mathematical studies with courses in differential equations, complex numbers, and problem solving.