Physics (Thesis), M.Sc.

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
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  • Tuition Fee
    15346 USD/year
    Tuition fee
    2273 USD/year
    Tuition fee
  • English, French (take IELTS)
University rank #42 (WUR) ,
McGill graduates have gone on to successful careers in academia and industry as well as in government. Our former students teach in colleges and universities world-wide and others have research positions in governmental and industrial laboratories. Still others work in the financial sector or as entrepreneurs making good use of the analytic and quantitative problem-solving skills acquired during their education as physicists. Consult the Department for more information about this program.


Fields of Research:

High-Energy Physics

Theoretical: The McGill high energy theorists have interests in a wide range of areas within quantum field theory, string theory, quantum gravity, and cosmology. Research areas of the high-energy theory faculty include applications of quantum field theory techniques to relativistic heavy ion collisions, baryogenesis, superstring cosmology, theory of cosmological perturbations, black hole physics, supergravity, three dimensional gravity, and various topics related to the physics and mathematics of superstring theory. The high-energy theorists have close connections to the nuclear theory group, the astrophysics group, the high-energy experimentalists, and to members of the Mathematics Department.

Experimental: The experimental high-energy physics group is engaged in a number of experiments at the research frontiers of the field, both in subatomic physics and in high-energy astrophysics. These include:

  • Electron-positron collisions: a group works on the BaBar experiment at SLAC and R&D for the proposed SuperB experiment at LNF in Italy, with specific interest in CKM matrix elements and physics beyond the Standard Model through studies of rare decays, and on R&D for a future International Linear Collider, with interest in calorimeter development.
  • Electron-proton collisions: a group is studying high-energy lepton-quark interactions using data from the ZEUS experiment at DESY in Hamburg, with interest in deep inelastic scattering and flavour production.
  • Hadron-hadron collisions: CDF and Dzero groups employ Fermilab's energy frontier Tevatron proton-antiproton accelerator to study top and bottom quarks and search for the Higgs boson. A group is also involved in major contributions to the next energy frontier at CERN's LHC, with work on the High Level Trigger for the ATLAS experiment.
  • High-energy particle astrophysics: ground-based gamma-ray astronomy using the newly commissioned VERITAS telescope array and development of the next-generation detector.

Students at the M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels are offered a strong program of research in a challenging and rapidly advancing field. Short term master's projects are based mainly on instrumentation or data analysis conducted on campus, while Ph.D. research may involve an extended stay at one of the world's major research laboratories.

Nuclear Physics

Theoretical: Current research programs include transport equations for heavy ion collisions at intermediate energy; nuclear equation of state from heavy ion collisions; fragmentation at intermediate energy; electromagnetic probes in relativistic heavy ion collisions; effective Lagrangians for hadronic systems at finite temperature; and Quark-Gluon Plasma, QCD.

Experimental: Current research programs in experimental nuclear physics at McGill are focused on two main axes:

  • The study of heavy-ion reactions at relativistic energies to determine the properties of nuclear matter at high temperatures and density. This program is being performed at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, and at the Large Hadron Collider facility at CERN.
  • The study of ground state properties of unstable nuclei using laser spectroscopy techniques and ion traps. This work is being carried out using the Canadian Penning trap facility at the Argonne National Laboratory and at the accelerator ISOLDE (CERN), and the ISAC facility at TRIUMF.

Furthermore, the Nuclear Physics Group has an active in-house research program that applies the ion trap and laser techniques to the detection of trace quantities of material and contaminants, and to ion spectroscopy.

Condensed Matter Physics

Theoretical: Current research programs involve the nonequilibrium, ab-initio modelling of molecular and nanoelectronic systems and devices; the study of quantum effects in interacting mesoscopic electron systems; nonequilibrium phenomena in extended systems; and applications of statistical mechanics to problems in biophysics.

Experimental: Current research programs involve the study of the time evolution of non-equilibrium systems via x-ray diffraction, fundamental quantum properties of strongly correlated systems at temperatures very near absolute zero, macromolecular interactions in living cells using single-photon and two-photon imaging, molecular electronics and nanoelectronic systems by scanning probe microscopy, dynamics and mechanical properties of soft matter systems and spatial organization and dynamics in living cells, mechanical behaviour of very small systems by high-resolution force microscopy, electronic properties that emerge at the limits of miniaturization and quantum computing, and nuclear methods to study interactions in magnetic materials that lead to exotic magnetic ordering behaviour. This includes studies of novel materials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, unconventional superconductors, guantum dots, heterostructures, amorphous systems, and spin glasses.


Research in the astrophysics group covers a wide range of topics including cosmology, galaxy formation, high-energy astrophysics, and extrasolar planets. This involves observations at all wavelengths, from gamma rays and X-rays to sub-mm, infrared and radio, using international observatories in space and on the ground. Experimental groups at McGill are involved in development and operation of ground-based high-energy gamma-ray observatories, and cosmic microwave background experiments. Theoretical work includes studies of how astrophysics and observational cosmology can experimentally determine the most important properties of dark matter and dark energy, studies of the diverse physics of neutron stars, and extrasolar planet formation.

Nonlinear Variability in Geophysics

This group studies nonlinear dynamical processes in the atmosphere and other geophysical systems, especially those associated with turbulent, chaotic, and extremely variable behaviour. Emphasis is placed on multifractal analysis and modelling as well as the development of new theories and techniques covering wide ranges of scale in time and space. Data from a variety of in situ and remotely sensed sources are used. This includes satellite data of the Earth's atmosphere and surface as well as high-quality precipitation data from the McGill Radar Weather Observatory.


McGill ranks 1st in Canada among medical-doctoral universities (Macleans) and 21st in the world (QS World University Rankings). The University is proud to be named one of Montreal's Top Employers 2014.

Programme Structure

Program Requirements

Thesis Courses (30 credits)

  • M.Sc. Thesis (24 credits)
  • Thesis Project (6 credits)

Complementary Courses (15 credits)

12 credits at the 500, 600, or 700 level.

3 credits at the 600 or 700 level:

Students with an appropriate background may request Departmental permission to substitute up to 6 credits chosen from the following courses:

  • Thesis Preparation (3 credits)
  • M.Sc. Research (3 credits)

Students must also successfully complete all the other normal requirements of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date Application deadline and start date were not specified by the programme.
  • Credits
    45 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
    • French
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
Check if you match the admission requirements

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test

Academic Requirements

The normal requirement is a B.Sc. in Physics or equivalent, with high standing.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    15346 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 15346 USD per year and a duration of  .
  • National Applies to you

    2273 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2273 USD per year and a duration of  .
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