Program Overview:

About Physics

Physics is an incredibly diverse field, from fundamental research to practical applications of the latest technology. What are the fundamental particles of matter? What happens when two black holes collide? How can quantum cryptography improve security on the internet? What new magnetic materials will be used in the next generation of computer storage? If you’re interested in these questions and a fundamental understanding of the Universe, StFX Physics is for you.  

Why study Physics at StFX?

You’ll learn in a department where students and faculty are dedicated to teaching, learning and active research. Students receive a world-class degree in a supportive environment where questions are welcomed, discussion encouraged, and opportunities presented to get involved in paid research projects. In the wider physics community, our students are authors on research publications and attend national and international physics conferences.  Our students have gone on to work and have become leaders in industry, law, medicine, education and academia.  Despite (or maybe because of) our small size, a physics degree from StFX is recognized nationally and internationally for its high quality.  Physics can be challenging but we have a wide variety of degree streams to suit the needs of our students. 

First year at a glance

You will take introductory physics courses on mechanics (PHYS 121) and electromagnetism (PHYS 122). Calculus I and II (MATH 106 &107, or equivalent) are also required, since the physics courses uses derivatives and integration. We also recommend taking a programming course (CSCI 161) and your choice of Science C (usually chemistry, CHEM 121 and 122). The remaining three courses are often used for arts electives.

Future opportunities

A StFX Physics degree opens many doors. Students go on to become successful research scientists at universities and companies worldwide. They also have a high rate of acceptance into medical and law schools, and are superbly trained for a career in education, where science and math teachers are in high demand. A StFX Physics degree provides the quantitative critical thinking skills needed in many fields; graduates find success in professions such as economics, environmental science, and engineering.  

“I wholeheartedly endorse studying physics at StFX University. The faculty here are not only knowledgeable, but they truly care about their students and give individual attention beyond just being a number in a large class. One of the unique advantages of studying at StFX is the opportunity to participate in summer research, starting as early as your first year. The small and close-knit community fosters strong relationships and provides a supportive environment, where I have had the pleasure of making some of my closest friends.” – Matthew Penner (’23) 

“Studying physics at StFX has been a great experience due to our amazing professors who make every class enjoyable and accessible, but aren’t afraid to challenge your knowledge.” – Brayden Lee (4th year Physics and Engineering) 

  • Education / Teacher
  • Medicine / Physician
  • Meteorologist
  • Physicist
  • Researcher

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