FAQ

Admissions



Q:
I have just noticed that I missed the March 31 deadline for application. Can I still apply?
A:

Of course yes. However, your chances are much better if you follow the official deadlines.  Our objective is to admit the most talented group of students possible, and we may find a way to support you even if you apply late. Not every student accepts our admission offer and, spots may free up any time, so do not give up.  Ask the Chair of the Graduate Admissions Committee to learn about the current state of matters.



Q:
Are graduate students used to teach undergraduate lecture courses?
A:

. No. Each year, the department recruits enough teaching assistants from the graduating undergraduate group. However, the department occasionally uses graduate research assistants to assist in laboratory courses, if necessary



Q:
Can I visit the campus before applying?
A:

Absolutely!  Contact the Chair of the Graduate Admissions Committee to set up an appointment. You can meet professors, current students, tour some labs and visit a lecture



Q:
Do I need a Masters degree to enter the PhD program?
A:

No, you may enter the PhD program with a Bachelor’s degree. You will be required to use the first two years of your stay in program to obtain the required Masters degree before proceeding with the PhD. In the end, you will obtain two degrees



Q:
Do I need to know what research area of physics I want to pursue to apply?
A:

No, you do not need to be sure of your research interests at the start of the program, although you should have a general interest in one of the areas of research of the faculty in the Department.  During the first year of study, you will have adequate time to examine the research areas and find an advisor and topic area.



Q:
Do you admit students who plan to return to school several years after getting the B.Sc. degree?
A:

Yes; we have had a number of successful returning students. However, these situations are always unique. The Graduate Admissions Committee Chair and Graduate Program Directors can help you decide how to get up to speed before starting the program or how to design a transitional semester or year. In some cases, it may be advisable to take graduate or upper division undergraduate courses as a special student before entering the graduate program.



Q:
Do you admit students with a major other than physics?
A:

Yes. Our students come from a wide variety of physics related backgrounds. For example, we do admit graduate students whose undergraduate education is in optical engineering, materials science, meteorology, or atmospheric science. These students may be missing one or more fundamental undergraduate physics courses and we may ask them to take those courses at UCC before attempting the corresponding graduate courses.



Q:
How important is research experience for admission?
A:

. Research experience is beneficial, but not necessary for admission.  We will consider your research experience as an important part of your background, especially if you made substantial contributions as documented by a publication or in some other way.



Q:
How large are undergraduate physics classes at UCC?
A:

The first two required courses (PHY 101 and PHY 102) are large, approaching 1000 students in each course each semester. In these two courses, students divided into smaller groups based on their majors and each group is assigned to a lecturer.  In addition to physics majors, these two courses are populated with engineering physics, chemistry, biology, biochemistry, computer science and other majors.



Q:
How large is the UCC Physics Department?
A:

The department is composed of 20 full-time teaching faculty.. There are approximately 100 undergraduate physics majors and 50 graduate students in the Physics and Atmospheric Physics programs. The Physics Department also hosts the Laser and Fiber Optics Centre (LAFOC), an ICTP (International Centre for Theoretical Physics) funded research centre.

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