The Department of Physics at Carleton University has introduced three new Co-operative education programs. The first is a B.Sc. Honours in Physics Co-op program, the second is an Engineering Physics program and the third is a M.Sc. stream in "The Physics in Modern Technology", which includes a four month work term with an industrial partner. Please refer to the Carleton University Co-Op Office for general information concerning the the Carleton University Co-op Program.

Why Physics?

A Bachelor of Physics degree opens the doors to a wide range of career opportunities; anything from financial analysis to developing new electronic and photonic devices and components or perhaps working in medical physics in a hospital. The key ingredient acquired by Physics graduates is extremely strong analytic skills. Physicists also have strong backgrounds in mathematics, computer programming and the design of complex instruments. This broad background makes them extremely versatile, able to easily cross boundaries into other disciplines.

Why Carleton?

Carleton’s location in the nation’s capital makes this university an especially attractive place in which to study Physics. The National capital region has become known as "Silicon Valley North" and has the largest concentration of scientific and technical expertise in Canada. The National Research Council (NRC) has a long-standing international reputation for the quality of its research programs. Physicists are employed by government research organizations such as the Communications Research Centre (CRC) and the Defense Research Establishment Ottawa (DREO). Many of the local high-technology companies, Nortel, JDS Uniphase, Newbridge, and Mitel, for example, employ physicists. Physicists also work in hospital imaging departments and at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre.

B.Sc. Honours in Physics Co-op

The Co-op program allows the student to mix academic study with work experience. Through a sequence of four and eight month work terms, students in the Co-operative Education Stream complement the theoretical knowledge acquired during the academic terms with practical work experience in their areas of career interest. This stream allows students to explore various career possibilities first hand and thereby gain a better understanding of the expectations and requirements of their chosen profession. Co-op education leads to personal and professional development for students and can assist in the financing of their education and selecting that important first job on graduation.

Qualified students typically apply for the co-operative stream during their second year in the program with the first work term taking place after the completion of second year. Exceptional students may apply for co-op in their first year with the first work term taking place after completion of the first year. The normal work/study sequence requires a minimum of four four-month work terms. The experience adds relevance to the educational experience and helps the student make appropriate choices for courses in their upper years. The same number of academic courses (20 credits) is required as the usual Honours program so this program will normally take an extra year to complete.

Carleton Physics students obtain a broad introduction to theoretical and experimental physics together with a firm grounding in applied mathematics, computer science, and electronics. Training in the design, implementation, and analysis of experiments is an integral part of the program. Depending on course selection, students can also become familiar with the design and use of complex electronics, and with the use of computers and microprocessors in control and monitoring of experiments and in analysis of data.

The Co-operative Education program has a number of characteristics designed to provide qualified students with effective preparation for a successful future career:

  • Be eligible to work in Canada
  • Be registered as a full time student in one of the Physics Honours B.Sc. programs.
  • Have a minimum cumulative honours grade-point average of 8.0 (B) or better and an overall G.P.A. of 6.5 or better.

The Work/Study Sequence

The work/study pattern is illustrated in the table below. The student is required to take a minimum of four work terms out of the work term sequence which provides for five work terms of four months each. The work terms are grouped to allow for a work period of eight month duration and a work period of 12 months, each of which we expect will normally be spent at the same employer. These longer work terms provide a period long enough for a student to take on extended projects.

  Fall Winter Summer
Year 1 Study 1 Study 2 Free
Year 2 Study 3 Study 4 Work 2
Year 3 Study 5 Study 6 Free
Year 4 Work 4 Work 5 Free
Year 5 Study 7 Study 8  

And There’s More

  • At Carleton, hundreds of entrance scholarships are awarded each year to students demonstrating superior academic performance. Through an extensive program of in-course scholarships, continuing full-time students are eligible for financial support if they demonstrate superior academic ability. In addition, a number of awards and scholarships are open specifically to students in Science and in Physics. Information on scholarships and other methods of financial assistance is available through the Awards Office at 520-3600.
  • The Department of Physics has a wide variety of computing equipment available for both undergraduate and graduate student use. Students in Physics programs will be provided with UNIX accounts. These accounts provide access to software such as MAPLE and various computer languages in addition to standard Internet services including Web browsers.
  • The Department offers regular seminars on advanced topics in physics. These varied seminars bring in excellent speakers from all over the world.
  • Carleton also offers M.Sc. and Ph.D. Programs in physics as part of the Ottawa-Carleton Institute for Physics which combines the facilities and expertise of Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. Graduate students at Carleton do research in experimental and theoretical particle physics and in medical physics.

For further information about the Department of Physics Co-op programs please contact:

Dr. Sangeeta Murugkar
Co-op Advisor

Tel: (613) 520-2600 ext 4322
E-mail: coopatphysics [dot] carleton [dot] ca