School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Astronomy & Astrophysics




"As a student at one of Canada’s leading research universities, I get to meet a great number of speakers and collaborators as well as travel the globe to broaden my research horizons, all of which helps establish a supportive and scientifically fertile environment. Our professors are internationally renowned in their respective fields, and their broad range of interests assures that there is something here for everyone and that we all get to benefit from a multitude of different perspectives. The astronomy and astroparticle research groups are steeped in scientific history and it is a privilege to learn from and work with innovators of a field that I truly care for and feel passionate about. ”

Nathalie Ouelette, Ph.D. candidate

Program Contact

Loanne Meldrum
Graduate Assistant
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Stirling Hall, Queen's University
64 Bader Lane, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6

Phone: 613.533.2687


Program Overview

The Department of Physics at Queen’s University is one of the leading Canadian research  institutes in Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy. Our faculty includes high-profile, world-class physicists who work on cutting edge areas of theoretical, applied and experimental physics. Our staff and students carry out their research on campus as well as at external facilities including some of the largest astronomical and astro-particle observatories in the world, such as Gemini and SNO, and the High Performance Computing Virtual Lab (Centre for Advanced Computing,  supercomputer).


Students in the Astrophysics and Astronomy program have the opportunity to carry out observations at astronomical facilities in Chile, Hawaii, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Australia, and other leading research centers in the world. Students in the experimental particle astrophysics group carry out research at SNOLAB, the underground science laboratory near Sudbury, Ontario.

Degrees Offered/Method of Completion

Degrees Offered

M.Sc.: 2 years

Ph.D.: 4 years

For a select group of students (2-5 per year), we allow accelerated entry to the Ph.D. program after one year in the Master’s program.

Method of Completion

M.Sc. : Course work, research project, thesis & defence

Ph.D.: Course work, research project, thesis & defence, seminar series

Fields of study and Supervisors

We encourage you to identify an area of research interest and contact a potential supervisor before applying.

Astrophysics & Astronomy

  • Stéphane Courteau: Formation, structure and evolution of galaxies
  • Martin Duncan: Formation and evolution of planetary systems
  • David Hanes: Globular star clusters, observational cosmology
  • Judith Irwin: Interstellar medium in galaxies, disk-halo connection, galaxy outflows
  • Kayll Lake: General relativity, computer algebra
  • Larry Widrow: Dark matter, galaxy models, extragalactic magnetic fields


Experimental Particle Astrophysics

  • Mark Boulay: Low-energy neutrinos, neutrinoless double-decay and the search for dark matter
  • Mark Chen: Neutrino physics, geoneutrinos, dark matter and cosmic rays
  • Philippe Di Stefano: Cryogenic detectors for dark matter and other applications
  • Art McDonald: Neutrino physics, solar neutrinos
  • Tony Noble: SNOLAB Institute Director. Search for direct evidence of dark matter, Neutrino properties via solar and neutrinoless double beta decay experiments
  • Wolfgang Rau: Direct search for dark matter using cryogenic detectors
  • Alex Wright: Low energy solar neutrinos, neutrinoless double beta decay, geoneutrinos, and reactor antineutrinos
Funding, Academic Prerequisites & Deadline

Funding Information

Basic Funding Package (teaching assistantship, internal fellowships, bursaries and supervisor support).

Master’s Programs: minimum $24,250 per year

Ph.D.: minimum $25,450 per year

We encourage you to apply for additional funding through external scholarships (NSERC, OGS, etc.). Entering graduate students who win federal government tri-council awards are automatically provided a $5,000 (masters) & $7,500 (PhD - will be increased to $10,000 for the 2016/17 academic year) top-up award by Queen’s.

Academic Prerequisites

M.Sc.: an honours bachelor degree in Science, Engineering or Applied Science

Ph.D.: Master’s degree in Science or Applied Science Students registered in our Master’s program who show exceptional promise and have a first-class standing may be admitted to the doctoral program without completing the requirements for the master’s degree.

Test Requirements

For international students, if required, a TOEFL total score of at least 580 (paper-based) or TOEFL iBT minimum scores of: writing (24/30); speaking (22/30); reading (22/30); listening (20/30), for a total of 88/120. Applicants must have the minimum score in each test as well as the minimum overall score.

Key Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline: February 15. You may apply at any time, however applications received by Feb. 15will have the greatest opportunities for research positions and fellowships.

Notification of Acceptance: 4 weeks after we receive your full application.

Learning Outcomes