Western Graduate & Postdoctoral  Studies


Master of Science (MSc)

Meet Sina Khajehabdollahi, MSc candidate in Physics

Supervisor: Dr. Andrea Soddu

What’s the best advice you could give to someone considering applying to your graduate program?
Make sure you can make a connection with your supervisor and peers, and most importantly, make sure you are genuinely interested in your project. Without at least one of these, you will not enjoy your time here, or at any graduate program anywhere.

Describe your research in 100 words or less.
My research looks at an up-and-coming theory of consciousness, and tests the theory against certain intuitive phenomenon such as sleep and wakefulness to see if the theory can explain how consciousness changes. I am testing the theory in a generalized version of an old physical model of electron spins, except in the generalized version the spins are interpreted as neurons. The goal is to bridge our knowledge of information/integration processes in the brain with simple physical models that can do the same.

What is your “dream” career?
I am fascinated by the brain, for it is the most complicated and intricate piece of machinery that we know of as humans. I would love to be able to continue describing what it means to be conscious, what the brain is capable of, and perhaps even continuing into artificial intelligence. There are many roads to follow, and many more that haven’t been paved yet, so it is hard to say.

Do you belong to any university or community groups?
I’ve been a part of the Astronomy club (or the Space Society). I met a lot of interesting people along the way and been to a lot of places I wouldn’t have otherwise. It has only added to my experience.

What are you most passionate about?
Knowledge, experience, and sensation. I’m excited about things like virtual reality, games, movies, and other things along those lines for that reason.

What’s your favourite book?
I don’t think I have a ‘favourite’ book per se, but The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov has been on my mind for the last few years. I think it might just shape my entire academic career at some point, but that has yet to be determined. (This trilogy touches on a lot of topics such as consciousness, artificial intelligence and ‘thermodynamics’ of life.)

Program Websites

Program Contact

Brian Davis (bdavis66@uwo.ca)
Graduate Affairs Assistant

Department of Physics & Astronomy

Western University
Physics and Astronomy Building Rm 138A
London, Ontario N6A 3K7

t. 519.661.2111 ext. 86639
f. 519-661-2033

Our department offers programs in both physics and astronomy leading to MSc and PhD degrees. We have a vibrant core faculty of 30 researchers covering the areas of astronomy, condensed matter physics, medical physics, atmospheric physics and planetary science.

Times to Completion

  • 6 Terms (2 years)

Curriculum Options

  • Full-time study
  • Thesis or project-based

Funding Details

Applicants (domestic and international) are encouraged to apply for the following scholarships:

Admission Requirements

  • Four-year B.Sc. degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Astronomy or a related area.
  • Achieved at least a 70% (B) average in upper level Physical Science and Mathematical courses.

Additional Requirements

  • International students are encouraged to take the GRE-Physics exam to both strengthen their application and to help the Admissions Committee more fairly evaluate it.

Test Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language:

Application Deadline(s)

Domestic Applicants:

  • January 15 - recommended for Fall term. Later applications may be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis.

International Applicants:

  • March 1 - Fall Term

Students typically begin their studies in September.

Fields of Research

  • Astrophysics
  • Condensed Matter
  • Medical Physics
  • Planetary Physics