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Geology

You can begin this program at an
off-campus site through a satellite campus or regional partner.

Investigate episodes of ancient environmental catastrophe. Examine chemical and isotopic signatures in rocks to trace the processes that have shaped the Earth over time. Work in the great outdoors in some of the most extraordinary parts of the world. Participate in the discovery of new energy and mineral resources.


Program Options

Bachelor of Science - Geology

  • B.Sc. Four-year
  • B.Sc. Three-year
  • B.Sc. Honours
  • Minor

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

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What is Geology?

Geology is the study of the Earth, from the highest mountains to the depths of the oceans. This program encompasses study of the atmosphere, the biosphere (plants, animals and soil), the hydrosphere (oceans, rivers, lakes and groundwater) and the interrelated processes that occur between these elements. Geology also examines phenomena such as earthquakes, volcanoes, glaciers, mountains, shorelines, minerals, gems and global climate change.

Geology has traditionally been divided into physical geology and historical geology. Physical geology concentrates on the materials that compose the Earth and the natural processes that take place to shape its surface. Historical geology focuses on Earth history, from its fiery beginnings to the present. Related areas of study include biology, chemistry, mathematics, physical geography and physics.

Geology: Is it for you?

  • The Department of Geological Sciences is one of the most diverse and distinguished in Canada with the honour of being the only department in Canada to have three professors who have won the prestigious Steacie Fellowship, a national award open to competition among all scientists and engineers.
  • The Department has strong ties with the the Canadian Light Source with two Canada Research Chairs, Graham George and Ingrid Pickering, with experience in the application of synchrotron radiation to solve earth and environmental science problems.
  • The Geology program offers a well-rounded curriculum in the geosciences that delivers solid classroom and laboratory instruction.
  • The research facilities in the Department are excellent, and there are opportunities for students to be involved in research projects during which they gain an added appreciation of natural processes on Earth.
  • Students also have the opportunity to participate in field camps at home and abroad which provide an invaluable hands-on experience of geological fieldwork.
  • The Department of Geological Sciences offers the Cameco Scholarship in Geological Sciences, which is a lucrative entrance scholarship that has attracted excellent students over the last few years. The possibility of employment with Cameco during the summer means that scholarship winners gain tremendous work experience as part of their undergraduate program.
  • The Department has very close ties with local industry partners, and maintains strong links with alumni which enhances employment opportunities for students.

Sample Classes

  • GEOL 206: Earth Systems
    An introduction to Earth System Science, a concept that demonstrates the interrelationships between the Earth's landmasses, atmosphere, oceans and biosphere, and the role of humans in their interaction. Topics discussed will include geochemical cycles and environmental change, both natural and anthropogenic.
  • GEOL 358: Structural Geology II
    The geometry, character, and origin of folds, faults and rock cleavage: their inter-relationships and analysis.  The analysis of complex geological maps. Ductile strain, strain analysis, deformation fabrics, ductile faulting, shear-sense indicators and the brittle/ductile transition will be discussed. The analysis of polyphase deformation, interference structures, and sequential deformation fabrics.
  • GEOL 408: Geological Mapping II
    Methods of geological mapping based on a field course in the Precambrian Shield which will examine deformed and metamorphosed volcanic, sedimentary, and intrusive rocks. Mapping results will be presented as a report and in oral presentation.

Career Opportunities

  • Water Quality Control Specialist
  • Conservationist
  • Fishery and Wildlife Manager
  • Parks and Recreation Officer
  • Environmental Education and Communication Specialist
  • Environmental Planner
  • Development Geologist
  • Environmental Geologist
  • Exploration Geologist
  • Geologist
  • Glaciologist
  • Groundwater Geologist
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Hydrologist
  • Mine Geologist
  • Mineralogist
  • Sedimentologist
  • Stratigrapher

Skill Sets Gained

  • Collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data
  • Communications skills: written and oral
  • Computer skills
  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Honesty, integrity, and ethical standards
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Laboratory skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Conducting field research
  • Teamwork/Interpersonal skills

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