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Graduate Degrees


The Department of Earth Sciences offers the following degrees: Master of Science, Master of Applied Science and Doctor of Philosophy.  Below is an overview of the degrees; please refer to the Graduate Handbook 2015-2016_19.05.2015  for detailed requirements of each.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The main requirement for the completion of the Ph.D. degree is to carry out a major program of original research, with the completion and satisfactory defense of a thesis.

Candidates are normally admitted to the Ph.D. program after completion of a M.Sc. or M.A.Sc. degree; however, outstanding candidates who have completed a B.Sc. or B.A.Sc. may apply for direct admission into the Ph.D. program.

Doctoral candidates are guaranteed funding for four years, or five years for students admitted directly from a B.Sc. or B.A.Sc., and must complete all requirements for the degree within six years from first enrolment.

Master of Science (M.Sc.)

The department of Earth Sciences offers two types of M.Sc. degree.  The first type is the regular research master’s (or doctoral-stream master’s) that involves a mix of research and coursework.  The research component is substantial, but requires a research report and presentation/defence rather than a formal written thesis (see M.A.Sc., below).  The doctoral-stream M.Sc. program is usually completed in one year and students are guaranteed funding for at least one year.

The second type of M.Sc. in Earth Sciences is an all coursework program.  A brief research project is undertaken in this option, but most of the degree requirements comprise regular graduate-level coursework.  Students are required by the university to complete all degree requirements within five years, but full-time students are expected to complete the program within one year.  There is not guaranteed funding for the coursework M.Sc. degree.

Candidates are admitted into the M.Sc. program with the equivalent of a four-year B.Sc. or B.A.Sc.



Collaborative Programs

Graduate degrees in Earth Sciences can also be taken in collaboration with other graduate units:

Geology and Physics

The graduate units of Earth Sciences and Physics participate in the Collaborative M.Sc. and Ph.D. Programs in Earth Sciences and Physics. These programs foster graduate education in those areas of study that overlap traditional departmental boundaries. Students must meet all respective degree requirements of the School of Graduate Studies, the home department (e.g., Earth Sciences or Physics), and the Collaborative Program.

Students who successfully complete the requirements of the Collaborative Program will receive the notation “Completed Collaborative Program in Earth Sciences and Physics” on their transcript.  For a full description of the program requirements, refer to Earth Sciences and Physics Collaborative program entry in the University of Toronto ‘s School of Graduate Studies Calendar.


Environmental Studies

Earth Sciences and a number of other graduate units, in conjunction with the Centre for Environment, offer a collaborative master’s program in environmental studies.

A joint thesis master’s degree may be taken with the Centre for Environment. Normally the program will be defined by M.Sc. degree requirements from the “home department” (e.g., Earth Sciences) as well as several specific requirements prescribed by the Centre for Environment.

For a full description of this program, see the Environmental Studies Collaborative Program entry in the University of Toronto ‘s School of Graduate Studies Calendar.