Undergraduate Programs

Ulrich G. Wortmann

Uli Wortmann, Associate Chair Undergraduate Affairs

Earth Sciences examines the physical, chemical, and biological processes that shape the Earth and its companions in the solar system. Programs in earth sciences provide students with a solid foundation in mathematics and science, along with specialized courses on the physics and chemistry of rocks and minerals, the internal and external processes that have shaped the surface of the planet, and the role of living organisms in geological processes.


Admission Information

  • Apply to the Physical & Mathematical Sciences admission category on the St. George campus
  • Six Grade 12 U or M courses, including English and Calculus and Vectors are required
  • For Geology: A senior high school credit in Chemistry is required and Biology and Physics are recommended
  • For Geophysics: Senior high school credits in Chemistry and Physics are required
  • For Geoscience, Environmental Geosciences and Earth and Environmental Systems: Senior high school credits in Chemistry and Physics are required and Biology is recommended
  • Students outside of Ontario should have the equivalent senior high school credits

Honours Bachelor of Science Programs

  • Geology (specialist) This program is intended for those who seek a traditional geoscience education with the goal to find employment in the resource sector.
  • Geophysics (specialist) This program is jointly sponsored with the Department of Physics. Geophysicists measure physical parameters from the surface or remotely (from airplanes and satellites) to characterize the subsurface; they also model processes within Earth and other planetary bodies. Our program provides the knowledge requirements for professional registration with APGO, or lead into graduate programs in Physics, Earth Science, or Planetary Science.
  • Environmental Geosciences (specialist)  Topics include earth materials, sedimentary geology, aqueous geochemistry, hydrogeology and biogeochemistry. Students should note that under the Professional Geoscientists Act of 2000, individuals practicing Environmental Geoscience in Ontario require an education that fulfills APGO knowledge requirements or a P.Eng.
  • Earth and Environmental Systems (major) This program allows you to obtain an Earth Science Major degree in a very flexible way, with the potential to explore the full gamut of earth sciences. To help with this bewildering array of choices, we provide examples of how you could select your courses. You could, e.g., structure your course selection around Earth Surface processes, or global environmental change. The A&S Calendar calls these themes clusters. Note that these are only examples, you are not bound by them. Please click here to see the specific program requirements in the A&S Calendar.
  • Geoscience major
  • GeoScience minor

First-Year Courses

  • JEG 100H1 – Introduction to Physical Geography and Earth Sciences

Advice for First Year

Students who are interested in geology should take JEG 100H1 – Introduction to Physical Geography and Earth Sciences, which is a foundation course providing a general overview of the important concepts in the earth sciences. In addition, all earth science programs require basic sciences, and these can be taken as various combinations of first-year courses in chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics.

If you want to study geology as part of your general education, or to supplement studies in a different area, you should enroll in the minor program. For further information, please contact our undergraduate coordinator Scott Moore or Uli Wortmann Associate Chair Undergraduate Affairs.

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