Geology Specialist

The Geology Specialist Program focuses on core geology subjects, such as mineralogy and petrology, sedimentology, structural geology, mineral resources and geologic field mapping. This program gives the deepest level of education within the field of geology, preparing students for a career in the energy and mineral resources sector or as a government-employed geologist. The program meets the requirements for gaining membership in the Professional Geoscientists Ontario (PGO) and similar organizations in other Canadian provinces and territories.

Students are advised to be aware of course prerequisites, check clusters of courses listed for the Geology Specialist program, and consult the Earth Sciences Undergraduate Handbook for logical course progressions. For further questions, please consult with the Undergraduate Administrator, Scott Moore.

Enrolment Requirements

This is an open enrolment program. A student who has completed 4.0 credits may enrol in the program.

Completion Requirements 

14.0 credits, including a minimum of 4.0 credits of 300/400-level courses.

Click on the boxes below for the list of courses to choose from, as well as specific details for completion requirements:

Any 3.0 credits from the following, with no more than 1.0 credit from the same category:

At least 0.5 credit, but no more than 1.0 credit from each subgroup:

A minimum of 3.5 credits from the following list that have not been used to fulfill the above requirements. At least 1.0 credit needs to be at the 400 level, and no more than 1.5 credits from the 200 level.

Simplified Study Plan

Year Action Plan
1st year Get your science foundation courses (Chem, Phys, Math) out of the way. All of them!
2nd year fall and spring term

Get your Earth Sciences foundation courses out of the way. All of them!

Take electives you need for PGO (ethics, statistics, etc).

2nd year summer term

Take your mandatory field course (ESS234, Whitefish Falls). 

See whether you can land some summer mapping job in industry or with the OGS.

3rd year

Note that you have to take certain 4th year courses in your 3rd year since they are prerequisites for other 4th year courses.

The 3rd year is where you want to take as many courses as possible, so that you have time to take the work and time intensitve 4th year courses like ESS490 and ESS491/492,

3rd year summer term Take your mandatory 4th year field courses now. All of them! Depending on your program, this will include one or more of ESS324, ESS410, ESS450.
4th year fall term This is where the fun starts. Provided you have done your homework in the 3rd semester, you can start a thesis project, or participate in the Capstone Fieldtrip.
4th year spring term

Leave this semester wide open! You will need time to finish your thesis project and to deal with unforeseen circumstances (job hunting takes time...)

Follow this link to read the detailed program description in the Arts & Science Calendar.


  1. Advanced courses, like CHM151Y1PHY151H1MAT137Y1 or MAT157Y1, can be used as credits for both foundation sciences sections, meaning, half of the credit will count for Compulsory Foundation Sciences, and the other half will count for Additional Foundation Sciences.
  2. You may choose more than 2.5 credits from the Additional Foundation Geosciences list. In that case, the additional courses will count towards the Other Geosciences.
  3. Students are advised to check the prerequisites of the upper-year courses when deciding on their 2nd and 3rd-year-course selection.
  4. Students who do not wish to attain PGO certification are advised to speak to the Associate Chair, Undergraduate Affairs concerning their course selection.

Recommended Course Combinations

Students interested in Mineral Exploration