Curriculum & Courses

Bachelor of Science - Geology


For full course descriptions, use the online Academic Calendar.

Geology is the science of Earth and its planetary neighbors. It focuses on the fundamental principles and processes that shape our evolving planet. Geology is an interdisciplinary science that encompasses all other sciences within it, but all share a core of knowledge about the composition of Earth materials. Geology explores the character of Earth from its surface environment to its core, including its composition, structure, prehistoric life, internal and surficial processes, and the impact of geology on our everyday lives. The goal is to understand and protect the planet through discovery, education, and outreach. Students study geosciences in the classroom, laboratory and field, and make use of the whole Earth as their field area. The curriculum provides students with hands-on experience studying earth materials, often in small experiential settings. Research opportunities are available for students to work with faculty studying a broad array of topics in the Geosciences spanning climate and environmental change, tectonics and dynamics of Earth’s interior, sustainable extraction of energy and minerals, and extinction events throughout Earth’s history. The program provides the academic foundation for a professional degree, graduate education, and a variety of employment opportunities in geosciences and related fields.

Entry into the program

Students transferring into the Geology Major must register immediately in the following courses in the Fall semester following their acceptance into the program; failure to do so will affect course availability and progression through the program:

  • GEOL 2103 - Minerals and Rocks
  • GEOL 2105 - Structural Geology
  • GEOL 2300 - Geologic Field Methods I

Field Schools and Field Trips

Field Schools and Field Trips are an integral part of the Geology major program. Students should note that there will be costs, in addition to tuition, to cover transportation, food and accommodation for the following Field Schools:

  • GEOL 2300 - Geologic Field Methods I
  • GEOL 3300 - Geological Field Methods II
  • GEOL 4300 - Advanced Geologic Field Methods

Required Courses:

  • CHEM 1201 - General Chemistry - Structure and Bonding
  • CHEM 1202 - General Chemistry - Introduction to Quantitative Chemistry
  • COMP 1001 - Introduction to Computer-Based Problem Solving for the Sciences
  • GEOL 1101 - The Dynamic Earth
  • GEOL 1103 - Earth Through Time
  • GEOL 2103 - Minerals and Rocks
  • GEOL 2105 - Structural Geology
  • GEOL 2107 - Palaeontology
  • GEOL 2109 - Stratigraphy and Sedimentation
  • GEOL 2111 - Crystallography and Optical Mineralogy
  • GEOL 2300 - Geological Field Methods I
  • GEOL 3103 - Igneous Petrology
  • GEOL 3107 - Geomorphology
  • GEOL 3109 - Sedimentary Petrology
  • GEOL 3111 - Metamorphic Petrology
  • GEOL 3113 - Geochemistry
  • GEOL 3115 - Exploration Geophysics
  • GEOL 3300 - Geological Field Methods II
  • GEOL 4105 - Hydrogeology

  • GEOL 4107 - Geological History of Western Canada or
  • GEOL 4607 - Geology of the Canadian Cordillera

  • GEOL 4109 - Petroleum Geology
  • GEOL 4111 - Ore Deposits and Economic Geology
  • GEOL 4300 - Advanced Geological Field Methods
  • MATH 1200 - Calculus for Scientists I
  • MATH 1203 - Linear Algebra for Scientists and Engineers
  • MATH 2235 - Statistics with Applications in Geology
  • PHYS 1201 - Classical Physics I
  • PHYS 1202 - Classical Physics II

Two of

  • GEOL 4101 - Advanced Topics in Sedimentary Geology
  • GEOL 4103 - Advanced Topics in Igneous and Metamorphic Geology
  • GEOL 4515 - Sedimentary Basin Analysis
  • GEOL 4601 - Plate Tectonic Regimes


  • One elective course.

General Education Requirements

Ten courses must be completed to meet the General Education requirements to graduate with a Bachelor of Science - Geology.

  1. Four courses will be taken at the foundational level: one from each of the thematic clusters.
  2. Three courses will be taken at the second tier: BSc students will make their Tier 2 selections from clusters other than Numeracy and Scientific Literacy.
  3. Three courses must be taken at the third tier, selected from at least two of the thematic clusters.

Students are encouraged to meet with an advisor before registering for a course.