Geology is a modern, dynamic and diverse science that involves investigating the composition and evolution of Earth and other planetary bodies.

Geologists and Earth scientists study the Earth, including its chemical, physical and biological evolution. Our programs teach students how to analyze Earth materials, probe the Earth from surface to core and model the processes that produced and shape its oceans and continents. The Ottawa region is a natural laboratory where students investigate resources (water, metals, minerals, petroleum), hazards (earthquakes, tsunamis, eruptions, landslides) and a variety of geological environments.

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers programs in geology and, along with the Department of Physics, a program in geology-physics. These programs balance field-based learning with theoretical and analytical investigations directly relevant to the needs of society. The final year involves an independent research project or equivalent units (credits) in advanced courses in the discipline.

The honours requirements meet the professional accreditation requirements of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario and l’Ordre des géologues du Québec.

This program is offered in English and in French.

Co-operative education is available with this program.

The extended French stream is available with this program.

Requirements for this program have been modified. Please consult the 2018-2019 calendars for the previous requirements.

Compulsory courses at the 1000 level
BIO 1130Introduction to Organismal Biology3 Units
CHM 1311Principles of Chemistry3 Units
EVS 1101Introduction to Environmental Science3 Units
GEO 1111Introduction to Earth Systems3 Units
GEO 1115Introduction to Earth Materials3 Units
ITI 1120Introduction to Computing I3 Units
MAT 1320Calculus I3 Units
MAT 1322Calculus II3 Units
MAT 1341Introduction to Linear Algebra3 Units
PHY 1121Fundamentals of Physics I3 Units
PHY 1122Fundamentals of Physics II3 Units
Compulsory courses at the 2000 level
GEO 2020Field Studies I3 Units
GEO 2163Introduction to Mineralogy3 Units
GEO 2165Stratigraphy and Sedimentation3 Units
GEO 2321Structural Geology and Tectonics3 Units
MAT 2322Calculus III for Engineers3 Units
MAT 2384Ordinary Differential Equations and Numerical Methods3 Units
PHY 2311Waves and Optics3 Units
PHY 2361Modern Physics3 Units
Compulsory courses at the 3000 level
GEO 3191Applied Geophysics3 Units
GEO 3382Geochemistry3 Units
PHY 3380Physics of the Earth3 Units
One option from the following:6 Units
Option 1: Honours Project
Honours Project
Option 2: Honours Project Substitution
3 optional course units in Geology (GEO) or Physics (PHY) at the 4000 level
3 optional course units in Geology (GEO) or Physics (PHY) at the 3000 or 4000 level
Optional courses
3 optional course units from:3 Units
Physical Chemistry: Introduction to the Molecular Properties of Matter
Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry
6 optional course units from:6 Units
Introduction to Circuit Theory and Electronics
Electricity and Magnetism
6 optional course units in geology (GEO) at the 3000 or 4000 level6 Units
6 optional course units in physics (PHY) at the 3000 or 4000 level6 Units
12 elective course units from the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Education, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Social Sciences or the Telfer School of Management 112 Units
15 elective course units15 Units
Total: 120 Units


Students who take the Geology-Physics Program and wish to become registered members of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario must take 21 units in Earth Sciences from among the optional courses in order to satisfy the requirements of the professional association.