The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers programs in geology and, in co-operation with the Department of Physics, also offers a program in geology-physics. The Department is part of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre, and its research areas include precambrian studies, tectonics, resource geology, northern studies, environmental geoscience and geochemistry. 

Geology studies the composition and evolution of Earth and of other planetary bodies. The discipline extends into many areas: mineralogy, petrology, palaeontology, sedimentology, environmental geology, economic geology, geochemistry, structural geology, and geophysics. 

Thus, geologists study matter and geological processes in all their diversity, from atoms and crystals to mountain ranges and the dynamics of the entire planet. The scientific methods used are equally diverse (field studies, instruments to probe the Earth's depths, microscope examination of minerals and fossils, elemental and isotopic analysis, experimental study of geochemical systems, and computer simulation of geological processes). 

Although many program options are offered, students are encouraged to take the Honours B.Sc. in Geology or Geology-Physics, which allows them to meet the accreditation requirements of professional bodies and practice as geoscientists. 

In first year, students increase their knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. Later, they complete several geology courses, which consist of lectures, problem-solving assignments, laboratory work and field excursions.

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.

BIO 1130Introduction to Organismal Biology3 Units
CHM 1311Principles of Chemistry3 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
3 course units from:3 Units
Physical Chemistry: Introduction to the Molecular Properties of Matter
Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry
GEO 2020Field Studies I3 Units
GEO 2163Introduction to Mineralogy3 Units
GEO 2164Analytical Methods in 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
6 optional course units from:6 Units
Introduction to Circuit Theory and Electronics
Electricity and Magnetism
GEO 3191Applied Geophysics3 Units
GEO 3382Geochemistry3 Units
PHY 3380Physics of the Earth3 Units
GEO 4010Honours Project6 Units
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.

This message is intended for students registered in the Faculty of Science. If the components of your program of study require common compulsory courses, you will have to replace the units as follows:

  1.  1000-level courses must be replaced with elective course units;
  2.  2000-level courses and above must be replaced with optional course units from either discipline at the same level or above.

Please note that all programs in the Faculty of Science require a minimum of 12 elective course units offered by the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Education, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Social Sciences or the Telfer School of Management. Once you have decided on the replacement courses, please inform the Office of Undergraduate Programs of the Faculty of Science by email at so that we may amend your Academic Advisement accordingly.