Major in Earth Sciences

Earth Sciences encompasses all scientific studies related to the structure and development of our planet, whether looking at the composition of rocks or soil on the earth’s surface, investigating the movement of plates or the properties of material far beneath our feet. Although field work plays an important role in many studies, today’s geoscientist commonly uses ocean drilling vessels, satellite imagery, high-precision geochemical and geophysical instruments, and the latest in electronic and laser microscopes.

WHAT YOU CAN BECOME Economic geologist, geochemist, geochronologist, geophysicist, environmental geologist/geophysicist, petroleum geologist, paleontologist, sedimentologist, structural geologist, marine geologist.

Students pursuing a B.Sc. with a major in Earth Sciences will normally take the following courses in first year:

Sample Program

Semester I Semester II
Earth Sciences 1000 Earth Sciences 1002
Chemistry 1010 (1050)* Chemistry 1011 (1051)
Physics 1020 (1050)** Physics 1021 (1051)**
Mathematics 1000 (1090)*** Mathematics 1001 (1000)***
English 1080 English 1101, 1102, 1103 or 1110


*Students registered in Chemistry 1050 must also be registered in Mathematics 1000 (not 1090).

**Students pursuing a geophysics specialization within Earth Sciences will be required to complete Physics 1051. Students who complete Physics 1020 with at least 65 per cent should take Physics 1051. Otherwise, they should take Physics 1021. Students registered in Physics 1050 must also be registered in Mathematics 1000 (not 1090).

***Students completing Mathematics 1090/1000 will be required to complete Mathematics 1001 as well.


1. To be formally admitted to major programs in Earth Sciences, you must have successfully completed three first-year credit hours in each of the following departments: English, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Sciences. Students are encouraged to declare their major in Earth Sciences in the second semester of their first year.

2. Registration for the core second-year courses in Earth Sciences normally requires that all of the first-year courses be completed. It is possible to take Mathematics 1001 as a co-requisite with second year courses in the fall of the second year of the program. It is essential that students plan their first year of study with care and should consult the department web page.

CONTACT Phone: (709) 864-4464 E-mail: