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Earth Sciences

Discover geology and uncover the mysteries of planet Earth

The North's Advantage

Built on the Canadian Shield, Laurentian University’s campus in Sudbury provides a unique setting for field-based learning and research. Located on the southern rim of the world’s second-largest meteorite impact site, close to many mines, and a large variety of rock types, Sudbury’s geology provides exceptional opportunities for field instruction, pure, and applied research. 

This includes the exploration of ore deposits, understanding geological processes in the Earth’s interior and on its surface, and the study of other planets. 

The Harquail School of Earth Sciences and its Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC) are housed in the Willet Green Miller Centre, in Sudbury, Ontario, the world’s largest mineral exploration and mining-service cluster. Uniquely situated in Northern Ontario within close proximity to Manitoulin Island, Timmins, Noranda and Bancroft, students have a setting for field-based learning and research that cannot be duplicated elsewhere. 

Program courses and admission requirements can be found below. To learn more about the faculty, current projects, research areas, and student and alumni experiences, visit the Harquail School of Earth Sciences website!

Academic Advisor

Dr. Douglas Tinkham

Telephone: 705-675-1151 ext 2270

Email: DTinkham@laurentian.ca

How to Apply Interested in this program? Stay up to date and receive exclusive updates and offers.
Laurentian University aerial view
By land area, Greater Sudbury is the largest city in Ontario and as such, the great outdoors beckon with its vast expanse of lakes and waterways, varied terrain, forests and comprehensive network of trails.
Delivery Method: On campus
Program Language: English

Positioning students for employment and success

  • Small Classes: Take advantage of small class sizes that provide an open and hands-on learning environment with a focus on field-based instruction.

  • Award-winning Faculty: Faculty are proven leaders in their fields, recognized through international and national awards, including Duncan R. Derry Medal winners, the highest Canadian economic geology award. 

  • Employment Opportunities: Located in the Willet Green Miller Centre, one of the largest earth science resource centres in North America, our School provides ample opportunities for students to network and find employment within their field. Leading government organizations such as the Ontario Geological Survey, the Ontario Geoscience Laboratories (Geo Labs), and the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, are co-located with us.

  • Laurentian is the leading Canadian university in Economic Geology research funding. The Harquail School of Earth Sciences has by far the highest level of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Targeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI) funding in economic geology in Canada. Our largest project, Metal Earth, is a $104-million collaborative research and development project led by the Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC). This exploration research program provides undergraduate students with valuable hands-on field experience. Findings from Metal Earth will be transferable around the world and position Canada as an authoritative leader in the global quest for metals.

  • Analytical Facilities: The Harquail School of Earth Sciences and MERC are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and analytical instruments, allowing students and researchers to conduct cutting-edge research. We are co-located with the Ontario Geological Survey (OGS), offering students access to a wide array of analytical instrumentation. The OGS’ Geo Labs are one of the largest and most advanced geoscience analytical facilities in North America.

  • Backyard Geological Laboratory: The region’s geological environments include Archean volcanic/sedimentary belts, a Proterozoic sedimentary/volcanic belt, Grenville metamorphic terrains, and lower to middle Paleozoic sequences. The School constitutes an unparalleled learning environment in ore deposits, mineralogy, igneous and metamorphic petrology, structural geology, geophysics, geochemistry, paleontology, sedimentology and stratigraphy, and planetary geology.

  • Graduate Studies: Students may continue their studies with the Harquail School of Earth Sciences in the MSc Geology program and the PhD in Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology program. 

Professional Accreditation

The four-year B.Sc. in Earth Sciences is designed to meet the minimum knowledge (academic) requirements for registration as a professional geoscientist (P.Geo.) with Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (PGO). Registration with the PGO will significantly enhance career prospects of Environmental Geosciences students.

Students Travel Opportunities

Not only do students at the Harquail School have the opportunity to travel to nearby places in Northern Ontario, they also are presented with international field trip opportunities. Most recently, students travelled to Colombia (2020), Southwestern USA (2019), Ireland (2018), Peru, South Africa, Chile, Hawaii, and Mexico. Read about the 13-day road trip through Southwestern USA in 2018, and check out new posts on the Harquail Instagram page. 

Meet our Graduates

Our alumni find rewarding careers around the world in industry, government, and research. Explore some of their stories and imagine how studying at Harquail School of Earth Sciences could be your start to an exciting life in geoscience.

 

Logo banner, MERC, Harquail and Metal Earth

Ontario High School Applicants

1 grade 12 English U/M course

1 grade 12 4U Advanced Functions

1 grade 12 U/M Science course

1 additional grade 12 U/M Math or Science course

2 other grade 12 U/M courses 

A minimum overall average of 70% in the 6 best grade 12 U/M courses


Additional information for applicants who have completed Advanced Placement courses.

Additional information for applicants who have completed the International Baccalaureate.

 

Applicants from outside an Ontario High School 

International Students

Canadian High School Applicants from outside Ontario

Applicants from Colleges

Applicants from other Universities

Mature Students

For Current Students

The degree options listed below are for the upcoming academic year, not the current academic year. If you are a current student looking for which courses to take in order to complete your degree options from a previous academic year's curriculum, please consult with an academic advisor.


Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Earth Sciences

Students must follow these regulations in order to meet graduation requirements for the BA or B.Sc.

 

Specialization in Earth Sciences
Total: 120 credits (with a minimum of 66 credits of GEOL courses plus 27 credits of foundation science plus electives)*
* B.Sc. students are required to take at least 12 cr from outside the Faculty of Science and Engineering.  No more than 72 cr can be taken from any one subject area.  

The four-year B.Sc. in Geology is designed to meet the minimum knowledge (academic) requirements for registration as a professional geologist (P.Geo.) with the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (APGO).  

1st year 
CHMI 1006E     General Chemistry I
CHMI 1007E     General Chemistry II
GEOL 1006E     Introductory Geology I
GEOL 1007E     Introductory Geology II
MATH 1036E     Calculus I
PHYS 1006E     Introductory Physics I  or  PHYS 1206 - Physics for the Life Sciences I
PHYS 1007E     Introductory Physics II  or  PHYS 1207 - Physics for the Life Sciences II

+ electives (9 cr) (6 cr of foundation science* and 3 cr of Arts are recommended)

 * A foundation science is a course in biology, chemistry, computer programming, mathematics, physics or statistics at the first year level or higher (remedial secondary school level or transitional courses will not be accepted for credit). 

2nd year 
GEOL 2006E     Field Geology I  
GEOL 2126E     Mineralogy I
GEOL 2127E     Optical Mineralogy
GEOL 2237E     Sedimentary, Igneous & Metamorphic Rocks
GEOL 2406E     Paleobiology I
GEOL 2807E     Geochemistry I  
STAT 2246E     Statistics for Sciences

+ electives (9 cr) (3 cr of foundation science and 6 cr  of Arts are recommended)* 

* CHMI 2526 is strongly recommended for students focusing on mineral exploration, igneous or metamorphic petrology, geochemistry or mineralogy.

 

3rd year 
GEOL 3006E     Field Geology II
GEOL 3206E     Igneous Petrology
GEOL 3207E     Metamorphic Petrology
GEOL 3217E     Sedimentology and Stratigraphy  
GEOL 3306E     Structural Geology
GEOL 3607E     Ore Deposits & Their Geological Environment
GEOL-3807E     Geochemistry II

+ electives* (9 cr) (3 cr of Arts are recommended; GEOL 3056 - Computer Applications in the Geosciences or GEOG 3056 - GIS Application is recommended) 

4th year 
GEOL- 4506E     Tectonics, Petrogenesis and Metallogenesis 

+ 9 credits from:
     GEOL 4016E     Precambrian Geology
     GEOL 4026E     Field Geology III
     GEOL 4127E     Advanced Mineralogy
     GEOL 4206E     Advanced Igneous Petrology
     GEOL 4307E     Polyphase Metamorphism & Deformation
     GEOL 4607E     Ore-Forming Processes
 
+ 6 credits from:
     GEOL 4217E     Carbonate Sedimentology
     GEOL 4226E     Pleistocene & Glacial Geology
     GEOL 4956E     Mineral Exploration Geophysics 

+ electives* (12 cr) 

* Up to 6 credits may be GEOL 4005 - Thesis or two 3-credit GEOL courses not already taken above or from the additional Geoscience course list below.  Students must ensure their overall degree requirements are met. 

Additional geoscience courses eligible for APGO credit:*
BIOL 4076E     Ecosystem Ecology
CHMI 3326E     Aquatic Chemistry
CHMI 4197E     Environmental Analytical Chemistry
ENSC 3716E     Environmental Impact Assessment
GEOG 2037E     Introduction to Remote Sensing
GEOG 2126E     Climatology I
GEOG 3036E     Air Photo Interpretation
GEOG 3056E     GIS Application
GEOL 2066E     Near-surface Geophysical Methods
GEOL 3056E     Computer Applications in the Geosciences
GEOL 3397E     Introductory Soil Science
GEOL 3417E     Oceanography
GEOL 4005E     Thesis (6cr)
GEOL 4037E     Applied Remote Sensing
GEOL 4706E     Hydrogeology
GEOL 4416E     Global Change - The Geologic Record
GEOL 3146E     Physics of the Earth
GEOL 4946E     Seismic Methods 

* Courses may have prerequisites not listed here.           

 

Bachelor of Science (General) in Earth Sciences

Students must follow these regulations in order to meet graduation requirements for the BA or B.Sc.

Concentration in Earth Sciences

First year

CHMI 1006E     General Chemistry I*

CHMI 1007E     General Chemistry II

GEOL 1006E     Introductory Geology I

GEOL 1007E     Introductory Geology II

PHYS 1006E     Introductory Physics I   OR   PHYS 1206E     Physics for the Life Science I

PHYS 1007E     Introductory Physics II   OR   PHYS 1207E     Physics for the Life Science II

6 credits from MATH at the first year level

6 elective credits#

* Students lacking grade 12 4U Chemistry must first take CHMI 1041.

 

Second Year

GEOL 2006E     Field Geology I

GEOL 2126E     Mineralogy I

GEOL 2127E     Optical Mineralogy

GEOL 2237E     Sedimentary, Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks

GEOL 2406E     Paleobiology I

GEOL 2807E     Geochemistry I

12 elective credits#

 

Third Year

GEOL 3006E     Field Geology II

12 credits from:

     GEOL 3206E     Igneous Petrography

     GEOL 3207E     Metamorphic Petrography

     GEOL 3217E     Sedimentary Facies

     GEOL 3306E     Structural Geology

     GEOL 3807E     Geochemistry II

15 elective credits#

 

# Students must include a minimum of 12 credits from the Humanities and/or Social Sciences.

Note:    Students may not exceed 48 credits at the 1000 or 9100 level in their degree program.

 

Minor in Geology

GEOL 1006E     Introduction to Geology I

GEOL 1007E     Introduction to Geology II

15 credits from the following (at least 6 credits must be from 3000/4000 level

     GEOL 2237E     Sedimentary, Igneous & Metamorphic Rocks
     GEOL 2126E     Mineralogy
     GEOL 2021E     Geology of Earth Resources
     GEOL 2022E     The Dynamic Earth
     GEOL 2406E     Paleobiology I
     GEOL 2046E     Natural Disasters
     GEOL 2106E     Introductory Geomorphology I
     GEOL 3217E     Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
     GEOL 3312E     Introduction to Earth Structures
     GEOL 3811E     Chemistry of Earth Materials
     GEOL 4226E     Pleistocene and Glacial Geology
     GEOL 4416E     Global Change
     GEOL 4706E     Hydrogeology
     GEOL 4956E     Geophysics

3 credits from the following list

     COMM 1206E     Business communications
     ENGR 1016E     Engineering Communications
     ENGL 1706E     Intro to writing English studies I
     COST 2446E     The Dynamics of Interpersonal Communications I
     COST 2447E     The Dynamics of Interpersonal Communications II
     ENGL 3536E     Environmental Communications
     ENGL 3556E     Principles and Practices of Workplace Communications
     SCOM 4006E     Communicating Research

CHMI-1006EL - General Chemistry I CHMI-1007EL - General Chemistry II GEOL-1006EL - Introductory Geology I GEOL-1007EL - Introductory Geology II MATH-1036EL - Calculus I PHYS-1006EL - Introductory Physics I PHYS-1007EL - Introductory Physics II GEOL-2006EL - Field Geology I GEOL-2066EL - Near-Surface Geophysical Methods GEOL-2126EL - Mineralogy I GEOL-2127EL - Optical Mineralogy GEOL-2237EL - Sedimentary, Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks GEOL-2406EL - Paleobiology I GEOL-2807EL - Geochemistry I STAT-2246EL - Statistics for Scientists GEOL-3006EL - Field Geology II GEOL-3056EL - Computer Applications in the Earth Sciences GEOL-3146EL - Physics of the Earth GEOL-3206EL - Igneous Petrography GEOL-3207EL - Metamorphic Petrography GEOL-3217EL - Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
GEOL-3306EL - Structural Geology GEOL-3397EL - Introductory Soil Science GEOL-3417EL - Oceanography GEOL-3607EL - Ore Deposits and Their Geological Environment GEOL-3807EL - Geochemistry II GEOL-4005EL - Thesis GEOL-4016EL - Precambrian Geology GEOL-4026EL - Field Geology III GEOL-4037EL - Applied Remote Sensing GEOL-4127EL - Advanced Mineralogy GEOL-4206EL - Advanced Igneous Petrology GEOL-4217EL - Carbonate Sedimentology GEOL-4226EL - Pleistocene and Glacial Geology GEOL-4307EL - Polyphase Metamorphism and Deformation GEOL-4416EL - The Global Change-The Geologic Record GEOL-4506EL - Tectonics, Petrogenesis and Metallogenesis GEOL-4607EL - Ore-Forming Processes GEOL-4706EL - Hydrogeology GEOL-4946EL - Seismic Methods GEOL-4956EL - Mineral Exploration Geophysics

List of Faculty Members

Sessional Instructors (June 2019)   

Christopher Beckett-Brown

Manuel F. Duguet

Cun Hai George Gao

Evan Hastie

Richard S. James

Taus Jørgensen

Jordan Mathieu

Rémy Poulin

Tobias M. Roth

Don H. Rousell

Kate E. Rubingh

Renée-Luce Simard

Margaret S. Stewart

Robert C. Stewart

Phillips C. Thurston

Alessandro Ielpi

Alessandro Ielpi

Harquail School of Earth Sciences
Pedro Jugo

Pedro Jugo

Harquail School of Earth Sciences
Daniel Kontak

Daniel Kontak

Harquail School of Earth Sciences
Bruno Lafrance

Bruno Lafrance

Harquail School of Earth Sciences
Andrew McDonald

Andrew McDonald

Harquail School of Earth Sciences
Mostafa Naghizadeh

Mostafa Naghizadeh

Harquail School of Earth Sciences
Stéphane Perrouty

Stéphane Perrouty

Harquail School of Earth Sciences
Ross Sherlock

Ross Sherlock

Harquail School of Earth Sciences
Richard Smith

Richard Smith

Harquail School of Earth Sciences
Douglas Tinkham

Douglas Tinkham

Harquail School of Earth Sciences
Elizabeth Turner

Elizabeth Turner

Harquail School of Earth Sciences