Earth Sciences

Earth Sciences: Introduction

​​​​​​​​​​​Faculty Affiliation

Arts and Science

Degree Programs

Earth Sciences

​​​MASc​
MSc
PhD

Collaborative Specializations

The following collaborative specializations are available to students in participating degree programs as listed below:

  1. Earth Sciences and Physics
    • Earth Sciences, MSc, PhD​
  2. Environmental Studies
    • Earth Sciences, MASc, MSc, PhD

Overview

The Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Toronto has a venerable 165-year tradition of research and education in the geosciences. Rankings place U of T at the very top in the geosciences in Canada and among the very best institutions globally. The Department of Earth Sciences is internationally regarded for research in fundamental geoscience, having given rise to major advances in ore deposits geology, geophysics, Precambrian geology, marine geology, Quaternary geology, and sedimentary basin analysis.

Current education in Earth Sciences at the University of Toronto continues the tradition of excellence. Students have access to a wide range of state-of-the-art laboratories and expert knowledge fostering cutting-edge research in almost all areas of Earth Sciences.

Contact and Address

Web: www.es.utoronto.ca
Email: grad@es.utoronto.ca
Telephone: (416) 978-1240
Fax: (416) 978-3938

Department of Earth Sciences
University of Toronto
Earth Sciences Centre
Room 1066, 22 Russell Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B1
Canada

Earth Sciences: Graduate Faculty

Full Members

Bailey, Richard - BSc, PhD
Bergquist, Bridget - BS, PhD
Bollmann, Jorg - DrRerNat
Brenan, James - BSc, PhD
Caron, Jean-Bernard - MSc, PhD
Chazan, Michael - BA, MA, PhD
Cowling, Sharon - BSc, MSc, PhD
Davis, Donald - BSc, MSc, PhD
Desloges, Joseph - BES, MSc, PhD
Diamond, Miriam - MSc, MSc, PhD
Dittrich, Maria B. - BES, MSc, PhD
Eyles, Nicholas - BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc
Ferris, Grant - BSc, PhD
Finkelstein, Sarah - AB, MPH, PhD
Ghent, Rebecca - BA, MSc, PhD (Associate Chair, Graduate Studies)
Gorton, Michael - BSc, BSc, PhD
Grasselli, Giovanni - PhD, PEng
Halfar, Jochen - PhD
Hamilton, Michael - BSc, PhD
Head, Martin - BSc
Henderson, Grant - PhD
Howard, Kenneth - BSc, MSc, PhD
Laflamme, Marc - BS, PhD
Liu, Qinya - PhD
Miall, Andrew - BSc, PhD
Milkereit, Bernd - DrRerNat
Mungall, James - BSc, MSc, PhD
Peltier, W Richard - BSc, MSc, PhD
Pysklywec, Russell - BSc, MSc, PhD (Chair and Graduate Chair)
Schoenbohm, Lindsay - PhD
Schulze, Daniel - PhD
Sherwood Lollar, Barbara - PhD
Simpson, Myrna - BS, DPhil
Spooner, Edward - BA, PhD
Tait, Kimberly - BSc, MSc, PhD
Warren, Lesley Alice - BSc, PhD
Wells, Mathew - BS, DPhil
Wortmann, Ulrich - BSc, MSc, PhD
Young, R. Paul - BSc, MSc, PhD, CEng

Members Emeriti

Westgate, John - PhD

Associate Members

Bank, Carl-Georg - MSc, PhD
Barnett, Peter - MSc, PhD
Dinel, Etienne - BSc, PhD
Jantunen, Liisa - PhD
Kennedy, Chris - BASc, PhD
Lowman, Julian - BSc, MS, DPhil
Williams, Branwen - PhD

Earth Sciences: Earth Sciences MASc

Master of Applied Science​

Program Description

Students perform a two-year, focused research project in a broad range of topics in the earth sciences. Students may also undertake studies in interdisciplinary areas by arrangement with other departments such as Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Materials Science and Engineering, Physics, and the School of the Environment.

 

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Earth Sciences' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • A four-year BSc or BASc degree, or its equivalent, from a recognized university.

  • High academic standing, equivalent to a B or higher (equivalent to a 3.0 on a 4-point scale) at the University of Toronto, normally demonstrated by the average grade in the final two years.

  • The department has no formal foreign language requirements. Students proceeding by thesis to any degree are expected to become familiar with the literature of their subjects, in whatever language it is written.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Normally, complete 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • ESS 1101H Graduate Seminars in Geology (0.5 FCE);

    • one of the six breadth courses (0.5 FCE): ESS 2222H, ESS 2302H, ESS 2303H, ESS 2304H, ESS 2704H, or ESS 2708H; and

    • 1.0 FCE of elective courses.

  • A research thesis.

  • Minimum full-time residence is one academic session, whereby students must be on campus and consequently in geographical proximity to be able to participate fully in the University activities associated with the program.

Program Length

6 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S/F/W/S)

Time Limit

3 years full-time

Earth Sciences: Earth Sciences MSc

Master of Science​

Program Description

Students conduct research in a broad range of topics in the earth sciences. Students may also undertake studies in interdisciplinary areas by arrangement with other departments such as Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Materials Science and Engineering, Physics, and the School of the Environment.

There are two streams: a) the Doctoral-Stream (also known as Research-Based) Master’s, which involves a one-year research project that culminates in a research report (shorter than a formal thesis) and a presentation; and b) the All-Course Master’s Program. 

The program can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.

 

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Earth Sciences' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • A four-year BSc or BASc degree, or its equivalent, from a recognized university.

  • High academic standing, equivalent to a B or higher (equivalent to a 3.0 on a 4-point scale) at the University of Toronto, normally demonstrated by the average grade in the final two years.

  • The department has no formal foreign language requirements. Students proceeding by thesis to any degree are expected to become familiar with the literature of their subjects, in whatever language it is written.

Program Requirements

All-Course Option
  • Students are normally required to complete 5.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • ESS 1101H Graduate Seminars in Geology (0.5 FCE); 

    • ESS 3608H All-Course Research Project (0.5 FCE); 

    • one of the six breadth courses (0.5 FCE): ESS 2222H, ESS 2302H, ESS 2303H, ESS 2304H, ESS 2704H, or ESS 2708H;

    • 3.5 FCEs of elective courses.

  • To encourage breadth, the department will permit students to substitute electives with equivalent non-earth science courses.
Doctoral-Stream Option
  • Students are normally required to complete 3.5 FCEs as follows:

    • ESS 1101H Graduate Seminars in Geology (0.5 FCE); 

    • ESS 3603YResearch Project (1.0 FCE);

    • ESS 3601YResearch Presentation (1.0 FCE);

    • one of the six breadth courses (0.5 FCE): ESS 2222H, ESS 2302H, ESS 2303H, ESS 2304H, ESS 2704H, or ESS2708H; and

    • 0.5 FCE of elective courses.

  • To encourage breadth, the department will permit students to substitute electives with equivalent non-earth science courses.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

+ Extended course. For academic reasons, coursework is extended into session following academic session in which course is offered.

Earth Sciences: Earth Sciences PhD

​Doctor of Philosophy​

Program Description

PhD students carry out a program of original research and perform a thesis defence. Students may also undertake studies in interdisciplinary areas by arrangement with other departments such as Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Materials Science and Engineering, Physics, and the School of the Environment.

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of three routes: 1) following completion of an MSc degree; 2) transfer from the University of Toronto MSc program; or 3) direct entry following completion of a bachelor’s degree.

 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Earth Sciences' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate, research-oriented MSc degree or its equivalent from a recognized university.

  • High academic standing equivalent to a University of Toronto B+ or higher (equivalent to a 3.3 on a 4-point scale) in previous degrees.

  • The department has no formal foreign language requirements. Students proceeding by thesis to any degree are expected to become familiar with the literature of their subjects, in whatever language it is written.

Program Requirements

  • Preparation of a research thesis constituting a significant contribution to the research area.

  • Coursework. Students are required to complete 1.0 full-course equivalent (FCE) as follows:

    • one of the six breadth courses (0.5 FCE): ESS 2222H, ESS 2302H, ESS 2303H, ESS 2304H, ESS 2704H, or ESS 2708H; and 

    • an additional 0.5 elective FCE. The additional 0.5 FCE may be taken in departments other than Earth Sciences with the approval of the student's advisory committee.

  • A reduction in the number of required courses may be granted for students who have previously undertaken graduate studies in the appropriate areas. Recommendations must be made by a student's advisory committee for consideration and approval by the department's Graduate Affairs Committee.

  • In all cases, the student's supervisory committee reserves the right to assign additional courses if they feel that the student is deficient in a subject area essential to the research.

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

 

PhD Program (Transfer)

Transfer Requirements

  • A four-year BSc or BASc degree, or its equivalent, from a recognized university. High academic standing during undergraduate study equivalent to an A- or higher (equivalent to a 3.7 on a 4-point scale) at the University of Toronto, normally demonstrated by the average grade in the final two years.

  • Students are normally expected to complete the MSc degree before proceeding to the PhD, but exceptions may be made when the student has the appropriate research experience. Normal departmental rules for the completion of the PhD apply (see the departmental website). Students who transfer from the MSc to the PhD will not receive the MSc degree.

Program Requirements

  • Preparation of a research thesis constituting a significant contribution to the research area.

  • Coursework. Students are required to complete a total of 1.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • ESS 1101H Graduate Seminars in Geology (0.5 FCE);

    • one of the six breadth courses (0.5 FCE): ESS 2222H, ESS 2302H, ESS 2303H, ESS 2304H, ESS 2704H, or ESS 2708H; and 

    • an additional 0.5 elective FCE. The additional 0.5 FCE may be taken in departments other than Earth Sciences with the approval of the student's advisory committee.

  • A reduction in the number of required courses may be granted for students who have previously undertaken graduate studies in the appropriate areas. Recommendations must be made by a student's advisory committee for consideration and approval by the department's Graduate Affairs Committee.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Earth Sciences' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • A four-year BSc or BASc degree, or its equivalent, from a recognized university. 

  • High academic standing equivalent to an A- or higher (equivalent to a 3.7 on a 4-point scale) at the University of Toronto, normally demonstrated by the average grade in the final two years.

  • The department has no formal foreign language requirements. Students proceeding by thesis to any degree are expected to become familiar with the literature of their subjects, in whatever language it is written.

Program Requirements

  • Preparation of a research thesis constituting a significant contribution to the research area.

  • Coursework. Students are required to complete a total of 1.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • ESS 1101H Graduate Seminars in Geology (0.5 FCE);

    • one of the six breadth courses (0.5 FCE): ESS 2222H, ESS 2302H, ESS 2303H, ESS 2304H, ESS 2704H, or ESS 2708H; and 

    • an additional 0.5 elective FCE. The additional 0.5 FCE may be taken in departments other than Earth Sciences with the approval of the student's advisory committee. 

  • A reduction in the number of required courses may be granted for students who have previously undertaken graduate studies in the appropriate areas. Recommendations must be made by a student's advisory committee for consideration and approval by the department's Graduate Affairs Committee.

  • In all cases, the student's supervisory committee reserves the right to assign additional courses if they feel that the student is deficient in a subject area essential to the research.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

Earth Sciences: Earth Sciences MASc, MSc, PhD Courses

Check with the department for the current year's offerings.

​ESS 1101H
​Seminars in Earth Sciences
​ESS 1423H
​Mineralogy
​ESS 1430H
​Basin Analysis
​ESS 1436H
​Paleoecological Assessment of Environmental Change​
​ESS 1440H
​Petrology
​ESS 1441H
​Remote Sensing of Earth and the Terrestrial Planets
​ESS 1442H
​Introductory Mineral Deposits I
​ESS 1443H
​Introductory Mineral Deposits II
​ESS 1445H
​Global Tectonics
​ESS 1450H
Contaminant Fate and Transport in Subsurface Environments​
​​ESS 1461H
​Paleoenvironmental Studies
​ESS 1463H
Contaminants in the Environment​​
​ESS 2222H
​Tectonics and Planetary Dynamics
​ESS 2302H
​Mineral Resources
​ESS 2303H
​Earth Systems Evolution
​ESS 2304H
​Geochemistry
​ESS 2608H
​Advanced Glacial Sedimentology
ESS 2704H​
​Isotope Geochemistry
​ESS 2708H
​Characterization of Geological Materials
​ESS 3601Y+
Research Presentation​
ESS 3603Y+​
​Research Project
​ESS 3604H
​Selected Topics in Geology
​ESS 3605H
​Selected Topics in Geochemistry
​ESS 3606H
​Selected Topics Earth System Evolution
​ESS 3607H
​Selected Topics in Geodynamics

​Additional courses related to geophysics can be found in the Graduate Department of Physics course listings.

+ Extended course. For academic reasons, coursework is extended into session following academic session in which course is offered.