Earth Sciences

Program Overview

The Department of Earth Sciences accepts students for advanced degrees—Master of Applied Science (MASc)Master of Science (MSc), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)—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 Civil Engineering, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, School of the Environment, Physics, Chemistry, and Materials Science and Engineering.

In recent years, research by staff and graduate students has been carried out in all parts of North America and other parts of the world, both on land and at sea. In addition to field-based studies, the department has a wide range of modern laboratories; advanced studies are encouraged in a broad spectrum of geological problems. Further details of research emphases, facilities, detailed degree requirements, and graduate courses are available on the departmental website.


Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline MASc, MSc, PhD:

15-Jan-2020

MASc, MSc, PhD:

15-Jan-2020

Supporting documents deadline MASc, MSc, PhD:

15-Jan-2020

MASc, MSc, PhD:

15-Jan-2020

Minimum admission average MASc, MSc:

Mid-B in final year of bachelor’s

PhD:

B+ average in Master’s

MASc, MSc:

Mid-B in final year of bachelor’s

PhD:

B+ average in Master’s

Direct entry option from bachelor's to PhD? PhD:

Yes (minimum A-minus average in bachelor’s degree)

PhD:

Yes (minimum A-minus average in bachelor’s degree)

Is a supervisor identified before or after admission? MASc, MSc, PhD:

Before

MASc, MSc, PhD:

Before

Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant? MASc, MSc, PhD:

Applicant

MASc, MSc, PhD:

Applicant

Program length (full-time only) MASc:

6 sessions

MSc:

3 sessions

PhD:

4 years; 5 years if entering directly from bachelor’s

MASc:

6 sessions

MSc:

3 sessions

PhD:

4 years; 5 years if entering directly from bachelor’s

:

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.

Program Length

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

Time Limit

3 years full-time



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 3603Y+ Research Project (1.0 FCE);

    • ESS 3601Y+ Research Presentation (1.0 FCE);

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



​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



Boluwatife Awonaike

“I have been exposed to a world of cutting-edge research, and it has been very rewarding.”

Boluwatife Awonaike
PhD Student, Environmental Science
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