How to apply

We offer both MSc (both thesis and research based) and PhD opportunities in multiple disciplines.

Like most graduate programs at Waterloo, we require a 75% average over the past two years. We also require a transcript, references, a supplementary application form, and a résumé.

General application information can be found on the Academic Calendar; specific admissions requirements can be found under each program description within the Academic Calendar's Earth and Environmental Sciences section.

For more information about graduate studies at Waterloo, please visit Discover Graduate Studies.

Application deadlines

Application forms and supporting documents must be complete and uploaded to Discover Graduate Studies: Apply Online by the deadlines outlined in the table below.  

Students who meet these deadlines will be eligible for consideration for any major awards and scholarships (OGS, Tri-Agency Scholarships and internal UW awards) to which they have applied. 

Starting semester Application deadline**
Fall (September–December) February 1st
Winter (January–April) June 1st (previous year)
Spring (May–August) October 1st (previous year)

** For Domestic students (Canadians and Permanent Residents) applications will be considered after these deadlines, although this may impact your eligibility for major awards and scholarships in your first year.

Apply online

If you have any questions, the Admissions Coordinator can be reached at the Please ensure you provide your full name and UWaterloo student number in the subject line of the e-mail. The volume of correspondence is very high, so please be patient.

Admission Requirements

Test Score

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide certification of English language proficiency through one of the accepted examinations. The GRE and the GRE subject area test in Earth Sciences are not required.


Admission is based on certain eligibility guidelines and varies depending upon the program you intend to enter. Below are the guidelines which determine a candidate's admissibility for the various programs offered. Each case is examined individually and offers of admission depending on other factors, including the availability of an appropriate research advisor.

Academic Degree 

Please note that if the Bachelor's 4-year honours degree equivalent is not in Earth & Environmental Sciences, sufficient upper level Earth Sciences course content would be required to ensure that there is an appropriate background to handle Earth Sciences courses at the Graduate level.

In some cases where the minimum academic requirement is met, but previous course work was obtained a number of years ago or an applicant's academic background is lacking upper level science courses in the areas that the applicant is interested in pursuing; the department may recommend the completion of preliminary courses. 

For the M.Sc. program

A student is encouraged to apply for admission to the M.Sc. program if he/she has a minimum standing of 75% in the last two years of an Honours Bachelor of Science degree, or the equivalent, from an accredited University.

For the Ph.D. program

In general, a student will be required to possess the qualifications as listed for the M.Sc. program, together with a Master of Science degree with a minimum 75%, or equivalent from an accredited University, and suitable references from the institution at which the M.Sc. degree was awarded.