First-year courses and beyond* (Geology specialization)
Programs/majors in the Faculty of Science start right in first year. To select your program with confidence, here’s some handy info to get you started.
If you're considering the Geophysics or Hydrogeology specialization, we'll send you details when you select your first-year courses as the courses are slightly different for each specialization.
September to December
January to April
- EARTH 122/122L – Introductory Environmental Sciences/Laboratory
- CHEM 123/123L – General Chemistry 2/Laboratory
- MATH 128 – Calculus 2 for the Sciences
- ENGL 193/COMMST 193 – Communication in the Sciences
- Choose one of
After first year
Most of the classes you’ll take will be Earth Sciences courses. You must specialize in one of the program's three specializations: Geology, Geophysics, or Hydrogeology.
View a list of all the courses required for your degree.
Sample upper-year courses
EARTH 270 – Disasters and Natural Hazards
EARTH 281 – Geological Impacts on Human Health
EARTH 331 – Volcanology and Igneous Petrology
EARTH 438 – Engineering Geology
Types of courses you'll take
This is a general guideline. The ratio of courses may change slightly from year to year.
Skills you'll develop with this major
- Critical thinking
- Problem solving
- Fieldwork capabilities, including rock sampling and geological mapping
This isn't an exhaustive list – rather a glimpse into the skills an Earth Sciences major can provide.
Your experience will be unique, and the skills you develop will depend on your goals; which courses you take; and your involvement with any clubs, jobs, or research projects.
Advisors are here to help
With so much flexibility, you might have a lot of questions. We're here to help! If you're applying for admission, contact our Faculty of Science recruitment co-ordinator.
Once you're a Waterloo student, you'll have access to academic advisors who can help you
- choose your courses,
- select minors and specializations,
- ensure that you're meeting the requirements for your degree, and more.
- Overview of Waterloo's Earth Sciences degree program.
- Download a Faculty of Science brochure.