Courses for your Environmental Sciences degree

First-year courses (Geoscience 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.

September to December

January to April


This is a sample schedule. Courses or when a course is offered may change depending on availability.

After first year

You'll have the ability to switch between all three specializations (listed below) after first year.

  1. Water Science: most classes you'll take will be Biology and Earth Science courses.
  2. Geoscience: most classes you’ll take will be Earth Science with some Biology and Chemistry courses
  3. Ecology: most classes you’ll take will be Biology with some Earth Science courses.

View the courses required for your degree.

Sample upper-year courses

EARTH 342 – Geomorphology and GIS Applications
EARTH 440 – Quaternary Geology
EARTH 444 – Applied Wetland Science
EARTH 458 – Physical Hydrogeology

Types of courses you'll take

24% earth, 22% biology, 8% chemistry, 8% math, 11% geography and planning, 19% free electivess, 8% other

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
  • Communication
  • Fieldwork capabilities, including skills such as groundwater and surface water sampling, as well as geological mapping

This isn't an exhaustive list – rather a glimpse into the skills an Environmental 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.

Learn more

Overview of Waterloo's Environmental Sciences degree.