Launch a career that rocks.
With earthquakes, tsunamis, and climate change dominating headlines, demand for graduates who understand the Earth and its resources continues to rise.
Learn all about soil, minerals, water, natural resources, and the atmosphere in Earth Sciences at Waterloo, ranked third by Maclean's for top environmental science programs in Canada in 2017.
Dig deep with your choice of specialization: Geology, Geophysics, or Hydrogeology.
When you graduate, you’ll be eligible for a Professional Geoscientist designation — and be ready to develop meaningful environmental protection plans, predict natural disasters, advance health standards for water, and more.
Get career-relevant skills
Right from your first term, you’ll gain practical experience in our advanced lab facilities. Or take part in research: our professors run projects in 15+ countries on 5 continents.
Meet other geo-geeks
Build bonds outside the lab and lecture hall. The Earth and Environmental Science club (WATROX) regularly organizes field trips, social activities, and other events.
About the Earth Sciences program
Apply to Physical Sciences,
select Earth Sciences as your major
Earn a Bachelor of Science in Honours Earth Sciences
Offered through the Faculty of Science
Earth Sciences admission requirements
- Apply to Physical Sciences and select Earth Sciences as your major.
Careers in Earth Sciences
Many Earth Science graduate find careers including energy and natural resources, field research, environmental consulting, and more. Graduates can apply to become a certified Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo.) through the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario.
- Airborne Geophysicist, Firefly Aviation Ltd.
- Groundwater Specialist, BGC Engineering Inc.
- Partner/Hydrogeologist, Palmer Environmental Consulting Group Inc.
- Solutions Advisor, Geosoft Inc.
- Environment Supervisor, Diavik Diamond Mines Inc.
- Geologist, Lake Shore Gold
- Hydrogeologist, Morrison Environmental Limited
First-year Earth Science courses
September to December
EARTH 121/121L - Introductory Earth Sciences/Laboratory
CHEM 120/120L - Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter/Laboratory
MATH 127 - Calculus 1 for the Sciences
EARTH 123 - Introductory Hydrology
Choose 1 of:
• PHYS 111/111L - Physics 1/Laboratory or
• PHYS 121/121L - Mechanics/Laboratory
January to April
EARTH 122/122L - Introductory Environmental Sciences/Laboratory
CHEM 123/123L - Chemical Reactions, Equilibria and Kinetics/Laboratory
MATH 128 - Calculus 2 for the Sciences
Choose 1 of:
• PHYS 112/112L Physics 2/Laboratory
• PHYS 122/122L - Waves, Electricity and Magnetism/Laboratory
Choose 1 of:
• MATH 106 - Applied Linear Algebra 1
• MATH 114 - Linear Algebra for Science
*Note: Students considering the Geophysics Specialization must select PHYS 121/121L in the fall and PHYS 122/122L in the winter term.
After first year
Most of the classes you’ll take will be Earth Science courses. You must specialize in one of the program's 3 specializations: Geophysics, Geology, or Hydrogeology.
View a list of all the courses required for your degree.
Sample upper-year Earth Sciences courses
Customize your Bachelor of Science in Honours Earth Sciences degree
With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.
You can also add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor/minors as part of your degree.
Gain relevant work experience through co-op
By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.
Sample co-op job titles
- Geophysical Data Processor
- Research Assistant
- Student Groundwater Technician
- Geological Engineering / Geology Co-op Student
- Environmental Engineering/Geoscientist
- Environmental Technician
Sample co-op employers
- University of Waterloo
- Trelawney Mining and Exploration
- Environment Canada
- Vale Inco
- Atomic Energy of Canada Limited