Geological Engineering

The world is your office

A group of Geological Engineering students on a field trip

From some of the farthest corners of the Earth to the most tech-savvy environments, Geological Engineering offers adventure and the ability to make a difference.

Harness the physical mechanics of the earth’s surface to solve complex problems. Ensure the safety of dams and pipelines, assess risks for landslides and earthquakes, remove hazardous contamination from groundwater, and more.

Waterloo’s program is one of only two in Ontario. You’ll take Civil Engineering classes where you’ll learn design and problem-solving skills. You’ll also take Earth Sciences classes to acquire a solid background in geosciences. Meanwhile, through co-op, you'll gain two years of related work experience.

Don’t want to be stuck at a desk all day? You’ll have the opportunity to examine geological processes first-hand through field courses.

When you graduate, your degree can take you around the world — working in natural resource and mineral exploration, groundwater protection and management, geohazard prevention and mitigation, infrastructure planning, and more.

Program highlights

Field courses and field labs. Study earth sciences through an engineering lens with extensive field-based courses and labs that'll take you from Waterloo's campus to northern Ontario and beyond.

Make lasting connections. With just 15 to 20 students in first year, you’ll develop strong bonds with your classmates and your professors.


Combine geology with an engineering education

Geological Engineering merges geoscience with innovative design to guide humanity's interaction with Earth materials and Earth system processes.

What will you learn? 

In first year, you'll take a mix of Geological Engineering, chemistry, physics, math, and communication courses. In your upper years, most of your courses will be in Geological Engineering and Earth Sciences.

Learn more about the courses you'll take for your Geological Engineering degree.

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Co-op = relevant paid work experience

Waterloo's co-op program, the largest in North America, is an amazing way to explore potential careers, learn to interview for jobs, graduate with up to two years of valuable experience – and make money!

Sample co-op job titles

  • Geotechnical engineering assistant
  • Field engineering / project coordinator
  • Industrial buildings inspector
  • Mining / energy engineering student
  • Rock mechanics assistant
  • Water - wastewater project assistant
  • Geotechnical & materials technician

Co-op work-study sequence

Starting in first year, you'll normally alternate between school and work every four months, integrating your classroom learning with real-world experience. You can return to the same employer for a couple of work terms to gain greater knowledge and responsibility or work for different employers to get a broad range of experience.

Year September to December (Fall) January to April (Winter) May to August (Spring)
First Study Co-op Study
Second Co-op Study Co-op
Third Study Co-op Study
Fourth Co-op Study Co-op
Fifth Study Study -

Your first work term will be halfway through first year (January to April 2025).

Learn more about co-op →


megaphone icon"The idea of being an engineer with an earth science background was really appealing along with the ability to be both a professional engineer and a professional geoscientist."Brittany Russo, Geological Engineering student

Admission requirements

Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including

  • Advanced Functions (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Calculus and Vectors (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Chemistry (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Physics (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • English (ENG4U) (minimum final grade of 70% is required)

Admission averages: Individual selection from the mid- to high 80s

Complete the Admission Information Form once you've applied.

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.


How to apply

Apply directly to this program on your application.