Geological Engineering

Put your future on solid ground — and help the world do the same.

Use your knowledge of soil and rock behaviour to solve complex problems. Ensure the safety of dams and pipelines, assess risks for landslides and earthquakes, remove hazardous waste from groundwater, and more.

Waterloo’s Geological Engineering program is one of only 2 in Ontario. You’ll take Civil Engineering classes, where you’ll learn design and problem-solving skills. You’ll also take Earth Sciences classes, where you’ll acquire a solid background in geosciences.

Meanwhile, through co-op, you'll gain 2 full years of related work experience.

When you graduate, your degree can take you around the world — working in oil and gas, mineral exploration, hazard waste removal, groundwater management, and more.

Geological Engineering 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 high 80s

Complete the Admission Information Form once you've applied.

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements for Geological Engineering.


First-year Geological Engineering courses

September to December

May to August


After first year

Sample upper-year courses

EARTH 238 – Introductory Structural Geology
ENVE 223 – Differential Equations and Balance Laws
CIVE 353 – Geotechnical Engineering 1
EARTH 458 – Physical Hydrogeology


female student doing field work

With just 15 to 20 students in first year, you'll be able work closely with classmates and your professors. Through co-op, you'll gain 2 years of paid work experience, earn money to help pay for your education, and try out different career areas.

briefcaseGain 2 years of experience in the co-op program

clickApply directly to this program on your application

grad capEarn a Bachelor of Applied Science degree


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

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

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

Sample co-op employers

  • EllisDon Construction
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • DS Consultants Ltd
  • Region of Waterloo
  • Cole Engineering Group Ltd
  • Parks Canada Agency
  • Stantec Inc

#1Engineering school in Canada (US News & World Report 2018)

GearsOffered by the Faculty of Engineering

Money flowerStudents earn $17,800 on average per co-op term


What can I do with a degree in Geological Engineering?

For Waterloo Geological Engineering graduates, the world is their office. They commonly pursue careers in engineering consulting, mining, and public health, while merging both tech and the outdoors. They often work for engineering firms, government departments, and more.

Recent graduates

  • Geological Engineer – AMEC
  • Geotechnical Design – Shell Canada
  • Rock Mechanics Engineer – Glencore, Kidd Creek Operations
  • Geological Engineer – BGC Engineering 
  • Water Specialist – Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association
  • Geotechnical Engineer – Pretium Resources
  • Junior Program Engineer – Environment & Climate Change Canada

Possible professional designation

A ton of field courses

Each year, you’ll see geological processes first hand — from Waterloo's campus to northern Ontario to Peru — thanks to extensive field courses.

Make lasting connections

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


Learn more about Geological Engineering