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.

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.


Geological engineering student using surveying equipment

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.

About the Geological Engineering program

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


#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


Geological Engineering admission requirements

  • Ontario students: 6 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
  • An Admission Information Form is required
  • Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements

First-year Geological Engineering courses

September to December

CHE 102 - Chemistry for Engineers
GEOE 100 - Environmental and Geological Engineering Concepts
CIVE 104 - Mechanics 1
GEOE 115 - Linear Algebra
MATH 116 - Calculus 1 for Engineering
ENGL 191/SPCOM 191 - Communication in the Engineering Profession

May to August

CIVE 105 - Mechanics 2
GEOE 121 - Computational Methods
GEOE 153 - Earth Engineering
GENE 123 - Electrical Circuits and Instrumentation 
MATH 118 - Calculus 2 for Engineering


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


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

  • 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

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

Learn more about Geological Engineering