Earth Sciences

The study of the Earth as well as its properties and processes. 

Students on geological feature

Students appreciate the view and geological landscapes atop the Willisville Lookout near Whitefish Falls, Ontario, during their EARTH 390 (Methods in Geological Mapping) field trip.

Work well under pressure.

Learn about the fascinating and complex world under your feet by exploring topics such as geology, geophysics, geochemistry, and hydrogeology.

In its four billion year old history, the Earth has changed - sometimes slowly and nearly without notice (such as mountain building), and sometimes with violent and sudden transformations that can be devastating for life on this planet (such as meteorite impact). In Earth Sciences you'll learn how to combine the knowledge from all science disciplines to investigate the make up of our planet, from rocks and soil to water and the effects of climate change. We depend upon resources that come from the Earth, such as minerals, oil, organic materials, gases, and the water we drink. Who finds these hidden and valuable resources? A geoscientist!

Study in one of Canada's leading Earth Sciences programs, taking advantage of the Earth Sciences Museum, located in the heart of campus and a special part of every campus tour.                                                                                                                                                                                   

A focus on experiential learning awaits you at the University of Waterloo - where hands-on labs, adventurous field trips, research projects, and diverse co-op terms will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to immediately begin and accelerate in an exciting, fulfilling, and dynamic field.

Earth Sciences Ambassadors - We'd love to meet you!

Find out more about life as a Waterloo Earth Sciences student. Come in for a tour or to one of our open houses and you might even meet us in person!

This major is available in the co-op and regular stream of study



The study of the Earth, its structure and composition, and the physical, chemical, and biological processes that affect it. Explore our natural resources (minerals, oil, gas, water), the geological hazards (earthquakes and landslides) that impact us, and understand global climate change.


Focus on this interdisciplinary specialty that studies the terrestrial, subsurface, and geochemical makeup of water, to help understand and better protect this most vital and precious of resources.


Mathematics and physics are combined with earth science, to study the incredible phenomena that can occur within, on the surface, and in the atmosphere of our planet. Geophysicists are involved in evaluating earthquakes, volcanos, geomagnetic occurrences (such as the Aurora Borealis), and the effects of
nuclear hazards.


Students who graduate with an Earth Sciences degree from the University of Waterloo automatically qualify to become a P.GEO, through the Professional Geoscientists of Ontario, upon graduation.

Becoming a Professional Geoscientist means you are qualified and licensed to sign proposals and designs into action.

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  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Fieldwork capabilities, including rock sampling and geological mapping

Explore other earth sciences-related programs in the Faculty of Science

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