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PhD in Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology

The PhD in Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology program is designed to prepare students for high-level careers in academia, industry, or government research. PhD research projects may be field-based, laboratory-based, and/or theoretical and research project are available in mineral deposits (especially magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE-Cr deposits, Cu-Zn-(Au) VMS deposits, lode and disseminated Au deposits, and MVT Pb-Zn deposits) and in mineralogy, igneous and metamorphic petrology, geochemistry, volcanology, structural geology, and sedimentology applied to mineral deposits and Precambrian geology.

Application and Admission Process

Applicants for admission to the PhD program must normally possess a Master's degree or equivalent in Geoscience from a recognized university with a minimum B+ average, but the number of spaces is limited and admission is highly competitive.

Potential students should contact a faculty member in the area of interest, sending them the following:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • 1-page Statement of Research Interests
  • Informal copies of all academic transcriptions
  • Names and e-mail addresses of 3 academic references

Only after the potential supervisor has examined these materials and the student has been informally approved by the Department, should the student formally apply for admission through the Laurentian University On-Line Application System.

Program Requirements

The PhD program requires the completion of six 3-credit graduate-level course equivalents beyond the BSc, or four 3-credit graduate-level courses beyond the MSc. In either case, one of the courses shall be the PhD Graduate Seminar (GEOL 6007). In addition a candidate must prepare a PhD research proposal within nine months of registration of the PhD program, pass an oral PhD Qualifying Examination within 12, 18, or 24 months of registration (see below for details), and must successfully defend a PhD Thesis (GEOL 6000).

Tuition Fees

Tuition Fees vary with enrollment status.

Transfer from MSc Program

Students with BSc Honours degrees will not normally be admitted directly into the PhD program. MSc students wishing to transfer to the PhD program without completing a MSc must first complete at least one year of MSc work and must obtain a recommendation from their MSc Advisory Committee. The Department will then evaluate each application on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the performance of the student in graduate courses and research.

Laurentian University - Ontario Geological Survey Joint Mapping School Program

Geological mapping is a critical and essential component of many research projects carried out at the graduate level. Because it is expensive and logistically difficult to operate a field mapping program in some areas and in order to promote interactive research activities between members of the Ontario Geological Survey (OGS) and the Department of Earth Sciences (DES), the two organizations have established a Joint Mapping Program for which highly-qualified applicants are hired by the OGS for a minimum of three months. During this period the field mapping component of the thesis research is carried out, which will normally represent a significant component of the overall field program. As a senior field assistant, the student will have access to all modern facilities required to carry out the mapping work and the student will be expected to contribute to the production of maps and texts for OGS Open File Reports.
Mapping School projects may also contain mineral/structural, mineral/chemical, whole-rock geochemical, and isotope data generated in the Solid-Phase Section of the Laurentian University Central Analytical Facility (SPS-CAF) and the Ontario Geoscience Laboratories, both of which are located in the Willet Green Miller Mineral and Mining Research Centre, adjacent to the Department of Earth Sciences, the Ontario Geological Survey, and the Ontario Mines Library. These laboratories represent some of the most modern and best-equipped facilities of their kind in North America.
Mapping School projects may done under both the MSc in Geology and PhD in Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology programs, and are normally supervised jointly by DES and OGS researchers. The OGS Summer Field Work Program application deadline is normally at the end of February, so students interested in this option should contact a potential DES supervisor well before that date.
For further information please contact des@laurentian.ca.