MSc in Geology (Thesis-based)
The MSc in Geology program is designed to: 1) provide BSc Honours graduates with an opportunity to expand their knowledge base in the Earth Sciences through an intensive teaching program that includes theoretical and applied aspects of their discipline and 2) introduce students to the basics of geoscience research, from the formulation of a thesis problem to its solution. MSc research projects are offered in all fields of geology, including economic geology, experimental and field petrology, geochemistry, volcanology, structural geology, environmental geology, paleontology, sedimentology, and glaciology. Graduates of the MSc program can proceed to a professional career in industry or government, or can seek entrance to a PhD program.
Application and Admission Procedures
Applicants to the MSc program must normally possess a BSc Honours degree in Geoscience from a recognized university with a minimum B average, but the number of spaces is limited and admission is very competitive. Note that students in this program cannot transfer into the MSc Mineral exploration one-year option.
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 academic transcripts
- 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 Harquail School, should the student formally apply for admission through the Laurentian University On-Line Application System.
The MSc program normally consists of four 3-credit GEOL graduate courses and a thesis (GEOL 5000). The Harquail School may recommend that in individual cases, other suitable fourth-year undergraduate courses may be taken in addition to the normal graduate load. Descriptions of offered graduate courses can be found on the Graduate Calendar page.
Tuition fees vary with enrollment status (full-time vs. part-time).
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 Harquail School of Earth Sciences (HES), 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 Harquail School 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 HES 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 HES supervisor well before that date.
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