Geological Science and Engineering

Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering
Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering

Prospective Undergraduate Students Queen's Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering

BASc Geological Engineering program at Queen's UniversityFirst year Geological Engineering Students: Select your DisciplineHigh School Students: Apply Now to Geological Engineering at Queen's University


World-Class ProfessorsLearn about field studies and how our students gain real field experience in GeologyStudent Spotlights from Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering

What are Geological Sciences?

Geological Scientists (or Geoscientists) study the planet Earth and its many different natural geological systems, including minerals, rocks, soil, water, energy resources, and climate. They investigate and study how Earth and other planet’s natural systems work today, how they operated in the recent and ancient past, and how we expect they may behave in the future. Geoscientists play a critical role in helping society meet its needs for natural resources, including metals, minerals, energy sources, fresh water, and fertile soil. They also help protect the public from natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, floods, and volcano eruptions.

Our planet Earth has been around for four billion years and counting, and much of this history is preserved in natural materials that is studied by Geoscientists. Some traditional areas of Earth sciences include geology, geophysics, geochemistry, and environmental geoscience. More specialized areas include study and work in structural geology, geobiology, paleontology, earthquakes and other natural hazards, geochronology, volcanology, sedimentology, engineering geology, economic geology and mineral resource exploration, oil and gas exploration and development, and more.

Geoscientists are part of teams who create and develop geological models (maps, sections, 3D, and 4D virtual models) at all scales, conduct ground characterization programs for geological, geophysical, hydrogeological, environmental, and geotechnical data, conduct laboratory tests on various physical and chemical properties of Earth materials, and communicate scientific results for the development of engineering projects and policies of corporations, governments, and regulators.

Queen's University Geological Sciences ; Geochemistry, Geophysics, Environmental Geoscience, Geology, Mineral Resources

Dynamic Career Opportunities

Our graduates are sought after not only for their deep and broad knowledge base but also for their exceptional field skills and their familiarity with state-of-the-art laboratory analyses and technologies. We strongly emphasize interaction and student-faculty dialogue in our courses and departmental affairs. The Queen's Geological Sciences Degrees are very well respected among Canadian and international employers.

Queen's Geological Sciences grads are employed across Canada and around the world in summer and permanent positions by environmental firms, the oil and gas sector, geophysical investigation teams, the mineral resources and mining industry, government offices, NGOs, and a vast number of related sectors.

A Queen's Geological Sciences Degree also provides a firm basis on which to enter a wide range of graduate studies and research institutions to undertake more advanced projects and to pursue research careers.

Here is a sampling of the many career options you can pursue with a Geological Sciences degree:

  • Geological research, mapping, and interpretation of the Earth and other planets
  • Community relations for the natural resource extractive industries
  • Renewable energy resource exploration and development
  • Environmental conservation and management
  • Natural hazard identification and mitigation
  • Mineral resource exploration and extraction
  • Business administration and management
  • Space exploration and travel (astronaut)
  • Environmental contaminant remediation
  • Public administration and government
  • Oil and gas exploration and extraction
  • Water conservation and management
  • Research and Development
  • Surveying and cartography
  • Climate change research
  • Agricultural sciences
  • University Professor
  • Prospecting
  • Geophysics
  • Medicine
  • Forestry
  • Law


Why Geological Sciences at Queen's?

Geological Sciences at Queen's is a well-established, thriving, and dynamic program with a long tradition of excellence. Our program prepares you for creative problem solving, analysis, interpretation, and decision making necessary to tackle challenges related to many areas of Geological Sciences.

Discovery, development, and sustainability of water, mineral and energy resources as well as coping with climate change, human impact and natural hazards facing increasing global populations, all depend on a deep understanding of natural processes. Our students study the Earth in this context, with careers in diverse fields including research, mineral and oil exploration, mining and hydrocarbon extraction, policy analysis, surface and underground construction, environmental assessment, protection and rehabilitation, groundwater investigation, and resource management. Our program focusses on the whole planet and considers all global processes within an integrated, dynamic system.

Geological Sciences at Queen's prepares you for eligibility as a licensed as a licensed Professional Geoscientist (PGeo) through Professional Geoscientists Ontario (PGO) and equivalent Associations across Canada, through one of our BSc Honours Specilization Degree Programs (detailed below).

The Geological Sciences Program at Queen’s belongs to the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, which is a unique department that offers complimentary programs in both Sciences and Engineering. This is one of our primary strengths that fosters collaboration and interaction between Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering students and faculty.

We are a friendly department where you will get to know your classmates and professors well and have a say in program development.

There are many opportunities in the Geological Sciences programs to gain field experience that is essential for Geoscientists. These opportunities allow students to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom in a real world setting and help them secure a job during the summer months and after graduation. Most students gain over 200 hours of experience on various field trips.

Our Department is also equipped with state-of-the-art laboratory facilities that are primarily used for research. Students in the Geological Sciences programs have opportunities to learn about and gain experience with using some of the equipment. Our laboratory facilities include the Queen’s Facility for Isotope Research (QFIR, a Stable Isotope and ICP/MS lab), X-Ray Diffraction and Clay Mineral Lab, Applied Geophysics Lab, Queen’s Advanced Geomechanics Testing Laboratory, and Computational Geomechanics Lab, to name a few.

We take great pride in our strong alumni network of Geological Scientists and Geological Engineers from our Department who work across Canada and around the world in industry, research, and many other careers. Our Department’s Geo-Alumni Resource Network (GARNET) Program connects current students with recent alumni for career mentorship opportunities.

Study Geological Sciences in one of the Top two Applied Earth Science Departments in Canada as Ranked by Mclean's Magazine

Queen's Geological Sciences prospective students


Program Details

Students wishing to complete a degree program designed to prepare them for a career or a higher degree in geological sciences are encouraged to select one of the following 4-year Honours degrees:


Bachelor of Science (BSc) Honours, Geological Sciences - Specialization (GEOL-P-BSH)

Description: Specialization plan provides the opportunity for a more intensive study of Geology and the supporting earth sciences. This plan is designed to lead easily to registration as a Professional Geoscientist (PGeo), a designation of increasing professional importance.
Degree: Bachelor of Science (BSc) Honours, Environmental Geology – Specialization (EGEO-P-BSH)
Description: Specialization plan administered by the School of Environmental Studies in partnership with the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering.
Degree: Bachelor of Science (BSc) Honours – Major (GEOL-M-BSH)
Description: Major plan is ideal for students who are interested in a career-oriented program in the geosciences that also allows a wide choice of supporting and elective courses, which will lead to a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Degree.









Students wishing to complete a general degree program or Minor in Geology, are encouraged to select one of the following degree programs:

Degree: Bachelor of Science (BSc) Honours – Geology – Minor (GEOL-Z)
Description: This program, in combination with a Major plan in another subject, and with sufficient electives, will lead to an Honours Bachelors Degree.
Degree: Bachelor of Science (BSc) General – Geology (GEOL-G-BSC)
Description: This program, with sufficient electives, will lead to a Bachelor of Science Degree.
Degree: Bachelor of Arts (BA) General – Geology (GEOL-G-BA)
Description: This program, with sufficient electives, will lead to a Bachelor of Arts Degree.
Degree: Bachelor of Arts (BA) Minor – Geology (GEOL-Y)
Description: This program, in combination with a Major plan in another subject, and with sufficient electives, will lead to an Honours Bachelors Degree.

Program Information/Major Map


Financial Support

The Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering and Queen's offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries to undergraduate students.

Admission Awards

There are many awards available to students applying for undergraduate studies at Queen's. View a complete list of awards and applications on the Queen's University Student Awards website.

Named Admission Bursaries

There are many named bursaries available to students applying for undergraduate studies at Queen's. View a complete list of bursaries on the Queen's University Student Awards website.

Work Study

The Work Study Program is intended to supplement the resources of students who have the greatest financial difficulty and the fewest financial options by giving them priority for certain part-time jobs (generally on campus) while they are studying at Queen's.

Summer Work and Research Opportunities

There are many summer work and research opportunities for undergraduate students in the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, in the broader Queen’s community, and in other companies and organizations. Many companies visit our Department and Queen’s throughout the year to recruit students for summer and full-time employment. The Department also organizes opportunities for current students to connect with industry through our GARNET Mentorship Program and other events. Full-time undergraduate students are also invited to apply for NSERC funded Undergraduate Summer Research Assistantships (USRAs) for summer research opportunities with faculty in our department.

Queen's Undergraduate Internship Program (QUIP)

The Queen’s Undergraduate Internship Program (QUIP) provides students with a 12-16 month work experience. QUIP internships are paid, professionally supervised, career-related positions designed to offer second or third year students the opportunity to learn about current advances, practices, and technologies in business and industry. Domestic and international opportunities are available for students in the BSc Geological Sciences program.

Due to the longer work term (compared to a 4-month co-op), employers are highly motivated to maximize their time and investment. This means that QUIP students are offered the opportunity to manage more extensive and significant projects. Geological Sciences students who participate in QUIP often return to finish their degree with an employment offer from their Internship employers.



Please contact our Undergraduate Program Assistant, or our Geological Sciences Undergraduate Chair, Dr. Dan Layton-Matthews.