Graduate Program

Prospective Students

  • Why choose Geological Sciences at the University of Manitoba
    The Department of Geological Sciences is recognized worldwide as one of Canada's  leading geoscience departments.  Our faculty members have garnered numerous university, national, and international awards in recognition of their research contributions, excellence in teaching, outreach activities, and commitment to the geoscientific community. The Department houses research laboratories with state of the art equipment estimated in excess of $11 million, purchased in large part through funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) program. New graduate students enter a vibrant scientific culture and find themselves in a Department with a strong sense of identity and community. Specifically we are known for:

    • Availability of a broad range of research projects encompassing topics in: mineralogy and crystallography; environmental mineralogy and geochemistry; sedimentology and quaternary studies; invertebrate paleontology; crustal and mantle geophysics; applied/environmental geophysics; petrology and tectonics; mineral deposits; Arctic, marine, and freshwater systems. Further information on current research projects and potential thesis advisors is  available in the Geological Sciences' graduate brochure.
    • Extensive analytical laboratories with state of the art equipment – all conveniently located in one building: 
      • Stable Isotopes for Innovative Research Lab
      • Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (SIMS) Laboratory
      • ICP Mass Spectrometer Laboratory
      • Microprobe and SEM Research Facility
      • Argon Argon Mass Spectrometer Laboratory (under construction)
      • X-Ray Diffraction and Mössbauer Laboratories
      • Sedimentology Laboratories
      • Invertebrate Paleontology Laboratory
      • Geophysical Laboratories
      • Nellie Cournoyea Arctic Research Facility 
    • Highly skilled technical staff who supervise the research facilities and train graduate students in analytical procedures and proficient use of advanced instrumentation.
    • Ensuring students have adequate research support. If you do not hold a major scholarship (e.g., NSERC Postgraduate scholarships, University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships), you will be assessed for a research assistantship via your departmental thesis advisor. Holders of major scholarships may be eligible for top-up assistance. Typically, support is for 2 years for M.Sc. students and 4 years for Ph.D. students. Teaching assistantships are also available for qualified students.
    • Field research: The Department is ideally situated for field research with Archean to Quaternary aged rocks, recording 3 billion years of geologic history, in adjacent regions like the metal-rich Precambrian Shield, the petroleum-producing Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, and the Lake Winnipeg watershed.
    • Expanding northern Canada and Arctic field programs

  • Programs offered
    Master of Science and Ph.D. programs are offered in Geology and in Geophysics.  Each program requires completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours of approved courses, completion of  GEOL 7760 Geological Sciences Graduate Seminar and a  research project and thesis. 

  • Admission Requirements
    Master’s Program: The normal entry requirement is the equivalent of an Honours B.Sc. degree in Geological Sciences from the University of Manitoba. Students with honours degrees in related disciplines (such as Geography, Soil Science, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics, Mathematics, Engineering Physics, and Geological, Civil and Electrical Engineering) may be accepted by the Graduate Admissions Committee providing their planned degree program involves studies in the geological sciences. The majority of the required courses taken by the student should normally be from the Department of Geological Sciences.  The research should also be in the geological sciences.

    Ph.D. Program: The normal entry requirement is the equivalent of a M.Sc. in Geological Sciences. Students with M.Sc. degrees in related fields may be accepted by the Graduate Admissions Committee providing their planned degree program involves studies in the Geological Sciences. The majority of the required courses taken by the student should normally be from the Department of Geological Sciences.  The research should also be in the geological sciences.

    Direct entry into the Ph.D. program from an honours Bachelor’s degree is permitted only for outstanding students (GPA well above 3.0 in the last two full years of undergraduate study). This route is at the discretion of the Graduate Admissions Committee and is intended only for those students that the committee considers adequately prepared for immediate Ph.D.-level studies.

    The above information is specific to students applying to Geological Sciences programs. In addition, all applicants must meet the minimum academic criteria outlined by the Faculty of Graduate Studies:

  • Application process

It is highly advisable to contact a potential thesis advisor before submitting an application to ensure that there are openings for new graduate students on specific research     projects and funding available for research support. The department’s graduate brochure includes e-mail addresses for faculty members. 

 Prospective students should refer to the information provided by the Faculty of Graduate Studies on admission requirements and application procedures. Below is a summary of what is required to meet the minimum requirements for the Faculty of Graduate Studies, as well as supplemental requirements for applicants to the Department of Geological Sciences:

      • Apply on-line to Graduate Studies:
      • Pay the appropriate application fee.
      • Scan and submit your transcripts (official transcripts must later be submitted – read the information on official transcripts provided by the Faculty of Graduate Studies).
      • Arrange for three (3) references. Follow instructions in the Graduate Studies on-line application system.
      • Additional requirements for international students:
  • Application Deadlines
    Canadians and Permanent Residents:
    June 1 (for a September start date)
    October 1 (January start)
    February 1 (May start)
    International Applicants:
    February 1 (for a September start date)
    June 1 (January start)
    October 1 (May start)
  • Contacting the Department
    Graduate Program and Alumni Coordinator
    Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources
    204 474-6183

    Nancy Chow, Professor and Graduate Chair
    Department of Geological Sciences
    204 474-6451