Get the information you need for academic planning and connect with experiences to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes that employers are seeking.

This resource is meant as a guide to provide suggestions throughout your time at university (refer to the Academic Calendar for a complete list of program requirements). Develop a plan and timeline that suits you best. Make intentional choices for your courses and work experiences.

  • Student spotlight

    “I selected this program because it is hands on and allows me to study the rocks, minerals, and fossils that have interested me since childhood. Studying geology only becomes more fun as you progress through the program and hopefully will continue to be fun through my working career.”

    Ryan Desjarlais, geology honours student

Geological sciences at UM

As a Geological Sciences student in the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources you will learn to collect and analyze quantitative data on the physical and chemical behaviour and characteristics of Earth materials - rocks, minerals, fluids and gases. This data is needed to model the behaviour of minerals in natural as well as many industrial systems. There are three geological sciences degree options:

  1. General: designed to give students a basic understanding of the discipline and is not intended for those who seek a career in geosciences.
  2. Geology: Geologists study the composition, structure, processes, and history of the Earth, as well as the distribution of mineral and energy resources.
  3. Geophysics: Geophysicists use the principles of physics and mathematics to study the Earth’s surface, internal structure and composition, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba (EGM) regulate professional practice of geoscience in Manitoba. Visit to ensure you meet professional requirements upon degree completion.

Skills you will gain by studying GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES

  • An understanding of the Earth and Earth materials, and a broad scientific background.
  • The ability to collect, analyze and interpret rock samples and cores, and geological information from maps, reports, boreholes, well logs, sample repositories, air photos, satellite imagery and geochemical surveys.
  • The ability to use the skills needed in the exploration for, and sustainable development of, natural resources including minerals, energy resources and water.
  • The ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing.


Year 1 - 30 credit hours


Course requirements:
Refer to the academic calendar to view the courses required for your program of choice in the faculty.

To do this year:

  1. Apply to the Riddell Faculty once you have completed 24 credit hours and have met entrance requirements.
  2. Should you follow a 3-or-4 year plan? Meet with a Riddell advisor and a career consultant to map out your options.
  3. If you need academic support, visit the Academic Learning Centre for workshops or to meet with a learning skills instructor.


Start planning your career:

  1. Meet with a career consultant to generate career ideas based on your interests, values, personality and skills.
  2. Research occupations that match your skills and interests.
  3. Set up a careerCONNECT account to view job postings and register for workshops and events.
  4. Explore your Co-Curricular Record (CCR), an official record of university-approved activities.


Link experiences to your career interests. Options include:

  1. Student groups such as Geophysics SocietyGeoclubSociety of Earth Sciences and Environmental Students or the University of Manitoba Students' Union (UMSU).
  2. Join the University of Manitoba Volunteer Program to volunteer for Open House and other University events.
  3. Student work opportunities including Work-StudySTEP Services or Federal Student Work Experience Program.
  4. Experiential education opportunities such as Alternative Reading Week Winnipeg and the Student Leadership Development Program.


Considering international opportunities? Visit the International Centre website to learn about international opportunities for U of M students.

Research funding sources: students are encouraged to develop creative ideas and seek funding and support through various univeristy sources, including the Clayton H. Riddell Endowment Fund.

Explore communities and cultures you want to work with: visit Migizii Agamik or the International Centre, take part in the Intercultural Retreat or learn about local agencies via 211 Manitoba at

Year 2 - 60 credit hours


Course requirements:
Refer to the academic calendar to view the courses required for your program of choice in the faculty.

To do this year:

  1. Meet with a Riddell advisor and a career consultant to map out your options.
  2. Meet with a Riddell advisor for program approval prior to registration.
  3. Research areas of specialization and courses you are interested in taking.
  4. Consider taking a minor and choose courses that will open opportunities (required for 3-year option).


Make professional connections:

  1. Join the Career Mentor Program to learn from professionals.
  2. Attend career fairs to connect with employers.
  3. Become a student member with Engineers Geoscientists ManitobaCanadian Society of Exploration GeophysicistsGeological Association of CanadaManitoba Prospectors and Developers Association and Mineral Society of Manitoba.
  4. Develop professional connections with professors by applying for an Undergraduate Research Award.

Market your skills: attend resumé/cover letter and interview prep workshops.


Explore student research opportunities: apply for an Undergraduate Research Award or NSERC USRA or inquire about research assistant positions.

Gain practical experience by volunteering: check out the Let’s Talk ScienceManitoba Museum or the Fossil Discovery Centre.

Find opportunities to market yourself: attend the Western Inter-University Geosciences Conference (WIUGC) in January or the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention in March.


Develop global career skills and expand intercultural learning: consider an international student exchange or internship with Students Without BordersMy World Abroad or SWAP for a "working holiday".

Staying local? Check out out a spring or summer Community Service-Learning experience. Consider learning a new language and culture through the Volunteer Language Exchange Program.


Year 3 - 90 credit hours


Course requirements:
Refer to the academic calendar to view the courses required for your program of choice in the faculty.

To do this year:

  1. Meet with a Riddell advisor for program approval prior to registration.
  2. Consider focusing your education by choosing an area of specialization (4-year option).
  3. Confirm eligibility to graduate with a Riddell advisor and declare intent to graduate in Aurora (3-year option).


Investigate your career options:

  1. Look at sample job postings to ensure you have the qualifications upon graduation.
  2. Develop employability and essential skills sought by employers.
  3. Explore supports available to entrepreneurs for business planning such as the Business InfoCentre.
  4. Create a LinkedIn profile to network with professionals.

Consider continuing your studies: check out the Faculty of Graduate StudiesExtended Education or other professional programs at the University of Manitoba.


Continue or start research: participate in the Undergraduate Research Poster Competition.

Check out student job opportunities with: Manitoba Geological SurveyNatural Resources CanadaValeImperial OilSuncor EnergyGoldcorp and WISE Kid-Netic Energy.

Assess your resumé: identify any gaps in experience and fill them through volunteering, work placements or internships. Consider the Student-Industry Minerals Exploration Workshop (PDAC) or the CSPG Student-Industry Field Trip.


Did you travel abroad? Become an exchange mentor for the International Student Mentorship Program, join the exchange student community at the University of Manitoba or write an article about your experience.

Participate in the multicultural opportunities on campus: participate in the Intercultural Development and Leadership Program, volunteer for the Children Rising Mentorship Program or take part in the Graduation Pow Wow.

Year 4 - 120 credit hours


Course requirements:
Refer to the academic calendar to view the courses required for your program of choice in the faculty.

To do this year:

  1. Meet with a Riddell advisor for program approval prior to registration.
  2. Confirm eligibility to graduate with a Riddell advisor and declare intent to graduate in Aurora.
  3. Complete an honours thesis in geology or geophysics by taking GEOL 4870.


Start job search 9 months in advance: contact Career Services to refine your job search and self-marketing strategies. You can visit the office up to 6 months after graduation.

If you are continuing on to a professional program or graduate school: finalize your application materials and required tests. Use the awards database to search for funding and awards to help finance your continuing education. Contact your department to find out how their awards deadlines are advertised.



Use your networks and connections: Inquire about unadvertised job openings (the "hidden job market").

Ensure you have references in place: ask your professor for a reference or a letter of recommendation if you're applying for graduate school.

Search for job opportunities online: check out careers.seg.orgnorthernminerjobs.cominfomine.comearthworks-jobs.comJob BankFind My JobIndeed or other search engines.


Prepare to work in a multicultural environment: visit Canada's National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation or explore Manitoba Start. Get access to through the Winnipeg Public Library and take courses to develop your cross-cultural intelligence.

Sample Jobs



  • Geological Technician
  • Geophysical Technician
  • Mines Inspector
  • Nature/Park Interpreter
  • Outreach Geologist
  • Petroleum Technician
  • Surveyor





What do employers want?

Industries such as federal, provincial, and municipal government, agriculture, conservation and water stewardship, education, minerals, oil and gas would value a Geological Sciences degree in combination with the employability skills that are highly sought after by employers. The skills include:*

  • Problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Numeracy and data use
  • Oral and written communication
  • Industry specific knowledge
  • Teamwork
  • Digital technology
  • Continuous learning

Attain skills through your classroom education and take advantage of experiential education opportunities.

*Information has been adapted from Employability Skills 2000+ and Workplace Education Manitoba – Essential Skills.

Get one-on-one help

  • Meet with a career consultant

    Drop-in to see a career consultant for a confidential discussion about your career strategy, CV, job search and interview preparation. Drop-in sessions last 30-45 minutes and are available on a first-come, first-served basis:

    • Mon: 9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
    • Tues: 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    • Wed: 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    • Thurs: 9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m

    You can also call 204-474-9456 to make an appointment at the Fort Garry or Bannatyne campus.

  • Talk to an academic advisor

    Talk to an academic advisor who will guide you to resources to help you make important decisions for your future. Advisors are specialized, often by program, faculty/school or unit.

    Find your advisor

Enhance your education

Continue exploring


Career Compass

Use Career Compass as a guide to develop a strong connection between your studies and your occupational choices. It will provide you with suggestions for academic and career planning specific to your program.

Information for career counsellors

Clayton H. Riddell faculty of environment, earth, and resources

440 Wallace Building, 125 Dysart Road
(204) 474-7252,