Program Details

Alfredo Camacho and Derek Drayson at the geographic centre of Canada

M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs are offered across a variety of Earth Science fields. Both programs are thesis-based, and as such rely heavily on independent work on the research project chosen with the close supervision of a faculty advisor. The graduate seminar and an active Graduate Student Association produce a close-knit group of colleagues and research partners in the department.

M.Sc. Program Requirements

  • GEOL 7760 - Geological Sciences Graduate Seminar
  • 6 credit hours of appropriate coursework
  • a research project and thesis

Ph.D. Program Requirements

  • GEOL 7760 - Geological Sciences Graduate Seminar
  • 12 credit hours of approved coursework
  • a research project and thesis

Contact a Potential Advisor

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.

When applying to a graduate program, keep in mind that a position must be available in a research project and the prospective faculty supervisor must have funding to support the student and the research. There are often a number of highly qualified applicants wanting to work with a particular supervisor or in a particular area of research. Therefore, the application process is competitive and meeting minimum standards for admission does not guarantee a successful application.

Students who have contacted a prospective supervisor and who have received an encouraging response increase their chances of a successful application. Ensure that your inquiries are clear and well-written, that you have demonstrated a knowledge of the supervisor’s research, and that you include salient points (e.g. academic qualifications, relevant work experience and publications). If a particular supervisor has been recommended to you by a faculty member at another institution, mention this early in the e-mail. Keep in mind that we receive hundreds of inquiries annually. If, after several attempts, you do not receive a response, it is a good indication that the prospective supervisor is not interested in accepting another graduate student at this time.

Find potential supervisors in Earth Sciences.

Requirements for Applicants


  • M.Sc. Program: The normal entry requirement is the equivalent of an Honours B.Sc. degree in Earth Sciences (4-year program). 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 earth sciences.
  • Ph.D. Program: The normal entry requirement is the equivalent of a M.Sc. in Earth 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 Earth 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.

Statement of Funding

  • A brief statement to indicate that you have the research support of a prospective supervisor, a major external grant or scholarship support, or that you require departmental financial assistance. Please do not send a bank account statement.

Statement of Intent

  • A short summary of research interests (approx. 500 words)

Letters of recommendation (3)

  • References will need to fill in a short form and attach a letter of recommendation for you. References should be academic, or at least be able to attest to your academic and research abilities.

GRE (optional)

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


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)

Current Students


At the beginning of each Fall Term (or whenever a new student begins), students need to fill out a Graduate Registration Approval Form and get it approved by their advisor(s) and the Department Head. All students should ensure that there are no other “holds” preventing registration by logging into Aurora Student and viewing their accounts. Any registration questions should be directed to the Graduate Coordinator.

Progress Reports

  1. Each student is required to submit a one to two page report on yearly progress and timetable of thesis work by February 1 annually. This is a departmental requirement. The student is responsible for submitting the report to the Graduate Program Coordinator for review by the Department Head and Graduate Chair.
  2. In addition, the Faculty of Graduate Studies mandates a Progress Report submitted annually by June 1st. The Advisor is responsible for arranging a meeting of the Advisory Committee with the student and completing the form. Committee members and student sign the form and return it to the Graduate Program Coordinator for review by the Department Head. Failure of an on-campus student to attend the majority of Graduate Seminars annually and give a Seminar annually will be noted on the Progress Report and may have an impact on whether progress is deemed acceptable.

Funding and Awards

The Department assesses students for the UMGF and the Faculty Entrance Scholarship without a separate application.

Newly accepted international students are automatically assessed for the International Graduate Student Entrance Scholarship (IGSES).

Check your e-mail regularly. The Department receives information on awards from external organizations and associations and will forward these to our graduate student e-mail list. In addition, the Faculty of Graduate Studies notifies students by e-mail of various awards and deadlines. Visit FGS for more funding opportunities.

Students who are eligible for Tri-Council awards (e.g. NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships) should apply. Information on these awards may be found at:

Refer to the Faculty of Graduate Studies Awards Database for information on other scholarship opportunities.

Many of our students apply for a FGS Student Travel Award for funding to attend and present at conferences. There is also a version for virtual conferences.

UM Graduate Student Resources

Indigenous Student Resources

Library Resources

Teaching/Learning Resources

UM Grad Student Association

International Grad Student Resources

Application Requirements for Graduate Programs

Living Expenses and Arrangements

Health Care

General International Student Questions

Instalment plan for tuition

Contact us

Department of Earth Sciences
240 Wallace Building
125 Dysart Road
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada