Graduate Program

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.

Programs offered

Master of Science and Ph.D. programs are offered in Geology and in Geophysics.

  • The M.Sc. requires completion of GEOL 7200 Earth Systems of Central Canada, GEOL 7760 Geological Sciences Graduate Seminar (each term), a minimum of 3 additional credit hours of approved courses at the 7000 level, and a research project and thesis.
  • The Ph.D. requires completion of GEOL 7200 Earth Systems of Central Canada, GEOL 7760 Geological Sciences Graduate Seminar (each term), a minimum of 9 additional credit hours of approved courses (minimum 6 at the 7000 level and maximum 3 at the 3000 or 4000 level), and a research project and thesis.

Admission Requirements

  • Background
    • M.Sc. 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 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) 
  • GRE (optional)
  • Letters of recommendation (3)

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:
This includes:

  • GPA of 3.0 (B or equivalent) in the last two full years (60 credit hours) of study
  • A successfully completed English Language Proficiency Test unless the applicant has received a high school diploma or university degree from Canada or one of the countries listed on the English Language Proficiency Test Exemption List

IMPORTANT: 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.

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.

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)

Tuition and Fees

More information for International Applicants


Ready to apply?



Contacting the Department

Celia Mellinger
Graduate Program and Alumni Coordinator
204 474-6183

Mostafa Fayek
Professor and Graduate Chair