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Doctoral Program

The objective of the Ph.D. program is to provide the supervision, intellectual environment and resources to permit an aspiring scientist to develop and complete a thesis, involving a significant addition to knowledge, on a specific project in Geology or Geophysics, or in a collaborative project involving one or more related disciplines. The scope of these research projects represents an enormous range of interests, from purely 'academic' to strongly 'applied' industrial and environmental topics. Current graduate degrees include:

  • Ph.D. in Geology
  • Ph.D. in Geology (Planetary Science)
  • Ph.D. in Geology (Environment and Sustainability)
  • Ph.D. in Geophysics
  • Ph.D. in Geophysics (Planetary Science)
  • Ph.D. in Geophysics (Environment and Sustainability)

Graduate students are encouraged to develop a passing knowledge of fields peripheral to their thesis topics by regular attendance at the weekly departmental colloquia, M.Sc. and Ph.D. defence lectures of fellow students, and through participation in the graduate seminar course and informal brownbag seminars.

Program Requirements

Minimum Course Requirements

In addition to completing their research thesis, students in Geology and Geophysics are required to take a minimum number of graduate courses, as follows:

  • Incoming Ph.D. student with external M.Sc.: One full-course equivalent (including GL/GP9680)
  • Incoming Ph.D. student with Western M.Sc.: One full-course equivalent (excluding GL/GP9680)
  • Accelerated M.Sc.: Seven half-courses (including GL/GP9580 and the combined field course)

Note: A full course occupies two terms; a half-course usually occupies one term. Most courses offered are half-courses. No student may take both the 9580 and 9680 courses, which are seminar courses.

All students must complete a minimum of 50% of their coursework in their primary discipline, but may supplement their knowledge by taking graduate courses in other areas related to their research to complete their requirements (e.g. Geophysics students can count Physics courses towards their degree with the permission of their supervisor).

The foregoing course requirements are designed to supplement and broaden the student's knowledge base. Nevertheless, a thesis, based on original research, forms the most important part of both the M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs.

Ph.D. students must pass an oral Qualifying Examination no later than 18 months after starting in the program.

Detailed Course Requirements

  • Students in the Geology & Environmental Science PhD program are required to take one half Geology graduate course (excluding GE9680), plus Environment and Sustainability 9693, and Environment and Sustainability 9694, Interdisciplinary topics courses.
  • Students in the Geophysics & Environment and Sustainability PhD program are required to take one half Geophysics graduate course (excluding GP9680, plus Environment and Sustainability 9693 research Semincar and Environment and Sustainability 9694 Interdisciplinary Topics.
  • Students enrolled in the Planetary Science program are required to take the Planetary Science Seminar course at either the M.Sc. or Ph.D. level (depending on their level of registration) plus one other Planetary Science course, in addition to the base program requirements.

Residence Requirements

Ph.D. students must be resident in the Department for two full years.

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