Department of Earth SciencesWestern Science

APGO Professional Licensing

You cannot be a professional geoscientist without being licensed!

In Canada, geoscience is a licensed profession, like law, engineering or medicine. You cannot work as an environmental geoscientist, geologist, or geophysicist without a license! Geoscience is regulated in Ontario by the Professional Geoscientists Act of 2000, and by comparable legislation in most other provinces. The Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (APGO) is the licensing body for the province of Ontario that regulates and certifies that all geoscientists within the province have the appropriate qualifications to practice.

Becoming a Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo) requires three components:

  1. Minimum of a four-year B.Sc. degree with the appropriate courses being completed successfully
  2. Minimum of four years of geoscience work experience as a Geoscientist-In-Training (GIT) after graduation (time spent in graduate school or a co-op work term sometimes counts for up to two of the four years)
  3. Successful completion of a professional ethics and practices exam

Western's Professional Programs are designed to meet or exceed APGO licensing requirements. Western's Honors, Specialization, and Major programs in geoscience can also count for professional licensing if you complete the appropriate courses during your degree. Students are encouraged to become Student Members of APGO early in their university career, and to keep abreast of their knowledge requirements as they proceed through their program, either through the APGO itself or through the Department of Earth Sciences' academic counselling team.

The Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists (CCPG) is the national council that regulates the geosciences profession in each of the jurisdictions in Canada. CCPG can help you transfer your license to another province or territory should you move outside of Ontario.