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Earth Science

Submitted by darmstro on Fri, 03/31/2017 - 3:02pm

Helping shape the landscape

Earth Science examines the Earth’s make up and natural and human processes. The program has a problem-solving focus with the following themes:

  • climate and hydrology,
  • biosphere interactions,
  • global processes and change,
  • Earth science techniques.

You’ll work across four disciplines of geography, geology, geophysics and archaeology to develop your understanding of how natural systems affect human culture – and are influenced by it.

This single, four-year interdisciplinary program is offered by the Department of Geography in the Faculty of Arts with collaboration from the the Department of Geoscience in the Faculty of Science.

*Since this is a restricted-entry program, students should contact the Earth Science Advisor as early as possible for proper advice regarding the program.

You will develop skills that are important to a wide range of professions in the Earth Sciences: critical and creative thinking, the ability to gather and organize information, the ability to analyze problems, effective oral and written communication skills, the ability to use logic and perform calculations, the ability to reason abstractly and apply that reasoning, interpretive and assessment skills, and insight and intuition useful in generating knowledge.

A unique place to study

Our unique location in southern Alberta provides a diverse laboratory for studying Earth Science. During the course of your studies, much of your learning will occur in class, field study and during labs. The program is highly flexible and designed to allow you to customize your courses to satisfy your academic interests. Many of our courses combine traditional classroom learning with hands on experience, such as local and international field studies, computer mapping and analysis, laboratories and individualized research courses.

Our technical program includes remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), computer cartography, digital image analysis, and quantitative analysis. Methods courses are supported by department-based access to state-of-the-art software and hardware that is continually updated to keep pace with rapidly changing technology.

Enhance your degree

Learn more about a minor, double Major, or Combined Degree

You can combine your Earth Science degree with a Major or Minor in:

  • Archaeology; Development Studies; International Indigenous Studies (from the Faculty of Arts)
  • Biological Sciences; Geology (from the Faculty of Science)
  • The Honours BSc program provides enhanced understanding of Earth Science, further develops competencies in field work techniques, research methods and presentation skills and helps prepare you for an advanced degree program.
  • Programs in Geography cannot be taken in conjunction with programs in: Earth Science; Environmental Science or Urban Studies. This restriction applies to Major-plus-Minor combinations, Double Majors, Combined Degrees and Second Baccalaureate Degrees because each of these programs integrates a substantial geography component.

What can you do with an Earth Science Degree?

As an Earth Science graduate you will have an excellent background in communication, research methods, analytical skills, statistics, GIS and remote sensing. An Earth Science degree will prepare you for a wide range of careers in industry, government, or education because of your background in both the human and physical dimensions.

Earth Science graduates are uniquely qualified to integrate knowledge of the natural and human processes into their careers. The multidisciplinary and international scope of an education in Earth Science is very well suited for persons interested in international development, particularly in the fields of natural resources management and associated socio-economic issues.

With an advanced degree or further specialized training, Earth Science graduates can work as a(n): cartographer, air quality specialist, conservation officer, development planner, environmental assessment officer, geographic information systems technician, geomatics analyst, hazardous materials consultant, land registration officer, parks & recreation coordinator, teacher.

APEGA Regulations

The practice of geology and geophysics in Alberta is governed by Provincial law and regulated by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA). The Earth Science program is not designed to meet those requirements. Persons intending to pursue geology or geophysics as a profession should obtain a BSc or BSc Honours in Geology or Geophysics.

Course listings

Course descriptions

Degrees offered

  • Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Earth Science
  • BSc in Earth Science
  • BSc in Earth Science with Co-operative Education
  • BSc Honours in Earth Science
  • BSc Honours in Earth Science with Co-operative Education

Note: Minors are offered in Geography, Earth Science and Urban Studies.

Degree requirements


Undergraduate Program Advisor


Apply to the Faculty of Arts through the general admissions office. 

Questions? Contact the Department of Geography program advisor or an advisor at the Arts Students' Centre.

Student advising

Here to help you:

The Department of Geography has advisors who can help you navigate your program. Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions as your answer may be there.

Contact Information

Undergraduate Program Advisor
Earth Sciences 356
Phone: 403.220.5588

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