Master of Science (MSc)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

This is a full-time degree with an expected completion time of two years, typically requiring a bachelor's degree in the same or a closely related discipline. Formed in 1963, the Department of Geoscience is a vibrant cornerstone of the University of Calgary – and is also the largest geoscience department in Canada. We are internationally and nationally recognized for strengths in seismic geophysics, petroleum geology, hydrology, petrology and regional tectonics. Our vision is an improved understanding of Earth systems through innovative and impactful geoscience research, interdisciplinary learning and discovery, empowered and inspired teaching, and effective communication that not only raises our profile as a geoscience centre of excellence but also creates a brighter future for our world. Many thesis-based students participate in field schools during their time in the program, gaining valuable training in geological field methods in a range of possible locations.

Completing this program

  • Courses: Topics may include hydrogeology, flow in porous media, petrologic methods, structural methods, basin studies, geochemistry and others.
  • Field Schools: Many students participate in field schools for 12-16 days in late summer or early spring. Activities include orienteering, mapping surficial deposts, measuring sections in sedimentary rocks, and mapping geologic structures in places like the Canadian Shield, Alberta prairies, Rocky Mountains and deserts of southwest USA.
  • Thesis: Students will prepare and defend an original research thesis.


Post-Secondary Teaching and Research, Oil and gas , Resource exploration , Resource Management, Environmental Consulting, Geo Hazards, Renewable Energy, Policy and Regulation.

A master’s degree in geoscience will give you the pre-requisite for a PhD.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Two years full-time; four years maximum


A supervisor is required; potential supervisors must be listed when applying to the program.

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

Virtual Tour

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Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Edwin Cey

    Edwin Cey

    Accepting Inquiries
    Hydrogeology, Vadose Zone Hydrology and Preferential Flow, Groundwater-Surface Water Interaction, Numerical Simulation, Subsurface Microbial Transport, Expert Review and Regulatory Input
  2. Jan Dettmer

    Jan Dettmer

  3. David Eaton

    David Eaton

    Accepting Inquiries
    Seismology, Induced Seismicity, Passive Seismic Monitoring, Distributed Acoustic Sensing, Physics-Informed Machine Learning
  4. Eva Enkelmann

    Eva Enkelmann

    Accepting Inquiries
    Tectonics, Thermochronology, Geochronology, Basin Evolution
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    Rob Ferguson

    Seeking Students
  6. Charles Henderson

    Charles Henderson

    Accepting Inquiries
    Upper Paleozoic and Triassic Sequence Biostratigraphy and Conodont Paleontology
  7. Steve teaching in the field.

    Stephen Hubbard

    Accepting Inquiries
    Sedimentary Systems, Clastic Sedimentology, Basin Analysis
  8. Placeholder Profile Image

    Steve Larter

    Accepting Inquiries
    Energy transition and technology
  9. Placeholder Profile Image

    Bernhard Mayer

    Accepting Inquiries
  10. Dave Pattison 2020-10

    Dave Pattison

    Accepting Inquiries
    Metamorphic geology

Admission requirements


A minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

Four-year Bachelor of Science degree or equivalent. An Honours degree in geology or geophysics, or a field related to geophysics, such as physics or mathematics, is preferred.

Work samples



A concise statement outlining the applicant’s research interests and reasons for wishing to attend the University of Calgary

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:

*Please contact your program of interest if you have any questions about ELP requirements.


For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Jan. 15 application deadline
  • International students: Jan. 15 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Department of Geoscience

Earth Sciences Building Room 118
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, ABT2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Faculty of Science

Biological Sciences, Room 540
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, ABT2N 1N4

Visit their website

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