Study Geology in Canada

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Geology Studies in Canada

Geology can be a fascinating are of study, and now students pursuing a degree in this exciting field can earn a portion of their educational credentials while studying abroad in the beautiful country of Canada.

Occupying the northern two-fifths of the North American continent, Canada is an immense and wondrous country consisting of 10 provinces and three territories, each with its own unique character.  From the cosmopolitan cities of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, to the vast untouched wilderness of the northern territories, Canada has everything you could possibly want in a study abroad adventure.

Canada extends from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Atlantic Ocean in the east and northwards towards the frozen tundra of the Arctic forests.  Comprising nearly 10 million kilometers of total geographic space, Canada is the second-largest country in the world by area, and the border it shares with its lone southern neighbor, the United States, is the world’s largest border between two countries.  Approximately 35 million people call the proud country of Canada home.

Canada is organized as federal parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with the Queen of England serving as its head of state.  Two languages—English and French—are deemed official in the country, which is one of the world’s most ethnically and culturally diverse, the product of large-scale immigration from many different countries.  Its advanced economy is one of the largest in the world, relying primarily upon its abundant store of natural resources and well-developed trade networks. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture, and its education system, which is closely modeled after that of the U.S., is one of the finest on the globe.

Geology Education in Canada

Canada is home to scores of major colleges and universities, where degrees are offered at a variety of levels, including Bachelor, Master’s and Doctoral degrees.  Bachelor Degree programs in Canada generally take 4-5 years to complete for full-time students, while Master’s Degree programs typically span an additional two years in most areas of study.  Exceptional students who wish to further enhance their education beyond the Master’s degree are welcome to apply for admittance into one of the country’s many doctorate or PhD programs, which usually take between 3-5 additional years to complete.

In Canada, The Bachelor of Science degree in Geology provides opportunities to prepare for careers in the geosciences (for example, earth resources exploration and development, water resources, environmental assessment and remediation, engineering geology, geochemistry, and geophysics) and for successful studies in graduate school. The program of study focuses on fundamentals and learning skills used by geologists in their professional careers. The minimum number of semester credit hours required for this degree, including the Core Curriculum requirements, is 120, at least 39 of which must be at the upper-division level.

Students seeking the Bachelor of Science degree in Geology must fulfill all Canadian university core requirements in the same manner as students studying in other fields. If courses are taken to satisfy both degree requirements and core curriculum requirements, then students may need to take additional courses in order to meet the minimum number of semester credit hours required for this degree. For students who elect Geology as a major, the core requirements in Mathematics and Natural Sciences are automatically fulfilled in obtaining a B.S. degree in the field.

Below is just a brief list of some of the core and elective courses students will encounter when studying Geology at a Canadian college or university:

Core Courses

Introduction to Earth Systems and Laboratory
Earth History and Laboratory
Mineralogy and Laboratory
Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Petrology and Laboratory
Paleontology and Laboratory
Structural Geology and Laboratory
Geologic Field Investigations
Field Geology Part I and II

Elective Courses

Advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Global Positioning System (GPS) Mapping for GIS
Economic Geology and Laboratory
Oceanography
Geochemistry
General Geophysics
Introduction to Isotope Geochemistry
Engineering Geology
Environmental Geology
Principles of Remote Sensing
Geomorphology and Laboratory
Ground-Water Hydrology
Analytical Methods in Geology
Some bachelor programs in Geology (and all graduate programs) require students to complete a senior project or pass a cumulative examination prior to graduation.

Why Study Abroad in Canada

Canada has everything you could possibly want in a study abroad destination, from beaches, to mountains to pristine forests still untouched by humankind.  Its major cities are some of the most cosmopolitan and ethnically diverse in the world, with people of various cultures, customs and traditions living side by side in perfect harmony.  Sightseeing opportunities abound in this northern country, some of the more popular being:

The Royal Ontario Museum

Located in the province of the same name, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is set to celebrate its centennial in 2014, honoring one of the largest museums in North America, and the largest natural history museum in Canada.

Inside the Royal Museum, visitors will find a permanent collection featuring over 6 million specimens and artifacts, divided between two main galleries: the Natural History Galleries (all on the 2nd floor) and the World Culture Galleries (on floors 1, 3 and 4).  Some of the more popular exhibits in the museum include the Chinese temple sculptures, the Gallery of Korean Art and the costumes and textile collections, although kids tend to rush to the dinosaur rooms, Egyptian mummies and Jamaican bat-cave replica. The cedar crest poles, carved by First Nations tribes in British Columbia, are also a wonderful sight.

Every year, the ROM hosts a variety of big temporary exhibits from around the world. The on-site Institute of Contemporary Culture explores current issues through art, architecture, lectures and moving images, and there are free museum tours daily.  There is even a Friday Night Live program hosted here in the spring and fall, a time when the museum opens its doors, stocks its bars and calls in the DJs for a makeshift disco.

Vieux-Port de Montréal

Montréal's Old Vieux-Port has morphed into a park and fun zone running parallel to the mighty St Lawrence River for over two kilometers.  Locals and visitors alike gather here for strolling, cycling and in-line skating, while cruise boats, ferries, jet boats and speedboats all depart for tours from various docks. During the winter, guests can skate the day away at the grand outdoor ice-skating rink. Historical relics found at the port include the striking white Clock Tower at the northern end of Quai Jacques Cartier, built in 1922 to honor sailors who died in WWI. This tower offers amazing views of the river and city.
A perennial family favorite of the Vieux Port is the Centre des Sciences de Montréal.  Here you’ll find plenty of buttons to push, knobs to pull and games to play as you make your way through the high-tech exhibition halls, and the permanent exhibit, entitled “Mission Gaia,” where solutions are sought to environmental and social disasters. The center also includes an IMAX cinema showing vivid nature and science films in 2-D or 3-D.

CN Tower

The iconic CN Tower, a marvel of 1970s engineering, soars high above the city of Toronto like a giant concrete hypodermic needle.  Its function as a communications tower quite frankly takes a backseat to its beauty, majesty and size; at 553 meters tall it is the highest free-standing structure in the world.  Fir those with the nerve to ride to the very top of the CN Tower via the glass elevators, the views of the city below are simply astounding.  Once there, you will also find a revolving restaurant called “360°,” offering the very best in Canadian and international fare.

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