Dawson held the first named chair in geology, the Logan chair, from 1871 to his retirement in 1892. F.D. Adams became Logan professor in 1892 and for the next two decades carried out pioneer work on the petrography of igneous and metamorphic rocks and the deformation and flow of rocks. He has been called the Father of Modern Experimental Geology. Succeeding chairmen of the department of the twenties and thirties were J. Austin Bancroft and J.J. O"Neil, both students of mineral deposits.
In the fifties the Department expanded rapidly under the chairmanship of T.H. Clark and in the sixties under J.E. Gill. In 1955 a pioneer program was inaugurated leading to the M.Sc. (Applied) in Mineral Exploration. In l985 the geophysicists who had been attached to the Department of Mining joined the Department.
The department awarded its first Master"s degree in 1901 and the first doctorate in 1924. Since then its graduates have been an important part of the Canadian industrial and academic communities. No other Canadian earth sciences department has as many doctoral graduates in teaching positions in Canadian universities. In addition to serving Montreal and Quebec, the department has always had a strong representation of students from other areas of Canada and from countries around the world, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.