Minor Programs of Study

Our minor programs are a great way to explore aspects of geoscience that complement your main program. Minors are offered in Geology and Geochemistry. Each one is a set of six Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPSC) courses selected to give you the fundamentals and offer access to one or several higher-level courses.

Minor Geology (18 credits)


Start your Minor Geology with one of these 3-credit introductory courses:


The next courses (6 required credits) are:


The remaining 9 credits are commonly selected from this list:


Our 100-level EPSC courses cannot be used towards the Minor Geology.

Other EPSC courses of level 200- or higher, including EPSC field courses or a research project ( EPSC 482 - Res in Earth & Planetary Sci ), can be used with approval of the departmental adviser, as long as their pre-requisites are met and permission of the instructor is granted. Since research and field courses require planning, the instructor or potential supervisor must be contacted early.

Minor Geochemistry (18 credits)


Start your Minor Geology with the three required introductory courses:


The next 9 credits are three courses chosen from a list of relevant complementary courses. The most commonly chosen courses are:


Other relevant EPSC courses of level 200- or higher can be used (including a research project EPSC 482 - Res in Earth & Planetary Sci ), with approval from a departmental adviser, if the pre-requisites are met and permission of the instructor is granted.

Note: the current calendar entry of the Minor Geochemistry may include EPSC 542, but this course was recently retired.


We also contribute to the following Minor programs:

Minor Earth System Science (18 credits)


The Minor Earth System Science consists of 18 credits, 12 of which are met by the required courses:

The remaining six credits are met by two courses from 2 of 3 ESYS Departments (EPSC, ATOC, or GEOG), 300 level or higher, in consultation with the ESS student adviser.

More information on the Minor Earth System Science.

Minor Concentration Science for Arts Students (18 credits)


Students in a B.A. program may choose Earth and Planetary Sciences as their area of specialization for this Minor Concentration.

The first required course (3 credits) can be taken in any year:


The next 9 credits must be chosen as follows:

One (3 credits) of:


together with the next courses (6 additional credits):


Learning about geological processes requires some familiarity with notions of general chemistry. CHEM 110 or some equivalent is expected in EPSC 210. However, prerequisites or EPSC courses at the 100 level cannot be counted for credit toward this Minor concentration.

The last 6 credits can be chosen from a wide range of EPSC courses.

The next one is recommended for its small enrolment and the opportunity to learn outdoors during the fall semester. Motivated students are welcome as early as in U0 (with permission of the instructor):


The above EPSC 240 is the pre-requisite for a field course normally offered during the first 2 weeks of May. Registration requires a permit. Students who completed EPSC 240 are invited by the instructor to a January meeting about the field logistics and travel arrangements of EPSC 231. (Exceptionally, 2021 registration is restricted to programs where the course is required.)


The following courses can be used in this Minor:


Other EPSC courses of level 300- or higher can be used with permission of the departmental adviser. If you do not have the exact pre-requisites, seek guidance from the departmental adviser (and plan an alternate selection).

Minor Natural History (24 credits)


The single course required in this Minor is typically taken in U3:


The 21 credits of complementary courses are drawn from specified lists of natural science subjects, and they can include the following EPSC courses:


The Minor also lists our field course EPSC 231. EPSC 240 is the recommended pre-requisite, and registration requires a permit granted at the request of the course instructor):

(Exceptionally for 2021, registration in EPSC 231 is restricted to the Major and Honours programs that explicitly require this field course.)

If you combine the Minor Natural History with any one of our Major programs, an overlap of up to 6 credits of EPSC (or ESYS) courses is allowed (i.e. up to 6 credits of EPSC or ESYS courses eligible as complementary courses in this Minor could be the same ones taken in your Major program).

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