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Bachelor of Science, Geology, Mount Royal College

Information for this profile was provided by Katherine Boggs in 2009.

Mount Royal College, in Calgary, Alberta (Canada) is a public four-year institution, primarily undergraduate .

Overview and Context

Illustration of the Mount Royal College geology curriculum, constructed by Monica Bruckner, based on information provided by Katherine Boggs. Click on the image to see a larger version.
The program described is our brand new Bachelor of Science, geology major program.
Our BSc in geology program is designed to produce graduates who will be able to work within the geosciences and/or progress into academia.

Program Design

Our program is brand new; we have just accepted our first set of geology majors who will be starting 2nd year courses in the fall. There is an enormous demand for geoscientists in Alberta mostly due to the petroleum industry.

The three main considerations for our program include:

  1. Accreditation requirements outlined by provincial and national associations
  2. Strong general education component required by the college
  3. Our desire to produce well-rounded geologists capable of being employed in any geoscience field and/or continuing in academia.

Goals and Assessment

The strongest influence on our curriculum was ensuring that our students would meet the requirements of our provincial and national associations so that they would be employable. We have designed our curriculum to ensure that this is possible.

Mount Royal College has a required general education component that must be observed by all programs. We were permitted to reduce this number by one course in order to meet the above accreditation. This general education component can be manipulated by the students in order for them to pursue minors or specializations, which permits them the flexibility to pursue related interests to the geosciences (environmental sciences, biology, chemistry, geography, computer programming, communication, education, business, etc).

We also wanted to produce well-rounded geologists who would be employable in any geoscience field or capable of continuing into academia. We feel that our core program will provide this well-rounded background. If the students desire to specialize they may do so through the 'avanced topics' courses, the geoscience research course or through minors/specializations and the general education requirements.

Courses and Sequencing

Entry into the program

Our first year students must complete the following courses (and 5 other non-geology courses) before they can apply to become geology majors:

  • Physical Geology
  • Historical Geology

Both courses last for 4 months and have a 3 hour lecture/3 hour lab component.

Core courses

  • Introduction to Geological Field Methods (Prerequisite: Historical Geology)
  • Minerals and Rocks (Prerequisite: Historical Geology)
  • Structural Geology (Prerequisite: Historical Geology)
  • Paleontology (Prerequisite: Historical Geology)
  • Stratigraphy and Sedimentation (Prerequisite: Historical Geology)
  • Crystallography and Optical Mineralogy (Prerequisite: Minerals and Rocks)
  • Advanced Geologic Field Methods (Prerequisite: Introduction to Geological Field Methods)
  • Igneous Petrology (Prerequisite: Crystallography and Optical Mineralogy)
  • Geomorphology (Prerequisite: Historical Geology)
  • Sedimentary Petrology(Prerequisite: Crystallography and Optical Mineralogy)
  • Metamorphic Petrology (Prerequisite: Igneous and Sedimentary Petrology)
  • Geochemistry (Prerequisite: Igneous and Sedimentary Petrology)
  • Exploration Geophysics (Prerequisite: Historical Geology)
  • Hydrogeology (Prerequisite: Historical Geology)
  • Geological History of Western Canada (Prerequisites: Introduction to Geological Field Methods, Metamorphic Petrology)
  • Petroleum Geology (Prerequisite: Sedimentary Petrology)
  • Ore Deposits and Economic Geology (Prerequisite: Metamorphic Petrology)
  • Geoscience Research (Prerequisites depend on topic covered)


Students choose one of the following two 'advanced topics courses':
  • Advanced Topics in Sedimentary Geology (Prerequisite: Sedimentary Petrology)
  • Advanced Topics in Igneous/Metamorphic Petrology (Prerequisite: Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology)

Other required courses

The following 5 courses are required to be completed prior to complete acceptance as geology majors:

  • General Chemistry I
  • Calculus for Scientists I or Linear Algebra for Scientists and Engineers
  • Classical Physics
  • Introductory English or Writing for the Professionals (second one recommended for our students)

After acceptance as geology majors, the students must complete:

  • Calculus for Scientists I or Linear Algebra for Scientists and Engineers (the one they did not complete previously)
  • General Chemistry II
  • Classical Physics II
  • Statistics for Earth Scientists


Our primary capstone course is:

  • Geoscience Research

We are also developing another optional capstone course: 4th year field trip (to be organized by the students to examine the geology outside of western Canada)

Additional Materials

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