The Certificate in Geology Fundamentals is a stand-alone program for students wishing to have an understanding of the basics of geology and will recognize your completion of fundamental courses in the geological sciences. Solving many of the great problems facing humanity today will require an understanding of geology.

As examples, our understanding of modern climate and sea-level changes are informed by changing climates of the geological past which can be inferred from the study of geology. The transition to a low carbon economy will require elements such as lithium, cobalt and rare earth's which have not previously been mined in industrial quantities. Finding these resources and extracting them in a sustainable way will require knowledge of geology. Most of Earth's water outside of the oceans and ice caps is groundwater. Knowledge of geology is necessary for finding and managing groundwater resources.

Quick facts
  • Three-year certificate
  • Part-time program
  • You can enter this program directly from high school

What you will learn

Upon completion of this certificate, students will have a basic understanding of the earth and its evolution through geological time, the processes causing this evolution and of the materials making up our planet.

This certificate is useful to anyone working in industries related to natural resources and environmental management. For example, it is the perfect choice for a business or engineering professional working in the natural resource industries wishing to have a better understanding of the materials making up our planet and the processes that created them.

This certificate program will also allow students pursuing degrees or certificates other than geology gain an understanding of geological processes and materials. In particular, students in Geological Engineering, Geophysics, Environmental Geosciences and Hydrology degrees who choose their electives carefully will be able to complete the certificate and will get recognition for their knowledge in geology.

Students in the Edwards School of Business intending to pursue careers in resource industries may wish to have an understanding of geology fundamentals as might students in other Colleges and Arts and Science programs.

GEOL 224.3: Mineralogy

Crystalline materials and their properties; crystal chemistry and chemical equilibria in natural systems; mineral properties and classification, and particularly rock-forming mineral groups; mineral genesis.

GEOL 258.3: Structural Geology

This course covers the fundamentals of structural geology, which deals with stresses in Earth materials and the response to stress in those Earth materials (deformation). Rocks can deform in many ways, which results in deformation structures, such as folds, faults, ductile shear zones, metamorphic cleavage, and joints (fractures). This course is designed to introduce you to the principles and importance of structural geology, whose impacts range from earthquakes at tectonic plate margins, the concentration of hydrocarbons and metals in structural traps for resource development, to the design and implementation of engineering projects. Laboratories introduce mapping techniques and the analysis of geological maps and structures.

GEOL 308.3: Field School Sedimentary Rocks

A field course in a location with good outcrops of sedimentary rocks. Emphasis will be given to mapping and interpreting sedimentary rocks and the use of stratigraphic principles.

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

Starting your accreditation

If you match this certificate with further studies, you will take courses that will teach you the basic materials helpful for professional accreditation as a geoscientist to have an advantange in fulfilling the requirements.

Complementing your studies

Take this certificate to have your knowledge in geology formally recognized for your future studies or in your desired or current profession.


Integrating this certificate with further studies, you can seek employment with a variety of private and public sector employers, including mining, oil and gas, environmental industries, and geological surveys. Your knowledge of Earth processes is very important in many aspects of the business and public policy world.

The following are a few opportunities:

  • Environmental geology
  • Exploration geology
  • Geological survey
  • Mine geology
  • Petroleum geology
  • Mineralogy
  • Sedimentology
  • Paleontology
  • Geological modelling

Tuition estimates

Canadian students International students
Tuition $815 per 3 credit unit class $3,945 per 3 credit unit class
Student fees $1,121 per year $1,121 per year

Tuition will vary depending on the type and number of classes you take in a year. This estimate reflects a typical amount you could expect to pay per class (2024-2025 Canadian dollar rates).
Student fees are used to fund specific student benefits, including health, vision and dental coverage, a bus pass, recreational programs and fitness centre access. This estimate reflects the price you would pay if you are a full-time student.
The cost of books and supplies varies widely depending on the courses you choose. It is recommended that you budget between $1,500-$2,500 for this program.

Program options

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The Certificate in Geology Fundamentals is offered by the University of Saskatchewan's College of Arts and Science. You may earn the certificate on its own, concurrently with a degree, or after having already received a degree from here or another institution.

If you are already enrolled at USask, consult your academic advisor regarding enrolling in this program.

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

Admission requirements and deadlines


Start term Application DeadlineInternational Deadline
January 2024
Dec 1, 2023
Documents due: Dec 15, 2023
Sep 1, 2023
Documents due: Oct 1, 2023
May 2024
Apr 1, 2024
Documents due: May 1, 2024
Feb 1, 2024
Documents due: Mar 1, 2024
July 2024
May 1, 2024
Documents due: Jun 1, 2024
Mar 1, 2024
Documents due: Apr 1, 2024
September 2024
Aug 15, 2024
Documents due: Aug 15, 2024
May 1, 2024
Documents due: Jun 1, 2024
January 2025
Dec 1, 2024
Documents due: Dec 15, 2024
Sep 1, 2024
Documents due: Oct 1, 2024

Ready to apply?

If you are a current USask student, consult your academic advisor regarding enrolling in this program.

To apply to this program as a new student, please apply for admission to any undergraduate program in the College of Arts and Science and after you are admitted, declare your plans to the college.

Explore related programs

If you are looking for graduate level (Master or Ph.D.) programs please consult our graduate students' website.

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If you are interested in more information about this certificate, please contact student-advice@artsandscience.usask.ca