The Certificate in Hard Rock Geoscience will broadly cover topics related to igneous and metamorphic geology, geochemistry and mineral deposits with a focus on changing conditions through Earth history that produced crystalline lithologies and their associated mineral deposits.

Quick facts
  • Two-year certificate
  • Part-time program
  • This program has university-level course prerequisites

What you will learn

The certificate is not intended to replace the existing programs in geology but will allow students to highlight their knowledge in igneous and metamorphic rocks, geochemistry, relevant structural geology and mineralization without committing to a full degree.

This type of knowledge is useful to a variety of careers across the natural sciences and industry and will provide students with a broad background in Earth history, particularly for those in environmental geoscience.

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 229.3: Introductory Geochemistry

An overview of geochemical theory and problem-solving techniques used by Earth Scientists to elucidate Earth system processes. Topics of discussion will include the origin of elements, stable and radiogenic isotopes, geochronology, thermodynamics, trace element partitioning in mineral fluid systems, weathering and aqueous geochemistry.

GEOL 408.3: Field School Crystalline Rocks

A field course where deformed and metamorphosed volcanic, sedimentary and intrusive igneous rocks will be mapped and interpreted. Fieldwork results will be presented as a map and in a report.

GEOL 406.3: Global Considerations in Geology

Origin of the universe and the solar system; the early earth and the origin and evolution of its core, mantle, crust, oceans, and atmosphere. The Archaean-Proterozoic contrasts; plate tectonics; geochemical cycles and budgets; climatic, atmospheric, hydrospheric and biospheric change; limits on resource exploitation; occurrence, distribution and retardation of radionuclides.

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

Showing specific skills

The certificate is not intended to replace the existing programs in geology or environmental geosciences but will recognize proficiency in what is traditionally referred to as hard rock geoscience, which means the study of igneous and metamorphic rocks, geochemistry and mineral deposits and the processes leading to their formation.

Complementing your studies

Complete this certificate to have your knowledge in hard rock geoscience formally recognized for your current or future studies or in your current or desired profession.

Making an impact

The Certificate in Hard Rock Geoscience will help you show that you have the skills necessary to provide useful insight that could be used for new, less environmentally sensitive technologies for resource extraction.


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 Hard Rock Geoscience 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