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Earth and Ocean Sciences

The Major specialization in Earth and Ocean Sciences is available for students who have a general interest in the earth sciences. However, with careful course selection students may use a Major Earth and Ocean Sciences specialization toward professional registration as a geoscientist. See a major advisor for more details.

For students intending to pursue a professional career, honours or streamed major specializations are preferred. For details of the specializations available see Geological Sciences, Geophysics, Oceanography, Atmospheric Science, and Environmental Sciences. The department also offers Geological Engineering as part of the B.A.Sc. degree program.


Major (1223): Earth and Ocean Sciences

First Year 
Communication Requirement13
CHEM_V 121 (or 111 or 141)24
CHEM_V 12324
EOSC_V or ATSC_V 100-level36
EOSC_V 1111
MATH_V 100 or 102 or 10443
MATH_V 101 or 103 or 10553
PHYS_V 100-level63
Total Credits30
Second Year 
Communication Requirement13
EOSC_V 211 or GEOS_V (or GEOB_V) 2703
EOSC_V 2123
EOSC_V, ENVR_V, or ATSC_V courses numbered 200 or above86
Total Credits30
Third and Fourth Years 
EOSC_V, ENVR_V, or ATSC_V courses numbered 300 or above924
EOSC_V, ENVR_V, or ATSC_V 400-level6
Total Credits60
Minimum Credits for Degree120
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 Students who do not have B.C. High School Chemistry 12 (or its equivalent) must write the UBC Chemistry Basic Skills Test and may be required to take CHEM_V 100. CHEM_V 110 and 115 may substitute for CHEM_V 111, CHEM_V 120 and 115 may substitute for CHEM_V 121, CHEM_V 130 and 135 may substitute for CHEM_V 123.
3 Three credits may be deferred until second year. The requirement for these courses may be waived if a student has completed upper-level courses in each of the solid and fluid earth sciences.
4 MATH_V 180 or 184 or 120 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit. MATH_V 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 3 credits.
5 MATH_V 121 may substitute for any of the specified integral calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit. 
6 Chosen from 100-level PHYS_V courses, excluding PHYS_V 100. Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS_V 100 before taking any other 100-level PHYS_V course. PHYS_V 100 will count as an elective. Qualified students are encouraged to take PHYS_V 117 or PHYS_V 106. 
7 Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
8 Six credits may be delayed to third year if 300-level or higher courses are used for this requirement. See advisor.
9 A maximum of 6 credits may be replaced by credits from (BIOL_V 306, CHEM_V 301, 302, GEOS_V (or GEOB_V) 300, or 304).

Specialization Objectives

Mastery of the curriculum will:

  1. qualify students for employment in various areas within the earth sciences, including allowing students with the appropriate course background to register as a Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo.) with Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (EGBC);
  2. allow students to apply for graduate school in an earth science discipline (depending on course background).

Learning Goals

Students completing this specialization will be able to:

  1. demonstrate basic knowledge of either atmospheric sciences, geological sciences, geophysics, or oceanography, or a broad range of earth sciences that covers several of these disciplines;
  2. integrate concepts across the earth science disciplines;
  3. demonstrate an understanding of the varying time and spatial scales over which Earth processes occur;
  4. manipulate data in the context of the earth sciences;
  5. write reports and communicate various concepts and ideas in earth science.

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