HOW TO APPLY

Q&A

Are there graduate student positions available?

Each year our department welcomes an average of 8-14 new graduate students. The process is competitive, so the positions are filled quickly.Most of the positions are filled by March of each year.

Can I list Earth Sciences at Dalhousie University as one of the possible locations on my NSERC scholarship applications?

Yes. When your NSERC application is received by Dalhousie, we will do our best to find a potential supervisor for you. They will contact you if they have positions and research funding available. However, we encourage you contact them.

Specifically, what graduate positions are available?

We seek MSc and PhD students who wish to conduct world-class research in fields that are broadly related to our expertise. Students wishing to conduct research in fields outside our expertise may find adjunct professors at Dalhousie (see our website) who have the expertise needed to carry out a research program in your field of interest. Please contact a potential supervisor at your earliest convenience. If you are interested in completing a post-doc with us, please contact your potential supervisor. Some students propose a project that they would like to conduct. Many will ask the supervisors for project ideas.
Faculty Member Research expertise @dal.ca
James Brenan Experimental mineralogy, geochemistry, petrology, mineral deposits JBrenan
Isabelle Coutand Fission track analysis, thermochronology, detrital zircon/apatite, Active tectonics, climate vs. tectonic forcing of orogens and basins, Andes, Alps, Himalaya, western Canada, Icoutand
Yana Fedortchouk Petrology, Mineral Deposits, Diamonds, mantle geochemistry, platinum group elements, high pressure high temperature mineral experiments, igneous petrology, ore genesis Yana
John Gosse Earth surface processes, Cosmogenic isotopes, 10Be, 26Al, 36Cl, 14C, Geomorphology, active tectonics, landscape evolution, geochronology, Neogene-Quaternary, glacial dynamics, Canadian Arctic, Nepal, Mongolia, southwestern USA, southern central Andes, Atlantic Canada John.Gosse
Christopher Greene Remote Sensing, GIS csgreene
Djordje Grujic Tectonics, structural geology, microstructural analysis, geo- and thermochronology, mid-crustal flow, tectonic-climate interactions, modelling of deformation systems, Himalaya, Alps, Dinarides. Dgrujic
Nedimović, Mladen Geophysics, Marine Geophysics, seismics, GPR, Lidar, Vibracoring, OBS Mladen
Lawrence Plug Natural systems of patterns, numerical modeling, fracture systems over wide spatial scales, geomorphology, permafrost, non-reductionist modeling, surface processes, forestry models, sustainability, climate change, Nova Scotia, Alaska, Yukon, Mars Lawrence.Plug
Anne Marie Ryan Environmental geology, geochemistry Anne.Marie.Ryan
Owen Sherwood Stable isotopes systems, paleoclimatology, Quaternary-Holocene, deep-sea corals, marine geoscience, isotopic fingerprinting related to environment and petroleum industries Owen.Sherwood
Shannon Sterling Biogeochemistry, environmental sciences, modeling impact of climate changes, global hydrology, streams and hydrology, groundwater, Nova Scotia Shannon.Sterling
Grant Wach Petroleum systems, interpretation of offshore records including 2D and 3D seismic, core, well logs, stratigraphy, sedimentology, surface processes, petroleum systems architecture, facies models, outcrop analogues to offshore systems, submarine mass wasting complexes, Scotia Shelf, African petroleum systems, Trinidad, Brazilian and Venezuelan shelves, CO2 storage Grant.Wach

Who pays?

Usually our faculty will support their graduate students with grants or other funding. However, once that grant funding is allocated for a particular year, students who are eligible for scholarships, bursaries, and other funding may still be approved if adequate funding is available. For questions regarding costs, please consult the Graduate Secretary or your potential supervisor. Note that the cost of thesis-based graduate students is not just tuition, fees, and stipend (year-round salary for living expenses), but also the cost of the research and travel to field areas and meetings. There are many international, national, provincial, private scholarships available to our applicants and current graduate students. Please consult the FGS.dal.ca website for details. Dalhousie is the largest university in Atlantic Canada, and one of Canada's strongest research universities, and our department was ranked 4th nationally in the field of Earth Sciences/Geology. Therefore we have graduate scholarships, awards, and bursaries that are unique to our university and department.

Do we offer a non-thesis MSc degree?

Currently the Department of Earth Sciences only offers thesis-based graduate degrees. However, we are considering the possibility of offering a course-based MSc program in certain fields in the near future (possibly beginning 2019). Contact the Graduate Secretary for more information.

Who is eligible?

The Faculty of Graduate Studies sets minimum admissions standards for entry to all graduate programs at Dalhousie. Details and application forms can be found on the FGS website. Although requirements vary by department, for M.Sc. programs, a B.Sc. (honours) or equivalent is normally required, and for Ph.D. programs, an M.Sc. or equivalent is normally required. As enrolment in Earth Sciences is limited by the funding and projects available, most successful applicants possess qualifications that considerably exceed the minimum requirements.

Can students without background in geology or earth sciences apply?

Yes! Many of our graduate students come from physics, chemistry, environmental science, oceanography, and engineering backgrounds. A supervisor will decide if your background is suitable for the projects available. You may be asked to do some earth science courses in your first two years to compensate for any significant deficiencies.

Do you need to complete a GRE?

No. The Graduate Records Examination is NOT required.

What is the application procedure?

Complete the graduate application form (online or print) 1. Submit supporting documents to the academic department: 1. All post-secondary academic transcripts; 2. At least two reference letters (Please note: Dalhousie University will only accept university email addresses [ie not Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail] for our electronic reference system.); 3. For international students whose first language is not English, a TOEFL score or equivalent proof of English proficiency is required. Although applications can be considered at any time, for best results applications should be received in January or February of the year in which students intend to start their graduate programs. Most programs start in September but May or January start dates are also possible. Students applying for NSERC PGS scholarships or other external awards should consult those agencies for application deadlines, which may be earlier than Dalhousie admission deadlines.

What is the admission procedure?

Dalhousie University will verify any information provided by the applicant, including letters of reference and transcripts. The initial application evaluation process is conducted by the department, who makes a recommendation to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The final decision is made by FGS and a formal offer of admission is sent out by the Registrar of Dalhousie University. The departmental Graduate Committee considers each application for graduate studies in Earth Sciences based on the student's interests and qualifications and departmental funding and research projects available. The Graduate Co-ordinator will attempt to match enquiries and applications with potential supervisors, but for best results, students are encouraged to contact potential supervisors directly. See our Faculty  pages for graduate research opportunities. Earth Sciences applicants are not required to complete the "Financial Support" section under Additional Information on the standard application form. Applicants are considered for financial support as part of the normal admission process. See our Graduate Funding page for further details.