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Earth and Ocean Sciences

Study topics like global climate change, earthquakes, groundwater contamination or marine pollution through a Master of Science (MSc) or PhD graduate degree option. You can study integrated multidisciplinary programs in geology, geophysics, oceanography and atmosphere and climate sciences.

In Earth and ocean sciences, you’ll receive a unique education that takes you out on field trips, field schools and marine cruises. We believe that to study the planet, you have to experience it firsthand. You’ll also have the opportunity to study with faculty from the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis and the nearby Institute of Ocean Sciences and Geological Survey of Canada (Pacific).

Degree programs offered

Located on the southern-most tip of an island, UVic is uniquely situated to offer you access to a rich and diverse biome to study. The research in Earth and ocean sciences is designed to offer a broad spectrum of skills and focuses. In this program, you’ll receive hands-on mentorship from our faculty as you complete your thesis. The skills that you’ll learn here are universal, but will give you an edge in careers that focus on the planet.

In your PhD, you will work within a community of diverse and innovative research. You’ll prepare a final dissertation that will show your hard work and research focus. Your research will focus on planetary systems while considering the earth as an integrated whole. This research will be supplemented by coursework and a candidacy exam. Your dissertation will highlight your achievements and advance our knowledge the world around us.

Program Expected length Project and/or thesis Course-based
MA 2 years Yes No
PhD 2-4 years Yes No

Quick facts

Program options:
Masters, Doctorate
Program delivery:
Dynamic learning:
Co-op optional

Areas of focus

  • Petrology
  • Geochemistry
  • Paleo geochemistry
  • Marine geochemistry
  • Marine biogeochemistry/phytoplankton
  • Biological oceanography
  • Marine biology
  • Ocean mixing
  • Ocean acoustics
  • Climate theory and modelling
  • Hydrothermal studies
  • Structural geology
  • Sedimentology
  • Geophysics

Find a supervisor

All graduate students in this program must have a faculty member who serves as their academic supervisor. When you apply:

  • you must list a potential supervisor on your application
  • this faculty member must agree to be your supervisor and recommend your admission

To find a supervisor, review the faculty contacts. When you've found a faculty member whose research complements your own, contact them by email.

See our complete faculty listing for a full list of contacts for Earth and Ocean Sciences.

Funding & aid

Graduate students registered in full-time programs are automatically considered for a fellowship. This is based on a qualifying GPA.

Individual award amounts may vary depending on the program.

UVic Fellowship Awards

  • Up to $17,500 per year (master's)
  • Up to $20,000 per year (PhD)

UVic Graduate Awards

  • Up to $10,000 per year (master's and PhD)


  • The minimum requirement for funding consideration is a A- average on the last two years of course work
  • Full-time registration (3.0 units) for UVic Fellowship holders and at least part-time registration (1.5 units) for UVic Graduate Award holders
  • Full-time registration for students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) is 1.5 units

You can also join the co-op program or work as a research or teaching assistant.

Funding opportunities

Tuition & fees

Visit our tuition calculator to determine the tuition and fees for your program.

When you apply you will be charged an application fee. Your application will not be processed until this payment has been received.

  • Application fee for documents from within Canada: $131.50
  • Application fee if any documents originate outside Canada: $169

Application deadlines

  • Applications may be submitted at any time.

You can choose to enter the program in September, January or May.

International students should get their paperwork in order as soon as possible. Processing times are often lengthy and can delay your program entry.

Admission & program requirements

You must meet the minimum graduate school admission requirements.

Review the graduate admission requirements and this program's admission requirements in the Graduate calendar.

If your first language is not English you must provide proof of language proficiency. Learn more about language requirements, including what exemptions and tests are allowed.

Ready to apply?

You can start your online application to UVic by creating a new profile or using an existing one.

Apply now    How to apply

Need help?

Contact the graduate secretary or 250-721-6120.

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