Geological Studies

Online Campus | Program Code: 0851
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In this program, students complete a number of online courses all relating to the science of Geology. There is a suggested order of courses. Students begin with an overview to the study of the Earth, examining the Earth’s origins, properties, dimensions and location, volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, rocks and minerals fossils and history. Subsequent topics of study include an examination of natural disasters, minerals, rocks, fossils, and the relationships between environmental concerns and Geology. Students will also have the opportunity to explore Oceanography, Meteorology and Astronomy. Because Geology is such a visual science, every attempt shall be made to provide the student with good visuals so that, when out in the field, they will recognize certain land features and be able to identify certain rocks, minerals and fossils.

To successfully complete the program, participants must complete five (5) compulsory courses and two (2) elective course.


  • For your convenience, some courses are offered both in-class and online. Some online courses can be started at different times throughout the semester, just choose the course date that fits your schedule.
  • The demand for part-time courses has increased to the point that we recommend you register early to ensure your acceptance into the course.
  • Online courses are easily identified by CS at the beginning of the course code (i.e. CSSE 65 Accounting Basics 1)
  • Textbooks and additional materials may be required for these courses. YOU are responsible for purchasing your textbooks and any additional materials for all courses. Please make a note of your course code (CS##) and see the bottom of this page for book order procedure.

Visit the Lifelong Learning catalogue for course details and to register.

Program Details

Code 0851
Start Date May, January, September
Credential Certificate
Campus Online
Program Length * Students have a maximum of five years to complete the program
Delivery Online Part-Time

Program Outline


Geology is the study of a dynamic Earth that is changing on a daily basis due to tectonic activity, volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, meteorite strikes, tsunami and more.  This introductory course outlines the formation of the Earth in the context of the formation of the Universe and Solar System.  It examines the history of the Earth and of the Moon and its formation.  Course content includes an examination of the properties of the Earth, its dynamic activities, its rocks and minerals and fossils, and the uses of rocks and minerals.  An examination of the careers that are associated with geology is included.

Mineralogy is the study of the crystals that comprise rocks.  This course studies minerals.  It is a course that allows the student to become very knowledgeable about minerals and to enjoy their beauty.  The course begins by explaining what minerals are, their composition and their classification.  The concept of mineral formation is followed by the use of descriptive and identifying properties. The student is introduced to the use of a ‘key’.  After having learned how to identify important minerals, the student will be introduced to some of the fascinating minerals on Earth:  gemstones, ore minerals and essential minerals.   The course concludes by examining various mineral collecting sites of the world.

Petrology is the study of rocks. This course examines the different categories of rocks, the processes by which different rocks are created, the characteristics of rocks that allow them to be identified, and the location of different types of rocks. 

You will examine the exciting and dramatic interactions between Geology and the surrounding environment. You will consider Geologic events—such as volcanoes, tsunami, earthquakes, landslides and avalanches—with a particular approach to their impact on humans and other life. In addition, you will analyze human responses to these hazards and disasters with a perspective towards the future. Furthermore, you will study the relationships between human activity and geology and the impact of one upon the other. 

This course studies the events, the causes and the effects of some of the world's greatest geological natural disasters. The course examines disasters associated with earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, weather, hurricanes, floods, fires, extinctions and impacts from space. Each type of disaster contains a geologic or scientific component. The disasters are examined in terms of their geologic or scientific origins, their locations, their effects and impact on human lives and settlements. Advice is given as to how best to prepare for and defend yourself against these disasters. 

The world’s oceans are spectacular in their beauty, majestic in their power and domineering in terms of their effects on climate.  Oceans are a source of bountiful food and are home to tremendous numbers and varieties of species.  It is very important to possess a good understanding of how the ocean’s work.  Our future as a species depends upon the oceans that surround each and every continent.  This course examines the oceans from an historical, geographical, geological and biological perspective.  The course makes use of an excellent textbook that guides us through the ‘story of the oceans’.   Each week, the student will explore a different topic.  In order, these topics are:  history of oceanography, ocean waters, the productivity of the oceans, seafloor sediments, Plankton and Nekton, ocean currents, waves, tides and the Benthos.

Astronomy is the study of all that which is beyond the Earth.  This course examines the visible features of the sky—Moon, Sun, planets, stars, constellations, meteors and galaxies.  Students will learn how to ‘navigate across the night sky’ by moving from constellation to constellation in a logical and progressive manner.  In addition, students will examine the content of key constellations in detail and develop skills in analyzing and explaining unique astronomical phenomena.

This is an introductory course in Meteorology that seeks to, logically and methodically, develop the student’s understanding of weather and weather-related phenomena.  Students taking this course will develop a good working knowledge of all aspects of Meteorology and will be much better informed as to the nature and causes of weather-related events.

Paleontology is the study of fossils—evidence of pre-existing life. This course examines the ways in which fossils were formed, the various types of fossils, and a selection of fossils found in each of the time periods of the Earth’s history. The course examines the history of the Earth’s formation, the Geological Time Scale and then the fossils of each of the periods. The fossils are examined in the context of the planet’s development and evolution; extinction events are noted for their effect on the development of life on Earth. 


Admission Requirements

Applicants to the program must hold an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (O.S.S.D.) or equivalent or must qualify for mature student status (19 years of age or older).

Career Opportunities

Graduates new to the industry may find employment as assistants in mining reclamation, rock and mineral museums, flood water analysis, paleontology, or field geology. Other types of employment may include entry level positions as a writer/editor of news stories relating to the Earth Sciences; editor/advisor/consultant to publications dealing with science articles; or public relations communicator for firms involved in geology and mining.

Program Contacts

Program Contact
SLC+ Continuing Education