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Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology (PhD)

Push the boundaries of geoscience

Located on the southern rim of one of the world’s largest and best-exposed meteorite impact sites, close to many mines and diverse geological environments, Sudbury is truly the best place in the world to start a PhD project.

Sudbury’s massive deposits of nickel, copper and platinum group elements provide unique opportunities for field instruction and applied research. The region’s geological environments include Archean volcanic/sedimentary belts, a Proterozoic sedimentary/volcanic belt, Grenville metamorphic terrains, and lower to middle Paleozoic sequences. With over 330 lakes and access to over 1000 km of trails, your backyard becomes both your recreational space and laboratory!

Visit the Harquail School Website

Conseiller ou conseillère aux études

Dr. Stéphane Perrouty

Téléphone : 705-675-1151 ext 2212

Courriel : sperrouty@laurentian.ca

Bureau : B8054, Willet Green Miller Centre

Comment déposer une demande d'études supérieures Ce programme vous intéresse?
Vue aérienne de l'Université Laurentienne
Le Grand Sudbury est la plus vaste ville en Ontario par superficie terrestre, où les activités de plein air ne manquent pas grâce aux lacs et cours d’eau, terrains variés, forêts et réseaux complets de pistes et de sentiers.
Méthode de livraison : Sur campus
Langue du programme : Anglais

Positioning students for employment and success

The Harquail School of Earth Sciences and its Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC) are housed in the Willet Green Miller Centre in Sudbury, the world’s largest mineral exploration and mining-service cluster. The building houses several mining-related research centres such as the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, the Ontario Geological Survey, the Ontario Geoscience Laboratories (Geo Labs), making it one of the largest earth science resource centres in North America and a great resource for students to find employment within their field while at Laurentian University. The Harquail School contains a wide array of analytical instrumentation to support both the research and educational needs, and benefits from sharing laboratory facilities with the Geo Labs, one of the largest and most advanced geoscience analytical facilities in North America.

Visit the Harquail School of Earth Sciences website to learn more about the faculty, current projects, research areas, student and alumni experiences and events!

Professional Accreditation

The four-year B.Sc. in Earth Sciences is designed to meet the minimum knowledge (academic) requirements for registration as a professional geoscientist (P.Geo.) with the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (APGO). Registration with the APGO will significantly enhance career prospects of Earth Sciences students. 

Laurentian is the leading Canadian university in Economic Geology research funding.

The Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC) is a collaborative research centre at Laurentian University affiliated with the Harquail School of Earth Sciences. The Harquail School of Earth Sciences has by far the highest level of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Targeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI) funding in economic geology in Canada.

Metal Earth, Canadian $104 million applied research and development program

The most recently funded project called Metal Earth, is a 7 year, $104 Million collaborative research and development project initiated in 2016 and led by MERC. This initiative received a boost of $49,269,000 over seven years from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF). This is the largest funding announcement in Laurentian’s 56-year history and the largest exploration research program ever undertaken in Canada, providing undergraduate students with the possibility of obtaining valuable hands-on summer work experience by conducting research in the field as part of this initiative. Findings from Metal Earth will be transferable around the world and position Canada as an authoritative leader in the global quest for metals.

Visit the MERC website. 


Visit the Harquail School of Earth Sciences for more information

Students entering the program must have a M.Sc. degree in Geology or an Earth Science related field, with a grade in excess of 75%. Students may also transfer from the M.Sc. program after one year, if approved by their Supervisory Committee.


Application Process

Step 1. Students are encouraged to consult the faculty list on the Faculty Members to identify a potential supervisor (i.e. a faculty member they would like to work with). Applicants should contact potential supervisors and inquire about the possibility of becoming a student. The application process requires a formal commitment from a faculty member to serve as the main supervisor (Thesis Supervisor Agreement Form).  

Step 2. Click here to submit the online application. Once students have applied, they will receive instructions (typically within 48 hours) from the Office of Admissions leading them to the MyLaurentian portal. Students can access the portal at my.laurentian.ca; sign in credentials will be provided in the correspondence received from the Office of Admissions upon successful completion of an application. The following documents will be required in order to complete an application.


  • Three Reference Forms (to begin the process at my.laurentian.ca click on "Reference Submission" on the left-hand navigation menu)
  • Statement of Interest (to be uploaded via MyLaurentian)
  • Thesis Supervisor Agreement Form (found and uploaded via MyLaurentian)
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resume (to be uploaded via MyLaurentian)
  • Official Academic Transcript(s) from all post secondary studies* (Please note that current or prior Laurentian University students do not need to request transcripts)  

*Please note that official transcripts or WES course-by-course (for institutions attended outside of North America) must come directly to the Office of Admissions from the previous post secondary institution by requesting at the time of your application or by contacting the institution's Registrar's Office.


Step 3. Once the Admissions Office receives all information and the application is deemed complete, the application will be forwarded to the department.  An Admissions Committee meets to review the applications.


Step 4. The Admissions Committee will review all applications on file and make a decision regarding the suitability of each applicant.  The Admissions Committee will then make a recommendation to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies at Laurentian University. The Graduate Studies office will verify the dossier and if satisfactory, the Dean of Graduate Studies will forward the recommendation to the Office of Admissions at Laurentian University for admission. 


Step 5: If approved for admission, the Office of Admissions will send the student an Offer of Admission via MyLaurentian.  Applicants wishing to accept the offer of admission must indicate their response on MyLaurentian within 3 weeks of receiving the offer. Once the student has accepted the offer, a transition to the registration process occurs.




Note pour les étudiants actuels

Les options de grade ci-dessous seront offertes lors de la prochaine année universitaire et ne le sont pas cette année. Si vous cherchez les cours à suivre afin de compléter les options d'un programme d'une année universitaire antérieure, svp consultez avec un conseiller académique.

Students must follow these regulations while in the Faculty of Graduate Studies.


Approved Fields of Study

  • Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology

Program Requirements

Mandatory courses:

GEOL 6000E     Thesis

GEOL 6007E     Research Seminar in Geologyy (Under exceptional circumstances this course may be replaced by another graduate course in Geology)

9 credits GEOL 5000 or 6000 level

Candidate(s) must submit a PhD research proposal and pass an oral PhD Qualifying Examination within 18 months of registration. To complete the Thesis requirement (GEOL-6000) candidates must successfully defend a PhD Thesis and submit a corrected version post-defence.


In addition to the requirements listed above, candidates who are transferred from the MSc degree to the Ph.D. program will require an extra 6 credits of GEOL courses at the 5000 or 6000 level.


Residency Requirements

A minimum of two full academic terms of full-time residence is required for all Ph.D. students within their first two years of study. The minimum period of study is two years (full-time) for candidates holding a M.Sc. degree, or three years (full-time) for candidates entering the program with a B.Sc. Honours degree

GEOL-5000EL - Thesis GEOL-5006EL - Research Techniques in Geology GEOL-5007EL - Research Seminar in Geology GEOL-5055EL - Applied Research Project GEOL-5107EL - Advanced Mineralogy GEOL-5206EL - Topics in Igneous Petrology GEOL-5207EL - Topics in Metamorphic Geology GEOL-5216EL - Basin Analysis GEOL-5217EL - Applied Sedimentology GEOL-5246EL - Carbonate Facies GEOL-5306EL - Structural Control on Ore Dep. GEOL-5307EL - Structure, Tectonics & Mineral Exploration GEOL-5317EL - Topics in Applied Remote Sensing GEOL-5326EL - Exploration Volcanic Terrains GEOL-5406EL - Paleoecology of Ancient Environments GEOL-5407EL - Precambrian and Paleozoic Paleontology
GEOL-5416EL - The Global Change-The Geologic Record GEOL-5606EL - Exploration for Magmatic Ore Deposits GEOL-5607EL - Special Topics in Geochemistry of Hydrothermal Ore Deposits GEOL-5806EL - Exploration Geochemistry GEOL-5906EL - Topics in Shield Geology GEOL-5956EL - Exploration Geophysics GEOL-5957EL - Advanced Topics in Geophysics GEOL-6000EL - Thesis GEOL-6004EL - PhD Comprehensive Examination GEOL-6007EL - Research Seminar in Geology GEOL-6506EL - Directed Studies in Geology GEOL-9500EL - Geology Non-Equivalent - - -