Council of Chairs of Canadian Earth Science Departments
Conférence des Directeurs de Départment de Géologie du Canada

A Council Dedicated to the Promotion of Education in the Earth Sciences at all Levels



This page reports the survey of Canadian Earth Science departments from the calendar year 2020. In total 31 schools have responded for this time frame. Data from the last reporting year have been substituted for the remaining universities. Full details of the response rate can be found on the page listing responses.


Figure 1 shows the national data for enrolments in BSc, MSc and PhD programs. Filled symbols include all the data from our units; open symbols represent students in just Geology, Geophysics and Geological Engineering programs. The gap between the two lines for each degree therefore represents the other subdisciplines in our departments, of which Environmental (Earth) Science is by far the largest. Overall, undergrad enrolments are down by 93, but because we have units recently annexing Environmental Science programs, the enrolment in the Geo fields is down by 57. Although the rate of decline has slowed, overall the drop is 27% since 2015 (and 33% in Geo programs). MSc and PhD enrolments have also declined, but more because of an increased rate of graduation than decreased registration.

Figure 2 shows the number of students in service and first year courses, although somewhat lower than the peak in 2019.

Figure 3 shows the graduations - the four-year slide in enrolments is now making itself visible in the graduations, although numbers appear to have leveled off, with a small up-tick in the graduation of students in the Geo fields. MSc graduations dropped significantly, but PhD graduations continue to climb steadily.

Figure 4 tracks the percentage of females as students and faculty - among undergraduate students females now make up 47% of our enrolments. MSc enrolments remained at 42%, and PhD enrolments and faculty numbers each climbed slightly from last year to 41% and 28% respectively.

The final two figures track the statistics on faculty, support staff and post-docs. Faculty numbers are up by 2 to a historic high of 588 (but note that number now includes some Environmental Science positions in recently merged departments, not previously counted). Post-doc numbers have been fairly stable since 2005 and support staff (technicians and clerical) has seen a steady slight increase since 2012.

As always, if any department wants access to the raw data, I can provide the data laid out by university, but with only your own university specifically identified. The other departments will be coded using the Maclean's magazine categories.

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