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 2021. In total 26 (out of 39) 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 137, but the enrolment in the Geo fields is down by 241. Overall the drop is 28% since 2015 (and 39% in Geo programs). MSc enrolments have also declined, with an overall decline of 211 (18%) since the peak in 2016. PhD enrolment has remained relatively stable, with a 3% decline in Geo numbers compensated by an equivalent rise in Environmental (Earth) Science numbers.

Figure 2 shows the number of students in service and first year courses. The decline initiated in 2020 had continued through 2021.

Figure 3 shows the graduations - the four-year slide in undergraduate enrolments is now very clear in the number of graduations. MSc graduations, which dropped significantly in 2020, have remained at that level, but PhD graduations are steady.

Figure 4 tracks the percentage of females as students and faculty - among undergraduate students females now make up 50% of our enrolments - a first for the discipline. Female MSc enrolments have increased to 46%, PhD enrolments have held steady at 41% and female faculty numbers climbed slightly from last year to 28%. Several departments report small numbers of students of unassigned gender - these are not included in the numbers reporting as female.

The final two figures track the statistics on faculty, support staff and post-docs. Faculty numbers are up by 12 to a historic high of 600 (but note that number now includes some Environmental Science positions in recently merged departments, not previously counted). Post-doc numbers have declined slightly since 2015 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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