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 2022. In total 29 (out of 40) schools have responded for this time frame, representing approximately 92% of the overall undergraduate student enrolment. 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, the 7-year downward trend in undergrad enrolments has been reversed with an increase of 146, but the enrolment in the Geo fields continued to decline by 132. The difference in these trends represents the increasing emphasis on Environmental Science in our units. Overall the drop is 25% since 2015 (but 41% in Geo programs). MSc enrolments have also declined, with an overall decline of 263 (22%) since the peak in 2016. PhD enrolment has risen by 53 (7%) in 2022, with a 6% increase in Geo numbers (10% increase if including Environmental (Earth) Science numbers).

Figure 2 shows the number of students in service and first year courses. This number bounces around a lot, depending on which courses are offered in a given year in the larger universities. It has held in the 40,000 range (+/-10%) since 2005.

Figure 3 shows the graduations - the eight-year slide in undergraduate enrolments is now very clear in the number of graduations. MSc graduations in the Geo fields have continued to decline, presumably driven by the decline of undergraduate graduates, but PhD graduations are steady.

Figure 4 tracks the percentage of people reporting as female for students and faculty - among undergraduate students females now make up 51% of our enrolments - a first for the discipline; in the three Geo fields, the percentage is 47%. Female MSc enrolments are at 45%, PhD enrolments have held steady at 41% and female faculty numbers continue to climb ssteadily, now at 29%. Several departments report small numbers of students of unassigned gender - those are not included in the numbers reporting as female.

Figure 5 tracks the statistics on faculty, support staff and post-docs. Faculty numbers are up by 4 to a historic high of 590 (but note that number now includes some Environmental Science positions in recently merged departments, not previously counted). Post-doc and research associate numbers have increased dramatically over the past two years, largely driven by changes in reporting at two larger departments. Support staff (technicians and clerical) has dropped slightly following a gradual increase since 2012.

Figure 6 provides a comparison between the numbers of Canadian/permanent resident and visa students in the graduate programs. The number of internal MSc students continues to decline in keeping with the number of students graduating from BSc programs, but the number of visa students has recovered from a Covid dip in 2021. The number of internal students in PhD programs remains steady, but the number of visa students now firmly exceeds internal students.

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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