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Course Description

Hiker sitting on a rock cliff taking a photo with a phone

This course provides an introduction to geological principles, their historical development and application to interpreting Earth materials and processes. This course is suitable for those wishing a general knowledge of Earth sciences.

Note: This course can be taken individually or as a part of a certificate program.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  • Examine the Earth's place in the universe, specifically its uniqueness and fragility.
  • Recognize that geology is a physical and historical science.
  • Describe the materials that make up our planet and how they are organized.
  • Outline the natural and anthropogenic processes that shape our planet.
  • Investigate the mechanisms behind common types of geologic phenomena.
  • Examine the interdependence between Earth resources and society.

Course Topics

  •   Origin of the Solar System and the Earth
  •   Earth Structure
  •   Plate Tectonics
  •   Minerals
  •   Igneous Geology
  •   Sedimentology
  •   Metamorphism
  •   Glacial Geology
  •   Paleontology
  •   Stratigraphy and Time
  •   Structural Geology

Additional Requirements

Restriction(s): May not be taken for credit by students in BIESP, BBRM, BSC or BSC(Env).


Assessment Item Weight
Biweekly Quizzes (4) 40%
Discussion Posts (5) 20%
Online Final Exam 40%
Total 100%

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
Discovering Planet Earth
May 11, 2023 to August 04, 2023
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
Domestic Tuition Fee - Non-Ontario (0.5 units) $713.81 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $3,106.72 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Section Notes

Note:  If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above.  You must register through WebAdvisor.


Section Materials
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) Essentials of Geology by Lutgens, F.K., Tarbucks, E.J., & Tasa, D. © 2018 Pearson Education Canada 13th edition ISBN 9780134446622
  • e-book (Confirmed) (Mandatory) eBook option of Essentials of Geology - (Instant Access - 6 months) ISBN eBook (180 day subscription) 9780134700342
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