Frequently Asked Questions

For additional information about our program, the Earth Sciences' general office is located on the 7000 level of the TASC1 building (TASC1 7201). Feel free to drop by to set-up an appointment or you can contact the Academic Advisor, Tarja Vaisanen directly.


I have questions about undergraduate admission to SFU - where should I go for help?

Contact Student Recruitment and Admissions at

What are the admission requirements for high school or college/university transfer students?

All students must meet the University admission requirements and the Faculty of Science’s admission requirements.  Visit for more information.


Who can I go to for advising assistance in Earth Sciences?

Tarja Vaisanen  (EASC Academic Advisor)
TASC 1 – Room 7203 / 778.782.4779 /
(program approval, transfer credit, completion/graduation, course registration, general advice)

Dr. Brent Ward (Environmental Geoscience Stream)
778.782.4229 /

Dr. Glyn Williams-Jones (Geology and General Earth Sciences Stream)
778.782.3306 /

Undergraduate Programs

What programs are available in the Department of Earth Sciences?

Details on our Undergraduate Program can be found on our website at:

How do I declare my Major?

Contact the EASC Advisor, Tarja Vaisanen, to declare your Major. Arrange an appointment by email at

Students completing a joint Chemistry / Earth Sciences Major, must obtain approval from both Programs.  Contact the Chemistry Advisor, Evon Khor at or 778.782.5995

What are the "Streams" in the Earth Sciences' Program?

There are three streams, Geology, Environmental Geosciences and Open.   The Geology Stream and the Environmental Geoscience Stream are designed to permit a student to enrol as a geologist or environmental geoscientist respectively, with Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (formerly APEGBC), the governing body that regulates geoscience practice in BC.

All students intending to practice as a geoscientist in BC must be licensed by APEGBC, and are strongly advised to pursue one of these two streams.

The Open Stream is an option for those not wanting to pursue professional registration.  Regardless of the stream  you are interested in, please contact an EASC Advisor to get further information on which option is right for you.

When do I declare my Stream?

You can declare at the beginning of your studies.

Careers in Earth Sciences

What are some of the careers in Earth Sciences? And where can I get more information?

There are a wide array of exciting and well-paying careers available to those pursuing an Earth Sciences' degree.  You can also check out our "Prospective Students" page for links to some excellent info sources, including "Geoscience and Canada"

Course Enrollment/Registration

How do I enroll in courses?

Please visit for information on how to enroll in courses.  All question pertaining to how to use SIS/goSFU should be directed to the SIS/goSFU Team:

   Phone: 778.782.6930

I need help with registering in an EASC course.  Whom do I contact?

The Undergraduate Advisor at or 778.782.4779

I have the prerequisite(s) for the course for which I wish to register but the systems tell me I don’t.  Why?

Unless otherwise stated, all of our courses require a minimum grade of C- for all prerequisites.

If you are a second degree student from outside SFU, none of the courses taken outside of SFU are entered into your record, consequently, the system does not recognise any of the prerequisite course(s).  In this case, you will need to contact the Advisor.


Where can I find EASC course outlines?

- Current semester outlines are located at
- Archived outlines are located at

Directed Readings

What is a Directed Readings?

A course in which reading and research, and/or field work will be supervised by a faculty member.  Advanced level students who are interested in an in-depth independent study of an EASC subject not covered or fully covered by an existing course may approach a faculty member to supervise them in a Directed Readings course.  While most of these courses will work towards a large research paper the precise details of the course will vary by instructor and subject.  To register for Directed Readings, students must obtain approval from the supervising professor no later than the last day of classes of the preceding term.   Pre-requisites: 75 units including 30 units in EASC courses.

Internal Transfer

I am currently in a different Faculty or Program.  Can I transfer to Earth Sciences?

Yes! - See Faculty of Science Advising website for information on Internal Transfer.

Program Completion & Graduation

I am ready to graduate, should I meet with an Advisor?

Yes !  If you expect to be graduation in the next 2-3 semester, it is strongly recommended that you meet with the Academic Advisor to review graduation requirements.

How do I submit my application to graduate?

The earliest students can apply to graduate is on the first day of classes in their graduating term. Visit for graduation application/cancellation dates.

Graduation applications are completed in SIS (Student Information System). Visit for more information.

Enrollment Restrictions

Are there enrollment/seat restrictions for EASC courses?

There are priority enrollment/seat restrictions placed on all our field schools: EASC 206, EASC 306 and EASC 308.  Priority is given to EASC Majors, Minors, and Honours' students.

Remaining seats are released on open enrollment date.

Second Degree

I'm pursuing a second degree - should I see an Advisor?

Second Degree students are required to see the advisor to discuss their academic goals.  It is important that the students submit all of the transcripts from previous degree(s).  Waivers may need to be obtained from various departments prior to registration period.