student columns

Where We're Going - A Look at Enrolment Trends


This month I have decided to look at enrolment trends over the years. With the help of the department undergrad student adviser, Ron Spencer, I managed to dig up some numbers, which give an indication of where things are going.

Last year we had about 289 students enrolled in geology, geophysics, applied and environmental geology, environmental science and earth science. This year, believe it or not, we had 327 registered in those five programs — a significant increase.

But something different was at play than in past years. Students were able to get direct admission into these programs, straight out of high school. The department had 40 students enter directly, which brought the numbers up a bit.

Speaking of geology and geophysics in specific, this year there were about 148 geology majors and 75 geophysics majors. This includes first years all the way up to students in their final years.
We found some data dating back to 1983. There were 70 students who graduated then from geology — and just two from geophysics! We can compare this with 2003 data, which show 39 people graduated from geology and 19 from geophysics.

In general the number of geophysics students to graduate has increased, with some exceptions, of course. From 1991 to 1997 there were fewer than 10 people graduating per year from geophysics. This may be attributed to a slump in the oil industry.

The department has graduated an average of about 85 bachelor of science students per year from 2001 through 2005. This includes about 45 a year from geology, 19 per year from geophysics, nine from applied and environmental geology, and three from environmental science (geology emphasis).
Those are all professional programs. Another nine per year graduated with a B.Sc. in earth science, which is the only non-professional degree program in the department.

This year the department is expecting to graduate about 107 students — the highest number ever to graduate. Things are looking good so far!

In 2004 more than 50 undergraduate students from our department received awards and scholarships, with a total value of about $100,000. In terms of graduates, the University of Calgary has the largest geosciences (geology and geophysics) department in Canada.


Author Credits

University of Calgary
Student Contributor (Geosciences)