Earth and Space Science and Engineering

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Join our team of graduate researchers

The ESS program invites applications from students expected to graduate from a four-year undergraduate degree with excellent academic standing, or those with an MSc degree.

Students are accepted from a wide range of backgrounds, including physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and engineering.

To facilitate interdisciplinary research the Earth and Space Science Program faculty members consist of regular Lassonde and York University faculty, members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, who hold an appointment in one of the following undergraduate departments at York University: Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth and Space Science & Engineering, Mathematics and Statistics, Physics and Astronomy, or Psychology. In addition, there are a number of adjunct members from industry, government or private research laboratories, and other universities. The program at the MSc level offers a choice of three formats:

  1. Research thesis plus 2 courses of which one-half course may be a Research Evaluation course;
  2. Research project plus course work.

For part-time students wishing to terminate their studies at the MSc level, the program content is decided by consultation among the student, the faculty supervisor and the program director. For students planning to proceed to a PhD, format (1) is the normal requirement.

MSc

Admission Requirements

Graduates with an honours degree, or equivalent, in earth, atmospheric or space science, physics, chemistry, applied mathematics, astronomy, engineering, or engineering physics from a recognized university, with at least B standing (or upper second class honours in a degree from a British university), may be admitted as Candidates for the MSc degree, which normally requires at least 24 months to complete.

Degree Requirements

MSc Degree by Thesis

Candidates for the MSc degree by thesis must fulfill the following requirements:

Courses

In addition to successfully completing the required Research Evaluation courses ESS6030 3.0, Candidates must successfully complete 2 full graduate courses (12 credits), or equivalent. One half-course (3 credits) from the Research Evaluation courses may be included. Students may be required to take a further half-course if the supervisory committee determines that this is necessary to strengthen a student’s background in the thesis area.

Thesis and Oral Examination

  1. All entering Candidates plan a research program with their supervisor at the start of their degree studies, and conduct the research under the general direction of their supervisor and supervising committee and describe it in an appropriate thesis. The research and thesis should demonstrate the Candidate’s research ability in the area of investigation. After the formal submission of the thesis, an oral examination, centred on the thesis-research, is held. Prior to the oral examination each Candidate delivers a formal lecture on his research work.
  2. Research progress is monitored by meetings of the Supervisory Committee with the Candidate and by an annual progress report consisting of a written paper and a public oral presentation normally in May or June. Satisfactory progress results in credit for ESS6030 3.0 (Research Evaluation) and a statement of the Candidate’s progress in the Candidate’s record. In the event of failure to achieve satisfactory progress the student will normally be required to withdraw from the program.

MSc Degree by Coursework and Research Exercise

Candidates for the MSc degree may take the three full courses and research exercise option instead of the thesis option on the recommendation of the Graduate Program Director.  The requirements are:

  1. Research Exercise Option
    Candidates must successfully complete three full courses and must also conduct an exercise in research procedures and report on it in an appropriate manner. The selection of graduate courses and of the topic of the research exercise must be arranged in consultation with the Graduate Program Director.
  2. Four Course Option
    Candidates must successfully complete four full graduate courses selected in consultation with the Graduate Program Director.

Language and Cognate Requirements

There is no foreign language requirement for the M.Sc. degree but Candidates must give satisfactory evidence of an ability to program and use electronic digital computers for the solution of non-trivial scientific problems.

PhD

Admission Requirements

Graduates with a master’s degree in chemistry, physics, pure or applied mathematics, astronomy, engineering, or engineering physics from a recognized university, may be admitted as candidates (PhD I) in a program leading to the PhD degree. On average, candidates with a BSc degree, or equivalent, may expect to spend three to five years to complete the requirements for the PhD degree. Graduates with an honours degree in chemistry, physics, pure or applied mathematics, astronomy, engineering, or engineering physics may be considered for admission to the program leading to the PhD degree. However, such graduates must first register as candidates for the MSc degree. If their progress is satisfactory they may be transferred into the PhD program and advanced in status to candidates (PhD I) for the PhD degree, after one year, and on the recommendation of their Research Supervisor and the Program Director.

Degree Requirements

Candidates (PhD I & II) for the PhD degree must fulfil the following requirements:

Courses

In addition to successfully completing the required Research Evaluation courses, ESS6030 3.0 and ESS7030 3.0, Candidates must successfully complete three full graduate courses (18 credits), or equivalent, of which up to 6 credits may be from ESS6030 3.0 and ESS7030 3.0. A credit of up to 2 full courses (12 credits) may be granted normally to Candidates who hold an MSc from York University or another recognized university or who completed the course requirements for this degree. Candidates granted credit for two full courses as outlined above must successfully complete ESS 7030 3.0 and one other half courses (which cannot be ESS 6030 3.0). Candidates may be required to take a further half-course if the supervisory committee determines that this is necessary to strengthen a Candidate’s background in the thesis area.

Dissertation and Oral Examination

  1. All entering Candidates (Ph.D. I & II) plan a research program with their supervisor at the start of their degree studies, and must successfully complete a significant piece of research, under the general direction of a Supervisor and a Supervisory Committee, in one of the major areas offered by the Program, and describe it in an appropriate dissertation. The research must be of such a standard that it will be acceptable for publication in the scientific literature. After the formal submission of the dissertation, an oral examination is held, centred on the dissertation-research. As part of the oral examination exercises Candidates deliver a formal lecture on their research work after which they meet with their examiners.
  2. Research progress is monitored by meetings of the Supervisory Committee with the Candidate and by an annual progress report consisting of a written paper and a public oral presentation normally in May or June. Satisfactory progress results in credit for ESS7030 3.0 (Research Evaluation) and a statement of the Candidate’s progress in the Candidate’s record. In the event of failure to achieve satisfactory progress the Candidate will normally be required to withdraw from the program.

Language and Cognate Requirements

A Candidate (PhD I & II) must give satisfactory evidence of an ability to program and use electronic digital computers for the solution of non-trivial scientific problems.