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Yukon College Home Programs Geological Technology

Geological Technology

Geological Technology Certificate
Geological Technology Diploma

The next program intake is scheduled for August 2017. Please contact Dr. Joel Cubley for more information at jcubley@yukoncollege.yk.ca or 867.456.8605

Program Description

Geological technology programs in Canada have produced a class of highly skilled workers whose knowledge base reflects an integral balance between classroom learning and practical skills. Graduates from such programs have found jobs working for mining and petroleum companies, consulting geology and engineering firms, government and educational institutions. The Geological Technology program at Yukon College prepares students for employment in a number of capacities in the mineral exploration, mining and environmental geology fields. The strong background in mathematics and the physical sciences provided by this program will enable students to succeed in an increasingly technical discipline, while the comprehensive introduction to field techniques equips students with the hard skills needed to work efficiently in a remote setting.

Program Description:

The Geological Technology program is a one-year (certificate) to two-year (diploma) program. Admission requirements for the program are listed below. If academic upgrading is necessary, interested applicants are encouraged to take advantage of upgrading course offerings at the College to ensure they have the required Geological Technology program prerequisites. Additionally, non-departmental courses (e.g. MATH 060; CHEM 110) may be taken in advance to reduce course loads during the program proper.

The objectives of the Geological Technology certificate program are to provide students with:

  • A solid background in the fundamental geological disciplines with particular focus on those fields most closely linked to the mining and mineral exploration industries. These target fields include physical and structural geology, mineralogy/petrology, geomorphology and geochemistry. In addition to geology courses, students will be exposed to relevant topics in mathematics, chemistry, physics and computer science.
  • A comprehensive introduction to the mining industry and the specific skills required to work in the resource exploration and development sectors. Students will learn how to conduct and interpret geological, geophysical and geochemical surveys, prepare subsurface maps and cross-sections, collect field data and analyze rock and mineral specimens.
  • A baseline of standard health and safety training in order to ensure the competency and safety of graduates in a variety of work environments. Training includes courses such as Wilderness First Aid and CPR, WHMIS, Firearms Safety, and Industrial Workplace Safety.
  • A solid foundation in interpersonal and group management skills, with a focus on effective oral and written communication fluency. This will provide graduates with the skills to work effectively with co-workers and the ability to convey geological information in a variety of formats. An important component of this objective is to ensure students develop the critical thinking skills necessary to assist in problem solving and troubleshooting in a work setting.
  • An understanding of the impact of the unique First Nations governance structure that exists in Yukon and the impact of this on undertaking mining, exploration and development in the territory. This includes reviewing historical land agreements and the different categories of settlement lands, as well as discussing effective communication and conflict-resolution skills for multi-party discussions and negotiations that may include First Nations partners

The objectives of the Geological Technology diploma program are to provide students with:

  • A solid background in the different types of mineral extraction (surface mining and underground mining), and an understanding of the advantages and challenges presented by each. Students will be exposed to the various strategies for mineral processing and will be able to select the techniques best suited for an individual project.
  • A comprehensive introduction to different mineral deposit types and their characteristic geophysical, geochemical, and alteration signatures. Students will understand the geological processes that control each deposit type, and the structural and stratigraphic controls on mineralization. Based on information derived from a wide range of sources (e.g. geophysical data, hand sample and thin section observations, regional mapping), students will be able to accurately predict deposit types and develop an informed exploration plan.
  • An introduction to the different datasets originating from exploration programs, mill testing, etc., and an understanding of how to use that data to inform future decisions. This will include a solid introduction to common mine software platforms, as well as frequent integration of GIS mapping of geochemical, geological, and geophysical parameters. Students will become well-acquainted with different geophysical exploration techniques and how to interpret geophysical data both in isolation and with respect to observed geology. A comprehensive overview of geochemical sampling strategies and techniques is presented, as well as methods for using the resulting data in an exploration program.
  • An understanding of the regulatory and legal framework surrounding exploration and mining, both in the Yukon and Canada. This includes a working knowledge of the First Nations governance structure that exists in Yukon and the impact of this structure on exploration and mine development in the territory. Students will be introduced to the roles of the different regulatory bodies and the nature of their involvement at different stages of the mine cycle.
  • An introduction to the environmental impacts of the mining process, and a background in the common remediation strategies used following mine closure. Students will examine baseline data and characterize common contaminants resulting both from mining processes and the exposure of natural deposits, as well as the flow of those contaminants in groundwater based on local hydrogeologic conditions.

Admission Requirements

  • English 12, Math 11 (Principles or Pre-Calculus; minimum 65%) and Chemistry 11; OR
  • Mature Student Status with acceptable scores on College Assessments and/or GED® for English and Math prerequisites, as well as Chemistry 11 (or equivalent); OR
  • Yukon College prerequisite courses ENGL 090, MATH 050 (minimum B-) and CHEM 050, with COMP 040 recommended.

Yukon First Nations Core Competency

Yukon College recognizes that a greater understanding and awareness of Yukon First Nations history, culture and journey towards self-determination will help to build positive relationships among all Yukon citizens. As a result, you will be required to achieve core competency in knowledge of Yukon First Nations. For details, please see www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/yfnccr.


The 961.5-hour first-year certificate program consists of 19 courses delivered, including an Introductory Geology Field School (45 hours) and an Intermediate Geology Field School (90 hours).

The 793-hour second-year diploma program consists of 13 courses delivered, including a spring field course (Fundamentals of Surveying).

General Outcomes

Graduation Requirements:

Students must successfully complete all courses within the program. Successful completion of the certificate program is required for admission into the diploma year. An overall GPA of 2.00 is required to receive the Geological Technology certificate or diploma.


Tuition for credit programs is calculated per course credit. See Tuition and Fees.

Ancillary Fees pdf 21 KB

Additional costs above and beyond college tuition are associated with this program of study. These costs include transportation to and from field school sites, accommodation and food during field school, and health and safety modules administered during field schools and the Exploration and Mining Safety class (GEOL103). In addition, students are required to purchase their own basic geology field equipment, including sturdy hiking boots, rock hammers, field notebooks, and hand lenses. The course outline for each individual class will contain detailed information regarding the costs specific to that course.

Required Courses  

Certificate: (42 credits)

BUS 174: Microcomputer Applications – Excel (1.5 credits)
CHEM 110: Structure of Matter (3 credits)
COMM 193: Introduction to Scientific and Technical Communication (3 credits)
GEOG 250: Introduction to GIS (3 credits)
GEOL 101: Introductory Field Camp (3 credits)
GEOL 102: Geomorphology (3 credits)
GEOL 103: Exploration and Mine Safety (1.5 credits)
GEOL 104: Communications & Career Development (3 credits)
GEOL 105: Physical Geology (3 credits)
GEOL 110: Structural Geology (3 credits)
GEOL 111: Mineralogy/Petrology (3 credits)
GEOL 112: Mining Industry Overview (3 credits)
GEOL 113: Intermediate Geology Field School (3 credits)
MATH 060: Advanced Algebra/Trigonometry (3 credits)

Mandatory Safety Training Courses (certificate)

FAC 002: Firearms Training - Unrestricted
SAFE 001: Industrial Workplace Safety
TDG 001: Transportation of Dangerous Goods
WFA 010: Wilderness/Remote First Aid/CPR C
WHMS 001: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System

Diploma Program (36 credits)

GEOL 201: Ore Deposits (3 credits)
GEOL 202: Mineral Economics, Mining Law, and Sustainability (3 credits)
GEOL 203: Mining Methods (Underground and Surface) (3 credits)
GEOL 204: Mining Computing (3 credits)
GEOL 205: Rock Mechanics (1.5 credits)
GEOL 206: Sedimentary Stratigraphy (3 credits)
GEOL 207: Capstone Research Project I (3 credits)
GEOL 210: Introduction to Hydrogeology (3 credits)
GEOL 211: Geochemistry (3 credits)
GEOL 213: Introduction to Geophysics (3 credits)
GEOL 215: Mineral Processing (3 credits)
GEOL 214: Fundamentals of Surveying (1.5 credits)
MATH 105: Introduction to Statistics (3 credits)