PGO Knowledge Requirements
The core entry requirement for admission to professional practice is a 4-year bachelor of science degree in an area of geoscience awarded by a Canadian university which meets the entry level knowledge requirements set by the APGO Registration Committee and as approved by the Council. An equivalent credential may be recognized by the APGO Registration Committee. All credentials are assessed by the Registration Committee against the specified knowledge requirements to determine if the APGO minimum criteria for admission to professional practice have been met. The following pages set out the entry level knowledge requirements for admission to the profession.

This level of geoscience education is considered to meet the minimum knowledge requirements recommended by Geoscientists Canada for admission to practice professional geoscience and for interprovincial mobility. No specific university program is designated as a standard because the contents of present or past geoscience university programs in Ontario and Canada are not similar. Applicants for professional registration may hold degrees in areas other than geoscience, may have been educated outside of Canada, or may have gained specific knowledge outside of the degree format.

This credential progress self-assessment tool has been provided to assist you with course selection and with tracking your progress toward attaining your Geoscientist in Training membership and, eventually, your professional designation. Please note that once the application is on file with the Association, the Registration Committee has final discretion concerning course acceptability during the review of the application. Should you have questions concerning the acceptability of a particular Canadian university course, please contact the Registrar by e-mail ( supplying the university name, course number and title and a link to the course description.

The basic unit utilized in a knowledge requirement assessment is an education unit or EU. Each EU may only be utilized once in an assessment.

One EU is defined as formal instruction equivalent to a one-semester (13-week or 0.5 credit course) in a typical Bachelor of Science or Baccalaureate Degree (B.Sc.) in geoscience at a Canadian university. For example, one EU could consist of three hours of lectures or equivalent per week, with or without a lab component, for 13 weeks. An EU can be considered to be the equivalent of one three-credit-hour course in a 120-credit hour, four-year degree program.

The following is a summary of knowledge requirements that are detailed in the next 4 pages:
  • 1A - Compulsory Foundation Science (3 EUs)
  • 1B - Additional Foundation Science (6 EUs)
  • 2A - Compulsory Foundation Geoscience (4 EUs)
  • 2B - Additional Foundation Geoscience (5 EUs)
  • 2C - Other Geoscience/Science (9 EUs)

Note: EUs for sections 1A and 1B must be a first year or higher university level course acceptable for credit towards a degree in science, applied science or engineering. Remedial secondary school level courses, such as algebra, chemistry, geometry, physics or trigonometry will not accepted.

Note: EUs for sections 2A, 2B, and 2C must be a second year or higher university level course acceptable for credit towards a degree in science, applied science or engineering. All courses must be credited and a mark received. Audited courses will not be accepted.

Note: For section 2C the representative streams are not exclusive as professional geoscientists in Ontario are not registered into or by specialties. Content may be found in any of the streams. Please note that certain streams do have specific requirements that must be met. These requirements are noted in the tables on the following pages.

Click here for the Geoscientists Canada Canadian Geoscience Standards Board Knowledge and Experience Requirements for Entrance to the Profession booklet for general information on knowledge and experience requirements.

View Knowledge Requirements Toolkit