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Earth Science - BS - Paleobiology Emphasis

Earth Science Undergraduate Bachelor of Science

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Learning Outcomes

Program Type

Bachelor's Degree

Program Description

Paleobiologists study Earth’s past life, using fossils to understand the biology and ecology of organisms long extinct, to reconstruct ancient ecosystems, and to study the patterns and processes of evolution in deep time. They also use fossils to unravel the evolution of the atmosphere, oceans and crust of our planet—including the configuration of ancient supercontinents, variation in past climates, and the effects humans have had on the environment. A sound knowledge of living organisms is key to paleobiology, making it the emphasis for students who love both biology and geology. Paleobiology provides you a >4-billion-year perspective on the history of life and our small role within it.

Featured Courses


Graduate and Professional Pathways

  • Environmental Consulting: BS + often MS

  • Teaching: BS, sometimes including up to PhD

  • Government agencies

  • Paleontology

  • Evolutionary Biology

  • Sundry non-paleo fields in Earth Science

Top Employers

  • Consulting firms

  • Elementary through University teaching (paleontologist are broadly trained)

  • Government and museums

Program Highlights

  • We have multiple active paleontological researchers in the department

  • We have a vibrant paleontological reading group for everyone from undergrads to professors

  • Our graduates go onto myriad unexpected career paths, from becoming chefs to working for the USGS

Related Disciplines

  • Geography

  • Environmental Studies

  • Ecology Evolution and Marine Biology

Associated Interests

  • Earth

  • Fossils

  • Earth and life history

  • Preserving paleontological resources

UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California 93106
(805) 893-8000

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