Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog 
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog

Paleontology, Minor

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The Minor in Paleontology offers students from any major on the SSU campus a cross-disciplinary concentration in the study of ancient life on Earth. Paleontology is by its very nature an inter-disciplinary field of study, blending both laboratory and field studies of modern organisms and extinct organisms. Some paleontologists approach the field from a geological perspective, and others approach it from a biological perspective. For a Minor in Paleontology, students must complete 20 units as described below.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Paleontology Minor are required to demonstrate:

  1. The understanding of paleontological terms, concepts, and theories,
  2. The ability to collect paleontological data through laboratory and field studies, and to formulate logical interpretations and conclusions from those data,
  3. The ability to compare, contrast and demonstrate appreciation of competing views within paleontology, involving both historical and current controversies,
  4. The ability to identify common fossils found in anywhere on Earth.

Minor Electives

In addition to the Minor Core, choose 13 units of electives from other paleontology courses and/or courses with an emphasis on interpreting the history of life on Earth, and at least 1 unit that is a field course (marked by asterisk below). All SSU majors may select the Minor in Paleontology, and if you are majoring in either Biology or Geology, at least 3 upper division elective units must be from outside your home department. Additional courses may be counted toward the minor with approval of one of the minor advisors above. The 9 elective units must include at least one 4-unit upper division course with a laboratory from the following list:

* Field courses – one course is required for the minor

** 4-unit laboratory course– one course is required for the minor Some of these elective courses above might have additional prerequisites not listed here. Refer to the University catalog for additional information.


Total units in the minor core: 7

Total units in the minor: 13

Total units for the paleontology minor: 20

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