Paleontology, History, Majors in college?

I am a sophomore in college. Right now my major is Geo-Environmental Studies. I have wanted to be a paleontologist since 3rd grade but since starting college, I realized that I really dislike all the biology courses. This is my 4th semester and it is the first one that I have not taken any biology courses in and I am loving it. I still need to take 2 more biology courses, 2 chemistry/Physics courses (I did horrible with Chem and Physics in High school and I hate it. I at least did well in Bio in High school. Although, my Bio for college have been horrible grades). On top of that, I am currently in the Gen. Ed. World Geography. And I hate it. I had Physical Geology last semester. And I hated that course stuff. I still really want to be a paleontologist but all of those things are the main aspects of my major. I am thinking of switching to Human-Environmental Studies however, I am afraid if I switch to that that it will be harder to become a paleontologist. Would I be able to graduate with a B.S. in Human-Environmental Studies and go to graduate school for paleontology? What type of job can I get with that major? I was also debating switching over to a History major as I really love tourist jobs and I think it would be cool to do background stuff in a museum or something or just doing historical research for places. I was thinking of an Anthropology minor with that or the Human-Environmental Studies major. I know that human studies are different than fossils and rocks but I really don't want to be stuck in this major that I hate. At this point, if I switch to the Human-Environmental Studies major, I'll be done with Biology, I'll need to take one Chemistry or Physics class and I'll have to take an extra math class than the major I am in. As well as a lot of Geography courses. Which is not what I am looking forward to. Please help. What type of jobs can I get with a Human-Environmental Studies major? Would I still be able to become a Paleontologist?


@AlexPalmer... My school doesn't have that major. Do you think it'd be best to stay in my Geo-Environmental Studies major and MINOR in Anthropology? They do offer that.

And just an add to the rest of my info: Geo-Environmental pretty much includes lots of biology (10-11 credits worth I think), chem (1 course), physics (1 course), geography (Primary focus), geology (primary focus) and other things such as hydrology, oceanography, etc.

1 Answer

  • 9 years ago
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    It would be a lot harder for you to go to graduate school in paleontology if you switched in Human-Environmental Studies because that's essentially like a modern geology field, but it deals more with how humans interact with our environment, and your jobs would be looking more like seismologists or dam engineers who work to modify the environment for humans to live in. You would really be perfect as some kind of geographer if you switched into that major. An anthropology major would actually be more pertinent to paleontology because the techniques, fieldwork, and so on are much closer. I've worked at a major world museum as a volunteer the past few years and all the people I know who intended to go into paleontology studied either Biology, Geology, or Anthropology for the younger ones to prepare them.

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