Biology Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to the Biology Department's most commonly asked questions.

FAQ Questions


If your Biology instructor is not listed on the Faculty and Staff Web page, it is because they are a part-time instructor. Unfortunately, because part-time instructors can vary from semester to semester, they may not be listed on the Biology Faculty and Staff page.

Generally, TMCC email addresses are the first initial and last name "" (e.g., instructor John Smith = Try contacting them at this email address and if unsuccessful, contact the Biology Department.

The Biology Department is located on the Dandini Campus, on the 3rd floor near the south end of the Red Mountain Building, room 331. Many, but not all, of the full-time faculty have their offices in this suite.

The Biology Department website provides the office locations of full-time Biology faculty.

Biology Courses

BIOL 190 and BIOL 190L are prerequisites to BIOL 251 (General Microbiology) and BIOL 224 (Anatomy and Physiology II).

BIOL 190 is a prerequisite and BIOL 190L is a pre- or co-requisite for BIOL 223 (Anatomy & Physiology I).

BIOL 190L is a pre- or co-requisite for BIOL 223 (Anatomy & Physiology I) and a pre-requisite to BIOL 251 (General Microbiology) and BIOL 224 (Anatomy and Physiology II) at TMCC; however, the Biology Department will accept BIOL 192 or an upper division lab in Biology or Biochemistry in place of BIOL 190L.

If you do not have comparable lab experience, you will have to take BIOL 190L prior to taking BIOL 223, BIOL 224 or BIOL 251.

TMCC offers an Associate of Science, Biology Emphasis degree. This degree is designed to matriculate to the Bachelor of Science in Biology degree at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Required courses include BIOL 190, BIOL 190L, BIOL 191, BIOL 191L, CHEM 241, CHEM 242, PHYS 151 (or PHYS 180/180L), and MATH 181 (or STAT 152).

Additional degree requirements and a suggested course sequence can be found in the TMCC College Catalog. We also encourage you to contact the Biology Department office at 775-673-8251 for advisement.

Community Health Science

TMCC offers classes towards an Associates of Science, Community Health Science Emphasis degree, managed through the Biology Department. This degree is designed to matriculate into the Bachelors of Science in Community Health Science at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Required courses include: CHS 101, CHS 102, CHS 200, and CHS 230. Additional degree requirements and a suggested course sequence is available in the TMCC College Catalog.

Please contact the Biology Department for advisement.

The field of Community Health Science is broad, and a degree will afford you opportunities in personal health and wellness, mental health, social and behavioral aspects of health, epidemiology, health care administration, exercise physiology, or environmental health among many others. Many students obtain a degree in Community Health Science before applying to allied health programs such as nursing, medical, physical therapy, or dental school.

Community Health Science is a field of public health that is concerned with protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention.

See Also: UNR's School of Community Health Sciences web page.


Bring in or fax an unofficial copy of your transcripts and the official catalog course descriptions of all Biology classes to the Biology Department for evaluation. (If faxing, please state the nature of your request, i.e. which courses need to be evaluated, which courses are you trying to enroll in at TMCC, and for which semester.)

If the course(s) you took at another institution are equivalent to pre-requisites, we can remove the block on your registration for other Biology classes. In the meantime, you should send your official transcripts to TMCC’s Admissions and Records Office.

Otherwise, you will need to submit unofficial transcripts to the Biology Department each semester.

Unfortunately, we do not currently have the capacity to maintain electronic waitlists at this time. We are looking into this for the future.

Instructors cannot place a student in a class. Often the size of the classroom or laboratory dictates the maximum enrollment for a class. The Biology Department cannot increase enrollment beyond the published maximum, due to fire code.

DYN stands for "Dynamic Dated" classes. These are classes that either progress at a "fast track" pace, where two classes are taken in 8-week sessions back-to-back (e.g., BIOL 223/224 or BIOL 190/190L/251); or, when a class begins after the semester's regular start date.

Keep checking MyTMCC online. Students often change their schedules prior to the start of the semester. Also, check with Accounting Services to find out when the purge for non-payment date is. Students who do not pay their course fees on time may be dropped prior to the start of classes, which can open up spots in a course.

It is a mistake not to attend the first meeting of any class. Most science instructors will present material during the first day of class, and they will expect you to be there and be prepared. If you know ahead of time that you will not be able to attend class for legitimate reasons, you should contact the instructor prior to the start date. The instructor may or may not administratively withdraw you from the course on the first day of classes for a no show. If your intent is to drop the course, it is your financial responsibility to do so.

The purge for non-payment date varies from semester to semester. Please contact TMCC's Accounting Services to verify when this date is.

You must pay for fees for all classes you enrolled in prior to the purge for non-payment date, otherwise you may be automatically dropped from classes prior to the start of the semester.

Should you be purged, the Biology Department cannot guarantee your re-enrollment into the class.

Opportunities in Biology

Yes, the Biology Department routinely hires students as Instructor's Aides (IAs) for General Microbiology (BIOL 251), as Peer Tutors in the Biology Open lab, or to assist the Prep Lab in preparing materials for the Biology Department's many teaching laboratories. Students may also sign up for BIOL 290, Internship in Biology, for specialized projects.

Interested students should contact the TMCC Biology Lab Coordinator.

Yes. The Biology Department offers BIOL 273: Research Experience, and BIOL 298: Independent Study in Biology, where students conduct a semester-long research project.

During this course, students learn how to culture cells and conduct standard molecular biology techniques, read scientific literature, maintain a proper laboratory notebook and communicate science effectively.

Interested students should contact us.

The BioPrep workshop is a 5-week Summer program for students interested in science-related careers.

During the workshop, students learn standard molecular biology techniques such as DNA isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and cloning in addition to common laboratory practices and means of scientific communication.

This competitive program is for students who have completed the Success First Program prior to beginning their first semester at TMCC; however, students who have not gone through the program may be considered if spots are available after the initial application process.

Interested students should contact the Biology Department.

The Co-Admission program assists students in transitioning between the Nevada community colleges and the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). After you complete your first year at TMCC, you may apply for co-admission at UNR. Once accepted, you will develop a plan with a University academic advisor to finish your associate's degree and transition seamlessly into a bachelor's degree program. For more details please visit UNR's Co-Admission web page.