Build Your Dream Schedule: Register Now!

Students sitting outdoors on the grass.
Rebecca A. Eckland

It’s that time again: registration for the spring semester opens for new students on Thursday, Nov. 19. And while we definitely want you to take your required classes, we sought out our resident experts (our amazing faculty) who offered their insight into classes that satisfy graduation and degree requirements, but that might not have been on your radar. 

Let’s face it: when a class is listed as “Topics in Literature” or “PEX 199”, it’s kind of hard to get excited about it. So, we went directly to the source to find out the scoop on some of TMCC’s hidden gems that you might not want to miss for the upcoming semester. 

While we’re only highlighting a few in this news story, be sure to check out TMCC’s social media channels for a series of videos highlighting our instructors pitching their favorite classes.


  • For degree-seeking students, always check with an academic advisor before completing your registration to make sure the classes that you’ve registered for meet your degree requirements, and; 
  • Financial Aid only covers courses in your degree program

However, if you’re looking for classes that satisfy your curiosity (along with your requirements) take a look at the following suggestions. 

Science: It’s Not Just About Biology

This spring, instead of learning about the birds and bees (and some mitochondria and phages), meet your science requirements by taking a class on Botany. Instructor Megan Lahti explains that “...Botany is a much-overlooked but very awesome class [where] you’ll learn about plants from the ground up… well, from below the ground and up.”

In addition to learning lab protocols and some incredibly cool facts about plants, Lahti promises that students will walk away with more than just plant lore. “For instance, did you know that trees can help forensic scientists (yes, the CSI Miami kind) crack cases? Or, that the Cinchona plant, from which quinine was originally extracted, greatly influenced the course of human history?”

The class has zero pre-requisites and transfers as a science elective.

Anthropology 102: Dive Deep into Human History

If you have an interest in our human past, primates, fossils, and forensics, Anthropology 102 and its accompanying lab, Anthropology 110L, might be just for you. There are eight labs included in the semester, and the course and lab fulfill UNR science core curriculum requirements. Be prepared to have some fun while building your critical thinking, cultural awareness, and quantitative literacy skills.
The class examines the biological and evolutionary origins of humans, genetics, heredity, human adaptations by living primates and human diversity. The corequisite lab will give you practical experience in some hands-on physical anthropology, which includes osteology and forensic anthropology, comparative anatomy and the processes of human growth and aging, and aspects of modern human variability. 

English: What’s A Century Got To Do With It?

Do you like history, art and examining how those two things interact over time? In TMCC English Instructor’s Joshua Shinn’s English 298 “Topics in Literature” class, students will do exactly that. “In this class, students are going to read the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, who wrote during the roaring 20s,” explained Shinn, who settled on this topic realizing that, a century later, we’re hardly living in the roaring twenties. And yet, there are similarities between the characters that appear in Fitzgerald’s narratives that run parallel to the desire to showcase one’s lifestyle on social media as a kind of illusion of excess. 

This class will also introduce students to the critical study of literature, which often incorporates considerations of psychology, gender studies, political ideology, and cultural studies. In addition to learning more about the literature in the class, students can also expect to improve their reading strategies, critical thinking and college writing skills. 

Get Some Fresh Air: Take a Hike

If you’re in need of some time away from screens, consider taking PEX 199 offered by TMCC Biology Instructors Megan Lahti and Cecilia Vigil. The class, focused on hiking, will introduce students to local trails and techniques for staying safe in the wilderness. “The first thing we’ll talk about is safety, equipment, and the ethics of leave no trace,” said Vigil.

In terms of the hiking itself, students interested in the class will need to attend at least three of the five planned hikes to pass the class. “They will go from intermediate to at least one hike that’s more advanced,” said Vigil, who will also focus on teaching students trail etiquette. 

While the class doesn’t fill a degree requirement, the one-credit commitment might be the thing that helps you to maintain physical, mental, and emotional wellness during the Spring Semester while opening up an opportunity for an activity that you can enjoy on your own beyond the confines of the academic semester. You will learn of the local flora and fauna, and how to be eco-conscious.
“We want to explore different trails, so that students learn of the many beautiful hiking areas in the Reno area,” said Vigil. “It will be a lot of fun.” 

Don’t Wait: Register Now!

While this is by no means a preview of all the creative offerings at TMCC, we hope this sneak peek into Spring 2021 inspires you to register for classes that will enrich your academic and professional journey. 

If you would like more information on the registration process, contact TMCC’s Admissions and Records Office at 775-673-7111.