Academically Cool

Sure, you’ve got your basic composition, and your statistics, and your garden-variety American history. Any ol’ university can do those. But where else can dental students learn as they sculpt an anatomically correct skull?

Jeremy Knowles stands next to colorful costumes with LED lights.

Cool Programs

We are Rebels — and we buck convention any chance we get. So why should you expect our academics to be any different? UNLV’s academic programs are crossing boundaries and blending fields to develop innovative approaches to health care, entertainment engineering, and more.

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Interior artists rendering of silhouettes in a kitchen.
Emily Black sits on hanging hoop with red background
Four men in matching jackets on compueters
Student holds up a drone
Dental Medicine professor stands on desk while students have hands raised in the air.

Cool Classes

Our innovative programs yield students who tackle problems from a variety of perspectives — and think outside the box. From blockchain technology to playing 19th century baseball, these wild courses can put sword fighters in training and future presidents ready to deal with environmental catastrophe.

Girl adds wax to a model skull

Clinically Oriented Anatomy

While the Clinically Oriented Anatomy course in the School of Dental Medicine is science, its process is art. The class replaces gross anatomy dissections with sculpture by challenging second-year students to learn the structures in the skull by meticulously building wax models.

Learn more about Health Sciences

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Urban Adventure

This experiential, scenario-based class puts students right in the middle of the action to solve a metropolitan crime. Utilizing core skills and knowledge from across the urban affairs disciplines, students enhance their interpersonal communication and critical thinking abilities, their leadership and collaboration skills, their capacity to interact with the media, their ability to empathize with people and understand how communities provide social support, their knowledge of the justice system, and ability to conduct a criminal investigation.

Learn more about Urban Affairs

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Popular Culture In 19th Century America

Elizabeth Nelson's Popular Culture In 19th Century America examines the history of pop culture as a way to engage major social, political and economic issues in American history. Not only do students get to use a stereograph (the nineteenth-century version of view master) to look through nineteenth-century magazines and popular books and novels, but they take the learning outside, as they play nineteenth-century baseball on the academic mall and participate in a digital treasure hunt through the Lied Library databases — ending the semester with a tea party, complete with china tea service, scones and cucumber sandwiches.

Learn more about Liberal Arts

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Fundamentals of Blockchain Technology

This computer science course is the first course in this cutting-edge technology being taught at UNLV. The engineering course will cover a variety of blockchain topics such as cryptography behind blockchain, consensus algorithms, smart contract, blockchain security, and scalability issues, as well as case studies on Ethereum and Hyperledger, and talks from industry experts. Students will build decentralized applications as a class project on public and private blockchains.

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History of Video Games/Topics in American Studies

Video games can offer many things: entertainment, competition, education, and therapy are just a few. The ways we develop, disseminate and play video games reveals a great deal of our society and expectations. This course examines a variety of game genres and platforms, and helps us learn more about the games ourselves and how the world has changed along with them.

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History of The Beatles

Students in the History of the Beatles start from the Beatles’ beginning in Liverpool, England, to their unequaled world popularity. The course features a mixture of videos, including the Beatles Anthology series, "A Hard Days Night," "Help!," "Yellow Submarine," "Magical Mystery Tour," and much more and covers every important phase of the world's most successful and beloved rock band.

Beef being cooked over flame.

Culture and Cuisine

Hospitality professor Yen-Soon Kim’s Culture and Cuisine looks at how the food of Asia, Europe and the Americas ties into the history, culture and religion of those areas, and how staples and ingredients migrated and transformed from territory to territory. And, oh yeah, students get to eat during class — capped off by a field trip to the Brazilian steakhouse Pampas. Not surprisingly, it fills up fast.

Learn more about Hospitality

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“Not now, I’m working with my Legos. It’s important.” For anyone who wants to be able to say that and mean it, Paul Oh’s mechanical engineering elective Robotics teaches students mechanism design, programming, and electronics through hands-on labs — using Legos. It also delves into the ethics of robots in society, so we don’t have a Terminator-style uprising coming out of the Beam Engineering Complex.

Learn more about Engineering

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Food As Medicine

As part of the Food as Medicine course in the School of Medicine, students had the rare opportunity to go behind the scenes of Wynn Las Vegas to see how this culinary operation works. Students quizzed some renowned chefs at the award-winning restaurants, observing their exacting standards and learning about vegan menus, allergen awareness, and third-party food analysis.

Two students fencing on stage

Stage Combat

Guest instructor Kris Pruett’s advanced Stage Combat gets the stars of tomorrow ready for the sword fights of today. Starting with unarmed combat, Stage Combat gets students used to working safely with a partner before learning the finer points of fighting. Drawing on classic fencing techniques, Stage Combat teaches dynamic storytelling through fighting. Now if they can learn to do it on skates, they could make a case for the Golden Knights pregame show.

Learn more about Fine Arts

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Physics for Future Presidents

Nonscience majors, rejoice. Jason Steffen’s Physics for Future Presidents covers everything the leader of the free world might need to know, scientifically speaking. From nuclear weapons and renewable energy to terrorist attacks and climate change, Steffen delves into both the practical and the more esoteric, like the physics of a spy getting assassinated via radioactive material. Well, esoteric unless you’re Russian, anyway.

Learn more about Sciences

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Business Connections

A first-year seminar run by the Lee Business School, Business Connections offers prospective students a taste of what the major might entail. For John Starkey’s class, though, it’s a chance to do some good at the same time. One class raised more than $5,000 for four local charities, including the Trauma Intervention Program to benefit Oct. 1 victims.

Student demonstrates biometrics technology in the Golf Center.

Whether your interests lie with a pre-professional program that will lead you to an advanced degree, or something unique that will let you explore and push the boundaries of what’s possible, you can find your fit at UNLV.