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A coleus plant variety

Consider these cool classes in CALS for your spring schedule

UF’s schedule of courses opens Oct. 5. Registration begins Oct. 29.

By Teresa Suits, agricultural education and communication master’s student (BS ’17)

Are you looking to add an interesting class to your spring schedule where you can gain practical, hands-on skills while possibly fulfilling a general education requirement? Then take a look at the exploratory and introductory courses offered by the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). CALS offers a variety of courses that can open a world of opportunity to students.

  1. ENY 1001 Bugs and People: During my time at UF, I took this class in order to fulfill a biological science requirement, unaware of the fascinating world I was about to enter. I tasted brownies made from crickets, touched a tarantula (Yes, a living, breathing super-terrifying spider) and visited the Florida Museum of Natural History for the first time, all during my very first semester at UF. Needless to say, it was hard to top a class like this in my following three years.
  2. ORH 1030 Plants, Gardening and You: If bugs aren’t your cup of tea, how about learning how to garden? In the one-credit Plants, Gardening and You course, students gain hands-on experience in the greenhouses on campus, take free plants home after each class and learn to identify plants as well as how plants are a part of your everyday life. If you’re a sports fan, then you might find the turfgrass section of the class interesting.
  3. PLP 2000 Plants, Plagues and People: Tap into your spooky side in Plants, Plagues and People. This online course can fulfill either a biological sciences or humanities general education requirement. Learn how human activities influence the world around us, as well as the effects of plagues on different civilizations. If you prefer smaller in-person classes, perhaps try PLP 2060 Fungus Among Us: Mushrooms, Molds and Civilization also taught by the UF/IFAS department of plant pathology.
  4. PEN 1136 Openwater Scuba Diving: Instead of diving into a 500-page textbook, dive into the crystal blue Florida Keys this spring. This 2-credit class equips students with the knowledge and practice of diving in open water. Students will swim out of this class with a national certification as an Openwater Scuba Diver.
  5. ANS 2002 The Meat We Eat: Ever wonder what kind of meat to get at the grocery store? In The Meat We Eat, students will learn how to identify different cuts of meat, the economics behind meat pricing and the nutritional value of meat-based meals. College is all about learning how to adult, right? Walk through the meat department in your grocery store with confidence, knowing you made an adult-approved decision to buy that steak.

Step out of your comfort zone this spring and gain new skills by taking an exploratory or introductory class offered by CALS. Who knows? You might add a new minor or certificate because you found an unexpected interest in the class. Visit the full listing of CALS exploratory and introductory courses at To enroll in courses and find your course registration date and time, go to

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