Register for Unusual Classes this Spring

By Sarah Lalond

It’s November, which means it’s time to be thinking of turkeys and your next semester schedule.

Before you register, here are unusual classes you might not be aware that NIU offers.

Course descriptions are provided by NIU’s course catalog.



NIU’s physical education program (KNPE) gives students the option to earn credits by being active. Some classes last for half a semester, and others require additional fees.

  • Yoga (106): Learn the basics of sun salutations and strike a tree pose with some of the basics elements of yoga. Become one of the select few to tote your yoga mat around campus. Even better, this class is a legitimate reason to wear yoga pants at least two days a week.

  • Jogging (109): Includes guilt-free snacking the night before class. (You know you’ll burn the calories off anyway.) Get college credit for keeping up with the running schedule you should’ve followed in the Fall.

  • Relaxation (110): Contrary to popular belief, there is definitely, absolutely, no possibility this class could ever be renamed “Advanced Techniques in Napping.” Learn professional ways to destress from your week through muscle relaxation in peace and quiet.

  • Archery 1 (112): Channel your inner Katniss Everdeen with target practice. Disclaimer: This class doesn’t require anyone to volunteer as tribute.

  • Skin and Scuba Diving (174): Prep for your next tropical vacation by learning the proper techniques of scuba diving.  By taking this class, you’ll join the Professional Association of Diving Instructors.

  • Horseback Riding (186): Take the opportunity to be off campus for class and get credit for spending time with horses. Need I say more?

  • Multicultural Dance (351): Dance like no one (except your instructor and classmates) is watching. Cultivate a greater appreciation of global society through dance.


If you’re pursuing a Bachelor of Arts, you’ll need to complete two years of a foreign language to graduate. NIU offers a variety of linguistic courses apart from romance languages.

  • Beginning Latin II (FLCL 102): Tackle a dead language and hack into the basis of the English language.

  • Beginning Russian II (FLRU 102): Speak the language of the largest country in the world.

  • Beginning American Sign Language II (FLSL 102): If you dread language classes for the oral exams, then this is the class for you.

The university has a focus on Southeast Asian languages with the Southeast Asia collection in Founders Memorial Library, including:

  • Beginning Burmese II (FLBU 104)

  • Beginning Indonesian II (FLIN 104)

  • Beginning Tagalog II (FLTA 104)

  • Beginning Thai II (FLTH 104)



  • With fashion, there’s rarely any trend that’s completely original. Discover how the classy conservative 50s style and the neon color palate of the 80s influence our fashion today by taking Design Trends in Western Costume (FSMD 262). Survey western costumes and textiles of past periods and their relationship to contemporary fashion.

  • Revisit your childhood wonder of Camelot with a dash more realism in Medieval Everyday Life (Hist 408). Examine economic and social changes during the Middle Ages. Attention is given to family life, demographic change, urbanization and social movements.

  • Is it possible to make America great again? Voice your opinions about American culture in Anthropology of Pop Culture: Making the Familiar Strange (ANTH 104). Examine American popular culture as a widely-shared and contested set of beliefs, values and practices embodied in a variety of topics such as consumerism, sports, race and ethnicity, poverty and social mobility, food systems, sex and sexual orientation and globalization. All topics are critically examined in a cross-cultural and/or cultural evolutionary anthropological context.

  • College is the perfect time to question your place in the universe, so have a guided identity crisis by examining the history of humanity. You can also pay homage to Ross Geller and his obsession with paleontology through Fossil Humans (ANTH 440). This class is a survey of the human fossil record with emphasis on interpretation of morphology and theory in human paleontology.

Class registration begins this week. Your date to choose courses is decided based on the number of credit hours and type of student.

Access courses by logging onto myNIU and clicking on myNIU Student Center. Find the “manage classes” section toward the center of the screen. On the left, click on the “class search and enroll” with the magnifying glass icon. Select the term Spring 2019, and start your search.

If you find a class you like, click on it and “add to course favorites.” Next time you visit “class search and enroll,” the course will pop up under the favorites tab. To register, select the class, and follow the instructions to place the course in your shopping cart.

Before registering, check by logging onto myNIU to see if you have any holds on your account. You won’t be able to register for classes with a hold.

Make your next semester schedule more enjoyable by taking a unique course.