During their first semester, BioFIRE students enroll together in UNIV 100 (The Student in the University) and FIRE 120 (FIRE Course 1). They are also expected to enroll in special BioFIRE sections of BSCI 161 (Principles of Biology I Lab) and CHEM 132 (General Chemistry I Lab), if they have the requisite math eligibility. A typical course schedule for a BioFIRE student intending to major in the Biological Sciences is shown below.


Year 1: Fall Semester

UNIV 100*           1 credit

FIRE 120*            3 credits

BSCI 160             3 credits

BSCI 161*           1 credit

CHEM 131          3 credits

CHEM 132*        1 credit

MATH 135          4 credits


Year 1: Spring Semster

FIRE 1xx              3 credits (course number varies, depending on research stream)

BSCI279B           1 credit

BSCI 170             3 credits

BSCI 171             1 credit

CHEM 231          3 credits

CHEM 232          1 credit

ENGL 101           3 credits


Year 2: Fall Semester

FIRE 2xx             3 credits (course number varies, depending on research stream)

BSCI 207            3 credits

CHEM 241          3 credits

CHEM 242          1 credit

MATH 136          4 credits

Gen Ed               3 credits


*Special sections reserved for BioFIRE students




 Moving in to Easton Hall

Moving in to Easton Hall

MovE-in weekend activities

On move-in day the BioFIRE staff and second-year students are on hand to greet the incoming cohort and help them get settled into the BioFIRE dorm, Easton Hall. Later than day we hold a welcome dinner, which allows us to get to know one another. The following day, we take a field trip to the National Museum of Natural History in  Washington, D.C.

 Hiking Cunningham Falls near Catoctin Mountain National Park

Hiking Cunningham Falls near Catoctin Mountain National Park

fall retreat

Among the most memorable of BioFIRE traditions is the Fall Retreat, which for the past few years has taken place at Camp Round Meadow in the Catoctin  Mountain National Park. The Fall Retreat occurs during the second weekend in September, and gives BioFIRE students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to get to know each other while enjoying outdoor activities in a beautiful natural setting. Retreat activities include hiking, making s'mores around the campfire, playing ultimate frisbee, and participating in team-building activities.



One of the favorite fall semester BioFIRE activities is a dissection lab. Students learn proper techniques for holding and using surgical instruments, then use those techniques to dissect a variety of different animal organ systems.