A typical course schedule for a BioFIRE student intending to major in the Biological Sciences is shown below. Students intending to pursue other majors enroll in the required BioFIRE courses (UNIV 100, FIRE 120, BSCI 279B) and the courses required for their academic program.

Year 1: Fall Semester
UNIV 100+ The Student in the University 1 credit
FIRE 120+ FIRE Semester 1 3 credits
BSCI 160 Principles of Ecology and Evolution 3 credits
BSCI 161+ Principles of Ecology and Evolution Lab 1 credit
CHEM 131 General Chemistry 3 credits
CHEM 132+ General Chemistry Lab 1 credit
MATH 135 Discrete Mathematics for Life Sciences 4 credits
    =16 credits

+Special sections reserved for BioFIRE students

Year 1: Spring Semster
FIRE 1xx FIRE Semester 2 (course number varies, depending on research stream) 3 credits
BSCI279B BioFIRE Spring Colloquium 1 credit
BSCI 170 Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology 3 credits
BSCI 171 Molecular and Cellular Biology Lab 1 credit
CHEM 231 Organic Chemistry 1 3 credits
CHEM 232 Organic Chemistry 1 Lab 1 credit
ENGL 101 Academic Writing 3 credits
    =15 credits
Year 2: Fall Semester
FIRE 2xx FIRE Semester 3 (course number varies, depending on research stream) 3 credits
BSCI 207 Organismal Biology 3 credits
CHEM 241 Organic Chemistry 2 3 credits
CHEM 242 Organic Chemistry 2 Lab 1 credit
MATH 136 Calculus for Life Sciences 4 credits
Gen Ed (as appropriate) 3 credits
    =17 credits



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.