Welcome to FIRE! This page provides new FIRE students important information about what to expect for fall enrollment.  



Welcome to FIRE! We are excited that you will be joining us this fall as part of your overall experience with the University of Maryland.

FIRE is a radically typical first-year experience where you are welcomed to the university's research mission. The program is highly mentored and provides you with considerable learning opportunities to gain advanced research skills and advance your education through a research experience.

The exact professional and research skills you gain depend on which stream you join. But no matter what, every stream is led by a Research Educator, an expert in their field whose full-time job it is to make sure you are successful.

FIRE students join a stream in Spring 2022. For now, the next step is to enroll in FIRE Semester 1 for the fall semester. This course is our introductory course for all FIRE students. In it, you learn universal research skills, explore research opportunities in your preferred cluster, and get to talk to FIRE Semester 3 students about their experience.

Enrolling in FIRE Semester 1 is required to keep your spot in the program.

There are many different sections of FIRE Semester 1. Which sections you can enroll in depends on your status and intended cluster:

  • Students interested in joining a stream in the Natural Science cluster should enroll in FIRE120-0101, FIRE120-0102, or FIRE120-0103.

  • BioFIRE students enroll in 
    FIRE120-0104 or FIRE120-0105.

  • Students interested in joining a stream in
    the Social Science cluster should enroll in
    FIRE120-0201, FIRE120-0202, 
    FIRE120-0203, FIRE120-0204, 
    or FIRE120-0205.

  • Students interested in joining a stream in the Technology & Applied Science cluster should enroll in 
    FIRE120-0301, FIRE120-0302, 
    FIRE120-0303, FIRE120-0304, 
    or FIRE120-0305

  • Freshmen Connection students enroll in FIRE120-FCB1.


What do I do if there are no spaces in FIRE Semester 1 for my intended cluster?

Different sections of FIRE Semester 1 are hosted by different FIRE clusters. If for any reason you cannot join a section hosted by your intended FIRE cluster, you should join a different section.  No matter which section you enroll in, you will still be eligible to join any FIRE research stream in FIRE Semester 2.

Does my section of FIRE Semester 1 affect which stream I will join?

The answer​ is no. Stream selection occurs during the fall semester and we will provide all students complete and total information about that process at the right time.


FIRE Semester 1 sections are primarily organized but cluster but no matter which section you take, you will be eligible to join any FIRE research stream.

How do I pick my FIRE stream?

We have a comprehensive process during the fall that will allow you to learn about each of our streams, meet the faculty leaders, talk to FIRE Semester 3 students, and get a sense of what the day-to-day looks like with respect to each stream's research mission.

​Do I have to enroll in FIRE Semester 1?

Yes. If an admitted student does not enroll in FIRE Semester 1 during their orientation, we have to assume they are no longer interested in participating in the program.

Students who do not enroll in FIRE Semester 1 will lose their spot in the program. 

​Does FIRE Semester 1 (FIRE120) count for UNIV100?

No. FIRE Semester 1 (FIRE120) does not replace UNIV100.  If your academic advisor recommends UNIV100, you will need to register for it separately.

I received an invitation to FIRE but I never responded to it. Am I still in FIRE?

Invitations to FIRE needed to be accepted by May 1. Contact our Associate Director - Dr. Page ( to discuss potential next steps.

When do I get my FIRE t-shirt?

As soon as possible!  Ordinarily, you would get it during orientation. We have explored a few workarounds in light of the current situation: drone delivery, an STL for 3D printing, and teleportation. So far, nothing seems feasible until we are back on campus.  We will look for every safe way to get you a FIRE t-shirt this coming Fall semester.

I just learned about FIRE. Is it too late to join?

Please submit an application here. We will be in touch soon to update you on your status.


We hosted a series of Zoom information sessions throughout June to help prepare incoming FIRE students and answer their questions. If you are an admitted FIRE student and you were not able to attend one of these sessions--that is OK.  If you would like to review a recording of June session, please reach out to Dr. Ian Page ( 


The TerrapinSTRONG vision is that the University of Maryland strives to create an inclusive environment where every member of our community feels a sense of belonging and is empowered to reach their full potential.

We remind all incoming FIRE students complete all four modules as communicated by your college during your orientation period:

  • Module I: TerrapinSTRONG vision and welcome from President Pines

  • Module II: Engaging our History

  • Module III: Affirming our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  • Module IV: Sharing UMD Traditions