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



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 FIRE Faculty Leader, an expert in their field whose full-time job it is to make sure you are successful.

FIRE students join a stream in Spring 2024. For now, your next step is to enroll in FIRE Semester 1 for Fall 2023. This course is our introductory course for all FIRE students. In it, you learn universal research skills, explore research opportunities in FIRE, and get to talk to FIRE Semester 3 students about their experiences.

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

There are many different sections of FIRE Semester 1 ("FIRE120"). Each section has a theme, but learning outcomes and course structure are the same. You may want to join a section whose theme aligns with your major or simply join a section that fits best with your overall Fall 2023 schedule. Your section of FIRE Semester 1 will not affect which streams you can join in FIRE Semester 2.

  • BioFIRE students enroll in FIRE120-0101 or FIRE120-0102.

  • Freshmen Connection students enroll in FIRE120-FC01.

  • All other FIRE students enroll in one of the following FIRE120 sections: 0103, 0104, 0105, 0106, 0107, 0108, 0109, 0110, 0111, 0112, 0113, 0114, 0115, or 0116.


Does my section of FIRE Semester 1 affect which streams I can join?

No. FIRE Semester 1 sections are primarily organized by theme but no matter which section you take, you will be eligible to join any FIRE stream in FIRE Semester 2.

How do I pick my FIRE stream?

Students submit stream preferences about halfway through FIRE Semester 1. We have a comprehensive process that allows you to explore streams, meet FIRE Faculty Leaders, talk to FIRE Semester 3 students, and get a sense of what the day-to-day looks like in each stream. We will provide more details about the process once the semester starts.

​Do I have to enroll in FIRE Semester 1?

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

​Does FIRE Semester 1 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?

While the May 1 deadline to accept your invitation has passed, you can contact our Assistant Program Director to discuss potential next-steps. Her contact information is below.

What do I do if my orientation date is not one recommended for FIRE students?

There are a few orientation dates that are recommended for FIRE studentsIf you are registered for a different date, we will follow up with you over email before your orientation to make sure you don't miss anything important.

Spoiler: the single most important thing covered at the orientation session is a reminder to register for FIRE Semester 1 (FIRE120) when building your Fall 2023 schedule.

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.


If you have additional questions not covered by this webpage, please reach out to our Assistan Program Director, Dr. Carol Vieira, at


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

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