Freshman Research Initiative (FRI)

Fall Course Credit

The fall semester course with your Research Stream offers a more independent research experience with more time to focus on in-depth projects.

FRI Stream Fall Course Registration

  • Registration. Your Research Educator will provide registration information and instructions. Course credit options are subject to change.
  • Stream switching after the first semester or participation in an additional stream is not possible at this time.  
  • Time Commitment. Most streams also require a lab component that is included with the course credit offered, but does not show a meeting time on the spring & fall course schedules. Reserve time in your weekly schedule to attend lab, in addition to the meeting time indicated in the course schedule. Your Research Educator will give you more details about course meeting expectations. 
  • Questions? Contact the stream Research Educator.



FRI Stream Primary Research Discipline* Course Credit Options & Flag(s)      
Aptamer Biochemistry BIO206L(II) & MBS177 (Wr, II) MBS377 (Wr, II) BCH369K (Wr, II) --
Autonomous Robots Computer Science CS378 -- -- --
Behavioral Neuroscience Biology NEU377 (Wr, II) -- -- --
Big Data in Biology Computational Biology INB377 (Wr) CS378 -- --
Bioactive Molecules Chemistry CH220c (Wr, II) CH369K (Wr, II) -- --
Biobricks Biochemistry BIO206L (II) & MBS177 (Wr, II) MBS377 (Wr, II) CH369K (Wr, II) BCH219L**
Biodiversity Discovery Biology INB377 (Wr, II) -- -- --
Biomanufacturing Biochemistry BIO206L (II) & MBS177 (Wr, II) MBS377 (Wr, II) CH369K (Wr, II) BCH219L**
Bioprospecting Biochemistry BIO206L (II) & MBS177 (Wr, II) MBS377 (Wr, II) CH369K (Wr, II) --
Bugs in Bugs Biology INB377 (Wr, II) -- -- --

Computational Materials



Computational Chemistry

CH369K (Wr, II) -- -- --
Discovering Signals Biology MBS377 (Wr, II) MBS328D (Wr, II) -- --
DIY Diagnostics Multidisciplinary BIO206L (II) & MBS177 (Wr, II) MBS377 (II, Wr) -- --
EvoDevOmics Computational Biology INB377 (Wr, II) -- -- --
Fish Behavior Biology INB377 (Wr, II) -- -- --
Gene Networks Biochemistry BIO206L (II) & MBS177 (Wr, II) MBS377 (Wr, II) BCH219L** --
Geometry of Space Multidisciplinary CS378 (Wr) -- -- --
Glow Worms Biology MBS377 (II) -- -- --


ARI Only



MBS377 -- -- --
Magnetic Matter Physics PHY208F PHY115L PHY116L PHY101L
Materials in Color Chemistry CH369K (Wr, II) -- -- --
Microbe Hackers Biochemistry BIO206L (II) & MBS177 (Wr, II) MBS377 (Wr, II) CH369K (Wr, II) --
Plant Pathways Biology MBS377 (Wr, II) -- -- --

Practical Sensors

ARI Only

ARI/Multidisciplinary MBS377 (Wr, II) CH220c (Wr, II) CH455 (Wr, II)


(Wr, II)

Quantum Computing Computer Science CS378 (II) PHY308F (II) -- --
Robot Learning Computer Science CS378 -- -- --
Supra Sensors Chemistry CH369K (Wr, II) -- -- --
Urban Ecosystems Multidisciplinary BIO206L & INB177 (II) INB377 (II) CH369K (II) --

Virtual Cures


Biochemistry BIO206L (II) & MBS177 (Wr, II) MBS377 (Wr, II) CH369K (Wr, II) BCH219L**

Virtual Cures


Biochemistry BCH369K -- -- --
White Dwarf Stars Astronomy AST275 (II) AST375 (II) PHY116L PHY115L
X-Plants Biology INB377 (Wr, II) -- -- --

*Many FRI streams are multidisciplinary, but offer course credit related to a primary research discipline.

**See FRI Course Registration Information below for BCH219L requirements


FRI Course Registration Information

Many FRI courses carry Flags that fulfill UT Austin's degree plan requirements and Core Curriculum Requirements.  Flagged courses are identified in the course schedule with a yellow box that indicates the specific Flag designation.


Independent Inquiry (II). In a FRI course that carries a II Flag, students are engaged in the research process, from defining their research topics to designing, executing, and presenting their projects.

Quantitative Reasoning (QR). In a FRI course that carries a QR flag, students apply and demonstrate an understanding of the application of quantitative skills (logical, numerical, statistical) to real-world problems.

Writing (Wr) Flag. A FRI course that carries a Wr-flag emphasizes writing skills and includes substantial writing assignments.

CNS students are required to complete two (2) Wr-flags:

  • A 3-hour Wr-flag course that does not fulfill another Core Curriculum requirement.
  • At least one of the two Wr-flag courses must be upper division.  An upper division course is one in which the last two digits are between 20-79.

Please Note: A UGS 303 Signature Course that carries a Wr-flag will satisfy the Core Signature Course requirement but will not fulfill the 3-hour Wr-flag Core requirement. 


In this case, the student would need to take an additional course with a 3-hour Wr-flag to meet the Core requirement keeping in mind that the second course is upper division.


Students in Biochemistry FRI streams (**Urban Ecosystems does not apply**)

Fall Course Credit Options

  • BIO206L & INB177 or MBS177 (INB177 or MBS177 carries upper division 1-hour Wr-flag) or
  • MBS377 or INB377 or NEU377 (upper division 3-hour Wr-flag) or
  • CH369K or BCH369K (upper division 3-hour Wr-flag)

Fall Course Registration Notes

  • If a student does not need BIO206L for their degree plan, it is advised they register for one of the other two credit options (INB377 or MBS377 or NEU377 or CH369K or BCH369K). These courses fulfill BOTH the upper division Wr flag requirement and carry a 3-hour Wr-flag. 

If a student is considering changing majors, they should look at the degree plans for the other majors to make sure they will not need BIO206L. 

  • If a student needs BIO206L for their degree plan, it is advised that they choose the BIO206L & INB177 or MBS177 option, but they should also take an additional 3-hour Wr-flag course to meet the core requirement. MBS177 or INB177 are upper division courses that can fulfill a student’s CNS requirement for a second Wr-flag.


**BCH219L - FRI Lite


  • Biochemistry majors enrolled in Biobricks, Biomanufacturing, Gene Networks, or Virtual Cures only


  • Students register for both a stream course credit option and the BCH219L-FRI section.
  • Student must attend the Monday course meeting and hold the Tuesday afternoon course time available for completing laboratory activities, if necessary.
  • Reach out to your Research Educator for comprehensive instructions regarding course logistics.

Spring Course Schedule

If you have questions about how you will satisfy both Wr-flags, please discuss with your academic advisor or email (include your EID).