Freshman Research Initiative (FRI)

Spring Course Schedule

The first semester FRI course introduces undergraduate students to skills and techniques they will need to conduct novel research.

FRI Stream Spring Course Registration

  • Research Stream Placement. Students are placed into a stream during Stream Sort and will be provided with additional registration information and instructions via email.
  • Registration. Course meeting time, course credit options and course requirements vary by stream and are subject to change.
  • Course & 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, n addition to the meeting time indicated for each stream (below).
  • Questions? Participate in fall FRI events and/or contact the stream Research Educator.



Stream Primary Research Discipline* Course Credit & Flags Course Meeting Time
Aptamer Biochemistry CH204 (QR) & NSC109 F 1:00 - 2:00 PM
Autonomous Robots Computer Science CS309 TTh 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Behavioral Neuroscience Biology BIO206L & NSC109 M 3:00 - 4:00 PM
Big Data in Biology Computational Biology BIO321G (QR) or CS309 TTh 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Bioactive Molecules Chemistry CH204 (QR) & NSC109 M 12:00 - 2:00 PM
Biobricks Biochemistry CH204 (QR) & NSC109 M 1:00 - 2:00 PM
Biodiversity Discovery Biology BIO206L & NSC109 M 11:00 - 12:00 PM
Biomanufacturing Biochemistry CH204 (QR) & NSC109 M 10:00 - 11:00 AM
Bioprospecting Biochemistry CH204 (QR) & NSC109 M 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Bugs in Bugs Biology BIO206L & NSC109 M 4:00 - 5:00 PM

Computational Materials




CH368 TTh 9:30 - 11:00 AM
Discovering Signals Biology BIO206L & NSC109 Th 2:30 - 5:30 PM
Discrete Mathematics Math M325K (II) MWF 9:00 - 10:00 AM
DIY Diagnostics Multidisciplinary CH204 (QR) & NSC109 *meeting time/location arranged with Research Educator
EvoDevOmics Computational Biology BIO321G  (QR) TTh 1:00 - 2:30 PM
Fish Behavior Biology BIO206L & NSC109 MW 4:00 - 5:00 PM
Gene Networks Biochemistry CH204 (QR) & NSC109 M 3:00 - 4:00 PM
Geometry of Space Multidisciplinary CS309 TTh 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Glow Worms Biology BIO206L & NSC109 T 2:00 - 3:30 PM


**FOR ARI students ONLY



MBS337 TTh 1:00 - 2:00 PM
Magnetic Matter Physics PHY108 & PHY101L or PHY108 & PHY116L M 4:00 - 5:00 PM
Materials in Color Chemistry CH204 (QR) & NSC109 M 3:00 - 4:00 PM
Microbe Hackers Biochemistry CH204 (QR) & NSC109 M 3:00 - 5:00 PM
Plant Pathways Biology BIO206L & NSC109 W 4:00 - 5:00 PM

Practical Sensors-ARI

**FOR ARI students ONLY



CH220c (Wr, II) or MBS377 (Wr, II) or CH455 (Wr, QR, II) M 4:00 - 5:00 PM
Quantum Computing Computer Science CS309 or PHY108 & PHY191L or PHY116L TTh 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Robot Learning Computer Science CS309 TTh 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Supra Sensors Chemistry CH204 (QR) & NSC109 M 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Urban Ecosystems Multidisciplinary CH204 (QR) & NSC109 MW 10:00 - 11:00 AM

Virtual Cures




CH204 (QR) & NSC109


MBS377 (ARI Only)

T 1:00 - 2:00 PM (FRI only)


W 1:00 - 2:00 PM (ARI only)

White Dwarf Stars Astronomy AST210K & PHY101L or PHY116L F 2:00 - 3:00 PM
X-Plants Biology BIO206L & NSC109 F 1:00 - 2:00 PM

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

FRI Course Registration Notes


The following streams offering CH204 credit are APPROVED* for Chemistry Majors to satisfy CH317 requirement in the Chemistry Degree Plan:

  • Bioactive Molecules
  • Bioprospecting
  • Materials in Color
  • Supra Sensors
  • Urban Ecosystems

The following streams offering CH204 credit WILL NOT COUNT* toward the CH317 requirement:

  • Aptamer
  • Biobricks
  • Biomanufacturing
  • DIY Diagnostics
  • Gene Networks
  • Microbe Hackers
  • Virtual Cures

**This DOES NOT apply for BSA in Chemistry.


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

Fall Course cREDIT

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