Biology Integrative Orientation Experience (BIOME)

August 14-18, 2021

BIOME is full for summer 2021. Applications are no longer being accepted.

The Biology Integrative Orientation Experience, or BIOME, is a social and academic program designed to increase student success for Biological Sciences majors at Mizzou. Students live and learn with other incoming students who share a passion for biology. Together, participants explore their major and the Mizzou campus and learn how to succeed in college, all while helping each other integrate into college life before their first semester begins. BIOME is held the week prior to the start of fall classes each year.


    Benefits of BIOME

    • Students get a jump start on biology and chemistry classes
    • Students attend lectures from faculty who teach first-year science courses
    • Students enhance their studying and test-taking skills
    • Students talk to scientists about their current, groundbreaking research
    • Students build relationships with faculty, advisors, and fellow biology majors
    • Students move into their residential hall room early

    Who Is Eligible?

    BIOME is open to any incoming MU freshmen who have declared BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES as their major. All interested students must submit a BIOME application and be selected for the program. Space is limited.

    Students have the option to participate in only the BIOME workshop held before fall classes or participate in the full BIOME FIG (Freshman Interest Group). Joining the FIG includes the added benefit of co-enrollment in fall classes with other BIOME students.


    The BIOME program costs $250. Payment information is sent to students once their BIOME application has been accepted.

    A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. To qualify, students must have completed a Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application and submit a 500-word essay about his/her career aspirations and why/how a degree in Biological Sciences aids with those aspirations. The application for the FAFSA may be found at The 500-word essay should be submitted along with your BIOME application. 

    Parent/Guardian Orientation

    We offer a special orientation session for parents/guardians that addresses the goals and scheduled activities of the BIOME program as well as the freshman year in general. The session is designed to:

    • Inform parents/guardians about what will happen during BIOME
    • Answer questions about how parents/guardians can help students during their first semester at MU
    • Discuss what parents/guardians can do if their student has problems while at MU

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do I have to be a Biological Sciences major to participate in BIOME?

    Yes! Majoring in Biological Sciences is a prerequisite to participate in BIOME.

    How do I sign up for BIOME using the Residential Life Housing Preference Form?

    Answer coming soon!

    Do I have to live in the Residence Hall to participate in BIOME?

    Not necessarily. Students who join the BIOME FIG, rather than just participating in the workshop before fall classes, are required to live in Gateway Hall with the BIOME FIG. Students only participating in the BIOME workshop before fall classes can live wherever they would plan to live, regardless of BIOME participation.

    When will I be able to move into my room?


    Do I move into my permanent room?

    Yes! During BIOME move-in, students will move in to whatever room will be theirs for the semester.

    Can I participate in BIOME and go through formal sorority or fraternity recruitment?

    Unfortunately, Panhellenic Association (sorority) recruitment times conflict with BIOME so students may not participate in both. Women may join a sorority during their sophomore year. Men may participate in both BIOME and IFC (Interfraternity Council) recruitment, though.

    Can I participate in BIOME and Marching Mizzou?

    Possibly, with permission from the Director of Marching Mizzou. We have excused students from evening BIOME activities in order to participate in Marching Mizzou’s evening practices, and Marching Mizzou has excused BIOME students from morning practice time in order to participate in BIOME.

    Does the cost cover meals?

    A portion of the fee covers the cost of most meals during BIOME.

    Are textbooks and lab supplies included in the BIOME fee?

    All textbooks and lab supplies, except protective eye-wear, are provided. Students are required to provide their own protective eye-wear, which can be purchased at the Mizzou Store.

    What if I have credit (either by AP, IB, or dual enrollment) for biology or chemistry?

    Even if you have credit for biology or chemistry, you will need to take one of these courses to participate in the BIOME FIG. If you are only participating in the BIOME workshop before the fall semester, you are not required to enroll in one of these courses but still encouraged. Many upper-level Biological Sciences students recommend taking the MU college science courses even if you have credit coming in because they are the foundation courses for the rest of your science career. If you have questions, please contact the Division of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Advising Office.

    Can my friends and family visit me during BIOME?

    Not really. The BIOME week will be packed full with lectures and activities. We encourage students to use their free time to study and form friendships with their BIOME colleagues.

    Will I need a parking permit for the week of BIOME?

    Answer coming soon!

    Will I receive course credit for BIOME?

    You do not receive credit for lectures attended during BIOME since it is an optional orientation program. However, the material taught during the lectures will appear again in the introductory biology and chemistry courses.

    How do I cancel my BIOME registration?

    You can cancel your BIOME registration by emailing Carol Martin. Before doing so, please review the application for cancellation deadlines and refunds. You also should be aware that if you cancel and were a part of the BIOME FIG (as opposed to just the pre-semester workshop), you might have to change your housing assignment since the BIOME FIG students are housed together.


    Carol Martin
    Division of Biological Sciences
    Tucker Hall, Room 3
    Columbia, MO 65211-7400

    (573) 884-1830

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