Engineering Summer Program


Thank you for your interest in our program. At this time, we are waiting for the university’s leadership to make a decision on summer programming for 2021. If you are interested in learning more about future precollege summer opportunities with the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, or if you have questions about this announcement, please email us at (updated 3/24/2021)

Engineering Summer Program (ESP) is a free, six-week residential program for students who will be high school juniors or seniors in the upcoming school year. The ESP course curriculum includes math, physics, chemistry, engineering, and technical communications. Other structured programming such as industry site visits, field trips, guest lectures, workshops, and faculty mentoring will help students gain a better understanding of the field of engineering and its applications. Learn more about ESP through the ESP Viewbook or FAQ.


ESP is highly selective and admission decisions are not made on any single metric. We consider academic merit, interest in engineering, student essays, and letters of recommendation, as well as educational barriers including racial/ethnic and gender representation in engineering, geographical diversity, first generation status, limited educational and STEM enrichment opportunities or limited family resources. Each year the applicant pool is unique and reviewed independently from previous application cycles.

Although admission to UW-Madison is not the focus of ESP, there is a strong record of successful admission to UW-Madison and other engineering programs for ESP alumni. The admission decision to ESP is not associated with that of the Office of Admission at UW-Madison. ESP applicants are encouraged to apply to the University of Wisconsin-Madison regardless of the ESP admission decision. Qualified students may be denied admission to the program. The final admission decisions are the discretion of the ESP review committee.

Application Checklist

  • Completed application form
  • Official transcript
  • Math and Science recommendation forms
  • Non-refundable $40 application fee. PLEASE NOTE: The application fee may be waived if your family is eligible for free or reduced price lunch and other special circumstances.

A paper application is available upon request. Please contact with questions.


ESP is a rigorous academic summer program, designed to attract academically talented women and students from groups historically underrepresented in the field of engineering.


To take part in ESP you must:

  • have a strong interest in math and engineering
  • be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • be a current sophomore or junior in high school
  • have completed at least one year of algebra, geometry, and chemistry
  • have a minimum unweighted grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale



ESP participants can expect a full schedule of rigorous classes, taught by UW-Madison faculty. Students take coursework in five content areas:

  • Mathematics (Pre-Calculus or Calculus, as appropriate)
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Technical Communications
  • Introductory Engineering Design

ESP challenges students to think creatively, work in teams and draw on previous knowledge and experiences to solve problems both inside and outside the classroom. ESP provides participants with a hands-on experience in design, in addition to group study and problem solving skills that are transferable to future high school and collegiate coursework.
Students will also participate in faculty-led discussions, team building activities, and professional development workshops to help students navigate complicated topics like college admissions, campus life, and financial aid. Additionally, industrial site visits are integrated into the program to enable interaction with practicing engineers at companies like Alliant Energy, Design Concepts, GE Healthcare, Rockwell Automation, and Spectrum Brands. Engineering Summer Program Sample Schedule

Housing and Meals
Housing and meals are included as part of the program. While attending ESP, participants will reside in Dejope Hall — a University Housing residence hall conveniently located in the Lakeshore neighborhood. To foster a real sense of community, students will share a room with another ESP participant. Each air-conditioned room includes twin beds with linens and pillows, a mini-fridge, desks, and internet. There are no in-room telephones, so students are encouraged to bring a cell phone. Laundry and vending machines are available on the main floor, at the cost of the participant. Meals will be served three times per day, seven days a week in Dejope Hall. Dining services will provide a variety of delicious and healthy meals, and dietary restrictions can be readily accommodated.

Participants will be supervised by program staff. Current undergraduate students are hired and trained to provide supervision and daily programming — including weekends. The counselors live in Dejope Hall with the participants.


I can’t have even begun to imagine a better way to use my summer, and I have a pretty solid imagination. I want to express my utmost appreciation toward everyone who helped make this program what it is. – Malachi Alvarez

This program is honestly one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me. Not only do I feel much more confident academically, but I have made a multitude of friends that will for sure last a lifetime! – Faith Lundt

I really loved the ESP experience, it solidified my choice into going into engineering, as well as providing me with opportunities I don’t think I would have had anywhere else. I was able to make everlasting friendships with the people here. I loved all the experiences. I had an unforgettable time at ESP and will never forget it, I hope to come back and help out with the program in any way I can. – Julia Lopez de la Cruz

I think applying for ESP was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. This summer was the best I’ve ever had. Because of ESP, I’ve decided that UW-Madison is my number one choice for college. ESP wouldn’t have been the same experience without the counselors, the people, and the experiences. – Jonathan Perez

This was a great summer, I feel ready to take on whatever academic challenge that comes my way! – Simone Wright

ESP Through The Years