Your future starts here
UW-Madison is an awesome choice for your engineering education. You can take advantage of all of the benefits of a large, diverse and beautiful campus in a really neat city.
On our campus, you can find your niche—and we’re here to help you make that happen. In our college, each of our students is a valued member of our community. While we have a lot in common, we also are diverse in many ways, and we cherish our unique backgrounds, viewpoints and experiences because they open our minds to new ways of thinking and solving problems.
We have 12 highly ranked engineering majors, so you can find the one that’s the best fit for you, even if you need to switch. We have more than 50 student organizations and countless other opportunities, so you can get involved in the way you want. We have an entire college of really outstanding, world-leading professors and staff committed to supporting the whole you—your physical, mental, academic, social, financial and professional goals and wellness.
Our society needs engineers now more than ever, and we truly believe that our Wisconsin engineering experience is among the best in the world. As a Wisconsin engineer, you can make a difference, as so many of our alumni have and continue to do.
At UW-Madison, we are observing the Wisconsin governor’s “safer at home” order, and we’re doing what we can to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Even remotely, our faculty, staff and students are contributing solutions in many ways—from understanding how viruses behave to developing new processes for designing and manufacturing medical equipment, and more. While we aren’t able to see you in person right now, we wish good health to you and those close to you—and we hope we can welcome you to our engineering community in fall.
See what makes us great
We believe it’s important for you to feel like part of our community, and on your first day of classes, we host a new student welcome event to connect you with other students in your major, as well as people you might otherwise not have met. Many engineering students who have participated in “welcome” in the past have told us that they met some of their best friends right here.
From top to bottom, we’ve designed Wendt Commons for you. There are fantastic, flexible small, medium and large classrooms with lots of technology built in. There’s a wide-open floor for collaborative learning. There’s a virtual reality lab and a visualization room with a giant interactive touchscreen monitor, and the College of Engineering makerspace. You can also take advantage of tons of group-study and peer-tutoring options we host daily in Wendt.
The Grainger Engineering Design Innovation Lab, our makerspace, is a place where you can learn new skills and use amazing technology to turn your ideas into reality. It also offers fun, free workshops to teach this technology in fun ways, like making thermoformed masks during a Halloween workshop.
One of the first buildings you’ll see on the engineering campus is known simply as “1410 Engineering Drive.” Here, you can touch base with your advisor, hang out in the Diversity Affairs Office suite, meet with your student organization (we have more than 50 engineering orgs for every interest), and get some work done in the largest computer lab on the engineering campus. The tall building is our Engineering Research Building; in addition to many faculty and staff offices, it also includes labs where our faculty, staff and students study everything from materials to engines and fusion to human cell mechanics.
As an engineering student, you have access to many services, including advising and wellness. And our advisors get to know you so that they can best support you.
Whether you are just soaking up some sunshine, having a coffee or lunch, or tossing a Frisbee (or snowballs) with friends, Engineering Mall is a great green gathering space in the heart of our engineering campus. Beyond it is Engineering Hall, which is where you’ll find lots of student labs and work spaces, engineering classrooms for collaborative learning, and a huge atrium-sized lounge. Our awesome career services office is in this building, too.
We have dedicated spaces for students in many of our majors. This one, the Plexus Collaboratory, is sort of a home away from home for electrical and computer engineering students. Here, you can attend class, study or just hang out with friends—sometimes all at the same time!
It’s one thing to learn engineering from textbooks and teachers—but when you can put that knowledge to work right away, that’s when it really clicks. And in lots of our courses—like this introduction to robotics—you’ll learn engineering by actually doing it.
Located in Engineering Hall, the Huibregste Family Commons is a vibrant engineering community gathering space. You can grab a comfy chair and hang out or take a quick nap, plug in your laptop and do homework, work together on a class or team project, and get a snack, drink or sandwich.
Our Mechanical Engineering Building has a classic architectural style, but inside you’ll find more than 270,000 square feet of new classrooms, offices and research and teaching laboratories. The building houses our nuclear reactor and features a four-story atrium that’s a popular studying and celebration space.
Working together makes everything better, and that’s what we do! Whether you are in class, in a study group, on a team, in a student organization, volunteering and more, we celebrate collaboration, because the best solutions happen when a whole bunch of different people are kicking around the ideas.
Modern and full of light, the Engineering Centers Building is home to our biomedical engineering student design spaces and the college’s TEAM Lab—one of several fabrication spaces for engineering students.
As an engineering student, you likely will work on at least one “official” design project before you graduate. In biomedical engineering, our students have three years’ worth of design courses—and they work in teams with clients from industry, healthcare and our community on designs that help solve challenges in health and medicine. They collaborate in this dedicated lab and use the college’s making facilities to create prototypes or working models.
Whether our weather is fall or winter—or both!—you can enjoy the outdoors and walk through our many magical campus spaces. We would be honored to welcome you to our university and our wonderful Wisconsin engineering community, and we hope you strongly consider becoming a Badger!
Join a virtual event
Join us for a virtual information session where you can hear more about what we have to offer and ask your questions. For sessions that have already passed, we have recordings available below.
Virtual Information Sessions
Academic Experience and Supporting Student Success– A session for students and families that will give a brief overview of the academic experience and our student support services, with Q&A to follow for the remainder of the session.
Recordings of past sessions are linked below.
Student Experience Panel with Current Engineering Students- This session is for students only, and will feature current engineering students who will share about their experience and take time to answer any of your questions about what it’s like to be an Badger engineering student.
Recordings of past sessions are linked below.
Diversity in Engineering Student Experience Panel
We held a Diversity in Engineering Student Experience Panel on Saturday, April 18. If you weren’t able to join, click here to hear a recording. You’ll hear from current engineering students about life on the engineering campus and how you can get involved with student organizations including the Engineering Outreach Initiative (EOI), the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the Queer and Trans Engineers (QTE), the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).
Missed a session or can’t join us live? Check out recordings of our sessions below. If you have questions that weren’t answered during one of the sessions, submit your question using the link at the bottom of this page.
- Academic Experience and Supporting Student Success– with Engineering Physics Professor Riccardo Bonazza and Chemical and Biological Engineering Professor Daniel Klingenberg
- Student Experience Panel Part 1 and Part 2
- Academic Experience and Supporting Student Success– with Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Greg Harrington and Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Mikko Lipasti
- Student Experience Panel
- Academic Experience and Supporting Student Success– with Engineering Physics Professor Matt Allen and Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Barry Van Veen
- Student Experience Panel
- Academic Experience and Supporting Student Success– with Mechanical Engineering Professor Jaal Ghandhi and Geological Engineering Professor Jim Tinjum
- Student Experience Panel
- Academic Experience and Supporting Student Success– with Industrial and Systems Engineering Professor Jeff Linderoth, Chemical and Biological Engineering Professor Regina Murphy, and Biomedical Engineering Professor Filiz Yesilkoy
- Student Experience Panel
- Academic Experience and Supporting Student Success– with Engineering Physics Professor Wendy Crone, Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Daniel Ludois, and Biomedical Engineering Instructor Christa Wille
- Student Experience Panel
Supporting student success
- Academic and faculty advising: At summer orientation, you’ll be assigned one of our 15 professional advisors who is an expert in your major and who will be available to you as you adjust to college life. After your first year, you will receive a faculty advisor, who will work together with your professional advisor and can offer advice and direction in areas such as research, professional goals, graduate school, and more.
- Wellness: We partner with University Health Services to provide you support through engineering-specific drop-in counseling and workshops to help you develop skills, techniques and strategies to support your overall health, success and well-being.
- Undergraduate Learning Center (ULC): Our ULC is dedicated to academic support for you. We offer free drop-in tutoring and the Practicing Engineering Problem Solving (PrEPS) academic support program to support your academic success. In engineering, it is essential to learn the how and why behind the answer, and the ULC can help students build that foundation of knowledge.
- Makerspace and TEAM Lab: We have more than 25,000 square feet of making facilities: Our makerspace is a design innovation space, complete with state-of-the-art technology, while the TEAM Lab contains a variety of more traditional machining tools and equipment—all available to you for class and personal use.
- Engineering Career Services (ECS): As early as your first year, ECS helps you explore your career options, prepare for your job search and interviews, and connect with thousands of employers for a summer internship, co-op, or full-time position.
- Study Abroad: Our International Engineering Studies and Programs (IESP) office has connections with 20 programs around the world and a dedicated advisor to help you plan study abroad experiences that fit your interests, schedule and requirements.
- Diversity Affairs Office (DAO): The DAO supports the College of Engineering mission to broaden participation in engineering. It is home to the LEED Scholars Program, tutoring resources, monthly engagement meetings that feature speakers who are leaders in diversity in engineering, and opportunities to engage through outreach to communities to increase interest and excitement in engineering.
- Research Opportunities: UW-Madison is one of the premier research universities in the nation; our faculty not only teach, but also conduct cutting-edge research connected to their fields and industry and you can get involved with their research while also getting paid or earning course credit.
- Student Organizations: Develop leadership skills, get hands-on engineering experience, volunteer, meet students with similar interests, create professional networks and career connections, and more when you get involved in any of our 50+ engineering student organizations, which range from competition teams to professional societies to service and outreach-focused groups.
- First-Year Interest Groups (FIG): FIGs are academic learning communities that allow you to take a cluster of courses that are centered around a theme or topic; there are three FIGs just for engineering students: sustainability and engineering, healthcare and engineering, and humanitarian-centered design and innovation through making.
Frequently Asked Questions
How big will my classes be?
Class sizes vary at UW-Madison. Major specific courses are smaller and many are design and project based. Introductory courses for engineering students such as elementary chemistry and calculus are large lecture format. Enrollment in these courses may be several hundred students. Large lectures are paired with discussion sections. Discussion sections typically have about 20 students. Lectures are where new material is presented. Discussion sections are where the content and example problems are discussed.
Will my courses be taught by professors or graduate students?
Engineering courses are taught by professors. For courses with discussion sections, the course is led by a professor and the discussion section is led by a teaching assistant, who is typically a graduate student.
How do faculty interact with students outside of the classroom?
Research: One of the many benefits of attending a major research university is the opportunity to work alongside our professors and graduate students in their laboratories. Conducting research is a fantastic way to apply your engineering education, develop new skills, and play an important role in discoveries or technological advances.
Office hours: Professors encourage students to utilize their office hours. Office hours is a time when students can ask more specific questions about course material. It is also an opportunity for students to get to know their professors and teaching assistants.
How hard are classes in the College of Engineering? I’m concerned it’s going to be too much
Courses taken in the College of Engineering can definitely be challenging, but everyone in the college is there to help prepare you for your future career as an engineer. In addition, there are a ton of resources to help you to succeed in your courses. One of the most popular resources is the Undergraduate Learning Center which is an academic support resource specifically for students in engineering. One of their most popular programs is drop-in tutoring, offered Sunday-Thursday nights, where you can collaborate with classmates and ask questions in a low-stakes environment. All of the tutors have previously taken and done well in the courses that are open for tutoring, so they are very knowledgeable about the content you may need additional help on.
Where can I learn more about the Diversity Affairs Office (DAO)?
Visit our website at https://www.engr.wisc.edu/academics/student-services/diversity-programs/. You can also follow us on social media. We’re on Facebook and Instagram.
What are some diversity-related engineering student organizations?
The DAO provides staff assistance, meeting and storage space to the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) [https://shpemadison.weebly.com/] and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) https://www.nsbewbess.com/, and works closely with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) https://swe.slc.engr.wisc.edu/. We also work closely with student leaders in the new Queer and Trans Engineers (QTE) for students who identify as LGBTQIA+ (For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
What are some multicultural campus resources available to me?
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is home to many cultural centers, living/learning communities and student organizations. The College of Engineering DAO collaborates with many of these groups across campus. Check out the Multicultural Student Center https://msc.wisc.edu/ and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement https://diversity.wisc.edu/about/about-ddeea/.
How do I apply for the Leaders in Engineering Excellence and Diversity (LEED) Scholars Program?
All students in the College can participate in DAO events and activities. Scholarship offers for LEED Scholars have been extended to students who applied for early decision admissions. We are in the process of making final awards that include regular decision admission students now.
How do I get involved in Diversity Affairs Office activities?
There are multiple ways to get involved! We’d love to have you join our community. First, during the academic year you can visit our office any weekday between 8:30am-4:30pm. The DAO is located in Suite 101 in the 1410 Engineering Drive Building. Students can use this as study space – we have computers, printers, a refrigerator and coffee maker. Second, students can join one of the DAO student orgs. For more information about our events, email us to get on our mailing list at email@example.com and follow us on social media on Facebook and Instagram.
What can I do now to get ready for classes at UW?
Time management and study skills are actually more important for academic success than any specific content. Be responsible for your own schedule and practice studying for understanding rather than for a specific exam or homework assignment.
I’m a straight A student. Why should I use tutoring?
Many of the courses in engineering build on each other so it is essential to gain a deep understanding of your foundational coursework. Working through problems in groups and practice explaining concepts to your peers can help you check your knowledge and deepen your understanding.
How much does tutoring cost?
All of the ULC programs are free for students to use.
I was a tutor in high school. How do I apply to tutor at the ULC?
You can apply to be a tutor at the ULC any time after you complete your first semester on campus.
Does co-op delay graduation?
Yes, it usually does. Some students may take summer school or extra credits in order to stay on track, but most delay graduation. In talking to students about this, I often ask – how long do you plan to work? Until 65? That means if you will work for over 40 years, one semester of time is almost nothing if it helps you determine what you want to do professionally.
Are positions only available in the Midwest?
No, students find internships, co-ops, and full-time jobs all over the US and some go international. We use Handshake which is a national software package that allows UW-Madison to receive engineering postings from all regions of the US.
Does studying abroad delay graduation?
The vast majority of students don’t get set behind academically when studying abroad. They need to plan well and choose a program where they can fulfill degree requirements, and many of our programs offer these options for students.
What courses do engineering students take abroad?
Most students will fulfill a full load of engineering and other required courses while abroad. Students are required to take at least 50% of their courses in the fields of engineering, science and math.
How many student organizations are there affiliated College of Engineering? How do students get involved?
We have 50+ student organizations that are specific to the College of Engineering. Organizations range all the way from discipline-related groups to identity-based clubs. In the beginning of the school year we host an event that brings all engineering organizations together and helps students meet representatives from each in order to determine which organization they’d be interested in joining.
I’d like to be a part of a club that I don’t see it as an option in the College of Engineering.
Starting an organization at UW-Madison is incredibly easy, and the College of Engineering has a staff member on-hand to assist you in this process. If there’s an organization you’d like to see on campus we are here to help you create it.
I applied for freshman scholarships by the February 1st deadline. When will I hear if I received a scholarship?
Freshman Achievement Awards will be awarded on a rolling basis through April. Scholarships for freshmen range from $1,000 to $5,000, and some awards depend on financial need.
Are there other scholarships available to engineering students?
There are more scholarships available for enrolled, continuing students. Some are awarded across the College and don’t require a particular major, while others are awarded by engineering departments or major areas. Students are notified by the College and by their departments and are eligible to apply for these scholarships in March of their first year.
What’s it like going to such a large university? Do you ever feel like just a number?
While this university is large, there are so many opportunities to make it feel a bit smaller. It is true that in some of your large introductory lectures you may feel like just a number, however, you can always make an effort to establish a relationship with your professor by going to office hours and reaching out in other ways. Joining a student organization is one of the best ways that you can make this campus seem a bit smaller. There are over a thousand to choose from, which makes it easy to find your community.
Which residence hall neighborhood should I live in? Lakeshore or Southeast?
There are two halves of campus, lakeshore and southeast, and engineering students can be found in both of these great living options. The lakeshore neighborhood is right next to Lake Mendota, so you are surrounded by nature throughout the school year. If you are looking for a more urban lifestyle, the southeast neighborhood is about a 5 minute walk from State Street and the downtown Madison area. Both are great options for students, and this choice is mostly based on personal preference. With either neighborhood you choose, residence halls are a great way to form a smaller community on campus, so wherever you end up make sure to reach out to other students in your residence hall.
How do you get around campus?
You will see a lot of people walking or using bikes or mopeds to get to class. With mopeds, you will have to purchase parking passes for specific lots that are located all over campus, but bike parking is free everywhere with a bike rack. Madison is a very bike friendly city, and it’s often joked about that bikers rule the road here, so that is a safe and faster alternative to walking. There is also a free bus route that makes a loop around campus that is very popular for students to take, especially during the winter months. On top of that, all students are offered the opportunity to get a free city bus pass at the beginning of each semester, so if there’s a different bus route that works better for you, or if you need to go off campus for some reason, that’s a free and easy way to do so.