Engineering Summer Program (ESP) is a 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, fieldtrips, guest lectures, workshops, and faculty mentoring will help you gain a better understanding of the field of engineering and its applications. Click HERE to learn more about the Engineer in Summer Program


The ESP Program is targeted to high school students from groups traditionally under-represented in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field. African-American, Native American, Latino/a, Laotian, Vietnamese, Hmong, and Cambodian students are especially encouraged to apply. Students from rural regions, as well as women from all backgrounds are also strongly encouraged to apply.


To take part in ESP you must have a strong interest in math and engineering; be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; be entering your junior or senior year for the upcoming school year; have completed at least one year of algebra, geometry, and chemistry by June of the program year; and have a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.


The Program challenges students to think creatively, work in teams and draw on previous knowledge and experiences to solve problems both inside and outside the classroom. The program consist of rigorous preparation in engineering foundation courses consistent with our engineering degree programs.

ESP provides participants with a hands-on experience in design; group study and problem solving that will be transferable to the students’ future high school and collegiate coursework. Students will also participate in faculty-led discussions, team building, professional development programming, as well as workshops that will help students navigate the college admission and financial-aid process.

Housing and Meals

Housing and meals are included as part of the program. While attending ESP, participants will reside in University Housing. Lodging will be in Dejope Hall — a University Housing residence hall conveniently located on the Lakeshore campus. To foster a real sense of community, you will share a room with another program participant. Each air-conditioned room includes twin beds with bed linens and pillows, minifridges, desks, and internet. Floor lounges include televisions, comfortable seating, and an attached kitchenette. There will be no telephones in individual rooms; therefore, students are encouraged to bring a cell phone. Laundry and vending machines are located on the main floor of Dejope Hall. Meals will be served three times per day, seven days a week in the Four Lakes Market, located in Dejope Hall. Dining services will provide a variety of youth-friendly and healthy selections, including vegetarian and gluten-free options.


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 University Housing on the same floor as participants.


ESP is designed to focus on academic enrichment related to math, science, and engineering; provide an orientation to the UW-Madison environment and collegiate experience; and demonstrate the importance of early preparation for the college-bound student. Participants will interact with UW faculty/staff, students, program alumni, practicing engineers and other talented peers who share the same interest in mathematics, science and engineering.