Three photos of students in class, students studying in a library, and Bascom Hall on a beautiful sunny day.

Early Start

UW–Madison’s early start programs allow incoming students to take classes in the summer before their first fall semester. Whether you’re interested in art or engineering, early start programs can help you:

  • Complete degree requirements
  • Earn credits
  • Make new friends
  • Start your UW–Madison experience early

All early start programs require that you are admitted to UW–Madison and accept your offer of admission (date TBD). Some programs are only open to students in certain majors, schools, or colleges, so be sure to read the program descriptions carefully. Program applications are generally open in the spring.

If you have questions about a specific program, please reach out to the contact listed on the program’s webpage. For general questions about early start programs at UW–Madison, please contact summerterm@wisc.edu.

Wisconsin Experience Summer Launch

Happy student working on computer

This online program allows students to launch their UW–Madison academic careers by choosing from a list of popular courses that fulfill common requirements. Program participants will also establish a network of friends, peers and campus resources they can continue to grow when they arrive on campus in the fall.

Format: Online, with optional on-campus component

Eligibility: Students who have accepted an offer of admission to UW–Madison for fall 2021

Length: 8 weeks online with optional early move-in

Coursework: Choose from a list of popular 3-credit courses, and enroll in two 1-credit courses designed to support program participants as they begin their UW–Madison journey

MORE ABOUT WISCONSIN EXPERIENCE SUMMER LAUNCH

Electrical and Computer Engineering Summer Launch

Two students working in Electric and Computer Engineering class

ECE Summer Launch is an opportunity for Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering students to take a course on campus and meet other students in their majors before fall classes begin.

Format: On-campus

Eligibility: Students who have accepted an offer of admission to the UW–Madison College of Engineering for fall 2021 and intend to major in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering

Length: 4 weeks

Coursework: Electrical and Computer Engineering 210: Introductory Experience in Electrical Engineering (2 credits)

MORE ABOUT ECE SUMMER LAUNCH

Mechanical Engineering Summer Launch

Mechanical Engineering students in class

ME Summer Launch is an opportunity for Mechanical Engineering students to take a course on campus and meet other students in their major before fall classes begin.

Format: On-campus

Eligibility: Students who have accepted an offer of admission to the UW–Madison College of Engineering for fall 2021and intend to major in Mechanical Engineering

Length: 4 weeks

Coursework: Mechanical Engineering 201: Introduction to Mechanical Engineering (3 credits)

MORE ABOUT ME Summer Launch

International Student Summer Institute (ISSI)

ISSI students

ISSI helps international students improve their academic English skills and become familiar with the UW–Madison campus and available resources.

Format: On-campus

Eligibility: International students who have accepted an offer of admission to UW–Madison for fall 2021

Length: 4 weeks

Coursework: English as a Second Language 113: Academic Reading and Writing (3 credits)

MORE ABOUT ISSI

Transfer Early Start Program

Colorful Union Terrace chairs with flowers in the background.

Transfer Early Start Program allows incoming transfer students to enroll in classes during the Summer Term. Students will be connected with an advisor and can enroll in any course that begins on or after the start of the 8-week session (the most popular summer session). The program helps transfer students get connected to campus sooner.

Format: Students can enroll in online/remote or in person courses

Eligibility: Transfer students who have accepted an offer of admission for the fall term

Length: Will depend on which course is chosen. Most summer courses are 4 or 8 weeks in length

Coursework: Students will meet with an advisor prior to enrolling in their summer course to help ensure that their course selection is aligned with their academic goal

MORE ABOUT THE TRANSFER EARLY START PROGRAM

College of Agricultural & Life Sciences Quickstart (CALS Quickstart)

Students pouring out of Get directions Agricultural Hall on a beautiful summer day

CALS QuickStart allows incoming College of Agricultural & Life Sciences (CALS) students to complete their first-year seminar online. Participants will connect with peers, gain early exposure to campus opportunities and resources, and develop personal academic and career roadmap. Students have the option to move to campus a week early, earn an additional credit, and apply what they’ve learned through hands-on activities and tours.

Format: Online, with optional on-campus component

Eligibility: Students who have accepted an offer of admission to the UW–Madison College of Agricultural & Life Sciences for fall 2021

Length: 8 weeks online with optional additional week on campus

Coursework: CALS QuickStart: Foundations (1 credit) online, with option to also complete CALS QuickStart: Connect2Campus (1 credit)

MORE ABOUT CALS QUICKSTART

UW Study Abroad Summer Launch

Study abroad students making W UW–Madison sigh with their hands

Explore intriguing topics in small, active learning environments, with your Badger peers, outside of the United States! Not only will you form lasting relationships with fellow students, you’ll earn in-residence credits during your program abroad that will apply towards graduation and additional credit when you return in the fall through the UW Experience Seminar.

Format: UW–Madison faculty-led study abroad program

Eligibility: Students who have accepted an offer of admission to UW–Madison as a full-time undergraduate for fall 2021

Length: 4 weeks

Coursework:3-credits of in-residence credit; varies by program

More about UW Study Abroad Summer Launch

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