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Inclusion, equity and diversity

back of students with arms around shoulders looking out at a crowd

Creating a culture of belonging

Whether you are a student, a faculty member, or a staff member in our College of Engineering, your whole self—who you are, what you bring, and what you need—is a unique gift that makes our community stronger and better. You belong here.

You are part of a college community that strives to affirm the backgrounds, knowledges, lived experiences, abilities, and ideas of people from various races, cultures, countries, gender identities, sexual orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds, religious traditions, and more.

As engineers, we address challenges that transcend our discipline.

We know that the most informed and innovative solutions emerge when the diverse members of our teams each and equally contribute their perspectives and expertise.

This is how we conduct ourselves professionally, and this is how we best serve and benefit society. In our personal lives and all of our activities as students, faculty and staff, we expect that same approach. Inclusion, equity and diversity is a shared responsibility among every single member of our engineering community. Through our words and actions, we build people up. We bring everyone to the table and ensure they are heard. We treat each other respectfully. We ensure that each one of us makes all those around us feel welcome here. This is a community in which each member can grow personally, thrive and succeed—and through continuous conversation, reflection and education, we are constantly striving to improve so that we all know that we belong here.

An inclusive environment rooted in ongoing improvement

Engineering as a discipline must feel welcoming to everyone—and creating that environment begins with each one of us. In the College of Engineering, all members of our community are responsible for making our college a place where everyone who wants to learn and practice engineering can feel included, supported and empowered.

We recognize that this is not always the case, and we need to do better. We’re expanding initiatives that help educate our own community about issues of inclusion, equity and diversity, beginning with awareness of unconscious bias. We’re also maintaining the pathways and programs that encourage and support the members of our community as they seek to become or develop as engineers and leaders. And through an inclusive process that sparks dialog, we’re developing a long-term vision and strategy that are part of our college’s larger commitment to addressing systemic and structural issues as a community.

Human-centered approach

“The strategic priorities are the result of several conversations across departments, across units at the College of Engineering, with several different people, staff members, faculty members, students, to be able to realize what it is that we need to move forward with intentionality over the next three to five years.”

Undergraduate programs and initiatives

Leaders in Engineering Excellence and Diversity (LEED) Scholars Program

A competitive program offering financial support; academic, personal and career development; and networking, mentoring and leadership opportunities for students traditionally underrepresented in engineering.

WiscAMP – Wisconsin Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation

A demanding six-week program that enables early-career undergraduates from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM to deepen their understanding of science and math and to become more competitive candidates for graduate school or other science or engineering careers.
Two students smile at the camera in a lecture hall.

The Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity in Engineering Student Center

1410 Engineering Drive, Suite 101

The IEDE Student Center offers a space and place for intercultural and cross-cultural engagement as well as opportunities for students to make meaningful connections with others. The center provides students a comfortable place to study with access to computers and printers, and a place to be their genuine and authentic selves. Working in partnership across campus, the IEDE Student Center is committed to developing and implementing student-centered programs and services that are designed to foster an inclusive campus community.

Other programs and initiatives

Four Engineering Summer Program participants pose for the camera.

Precollege & High School

If you’re interested in science, technology, engineering and math and want to learn more about a specific field—or get a feel for what it’s like to be an undergraduate in the College of Engineering—we offer programs that help you develop your skills, meet people here and become more confident in deciding to become an engineering student.

Graduate

Becoming a graduate student can be among the most rewarding, yet also rigorous, endeavors you’ve ever chosen. Here, we have a community that can connect you with other grad students and with the support you need to navigate this outstanding academic pursuit.

A faculty member wears a nametag while in conversation at the faculty of color reception

Faculty, Staff & Postdoc

We’re working hard not only to increase the representation of people currently underrepresented in the engineering academic ranks, but also help members of those groups advance in their fields and enhance their workplace satisfaction.

Student organizations

Photo of Julia Bennett and fellow UW SWEIO travelers in Uganda

Lead, serve and inspire

Within the College of Engineering, you’ll find more than 50 registered student organizations that enable you to create, contribute and connect—through groups that are identity-based, discipline-specific,  focused on academics, driven by a competition, service-oriented, and purely for fun. In other words, you can find friendly faces and your place—or places—in whatever niche you choose.

Mistreatment hurts everyone: Report an incident.

Other resources, facilities and spaces

Nine students outside crouching down hold up a hula hoop with one finger each.

  • Engineering Centers Building, Room 2072
    – 1550 Engineering Drive, Second floor
    – Not ADA accessible
  • Engineering Hall, next to room 2103
    – 1415 Engineering Drive, second floor on the east side of the building
    – Next to Room 2103 (this room does not have its own number)
    – Not ADA Accessible
  • Engineering Hall, Room 3118
    – 1415 Engineering Drive, Third floor
    – Not ADA accessible
  • Union South, Commuter Shower
    – 1308 W Dayton, Third floor
    – Ask Front Desk (first floor) to unlock
    – ADA Accessible
  • Wendt Commons, Rooms 134 and 135
    – 215 N Randall Ave., first floor (one floor below ground floor)
    – ADA Accessible
  • Wendt Commons, Room 212
    – 215 N Randall Ave., second floor (ground floor in the Makerspace)
    – ADA Accessible

View a map of all gender inclusive restrooms on campus

  • Engineering Hall, Room 2645
    – 1415 Engineering Drive, Second floor (above Badger Market)
    – Chair, sink, refrigerator, changing table, and outlets available
    – Locked, request key from front desk of 2640 Engineering Hall (Dean’s Office)
    – Contact Peggy Conklin at 608-265-4048 with any questions
  • Mechanical Engineering, Room 2061
    – 1513 University Avenue, Second floor
    – Chair, sink, refrigerator, changing table, and outlets available
    – Lockable, contact WISELI (Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute) office at
    (608) 263-1445 or stop by their office (room 3065) to obtain the access code

  • CAE Building, Room 100
    – 1410 Engineering Drive, First floor
    – Benches and open floor space
    – Unlocked, accessible during building hours: 7am-11pm daily
  • Union South, Forward Room
    – 1308 W Dayton, Third Floor
    – Chairs and open floor space
    – Unlocked, accessible during building hours: 7am-12am Sun-Thurs, 7am-1am Fri & Sat

The Educational Environment in Engineering (E3) Survey was administered in the UW-Madison College of Engineering in Spring 2022. 1099 eligible undergraduate students and 392 eligible graduate students participated, yielding response rates of 26% and 27% respectively. Major survey topics included students’ attitudes towards and experiences in the College, including sense of belonging in the College and experiences of stereotyping and harassment; evaluations of professors and teaching assistants; commitment to their choice of major; sense of confidence in engineering coursework, research, and teaching; and future career plans.

UW-Madison Land Acknowledgement

The UW-Madison College of Engineering occupies ancestral Ho-Chunk land, a place their nation has called Teejop (day-JOPE) since time immemorial. In an 1832 treaty, the Ho-Chunk were forced to cede this territory. Decades of ethnic cleansing followed when both the federal and state government repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, sought to forcibly remove the Ho-Chunk from Wisconsin.

We acknowledge the circumstances that led to the forced removal of the Ho-Chunk people, and honor their legacy of resistance and resilience. This history of colonization informs our work and vision for a collaborative future. We recognize and respect the inherent sovereignty of the Ho-Chunk Nation and the other 11 Native Nations within the boundaries of the state of Wisconsin.

Learn more about Our Shared Future