The 2023 ESP application is now closed. Decisions will be sent out by the end of April.
ESP is highly selective and program acceptance is not made on any single metric – applicants are reviewed holistically.
- Completed application
- Official high school transcript
- Recommendation form
ESP is a dynamic academic enrichment summer program designed to introduce engineering concepts to and encourage high achieving students historically underrepresented in engineering (e.g. first generation, low-income, students from diverse communities, LGTBQ+, and women) to explore engineering.
To take part in ESP, you must:
- Have a strong interest in math, science, 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 four content areas:
- Mathematics (Pre-Calculus or Calculus, as appropriate)
- 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, Delve, GE Healthcare, Rockwell Automation, and Spectrum Brands.
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.
The ESP Guide on How to Write Great Short Answer Essays
- Ask people to edit your writing. Always try to have at least one other perspective look at your work. Ask another peer, mentor, teacher, counselor, etc. to look over your essay. This will not only help you in our application process, but you can learn a lot from another person’s edits for future essays.
- Outlining. Sometimes it’s easier to write an outline of the essay before writing the actual essay. Here is a format that you can follow to get started:
- Topic: Explain why you want to write specifically about this topic
- Introduction: 1-2 sentences that will introduce your topic and set you up for the rest of the essay
- Points: What are the points you want to make in your essay? 1-2 (This will set you up for the body of your essay
- Explanation of each point: This is where you get to start writing more about the points that you have made.
- Conclusion: What do you want the reader to get out of your essay? What is your final and main point. Make sure that it is related to the previously stated information. Do not introduce new ideas in your conclusion.
- Get creative. Do a brainstorm or a mind dump. Talk to people about the topic and start formulating ideas that you would be excited to write about. I.e. for the 3 personal goals question, start by writing more than three goals. These goals don’t have to make sense or be “good”, it’s just to start you in a place where you’re thinking about it. This mind dump can also be an inspiration for a topic.
- Write your passions. Write about things that you are EXCITED to write about. We can tell whether or not you’re excited through your writing, so try your best to show your passions through your writing.
- Stay on track. Remember to always ask yourself whether the information you are writing is following the main idea of your topic. Try not to get too off topic.
- Answer the prompt directly.You can add in creative writing later in your writing, but make sure you’re answering the question above everything.
- Make sure to explain yourself. If it makes sense to you, it doesn’t always make sense to others who are reading your essay. Make sure that if it’s something that is a local slang, food, an object that other people from other places would not know what it is, try to explain it. (Doesn’t have to be too in depth, just enough to make sure that the reader knows what you’re talking about.)
- Try to use most of the word count. This is the time that you get to show off who you are in your essays, so use every opportunity you can get. It is also okay if you’re at the lower end of the word count, but make sure that every part of your essay is important to answering the prompt and showcasing who you are.
- Writer’s block? Jump around. You don’t always have to write an essay from beginning to end. You can start in the middle and then branch out, or sometimes you can even write the essay backwards. Get into it and get started. This will help you have things to work off of later on.