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Student life

Students and pedestrians on state street shopping

Explore, discover, experience!

It’s the best way to be a Badger.

UW-Madison is a place where you can take advantage of all of the benefits of a large, diverse and beautiful campus in the heart of a really neat city. It’s one of the top universities in the world, and it’s located in a college town renowned for its natural beauty, culture and quirkiness, as well as its friendly, small-community-in-a-big-city vibe. Whether you’re soaking up the excitement of football game day with 80,000 red-clad Badger fans, hanging out at the Memorial Union’s lakefront terrace (a.k.a “The Terrace”), or exploring the cafes, shops, restaurants, museums, natural areas and more just steps away, you’ll find lots of things to do on the UW-Madison campus and beyond.

Trust us: Once you’ve lived here, we’re pretty sure Madison will always hold a special place in your heart.

As an engineering student, you’ll be part of a community. Each of us has lots in common, but we’re also diverse in many ways, and that’s a powerful thing. And whether you are an undergrad or grad student, it means you can find your niche, learn from each other, and have fun. You belong here.

Undergraduate student life

Your undergrad adventure awaits

Classes? Check. But that’s only the beginning of your experience as a Badger engineer.

As an engineering student, you can fill your time in a lot of ways. Yes, you’ll be attending classes and doing homework (we hope you take advantage of tutoring through our Undergraduate Learning Center to give you even more of an edge), and there literally are dozens of nooks, crannies and bigger spaces throughout the engineering campus where you can meet up with friends or study solo. And while we absolutely endorse putting your education first, we also encourage you to explore, get involved, try new things and soak up everything our campus and the surrounding environs have to offer. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

Research experience

As an undergrad, you can help pioneer new knowledge or technologies on your own or as a researcher in a professor’s lab. It’s a great opportunity to apply what you’re learning in class, explore a field or topic that interests you, and gain insight into what it’s like to be a graduate student.

Students standing behind cement canoe they created

Student orgs

You can get involved in any of our 50+ student organizations, from professional, leadership and service to competition and common interests. (Or, explore more: There are 1,000+ organizations at UW-Madison, and we’re pretty sure there are a few for you!)

Study abroad

Get out of Wisconsin and into the world! Engineers often work on global teams, and spending a semester living and studying abroad (while keeping your education on track) can be the experience of a lifetime—as well as a great resume-builder.

Andrea Grimaldo Moreno
“My favorite part of being an Engineering student is my work with Engineers Without Borders and as a Student Coordinator for the Engineering Outreach Initiative. It’s exciting to see how a water system is designed and created for small communities miles away from Madison! In EOI, I love the new programs and activities my team has created to promote STEM in underrepresented communities in Madison.”
– Andrea Grimaldo Moreno

Graduate student life

Living your best grad student life

As one of approximately 1,500 grad students in engineering, you’ll be part of a diverse, culturally rich network of scholars from across the globe—all of whom are eager to study under some of the world’s top professors. You’ll probably spend lots of “academic” time with other grad students in your major or research lab, and some of the ways we support you include advising, wellness, professional development, and training that helps you become a better mentor, advisor and teacher. And you can connect with other grad students socially and professionally by joining (or forming) a graduate student associations in your department or major.

A memorable Wisconsin experience

While we know your top priority is earning your degree, there’s a campus, city, state, region and country out there for you to explore, especially if you’re an international student living in the United States for the first time. Speaking of living in Madison: The city’s neighborhoods each have their own personality, so you’ll have lots of options for where to live and what else to do in your free time. There’s also a robust support network on the UW-Madison campus and in the Madison community if you have children—and Madison itself is full of parks, playgrounds, museums, festivals and many other activities that are fun for kids and adults alike. To learn lots more about graduate student life at UW-Madison, check out this really useful guide compiled over time by grad students who want to help you have the best experience possible at UW-Madison.

“UW has a lot of great research labs and facilities on campus, and I feel like the campus is highly collaborative. I’ve been able to find additional help on campus for all of my projects, and I think that type of environment helps researchers succeed.”
– Maya Venkataraman

Undergrad or grad student, there’s even more for you

Be an entrepreneur

You can invent and make a product, start a company, or vie for big cash prizes in our entrepreneurial competitions.

Make something

As engineering students, you have access to an amazing fabrication ecosystem. Translated: We have thousands of square feet so that you can invent and build stuff all you want—not only for your classes, but on your own, too. And if some of that equipment seems intimidating, we offer training and classes to help you feel like a pro in no time.

Get real work experience … before you go to work for real

Take advantage of our Engineering Career Services office, which can help you do everything from create a resume to help you land your dream job. Thousands of employers recruit on our campus or through the Handshake platform—and doing an internship or co-op while you’re a student can give you insight into what you’d do in a specific job or with a certain company.

Wellness and well-being

As a college, we’re also invested in your success, and we’ve got services to support you in pretty much every way you can imagine: academically, socially, financially, in your career development, and most importantly, in your physical and mental wellness.

Explore our degrees and programs

students working at Makerspace

Undergraduate degrees and programs

Oliver Schmitz and grad students working in lab

Graduate degrees and programs