Mechanical Engineering Summer Launch

A head start for incoming freshman!

July 29 – August 25

The optional Mechanical Engineering Summer Launch gives students a head start by taking ME 201: “Introduction to Mechanical Engineering” in the summer before starting at UW–Madison. All mechanical engineering majors take ME 201 in their first year. Students admitted into other engineering majors can take ME 201 in the summer, too, to satisfy those majors’ “intro” class credits.

Completing this class in the summer can help you:

  • confirm that mechanical engineering is right for you;
  • move forward with other mechanical engineering classes sooner;
  • get familiar with our spaces and places and people, so you’re settled into campus life when the semester starts.

Summer Launch includes lots of social activities where you’ll meet other engineering students, start building your networks, and explore campus. Applications open February 12, 2024 and are due on May 5, 2024 at 11:59pm.

Click to apply here

Some students may be eligible for financial aid during the program. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for information. Students who take ME 201 in the summer and enroll in the fall as a Mechanical Engineering major may be eligible for a partial credit on their summer tuition, applied to their fall tuition bill. Applicants can indicate interest in being considered for the partial tuition credit in their program application.

UW–Madison publishes tuition and fee rates. UW–Madison has various student fees, like a New Student Fee and Official Document Fee, that may be charged to your summer tuition and fees bill instead of your fall semester bull.

The estimates below are based on Summer 2023 costs and provided to give you a general sense of the cost. Summer 2024 costs are expected to be updated around April/May 2024.

Minnesota Resident US Resident
Not from WI
or MN
International Student
Tuition & fees 
$1,660.33 $2,341.75 $5,334.97 $5,459.98
Course Materials $75 $75 $75 $75
Housing $841 $841 $841 $841
Estimated Dining Costs $500 $500 $500 $500

The Office of the Registrar determines Wisconsin residence for tuition purposes. Learn more at

Minnesota Reciprocity: Minnesota students must be approved for reciprocity for the Summer term to pay at the Minnesota rate. Since Summer is the last term of the academic year, students must submit a reciprocity application for the academic year prior to their Fall enrollment. For example, if you applied to start as a Freshman in Fall 2024, and you want to enroll in Summer 2024 courses, you will need to apply for reciprocity for the 2023-2024 academic year – even if you have already completed a Minnesota Reciprocity application for the 2024-2025 academic year. You can apply for Minnesota Reciprocity here.

International Student Requirements:  International students are welcome to enroll in the Summer Launch program. International students must be enrolled in 3 credits, which ME 201 covers.

Questions? Contact Tracy Spraetz at

You stay in a campus residence hall near the Engineering buildings, with other Summer Launch students. The Summer Launch program coordinates this for students who opt-in to campus housing.

Summer 2024 housing will be in triple rooms in Smith Hall. Move-in is Saturday, July 27th.  The transition date from summer housing to fall semester housing has yet to be determined, but will be communicated to students at a later date. Summer Launch students are required to have contracts with University Housing for the Academic Year 2024-2025.

Meal expenses are not included in the program cost. If you stay in campus housing, a very convenient option is using your new campus ID (WisCard), which can be loaded with funds to buy food in the many campus dining halls. Students and families should plan to spend approximately $500 on dining costs during the Summer Launch program.

Neither UW–Madison’s summer orientation program (SOAR) nor placement testing are part of Summer Launch. Students register for SOAR and placement testing on their own. Please schedule your SOAR date either before or after Summer Launch so you don’t miss any class time.

No placement tests are required for ME 201.

The Office of Admissions and Recruitment requires all incoming first-year students submit their final high-school transcripts by July 10, 2024. Follow the instructions on the Admitted Freshman Checklist. (A general date of June 7 is listed there for Summer students, but July 10 is the correct deadline for Mechanical Engineering Summer Launch.) Completing this step is required by campus to keep your enrollment in this summer class.