Campus News

New program for incoming freshmen offers early opportunity to take college courses

The Wisconsin Experience Summer Launch adds to UW’s Early Start initiative. 

The Wisconsin Experience Summer Launch adds to UW’s Early Start initiative. 

Image By: Betsy Osterberger

A new program this summer will give UW-Madison freshmen a chance to gain a head start on their academics and transition to college life. 

Campus leaders announced the inaugural Wisconsin Experience Summer Launch program planned to take place during summer semester this year.

The program offers newly admitted students the opportunity to take five credits of college coursework. All courses will be online only, and students will be matched with an academic advisor who will help them choose the right courses for them. 

The courses offered range in topics and include Art 100: Introduction to Art, Communication Arts 100: Introduction to Speech Composition, Gender & Women’s Studies 103: Women and Their Bodies in Health and Disease, Journalism 162: Mass Media in Multicultural America, Psychology 202: Introduction to Psychology. These courses will each be three credits. 

In addition to the three-credit main class, students will be required to take two one-credit seminars focused on helping freshmen adjust to life in college. 

Campus leaders praised the intended program for its potential to help new students adapt to the shift into college life from their unique locations. 

“The online format enables them to take the courses from wherever they’re spending their summer,” Provost Sarah C. Mangelsdorf said in a release, “by the time they come to campus in the fall, they’ll be well on the way.”

The summer program adds to UW’s Early Start initiative that includes Quickstart from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Summer Launch, Mechanical Engineering Summer Launch and the International Student Summer Institute.

Program participants will also have the ability to move in early before the fall semester and participate in on-campus activities. The University predicts this date will be Aug. 27. 

Students who apply to the program by April 15 are accepted and attend the program will be eligible to receive scholarships of varying levels depending on residency. In-state students can receive up to $465, Minnesota students up to $620 and nonresidents students up to $1,555, according to

These scholarships can help apply directly to the $2,572, $3,360 and $8,040 estimated cost of tuition for the three categories of residency respectively. 

Students accepted into the program are recommended not to take additional course loads. The program website cites high levels of time management and substantial amount of work as evidence for this recommendation. 

The deadline for applying to this program is May 1 with classes will beginning on June 17. 

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