Spend your summer with UW–Madison, exploring a college-level course, living and learning with a community of peers.
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Who it is for
Badger Summer Scholars is a transformative learning opportunity for high school students across several academic areas of interest. Applicants should be ready to take the next step in their academic journey and to engage in a lively college program with peers from all over the country.
What to expect
Participants in the program will immerse themselves in campus life and gain valuable experience in a dynamic and challenging learning environment, all while interacting with UW–Madison faculty at a top-ranked university. You will chose one academic track to focus on during the academic day. Class sizes are kept small to allow for an engaging course and are taught by UW–Madison instructors who have the same level commitment and involvement from Badger Summer Scholars as they would from college students.
You will live in the beautiful lakeshore area of campus in Bradley Hall, right alongside the shore of Lake Mendota. After class is over for the day, you will participate in a series of college preparatory workshops, designed to help you become familiar with the college application process and college life. In the evenings, you will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities and relax in the residence hall with fellow participants.
Badger Summer Scholars at a glance
Tuition and Fees
For students finishing grades 9‑12
Be a Badger Summer Scholar and:
Learn from instructors at a major university
Prepare for the college application process and college essay writing
Meet students from around the world
Enjoy life on a beautiful college campus
Students will stay in Bradley Hall, located on the lakeshore side of campus. Each participant is paired with another student in the program as their roommate. Rooms are fully furnished and include sheets and pillows and all meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are included in the housing package.
Throughout the evenings and the weekend, residential staff will provide a variety of activities and trips for students to participate in. Students are encouraged to bring camp appropriate activities as well (sporting equipment, games, books, etc.) to use during free time.
You may apply for a scholarship in one of two ways. If you are eligible for free or reduced lunch, please complete and submit the DPI Financial Aid Form.
If you are not eligible for free or reduced lunch, submit the first page of the 1040 form of the most recent year’s tax return. If any extenuating circumstances apply and are not reflected on the tax return, please also submit a letter of explanation.
All scholarship applications are due with a complete program application by April 10, 2020. Scholarship application material should be submitted to Badger Summer Scholars.
|9-11:30 a.m.||Class: Morning Session|
|11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.||Lunch|
|12:30-3 p.m.||Class: Afternoon Session|
|3-5 p.m.||Jump Forward Series|
|6-10 p.m.||Evening study hall and activities|
|10-11 p.m.||Dorm time, lights out at 11 p.m.|
Students will also participate in the Jump Forward college preparatory workshop series. This workshop series covers a variety of topics designed to engage students in the college experience. Learn the ins and outs of the college application process, discover how to craft the best college essay, hear from current students about their experience in college, and much more. Through this experience, students will gain valuable knowledge enabling them to confidently jump into their college journey.
The application fee is nonrefundable. Refunds may take up to eight weeks to process, starting from the time a written request is received by the Badger Precollege office.
All program applications must be accompanied by the nonrefundable application fee before they can be processed.
|Period||Percent of Refund|
Withdraw during the period of January 1–June 1
Full refund will also be issued in the following cases, regardless of date:
Withdraw during the period of June 2 – two weeks before program start
Nonrefundable 10% is used to cover class supplies, books, transportation, and teacher salary costs incurred during this period of program planning.
Withdraw during the period of two weeks before program start – opening day of camp
Nonrefundable 20% is used to cover risk management fees, University Health Services fees, class supplies, books, transportation, and teacher salary costs incurred during this period of program planning.
Students dismissed for disciplinary reasons are not eligible for any refund. Students voluntarily leaving while the program is in session are not eligible for any refund.
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'Swing State' Wisconsin, 2020: Elections, Politics, Governance and Policy
Wisconsin historically and currently is a key state at the center of political debate and processes involving U.S. local, state and national politics/governance. We are in the midst of an upcoming 2020 national election including election for president of the United States. Milwaukee is hosting the Democratic Party presidential nomination convention in July which will bring additional focus to the state. Wisconsin presents a useful fulcrum point to explore important political issues, processes, and players including institutions, organizations, and individuals who aim to shape politics and policy for the future. This course provides an overview of the State’s place in the federal system of constitutional and political processes with a focus on pressing issues involving national, local, and international policy and debates. Such issues will include education, health care, foreign policy, international trade, immigration, human rights and election reform.
In addition to regular instructor overviews and directed interactive learning sessions, student will meet with scholars and political professionals who work in Madison, the State capitol. As a pre-collegiate interactive study program, the instructor will also draw on his extensive experience in university advising and student professional coaching to present practical ‘toolkits’ to help further your work on issues and programs of interest to you (e.g., internships, volunteerism, jobs) and strategize as you select and apply to your preferred university/college undergraduate programs.
Learn more about our campus partners teaching this course: Department of Political Science
Ethics: The Philosophy of Right and Wrong
Are inequalities of wealth unjust? Do we have obligations of care for our natural environment? Is abortion morally permissible? Are these even questions that have objective answers, or must they always be matters of opinion? This course will explore a long philosophical tradition of taking these questions seriously as things one might be right or wrong about. We will examine them systematically, with an emphasis on rigorous argumentation and analyzing the assumptions behind different positions. Readings will come from philosophers of historical and contemporary significance, and will consider a variety of moral issues in current society. Students will be asked to challenge their own ethical positions, and will develop skills of critical thinking, respectful discussion, and clear writing.
Learn more about our campus partners teaching this course: Department of Philosophy
Symphony in Black: Survey of African-American Composers and their Music
In Symphony in Black: Survey of African-American Composers and their Music, students will explore the rich, yet lesser known history of Black composers and their music, both in the classical genre and popular varieties. Students will learn to connect African-American history and current events (of the time) with the subject matter of the music studied. We will study early Black composers, such as Scott Joplin, William Grant Still, and Louis Armstrong, while also delving into the music of popular artists such as Nina Simone, Kendrick Lamar, and Beyoncé. In addition, we will explore how issues of social justice are addressed and what statements are made by various composers and performers in their music
Learn more about our campus partners teaching this course: School of Music
Satellite Science and Programming for Meteorology
Have you ever wanted to see the Earth’s weather and climate from outer space? At the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC), you can get hands-on experience with scientists at an institution that has been observing Earth for over fifty years.
This course will expose students to a variety of tech applications used for viewing the Earth-atmosphere system. Students will learn how to forecast severe weather events, analyze Earth data from different wavelengths, and experience outer space through virtual reality simulations. Students will also get experience with MATLAB and HTML programming, including building their own web page. This course will feature guest lectures from SSEC engineers and scientists covering topics such as Antarctic ice drilling and supercomputer tornado modeling. Through a diverse and interactive curriculum, participants in this course will try out a variety of skills and technologies related to weather and climate science, but really these skills are useful in any STEM field.
Week one of this course highlights satellite remote sensing. Week two focuses on computer programming. The course will conclude with students creating their own scientific poster that they will present.
Learn more about our campus partners teaching this course: Space Science and Engineering Center
How to apply
Step 1: Complete the online application, indicating which course track you are interested in taking.
Step 2: Upload supporting documents into the application system or send them directly to Summer Scholars staff at Badger Summer Scholars.
- Transcript, with at least 1 year of grades reflected
- **if 9th grade, students should submit a progress report with current enrollments
- Completed essay; 200 words each, ~600-700 words total. Please be sure to answer all three questions in your essay.
- Why do you want to attend this program?
- How will this program and experience benefit you now and in future growth?
- What are one or two activities, memberships, clubs, responsibilities, etc. outside of school that you are involved with, and why are they important to you?
- Letter of recommendation – can be from teacher, mentor, coach, counselor, etc. (optional)
Once we receive all application materials, your application is complete. You will receive notification regarding an acceptance decision within four weeks of submitting it.
Stay in touch
Do you have a question about the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Badger Summer Scholars? Please complete the contact form below.