SCE Courses

Please check your email for information on the course selection form.

Contact if you have questions about doing SCE.

Before Selecting Courses

SCE students will take two classes over the summer. There are a few things to consider when selecting courses, so please read the following guidelines, explore each course, and contact the SCE program if you have any questions.

Guidelines for Selecting a Course:

  1. Students that have Com A requirement satisfied do not need to take English 100 or Com Arts 100, although they will receive credit for it.
  2. In order to take Math 141 or Comp Sci 202, students need to place at least into Math 96/Math 141 (placement into Math 96 only will not allow students to register for these classes).
    • If a student already has their QR-A satisfied, they don’t need to take these classes for the QR-A, but they will still receive credit.
    • Math 141 is intended for students that don’t intend to take further math and want to complete their QR-A requirement
  3. If students have taken AP/IB or other college-level courses in Computer Science Principles, English Composition/Literature and/or US Government & politics, they should wait for their scores and take another summer class instead.
  4. Please open the tab below to see the equivalent courses for your possible AP and/or IB exam scores.

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AP and IB Exam Scores and Equivalencies

AP Exam Score Credits Course General Education Requirement Fulfilled Breadth Level
Computer Science Principles 4-5 3 COMP SCI 202 Quantitative Reasoning A (QR-A) Natural Science E
English Lang & Composition 4-5 3 English elective credits (doesn’t fulfill specific course) Communication A (Comm A) E
English Literature & Composition 4-5 3 English elective credits (doesn’t fulfill specific course) Communication A (Comm A) Literature E
US Government and Politics 4-5 4 POLI SCI 104 Social Sciences E
IB Higher Level Exam Score Credits Course Gen Ed Requirement Fulfilled Breadth Level
English A: Literature 4 3 English elective credits (doesn’t fulfill specific course) COMM A Literature E
5-7 6 English elective credits (doesn’t fulfill specific course) COMM A Literature E
English A: Language and Literature 4 3 English elective credits (doesn’t fulfill specific course) COMM A Literature E
5-7 6 English elective credits (doesn’t fulfill specific course) COMM A Literature E

If you want to see the entire list of AP/IB equivalencies, have A-Level, Cambridge Pre-U, or CLEP credit, please visit the Credit by Exam website to check for college credits.

Course Options

You must select one AM (morning) and one PM (afternoon) course. You cannot take two AM or two PM courses.


Astronomy 103 Chican@ Latin@ Studies 201
Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences 100 Computer Science 202
English 100 Integrated Science 100 &150
Communication Arts 100 Political Science 104
Communication Arts 260 Library and Information Science 202
Folklore 100 Sociology 134
Math 141

Astronomy 103: The Evolving Universe: Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology (AM)

3 credits; Fulfills Quantitative Reasoning (QR) B.  Physical Science Breadth

Requisites: Satisfied Quantitative Reasoning (QR) A requirement. i.e. AP Calc AB or BC score 3+, AP Computer Science Principles score 4 or 5, IB Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation score 4+,

The cosmos is vast, mysterious, and beautiful. Join us on an exploration of the universe, from the big bang to the birth, life, and death of stars and the warped reality of black holes. Includes lifecycles of stars; supernovae and creation of elements; white dwarfs, pulsars and black holes; the Milky Way and galaxies; distances of stars and galaxies; quasars; expansion of universe; modern big bang cosmology, dark matter, dark energy

Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences 100: Weather and Climate (AM)

3 credits; Physical Science Breadth

Requisites: None

Nature and variability of wind, temperature, cloud and precipitation. Storm systems, fronts, thunderstorms, tornadoes and their prediction. Air composition and pollution. Global winds, seasonal changes, climate and climatic change.

Chican@ Latin@ Studies 201: Introduction to Chican@ and Latin@ Studies (PM)

3 credits; Fulfills Ethnic Studies Requirement, Social Science Breadth

Requisites: None

Introduction to the interdisciplinary study of Chicanas/os in the United States. Students will become acquainted with recent scholarly literature, paradigms, theories, and debates within Chicana/o studies pertaining to the historical, economic, cultural, and sociopolitical dimensions of the Chicana/o experience in the United States.

Communication Arts 100: Introduction to Speech Communication (AM)

3 credits; fulfills Communication A requirement

Introduction to Speech Composition is a speech course that fulfills the university’s Communication A requirement. This course will guide you through the process of researching, writing, revising, and delivering four speeches and will improve your oral communication, writing, listening, library research, and critical thinking skills.

Communication Arts 260: Communication and Human Behavior (AM)

3 credits; Humanities, Social Science Breadth

Requisites: None

Concepts and processes relevant to the study of communication and human behavior including approaches to communication inquiry, the dynamics of face-to-face interaction, and the pragmatic and artistic functions of public communication.

Computer Science 202 – Introduction to Computation (PM)

3 credits; Fulfills Quantitative Reasoning A. Natural Science Breadth

Requisites: Placement into Math 141 or higher.
*Cannot take if you have credit from the Computer Science Principles AP test.

An introduction to the principles that form the foundation of computer science. Suitable for students with a general background who wish to study the key principles of computer science rather than just computer programming.

English 100 – Introduction to College Composition (AM)

3 credits; fulfills Communication A requirement

English 100 will introduce you to typical argumentative writing you’ll do at UW-Madison. By the time you complete the course, you’ll know how to pick and research a topic, evaluate and synthesize sources, and produce a solid, carefully edited essay. A primary focus will be social justice as explored by Claudia Rankine in her award-winng CITIZEN.

Folklore 100: Introduction to Folklore (AM)

3 credits; fulfills Communication B & Ethnic Studies requirement

Students should ideally have Communication A requirement fulfilled before taking this course

What do memes, tacos, and fairy tales have in common? They’re all part of some group’s folklore! Lynne McNeill defines folklore in Folklore Rules as “informal, traditional culture”—the “stuff that we learn from each other, by word of mouth or observation, rather than through formal institutions like school or the media.” This “stuff” might appear in the memes you share with friends, or the newest, hottest TikTok dance; it might be found in your taco toppings, or the way you hold your bow when playing the violin; it might be heard in your response when someone sneezes, or the stories you tell among friends at a party; it might come up in your beliefs, or your holiday traditions, or your grandmother’s favorite recipe. Folklore is everywhere, and through this course, we will learn how to unpack folklore not only to understand how it moves through groups, time, and space, but also to consider what it can tell us about cultures, both living and long past.

Studying folklore offers you the opportunity to hone several skills: information-gathering (through participation, observation, and ethnographic interviewing in the real world and through library research), critical reading (of print texts and folkloric “texts” such as objects, events, and performances), and critical thinking (discerning cultural patterns, asking questions about representation, and considering how to convey cultural information to different audiences). We will spend this course asking ourselves what makes something folklore and what folklore can tell us about how culture is changing today. We will attempt to answer these questions through multimedia and writing assignments, which together will help us see the world like folklorists and communicate what we see with others.

Folklore 100 will introduce you to the stimulating discipline of folklore studies, to examine why we do, make, believe, and say the things we do.

Folklore Studies

Integrated Science 100 and 150: Exploring Biology and Exploring Research (PM)

3 credits; two of which (Exploring Biology) count towards Biological Science: Natural Science Requirement

Explore exciting bioscience research and opportunities at UW-Madison in this unique course that combines Exploring Biology and Exploring Research. This first-year seminar course is focused on giving students the skills and knowledge needed for successful academic and post-graduate careers in biology, and helping new students transition to UW-Madison. This course will teach students the five core concepts in biology – the “big ideas” that apply to biological phenomena, while exposing students to the scientific research process. Students will also develop scientific thinking and communication skills, learn about the breadth of biosciences careers, and become familiar with resources on campus that support student success.

Biology Bootcamp

Library & Information Studies 202: Informational Divides and Differences in a Multicultural Society (PM)

3 credits: Fulfills Ethnic Studies.  Humanities, Social Science Breadth

Requisites: None

Explores the impact of and barriers to access to information on the lives of low-income ethnic/racial minority communities in the United States. Provides introduction to contemporary information society from a sociological perspective.

Math 141: Quantitative Reasoning & Problem Solving (AM)

3 Credits, Fulfills Quantitative Reasoning A Requirement

Be aware that this math course will not apply to the Math sequence required for Business, Engineering, Math, or Science (Biology, Physics, etc.) related majors. Consult with the SCE program to figure out if Math 141 is a good fit for your plan of study.

Develops a habit of mind, competency, and comfort in working with numerical data. Learn to reason and solve quantitative problems from a wide array of authentic contexts and everyday life situations, develop the ability to reason mathematically, and make and evaluate logical arguments supported by quantitative evidence. This course is for students who need to satisfy part A of the Quantitative Reasoning requirement and prepare for QR-B courses, but do not want to continue in the calculus sequence.

Topics in this course include descriptive statistics, both graphical and numerical, elementary probability, general and sampling distributions, and the fundamentals of statistical inference, including confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, simple regression, and correlation. Students who have successfully learned this material will be prepared to interpret data from the field they are studying.

Math Circle

Political Science 104: Introduction to American Politics and Government (PM)

3 credits; fulfills Social Science breadth requirements

This course is an introduction to American politics and government. By the end of the term you should have a good understanding of how the government makes policy and why decisions are made as they are. The course will combine accounts of how “Washington really works” from the popular media, scholarly work on the governmental process, and debates on various political issues and institutions. The course begins with a discussion of the foundations of the American governmental system: the Constitution, federalism, capitalism and questions concerning the democratic nature of government. Then we will examine the American political institutions: Congress, the president, the bureaucracy, and the courts. From there we turn to political participation and examine public opinion, parties, campaigns and elections, and interest groups. Finally, we will see how it all fits together by examining civil rights, social policy, economic policy, and foreign policy.

Sociology 134: The Sociology of Race and Ethnicity (PM)

3 credits; fulfills Ethnic Studies General Education & Social Science Breadth requirement

Where do racial categories come from? Why do racial and ethnic inequalities exist? Do we live in a “post-racial” society (or will we ever)?

This course invites students to take a sociological approach in understanding the reality of race and ethnicity in the United States. We will first explore how racial and ethnic hierarchies emerged historically and establish why sociologists refer to race as a “social construct”. We will then assess the significance of race and ethnicity in a variety of social contexts, from schooling and employment to COVID-19 outcomes. Finally, we will consider the future of race in America and discuss a few ways in which we may fight racism and achieve race and ethnic justice in the world.

Jenny Higgins