Programs for women

Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Initiative

The College of Science and Engineering created the Women in Science and Engineering Initiative to promote diversity and strengthen community across gender identities by providing additional opportunities for professional and personal development.

Professional and personal development

Throughout the year, the WISE Initiative hosts guest speakers, panel discussions, and workshops on topics such as leadership, research opportunities, mental health and wellness, financial planning, and building a personal brand. These are great opportunities for students to connect with each other as well as faculty, graduate students, and professionals.

Undergraduate-Graduate Mentor Program

Undergraduate and graduate students are paired based on academic and personal interests. This allows undergraduates to learn about graduate school and provides all students an opportunity to share their experiences.

Social and community events

The WISE Initiative organizes community events that serve all undergraduate women. These informal events allow students to meet other women in their field, participate in service projects, and learn about additional resources available through the University of Minnesota.

Book discussions

Book discussions bring students together for an informal conversation with their peers. Students often use their own experiences and reflections to guide the discussion, and facilitators from CSE Student Services offer additional support. Past books include:

  • Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg
  • The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter, by Meg Jay
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
  • The Madame Curie Complex: The Hidden History of Women in Science, by Julie Des Jardins
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brené Brown.

All these books are available for students to borrow during the school year from the WISE Initiative library located at 115 Lind Hall.

For more information, email csewise@umn.edu or join the WISE Initiative Facebook group.

WISE House, Sponsored by Medtronic

Located in Frontier Hall, the WISE House is a Living Learning Community open to female first-year students interested in any area of science or engineering.

The WISE House creates a smaller environment in which women can learn from others who have similar academic and career interests and provides social activities such as lab tours, dinners with faculty, and study groups.

Residents in the WISE House participate in the WISE-Medtronic Mentor Program. Professional engineers at Medtronic volunteer for this one-to-one mentorship program that runs throughout the academic year.

To learn more about the WISE House, contact csewise@umn.edu.

Student groups

The College of Science and Engineering has various student groups for women:

Learn more about CSE student groups.