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Frequently Asked Questions

Engineering Smart Start (ESS) is a 4-week residential program that provides incoming engineering freshmen with the opportunity to place into Calculus I (MA 113) while participating in a wide variety of academic, career, project-based, and service-related activities.

ESS runs from July 6 to July 31, 2020.

Students will live in one of our campus residence halls.

There is no cost to attend ESS. A $50 deposit is required upon acceptance, but is refundable upon completion of the program.

Applicants must:

  • Be admitted to the College of Engineering as a new freshman for Fall 2020.
  • Have a math ACT score of 25-26 or an SAT 2016 math score of 590-640.
  • Complete the proctored ALEKS (UK math placement) exam with a score of 61-75.
  • Not be otherwise eligible to enroll in Calculus I (MA 113) for Fall 2020.

Engineering Smart Start participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Work toward becoming calculus-ready for Fall 2020.
  • Earn a small first-year scholarship if they become calculus-ready for Fall 2020.
  • Learn how to adapt successfully to college coursework and the rigors of their challenging program.
  • Learn success strategies used by accomplished engineering students.
  • Work with an individual academic coach to plan their approach to college academics.
  • Design/build projects in the Engineering Makerspace.
  • Obtain instruction in spatial visualization of objects, a skill essential to success in engineering.
  • Build connections with a peer group of engineering freshmen.
  • Get to know engineering upperclassmen (including peer mentors and student organization members).
  • Investigate student organization/involvement opportunities.
  • Learn about career opportunities in engineering.
  • Build a support network of faculty, staff, and student resource specialists on campus.
  • Experience residence hall life.
  • Work on a community service project and receive a badge for completion.

While the program is designed to prepare you to take MA 113, we do not guarantee placement.  To place into MA 113, you will need to complete a proctored ALEKS post-exam and receive a score of 76 or greater.  Students who successfully complete the program requirements and receive an ALEKS score of 76 or greater will be recognized with a small scholarship to be used during their first year of studies.

The program is limited to 25 students.

The application and related materials are available at http://engr.uky.edu/students/undergraduate/smart-start

You must complete the proctored ALEKS exam before you can be considered for the program.