Overview of Wisconsin Colleges & Schools
The state of Wisconsin is home to a large number of colleges and universities, both public and private. The state’s largest city is Milwaukee, followed by Madison (the state capital). The state is bordered by Michigan to the north, Illinois to the south and Minnesota and Iowa to the west. The eastern coast of the state borders Lake Michigan, and part of the northern border connects to Lake Superior. The state is relatively close to major urban centers in the north Midwest United States allowing for travel to neighboring schools and areas.
The state of Wisconsin formed the University of Wisconsin system in 1971. The decision top form the system has brought some controversy, as the University of Wisconsin in Madison, one of the older universities, had held the name over one hundred years prior to the establishment of the system and felt the widespread use of the name diminished its prestige. The school system serves over 180,000 students a year, and employs over 30,000 faculty members. The system is comprised of two doctoral universities, eleven comprehensive universities, thirteen two year institutions, and a statewide extension program.
Schools in the University of Wisconsin System include:
- University of Wisconsin - Madison
- University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
- University of Wisconsin - Superior
- University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh
- University of Wisconsin – Green Bay
The state of Wisconsin also has a large number of private institutions throughout its 72 counties. These schools typically provide more specialized educational opportunities, including internship, research and study abroad programs. Class sizes tend to be smaller, with excellent student to teacher ratios, but with an increased cost, typically significantly more so than a public institution. Some private schools may provide an education tied to a particular faith, a liberal arts education, or both.
Some of the better known private institutions in Wisconsin include:
- Marquette University (Milwaukee)
- Beloit College (Beloit)
- Lawrence University (Appleton)
- Carroll University (Waukesha)
- Milwaukee School of Engineering (Milwaukee)
The state of Wisconsin is also home to technical and community colleges providing freshman and sophomore educations to students interested in transferring to a four year institution or vocation and technical training to prepare for entry level positions in a particular field. These schools also provide adult and continuing education courses for individuals looking to return to school or to keep their licenses and certifications up to date. Private career colleges can also be found throughout the state, offering similar career and vocational training for high demand fields, with higher costs and a shorter program duration.
The most populous city in Wisconsin is Milwaukee, followed by Madison and Green Bay. While the most populous county in Wisconsin is Milwaukee County with Dade County and Waukesha County a distant second and third. If you are interested in visiting the state of Wisconsin, consider visiting their state page or the state chapter of the Chamber of Commerce.
College Degree Breakdown for the State of WisconsinSource: Bureau of Labor Statistics, NCES, O*NET Online
|Doctoral or professional degree||58,540||2.1|
|Postsecondary nondegree award||182,660||6.5|
|Some college, no degree||70,060||2.5|
|High school diploma or equivalent||1,074,420||38.3|
|No formal educational credential||756,880||27.0|
Public Universities & Colleges
There are fourteen public 4-year state universities and colleges in Wisconsin. These four-year institutions predominantly offer bachelor's or higher level programs and some may even include research facilities. See a state-wide list of the state universities and colleges in Wisconsin.
Private Universities & Colleges
In Wisconsin there are thirty-two accredited private four-year colleges. Similar to public schools, private colleges and universities offer bachelor's or higher level programs and research opportunities, although they usually have smaller classes and higher tuition. Compare admission requirements and tuition details for private colleges in Wisconsin.
Community colleges are public institutions that offer low cost, high quality education for residents throughout the state. These schools offer 2-year programs that grant associate degrees or offer training courses in specialized trades. Wisconsin" Community colleges also are the number one transfer-out programs available for four-year colleges and universities. Learn more and compare community colleges in Wisconsin.
Bible & Christian Colleges
Bible and Christian colleges generally provide specialized undergraduate education with a focus on religious or biblical study. There are approximately twenty such colleges in Wisconsin located throughout the state. See a full list of Christian colleges in Wisconsin along with program and tuition information.
Browse Schools by Career in Wisconsin
Follow the links below to get information on accredited schools in our database that offer programs or degrees.
Medicine & Healthcare
- Medical Schools in Wisconsin (M.D.) (2 Schools)
- Pharmacy Schools in Wisconsin (Pharm. D.) (2 Schools)
- Physical Therapy Schools in Wisconsin (DPT, MPT) (6 Schools)
- Veterinary Schools in Wisconsin (D.V.M.) (1 Schools)
- Nursing Schools in Wisconsin (BSN, RN, LPN, ...) (75 Schools)
Law & Criminal Justice
- Law Schools in Wisconsin (J.D.) (2 Schools)