POPULATION (2021): 5.9 million
LARGEST PUBLIC UNIVERSITY IN WISCONSIN: University of Wisconsin
LARGEST PRIVATE UNIVERSITY IN WISCONSIN: Marquette University
Wisconsin is a northern state that shares a border with Canada to the north and Lake Michigan to the east. Both the northern nation and the lake are large parts of the Wisconsin economy. The state has a handful of larger cities, with Milwaukee being the biggest, and as such there are many options for college in Wisconsin.
There are more than 80 universities and colleges in Wisconsin, spread throughout the patchwork of small towns that make up the majority of the state’s population. Outside of Milwaukee and Madison, students experience very similar college lives, with a lot of dependence on time with friends, especially in the winter when it is downright cold.
Madison and Milwaukee are both booming midwestern cities with a full gamut of entertainment, food, and sports options to entertain you when it’s tough to go outside.
Universities in Wisconsin- 4-Year Colleges and Online
A big chunk of the 80 colleges and universities that offer 4-year degrees in Wisconsin are branch campuses of the University of Wisconsin, whose main campus is in the capital city of Madison. Here is a closer look at those schools, as well as the private colleges in Wisconsin.
Public Universities in Wisconsin
Most public universities in Wisconsin fall under the UW umbrella and offer affordable options for 4-year degrees, or pipelines to transfer up to the Madison campus for core studies in your chosen field. Here is a full list of public universities in Wisconsin that offer 4-year degrees:
- UW-Eau Claire
- UW-Green Bay
- UW-La Crosse
- UW-Parkside (Kenosha)
- UW-River Falls
- UW-Stevens Point
Private Universities in Wisconsin
Marquette University, located in Milwaukee, is one of the most prestigious colleges in the Midwest, and has a pretty large enrollment for a private college, with nearly 8,000 undergraduate students. Several other private colleges are peppered throughout the state, with most offering students similar campus lives, except those in the populous areas of Madison and Milwaukee, which are discussed closer below.
- Carroll University (Waukesha)
- Carthage College (Kenosha)
- Milwaukee School of Engineering
- Herzing University (Madison)
- Viterbo University (La Crosse)
- Lakeland University (Plymouth)
- Marian University (Fond du Lac)
- Alverno College (Milwaukee)
- Mount Mary University (Milwaukee)
Community Colleges in Wisconsin
The state of Wisconsin has a very noticeable dedication to education, with the number of 4-year public colleges serving as proof. The community college system in Wisconsin is also very widespread and offers students several affordable options as they begin their studies. Here are the locations of the community colleges and technical colleges in Wisconsin:
- Blackhawk Technical College (Janesville)
- Chippewa Valley Technical College (Eau Claire)
- Fox Valley Technical College (Appleton)
- Gateway Technical College (Kenosha)
- Lakeshore Technical College (Cleveland)
- Madison Area Technical College (Madison)
- Mid-State Technical College (Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point)
- Milwaukee Area Technical College (Milwaukee)
- Moraine Park Technical College (Fond Du Lac)
- Nicolet Area Technical College (Rhinelander)
- Northcentral Technical College (Wausau)
- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (Green Bay)
- Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (Fennimore)
- Waukesha County Technical College (Pewaukee)
- Western Technical College (La Crosse)
- Northwood Technical College (Shell Lake)
Prominent Online Colleges in Wisconsin
The most prevalent online college in Wisconsin is the online offerings from the University of Wisconsin system. Several of the UW schools offer online courses that can be shared and taken by students at any of the other UW colleges if they meet the prerequisites to take the course.
Marquette also has a robust online offering for both 4-year degrees and graduate studies.
Universities in Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee is a large, lakefront city about 80 miles north of Chicago. It serves as an economic hub to the rest of the Midwest and serves as an entertainment hub for residents of Wisconsin. Here is a list of the 4-year colleges in Milwaukee:
- Alverno College
- Cardinal Stritch University
- Marquette University
- Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design
- Milwaukee School of Engineering
- Mount Mary University
- Milwaukee Lutheran College
Get to Know Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a very welcoming place whose population is pretty well spread out in small towns across the state. Many of these small towns are also home to one of the many UW branch campuses or technical colleges, meaning education is never too far for Wisconsin residents.
In the winter months, make sure you wear your coat because it does get very cold. However, the Wisconsinites know how to make the cold fun, and if ice fishing or snowshoeing sounds horrible, we suggest you give it a try at least once!
In the warmer months, Wisconsin is a hub for festivals of all sorts, with Summerfest in Milwaukee considered the largest music festival in the country by several different parameters.
The cost of living is relatively low, and there are several opportunities for internships in Madison and Milwaukee, as well as Chicago, which is only about 20 miles across the southern border into Illinois.
The lakefront is a common hangout for anyone who attends college on the Eastern side of the state!