Part of the University of Wisconsin System – one of the nation’s most acclaimed public higher education systems – the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse dates back to 1909. In that year, the La Crosse State Normal School opened, offering a 2-year teacher training program in the normal method, with students learning as teachers in a real classroom. In less than two decades, the normal system had grown into the 4-year teacher’s college, and La Crosse followed suit; following WWII, it had grown into a full state college. Today, UW-La Crosse is recognized as one of the Wisconsin’s best comprehensive universities, ranked in the top 50 regional colleges for the Midwest, and #4 among public Midwestern colleges, by U.S. News & World Report.
Academic ProgramsAs a regional university, UW-La Crosse is largely committed to practical professional and career education; its three colleges – the College of Business Administration, the College of Science and Health, and the College of Liberal Studies – are primarily geared toward the needs of future professionals, working adults, and a specialized workforce. The College of Science and Health, in particular, accounts for more than half of the student body, with highly-rated programs in areas like occupational therapy, physical therapy, and public health, along with pre-professional medical and engineering programs. And, of course, the School of Education is one of Wisconsin’s best.
UW-La Crosse has extensive offerings for working adults and other nontraditional students, including numerous fully online bachelor’s and master’s degree. Numerous master’s degrees in health and education areas are available, as well as the online MBA from the UW MBA Consortium, a collaborative effort of several UW schools that combine their talents for a world-class online MBA program. While UW-La Crosse does not offer full engineering degrees, a dual degree program with the flagship UW-Madison gives students the ability to earn two degrees – one from La Crosse, and an engineering degree from Madison – in only 5 years.
Student LifeUW-La Crosse has a student body of over 10,000, most of them undergraduates (less than 1000 graduate students). Community engagement is an important part of student life at UW-La Crosse, in keeping with the Wisconsin Idea – the philosophy that underlies all of the UW schools to spread education and culture to every corner of Wisconsin and every Wisconsinite. That includes the division of Undergraduate Research and Creativity, intensive diversity initiatives, and numerous service learning and community service opportunities.
More than 175 student-led organizations and clubs help La Crosse students connect to one another, from hobbies to professional aspirations. Everything from sports clubs to diversity groups, professional development organizations to honor societies, are available for all UW-La Crosse students. The UW-La Crosse Eagles compete in the NCAA Division II as part of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, with 19 men’s and women’s sports.