University of Wisconsin–La Crosse - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
University of Wisconsin–La Crosse
UW-La Crosse is a public institution within the University of Wisconsin system. The University...

University of Wisconsin–La Crosse

La Crosse, Wisconsin

UW-La Crosse is a public institution within the University of Wisconsin system. The University is hailed as a leading Midwest institution with vast opportunities in research and personal development. 

Student Profile

Fall 2014 Enrollment
9,820 undergraduate students
95% of undergrad students are full time
43% male — 57% female
19% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2014-2015 Academic Year
125 full-time faculty
73 part-time faculty
19 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

36% of students live on campus.

Retention Fall 2014

86% of students began in Fall 2013 and returned in Fall 2014 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2014

68% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 3%
Hispanic/Latino 3%
Black or African American 1%
White 89%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 0%

The First Year Seminar

The first year seminar (FYS) focuses on one central question: “What does it mean to be an educated person?” Students will contemplate this question as individuals and as part of a group. The purpose of the FYS is to push students to consider how they learn and what it will take to be successful. In the seminar, students build upon their critical thinking and writing skills, while collaborating with peers and faculty. The FYS lasts for 12 weeks, and is only available to first year students.

Required Writing Courses

UW-La Crosse recognizes writing as a valuable skill that all undergraduates should master. All students are required to demonstrate competency in writing through one of two ways: two 200+ level writing classes or completion of a major that has writing-in-the-major. Students that opt to take two courses must take one 300 level class and one class within their major. Most majors have writing within the program, so many can satisfy the requirement simply by completing the program.

International Education and Engagement

IEE is the number one campus resource for global opportunities. IEE supports and promotes global experiences that range from study abroad to international service.

Study Abroad: Study abroad is an amazing opportunity to experience another country’s culture, language and customs. UW—La Crosse encourages its students to study abroad at some point during their undergraduate experience because of the countless benefits of participation. Students that study abroad gain cross-cultural communication skills, an appreciation for another culture, and multicultural tolerance. Interested students should attend an information session prior to meeting with a peer mentor.

International Education Ambassadors (IEA): IEAs are upperclassmen that assist with questions about study abroad. Ambassadors are both international and domestic students that have experience advising underclassmen. Appointments are not necessary. Students seeking more information about abroad opportunities are invited to drop by and talk with an ambassador.

Exchange and Direct Enroll Programs: UW-La Crosse has affiliations with universities in several foreign locations. If a student decides to study abroad through one of these programs, they will be directly enrolled in a university within the city they are studying. Because these affiliations are exchange programs, students from host countries are invited to study at UW-La Crosse, while UW-La Crosse students study abroad in host counties. In other words, exchange programs are about balance. The following list details the current direct and exchange programs offered at UW-La Crosse

  • La Trobe University(Australia)
  • City University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
  • Central American Study Abroad (CASA) Program (Costa Rica/Nicaragua)
  • National University of Ireland-Galway
  • Tel Aviv University(Israel)
  • Universidad de las Americas-Puebla(Mexico)
  • Copenhagen Business School (Denmark)
  • American University-Cairo(Egypt)
  • University of Caen (France)
  • Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Germany)
  • Goethe University(Germany)
  • All Hessen-Wisconsin Exchange programs (Germany)
  • University of Oldenburg(Germany)
  • Fukuoka University of Education (Japan)
  • Dongguk University(South Korea)
  • Hansung University (South Korea)
  • Kookmin University (South Korea)
  • Cardinal Cisneros, Alcala de Henares(Spain)
  • Linneaus University(Sweden)
  • University of Aberdeen(Scotland)
  • University of Glasgow(Scotland)
  • University of Stirling(Scotland)
  • Birkbeck University-London (UK)
  • Oxford Brookes University(UK)
  • Royal Holloway(UK)
  • Nottingham University(UK)

General Education Requirement

Mathematical/Logical Systems and Modern Languages: Tools for Structured Analysis and Communication: Courses within this group include mathematics, computer science, logics, and foreign languages. While these courses differ in structure and content, all use symbols and language to analyze and process data.

Minority Cultures or Multiracial Women’s Studies: Students are required to take one course in this category. It’s important that students understand the challenges that face multicultural and diverse groups in the U.S. There is also the option to take a course on women’s studies.

International and Multicultural World Studies: Students are required to take a course that teaches the value of active and engaged citizenship within our global society. Classes offered within this category cover topics of culture, history, global studies, and society.

Science: Understanding the Natural World: Science and technology continue to change our world. This puts a demand on the younger generations to be scientifically literate. In order to fulfill this requirement, students must take a course that explores basic scientific knowledge, applied science and technology, and scientific inquiry.

Self and Society: Understanding Oneself and the Social World: Courses in this category examine how society has shaped our perception of self. Students will study human behavior and social institutions.

Arts: the Aesthetic Experience: Students are required to take a minimum of 2 courses within this area. Classes within this category expand students’ understanding of art and impact it has on society.

Health and Physical Well-Being: Learning to create Healthy Lives: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is vital to leading a successful life. Students must take a minimum of 3 credit hours in one of the following courses:

  • Youth Health Issues
  • Creating a Healthy, Active Lifestyle
  • Analysis of Health, Wellness, and Disease for the Health Care Consumer

Student-Faculty Research

Undergraduate research is not only a valuable experience, but it demonstrates higher-level conceptualization and analytics skills to employers. UW-La Crosse allows students to collaborate with faculty members on research projects as early as freshman year. Students that begin research their first year have the chance to see if they like working within a specific area of study. The experience can then lend a hand to the major a student selects later on. However, students that begin research their sophomore or junior year have the option to write for summer research grants. Sophomore and juniors may also include their experience on grad school and job applications. Students must choose a faculty mentor to supervise their project.

Eagle Apprentices: Eagle Apprentices selects 25 incoming freshman to work with a faculty member on a research project. If chosen, students work side-by-side with faculty as they pursue a project within the student’s area of study. Students put in 2-3 hours a week for an entire semester. There is a stipend of $1,000, which increases to $2,000 if apprentices return for a second year.

Living Learning Communities

An LLC takes a group of 28-30 students and creates a community that fosters peer bonding and academic success. UW-La Crosse offers 3 different LLC options to students:

The Outdoor Recreation Living and Learning Community: This LLC is great for students that love to be outdoors! Students participate in outdoor activities, challenges, and extra-curriculars that enhance their academic experience. Participants of this LLC take an Environmental Studies course that expands upon the activities students experience outside of the classroom.

The Service Learning Community: Students interested in engaging in community service and outreach are invited to join the Service LLC. The program coordinates service projects and gives students numerous opportunities to get involved with the community. This LLC is a hands-on experience! Students in the Service LLC receive credit from the Political Science and Public Administration department.

The Global Village: The Global Village is a themed LLC that brings together international and domestic students. The community focuses on the exchange of ideas, culture, and interests. Students from diverse backgrounds learn from one another as they pursue topics of world affairs, foreign language, and culture. The Global Village is perfect for students that want to expand their knowledge of global citizenship and acceptance.


Admissions Fall 2014

6,184 Total Applicants
4,718 Total Admissions
1,986 Total Freshmen Enrollment

76.29% of applicants admitted

Freshmen Profile Fall 2014

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ACT Composite 23 27
ACT Math 23 27
ACT English 22 26
ACT Writing 7 8


Net Price Calculator


  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $7,585 $15,158
Fees $1,210 $1,210
Total $8,795 $16,368
Room and Board (on campus) $5,910 $5,910
Room Only $3,500 $3,500
Board Only $2,410 $2,410
Estimated Total On Campus $14,705 $22,278


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

82% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving any financial aid
59% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving student loan aid

$2,860 Average amount of federal state local or institutional grant aid received
$6,732 Average amount of student loan aid received by full-time first-time undergraduates

Get a free sample of the Colleges of Distinction 2017 guidebook!

Subscribe to receive a free sample of the Colleges of Distinction 2017 guidebook with:

– Must-Read Advice

– College Checklist

– 330+ School Profiles

Plus, we'll send you 3 critical checklists for college-bound students!

You have Successfully Subscribed!