Viterbo University
"Come and experience the energy, vitality, and Franciscan spirit that is so much a...

Viterbo University

La Crosse, Wisconsin

Founded by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in 1890, Viterbo University is a Catholic, Franciscan, liberal arts university located in beautiful La Crosse, Wis.


Viterbo features small class sizes, excellent faculty who are dedicated to student success, and an authentic commitment to service and ethical leadership. With a 1:12 faculty-to-student ratio and an average class size of 16, students are known by name and receive personal attention in and out of the classroom. All classes are taught by faculty members, not graduate students or teaching assistants, as is the case at other universities.


Hospitality is a key aspect of Viterbo’s Franciscan heritage, and students will find a welcoming and close-knit campus community where it’s easy to make lifelong friendships. Viterbo is remarkably affordable and is an excellent place to experience life while growing intellectually, culturally, and spiritually.


Viterbo offers outstanding academic programs. With more than 70 programs of study and five graduate programs, each student can find the perfect academic field.


With the addition of a School of Nursing building, a beautiful apartment-style residence hall, and a riverfront performing arts center in collaboration with the La Crosse Community Theatre, Viterbo continues to grow in new and exciting ways. Students are invited to discover everything Viterbo University has to offer.


Student Profile

2,012 undergraduate students (27% male, 73% female); 35 states, 13 countries.

Faculty Profile

122 full-time faculty, 198 part-time faculty, and 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Residence Life

34% of students live on campus.

School Location

La Crosse, WI


NAIA, Midwest Collegiate Conference. 17 varsity sports: men’s basketball, baseball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, track (indoor/outdoor); women’s basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track (indoor/outdoor), and volleyball.  Mascot: Vic V-Hawk Colors: Cardinal and Silver

Other Information

Viterbo University is a Catholic, Franciscan, undergraduate and graduate, liberal arts college founded by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.
Viterbo University Mission: The Viterbo University community prepares students for faithful service and ethical leadership.

More Distinctions

  • President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

  • NAIA Champions of Character

  • Named a Military Friendly School by GI Jobs magazine

  • Fully Accredited by more than 10 of the most respected accrediting agencies


A Viterbo education means much more than the traditional books, classrooms, and computer labs. Students learn by doing and experiencing life.Viterbo offers hands-on learning. Just a few of the options available for students include: traveling to Belize for a 10-day adventure while you explore the rainforests and coral reefs; spending the night outside in a cardboard box, a simple but profound gesture, to raise awareness for the plight of the homeless; harvesting organic vegetables at the local community garden; and gaining nursing experience working with the poor and most disadvantaged at the Salvation Army.

Perhaps the most enriching and life-changing experience a student can have is studying abroad in another country where the world is literally the classroom. In addition to academics, students learn firsthand about new places, people, and cultures while experiencing things most people only see in books or on a screen.

Service is an essential component of a Viterbo education, and students complete a designated number of service hours prior to graduation.

Opportunities to give back to the community are almost limitless. Whether it’s helping storm victims or serving meals at Place of Grace Catholic Worker House, students will find the experience of providing service extremely rewarding.

Viterbo’s ability to engage students in meaningful civic and community projects has been recognized nationally, as the university was named to the President’s Higher Education Service Honor Roll.


Viterbo University features outstanding academic programs that will prepare students for whatever career they choose, taught by faculty members who are dedicated to student success. 

Knowledge, however, should be acquired with purpose and meaning. Viterbo’s unique core curriculum allows students to select seminar courses each year that aligned to their interests and infused with Viterbo’s mission: Franciscan Values and Traditions, Living in a Diverse World, Serving the Common Good, and The Ethical Life.

Viterbo also offers outstanding opportunities for personalized student research in every area of study. On a larger scale, at a regional symposium held on the Viterbo campus, students and their faculty mentors present and defend their research, an invaluable experience. 

State-of-the-art facilities also add to the academic experience. Viterbo’s Reinhart Center houses some of the finest science facilities in the Midwest. The School of Nursing Building is truly distinctive, with four simulation labs dedicated to critical care, medical/surgical, maternal newborn care, and child health care. It also has a premiere nutrition and dietetics lab.




Viterbo students will enjoy amazing speakers and programming brought to campus by the university’s D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership. Many outstanding speakers have shared their incredible message at Viterbo, including Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, best-selling author of Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom, and Rwandan genocide survivor Immaculée Ilibagiza. The Ethics Institute sponsors a series of lectures by nationally and locally known speakers that are intended to be both informative and inspiring, and to address ethical issues in a variety of settings, including business, health care, science, religion, politics, and technology. In a similar Leadership at Noon series, students are able to meet face-to-face with business leaders who serve as inspiring role models.

Viterbo is also the region’s home to the fine and performing arts. The university features an outstanding and diverse lineup of fine arts events each year, from world-renowned concert pianists to amazing singers and incredible musicians. The School of Fine Arts also performs outstanding concerts, plays, and musicals throughout the year.

The Viterbo Fine Arts Center is one of the biggest and best facilities of its kind in the region and includes a 1,100 seat main theatre, a recital hall, an art gallery, a dance studio, and a “Black Box” theatre for performances in a more intimate setting. In addition, Viterbo shares space in the new Weber Center for the Performing Arts. It is a beautiful 30,000 square-foot, 450-seat facility located on the Mississippi River, less than a mile from campus in downtown La Crosse.

Virtual Tour

Access a virtual tour of Viterbo’s campus here: 


What lies beyond the “book knowledge” that any college is qualified to offer? Viterbo’s ethics-based liberal arts curriculum will prepare students to get the most out of life.

Viterbo offers the practical tools for success as well. The university’s Academic Resource Center is utilized by 94% of students and offers a wide variety of tutoring, academic counseling, test preparation services, and academic workshops. Faculty members give students personalized attention that helps them to succeed.

Success for many students means landing a job in their academic field. With a 96% placement rate, the Viterbo career services office helps students do just that. Career services offers assistance with interviews, resumes, and securing gainful employment. The university also offers counseling services, extensive disability support, and health and safety services.

Viterbo guarantees that all business students will participate in at least one paid internship or field practicum. Internships provide an opportunity for students to gain invaluable work experience related to their academic major or career field and have proven to improve job placement prospects.

Viterbo graduates enjoy an excellent placement rate and an outstanding reputation with employers, which is very important in a competitive job market.

Costs and Aid

2014–2015: Comprehensive tuition: $23,790. 98% of Viterbo undergraduate students receive financial aid; more than 100 scholarship funds and an array of aid packages; average financial aid need met is 88%.

As of June 30, 2014: $41,946,629 


Viterbo University welcomes applications for admission from all students who have prepared for a competitive collegiate program. Admission to Viterbo University is offered to those for whom academic and personal success seems likely. Each candidate is evaluated individually. Admission to Viterbo University will be determined after the applicant has submitted a secondary school record and after full consideration is given to the student’s class rank, grade point average, curriculum, ACT or SAT scores, intended major in college and, if applicable, transcript showing previous college coursework. Any student who does not meet one or more of the admission criteria will be referred to the dean of admission and/or the Viterbo University Admission Committee for further review and consideration.

Ninety-eight percent of all Viterbo undergraduate students receive some form of financial assistance. All need-based financial aid awards are for one year only. Students must reapply each year of attendance. Renewal is dependent on continued need for aid, maintenance of academic standards as outlined in the Student Handbook and continued funding.

Students are awarded aid drawn from approximately 30 federal, state, and Viterbo University programs. Students are usually offered a combination of scholarship, grant, loan, and employment opportunities. For complete Viterbo financial aid information and a full list of university scholarships, visit

Viterbo also recognizes the confusing nature of the financial aid process and has taken steps to simplify it. All applicants are offered the opportunity to secure an “early estimator” that reveals the amount of financial aid the student is eligible to receive. Many are surprised at how affordable college is when all financial aid is included.