Nebraska Wesleyan University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Nebraska Wesleyan University
Nebraska Wesleyan University puts a strong emphasis on experiential education, or learning by doing....

Nebraska Wesleyan University

Lincoln, Nebraska

Nebraska Wesleyan University is an independent Methodist liberal arts college of roughly 2,000 students in Lincoln, Neb. The university’s steadfast commitment to putting learning into action through internships, study abroad, service learning, and collaborative research has yielded tremendous outcomes for students and alumni.


Nebraska Wesleyan has earned a national reputation for placing students in top graduate and professional school programs. NWU is also among the nation’s leaders in Fulbright scholars, Academic All-Americans, and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winners.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,811 undergraduate students
83% of undergrad students are full time
39% male — 61% female
14% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
115 full-time faculty
147 part-time faculty
11 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

58 percent of students live on campus.

School Location

Lincoln, Neb.

Retention Fall 2015

79% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

62% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 2%
Hispanic/Latino 5%
Black or African American 2%
White 84%
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 2%


Dual affiliation: NCAA Division III and NAIA

20 sports
Men’s sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross country, Football , Golf, Soccer, Swimming (starting 2014), Tennis, Indoor track and field, and Outdoor track and field
Women’s sports: Basketball, Cross country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming (starting 2014), Tennis, Indoor track and field, Outdoor track and field, and Volleyball

Mascot: Prairie Wolves
Colors: black and gold

Other Information

Nebraska Wesleyan University is a four-year, independent liberal arts university affiliated with the United Methodist Church and founded in 1887.

Academic Programs

Accounting (B.A., B.S.), Acting (B.F.A.), Art (B.A.), Art (B.F.A.), Athletic Training (B.S.), Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (B.S.), Biology (B.A.), Biology (B.S.), Business Administration (B.A., B.S.), Business-Sociology (B.S.), Chemistry (B.A.), Chemistry (B.S.), Communication (B.A., B.S.), Directing (B.F.A.), Economics (B.A., B.S.), Elementary Education (B.A., B.S.), English (B.A.), Exercise Science (B.S.), French (B.A.), Gender Studies (B.A., B.S.), German (B.A.), Global Studies (B.A., B.S.), Health and Fitness Studies (B.S.), Health and Physical Education (B.S.), History (B.A., B.S.), History-Social Science Education (B.A., B.S.), International Business (B.A.), Language Arts Education (B.A., B.S.), Mathematics (B.A., B.S.), Middle Grades Education (B.A., B.S.), Music (B.A.), Music Education, Combination (B.M.), Music Education, Nursing (B.S), Instrumental (B.M.), Music Education, Vocal (B.M.), Music Performance (B.M.), Musical Theatre (B.F.A.), Natural Science Education (B.A., B.S.), Philosophy (B.A., B.S.), Physical Education (B.S.), Physics (B.A.), Physics (B.S.), Political Communication (B.A., B.S.), Political Science (B.A., B.S.), Psychology (B.A., B.S.), Religion (B.A.), Social Work (B.A., B.S.), Sociology-Anthropology (B.A., B.S.), Spanish (B.A.), Special Education (B.A., B.S.), Sport Management (B.S.), Theatre Arts (B.A.), Theatre Arts Education (B.A.), Theatre Design and Technology (B.F.A.), and Theatre Studies (B.F.A.).

More Distinctions

  • The Institute for International Education consistently recognizes Nebraska Wesleyan University as a top national producer of Fulbright scholarships.

  • NWU is eighth in the nation, regardless of college division, with 141 CoSIDA Academic All-America Awards.

  • NWU is third in NCAA Division III in NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships.

service for everyone

Nebraska Wesleyan students get involved on and off campus before their first semester even begins. Community service projects are a part of New Student Orientation. NWU’s Student Involvement Fair (held during the second week of classes) lets people explore student groups and get involved early. Professors also integrate service learning components into many courses, carrying a high level of engagement throughout the academic year.

innovative study

Nebraska Wesleyan University adopted an innovative general education curriculum in 2013. Moving away from a “cafeteria approach” in which students build their class schedules by choosing “a little of this” and “a little of that,” Nebraska Wesleyan now offers a format in which students select an interdisciplinary “thread.” Here, they explore universal topics from the perspectives of multiple academic disciplines. This approach to a liberal arts education helps students see more explicitly the connections between different fields.

faculty of explorers

NWU professors are tremendously dedicated to teaching undergraduates. While some universities prioritize professors’ research and publications, teaching is the at NWU. “The faculty are here because they like to do that,” said Kathy Wolfe, dean of NWU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “If they didn’t want teaching to be their first responsibility, they wouldn’t be teaching at a school like ours.”

intensely involved

A strong community makes it possible for Nebraska Wesleyan students to put what they learn into action. BFA students in theatre, for example, participate in an average of six shows per year. Their shows are consistently embraced and well attended by the community. Additionally, 100 percent of NWU business students conduct internships due to their strong reputation with local, regional, and even national businesses. These businesses are eager to place—and hire—NWU students.

school-wide service

The Nebraska Wesleyan community is so strong due to NWU students’ commitment to providing it service. In honor of the university’s 125th anniversary in 2013, NWU students led the charge to contribute 100 hours of community service each year. Despite their busy schedules, NWU students, along with faculty, staff, and alumni, reached their 12,500-hour service goal for the year in just eight months.

An outstanding education, the right priorities, and the willingness to work hard combine to bring just about any goal within reach.


An excellent education is why 95 percent of surveyed seniors say Nebraska Wesleyan “prepared” or “strongly prepared” them for employment or graduate and professional school. NWU football lead the nation in Academic All-Americans in both 2012 and 2013. And the work ethic that students sharpen at NWU helps them get the maximum benefit from their education as they pursue their goals.

Nebraska Wesleyan alumni quickly learn they can compete with anyone when it comes to solving complex problems. They respond to changing circumstances and work well in teams. See how NWU students have made the most of their experiences at


Admissions Fall 2015

1,689 Total Applicants 
1,331 Total Admissions 
440 Total Freshman Enrollment

78.80% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 430 590
SAT Math 510 600
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 22 27
ACT Math 21 27
ACT English 22 28
ACT Writing    




Tuition $29,200
Fees $600
Total $29,800
Room and Board (on campus) $8,340
Room Only $4,630
Board Only $3,710
Estimated Total On Campus $38,140


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

100% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
74% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$17,491 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$7,772 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates