University of Wisconsin–Whitewater
Founded in 1868, UW–Whitewater is a premier four-year public university located in southeastern Wisconsin. One of 13 universities in the University of Wisconsin System, it has approximately 1,400 faculty and staff members. Students have the option of 50 undergraduate and 15 master’s degree programs, an education specialist degree, and a doctorate of business administration.
UW–Whitewater is focused on hands-on learning. The most popular undergraduate majors include accounting, marketing, biology, finance, education, psychology, social work, and communication. New and trending majors include criminology, computer science, sports management, occupational and environmental safety and health, and media arts and game development.
The university houses five colleges across two campuses, as well as a School of Graduate Studies. It maintains institutional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and holds a variety of specialized accreditations at academic college and program levels.
Online graduate and undergraduate degree programs are offered in some of the most popular subject areas; in some cases, students can even complete an undergraduate degree remotely. Degrees can also be completed in a blended manner.
The institution’s teacher education programs are approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and the College of Business and Economics is AACSB accredited. See here for more information.
Get to know University of Wisconsin–Whitewater
- Campus Ministries
- Choral groups
- Concert band
- International Student Organization
- Jazz band
- Literary magazine
- Marching band
- Music ensembles
- Musical theatre
- Pep band
- Radio station
- Student government
- Student newspaper
- Student-run film society
- Symphony orchestra
- Television station
- First-Year Seminars and Experiences
- Learning Communities
- Writing-Intensive Courses
- Collaborative Assignments and Projects
- Undergraduate Research
- Diversity/Global Learning
- Service-Learning, Community-Based Learning
- Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience
- Career Services
- Writing Center
- Academic Advisors
- Library Services
- Disability Services
- Multicultural Engagement Center
- Academic Tutors
- Financial Aid Advisors
- Student Success Initiative
- Peer Mentors
UW–Whitewater is a national leader in promoting the Liberal Education & America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative. Established by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the LEAP initiative emphasizes the value of a broad-based liberal education in the development of a variety of skills that students need for 21st-century careers and engaged citizenship. In order to achieve the goals set out by the LEAP initiative, UW–Whitewater faculty and staff actively integrate the identified Essential Learning Outcomes and High Impact Practices into academic and student life at the university.
UW–Whitewater’s Undergraduate Research Program has a national reputation, with more than 260 students participating from all disciplines. Undergraduate research grants support faculty-student collaborative research and scholarly activities. Every year, UW–Whitewater undergraduate research students present their research in various disciplines at state and national conferences. Student researchers are even regularly included as co-authors with faculty in scholarly journals.
The university’s Fiscal and Economic Research Center welcomes students from all the colleges who wish to collaborate on research projects throughout the region. The Research Apprenticeship Program received the UW System Board of Regents Diversity Award in 2015.
Within the Undergraduate Research Program, the Group Grant Program supports student teams in their scholarly and creative activities. Collaborative work is also embedded in a curriculum that crosses departments and disciplines and, in some cases, even global boundaries.
UW–Whitewater strives to enhance students’ global learning and understanding of the diverse world in which they live. One of the most notable ways in which this is achieved is through the annual, two-day UW–Whitewater Campus Diversity Forum, which promotes a sense of belonging for all community members. In order to integrate diversity into the fabric of the institution, UW–Whitewater has also developed an Inclusive Excellence Fellowship Program; this program brings four postdoctoral scholars to campus each year (one for each college) to teach on issues related to diversity as well as to facilitate dialogue and awareness of how such issues impact their lives.
Students are also encouraged to dive deeply into issues pertaining to diversity. Numerous UW–Whitewater student organizations provide opportunities for diverse intellectual, cultural, creative, and service opportunities related to diversity. UW–Whitewater hosts a Multicultural Heritage Lecture Series, which is aimed at promoting stronger self-identification among UW–Whitewater multicultural students, faculty, and staff, all while enabling a more sophisticated understanding of cultural diversity among the entire university community. The series offers four different lectures each year on such issues as Native Pride as well as Asian, African American, and Latino Heritage.
For students interested in a longer-term learning experience, the College of Letters and Sciences offers a Diversity Leadership Certificate, which is designed to assist students across disciplines to engage in conversations around issues of race, gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and ability.
UW–Whitewater has a special mission to serve students with disabilities. More than 1,000 students annually use the Center for Students with Disabilities’ services to ensure academic success and stay on track to degree completion.
In terms of global learning, the Global Experiences office helps students access the wide variety of study abroad and travel-study experiences available to UW–Whitewater students. The center’s mission is to facilitate experiences that help students become successful leaders; to that end, UW–Whitewater offers dozens of programs in more than 50 different countries.
The university also offers qualified students financial aid for study abroad experiences. For example, College of Business and Economics students who participate receive a grant of up to $1,000 toward their experience, and the College of Education and Professional Studies offers scholarship opportunities to students who wish to student teach abroad. The undergraduate and graduate programs host hundreds of international students on campus, aiding their sense of community through such events as a popular international dinner every year.
The number of sections of each class size.
2-9: 159 | 10-19: 311 | 20-29: 463
30-39: 268 | 40-49: 124 | 50-99: 39 | 100+: 2
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Non-U.S. Citizen: 0%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 4%
White, non-Hispanic: 82%
Native/Indigenous American or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 0%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 0%
THE FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE
The First-Year Experience at UW–Whitewater begins with Warhawks SOAR, the day-long summer registration program. At SOAR, new students not only register for class, but also have the opportunity to meet other new Warhawks and connect with an academic advisor. Next, students participate in Warhawk Welcome—the two-day fall orientation for new freshmen and transfer students. Warhawk Welcome helps new students settle into life at UW–Whitewater by providing opportunities for social acclimatization as well as assistance with the academic transition to college. Orientation ends with a free on-campus concert.
More than 90 percent of new students at UW–Whitewater start their undergraduate career by taking the New Student Seminar. Designed to help students make a positive adjustment to college, New Student Seminar provides incoming students with a supportive environment for them to think about a variety of relevant topics, engage with fellow students and faculty, and attend related university events and programs. The course focuses on orienting students to the resources and opportunities available at UW–Whitewater. Through the course, students are invited to explore what it means to be a ‘Warhawk’ through exposure to the university’s mission, history, and traditions. They are also encouraged to reflect on what their educational experience means to them as well as to articulate the purposes of higher education and the value of LEAP (Liberal Education America’s Promise). Importantly, the New Student Seminar helps students explore how background, identity, experiences, and social context influence their own perspectives and those of their classmates.
In order to gain the most from their first-year experience, students are encouraged to participate in a Learning Community. These communities provide an opportunity for new students to live and study with others who share similar interests. In addition to living in the same residence hall, students in a Learning Community share many of the same courses with their community members, including New Student Seminar.
Whether they are teaching, counseling, or coaching, UW–Whitewater faculty and staff view mentorship as a major component of their role on campus. With a student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1, faculty have the opportunity to get to know their students and develop long-term relationships. In order to facilitate a culture of mentoring on campus, the university supports:
- a scholar/mentor program that pairs junior faculty with experienced professors on campus.
- a peer mentor program, which connects first-year students with an experienced student leader.
- an alumni mentor program, which brings alumni and current students together in order to build informative friendships.
The Mary Poppe Chrisman Success Center houses the UW–Whitewater Academic Support Center. This center serves thousands of students with free tutorial and supplemental instruction and offers employment opportunities to hundreds of qualified learning assistants.
THE COLLEGE OF ARTS AND COMMUNICATION
The College of Arts and Communication, which spans several academic buildings, houses a wide variety of diverse majors that range from media arts and game development to theatre and journalism majors. In many ways, the Greenhill Center of the Arts is the heart of the college; this space is used for instruction, exhibitions, and performances at Barnett Theatre. However, media arts and game development majors also have their own dedicated space in the McGraw Hall lab, and student broadcasters prepare newscasts at the UWW-TV station, located in the Andersen Library.
COLLEGE OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS
The College of Business and Economics consists of the largest number of undergraduate majors, many of which are the most popular at UW–Whitewater. The college focuses on innovation and hands-on training in state-of-the-art facilities. Its faculty are particularly active in facilitating real-world experiences (including off-campus internships) for undergraduate students. The extensive number of graduate programs ensures that undergraduate students are well informed about their options for after they graduate.
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL STUDIES
The College of Education and Professional Studies has a long and proud history of preparing students to be professional educators. It offers several specialized majors at both the undergraduate and graduate level in the field of education and works actively with other colleges on campus to ensure that its graduates are prepared to share their passion for knowledge with future generations. The college’s licensure program ensures that graduates are ready to begin their professional careers upon graduation. In addition, it facilitates many different types of professional development experiences for its students, including community initiatives and teaching abroad opportunities.
COLLEGE OF LETTERS AND SCIENCES
The College of Letters and Sciences offers many of the foundational courses taken by all undergraduates, providing students from across campus the basis for their liberal arts education through challenging courses in the humanities and natural and social sciences. Faculty are encouraged to develop innovative pedagogy and connect academic knowledge with experience through undergraduate research, internships, and international study.
COLLEGE OF INTEGRATED STUDIES
Located at the branch campus in Rock County, the College of Integrated Studies offers students the opportunity to complete an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree (AAS) and transition seamlessly to a bachelor’s degree program at the Whitewater campus or transfer to any UW System university that’s the best fit. Students hoping for a traditional university experience can take classes at Rock County and live in the UW–Whitewater residence halls, enjoying all of the student life, extracurricular, and employment opportunities a larger campus has to offer. A free, dedicated shuttle runs between the campuses.
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
Programs available at this institution.
Exchange student program (domestic)
Liberal arts/career combination
Teacher certification program
Prior Learning Credits program allows primarily adult students to petition to receive credit for up to three courses based on previous life/professional experiences; ECE4U (Early Childhood Education) is a hybrid program that requires students to attend class in person on campus six Saturdays each semester, with the rest of coursework completed online.
CAMPUS DIVERSITY FORUM
The Division of Student Affairs hosts an annual UW–Whitewater Diversity Forum, which usually takes place in the middle of the fall semester. Workshops and lectures that address a specific theme, open to all campus and community members, are offered over a two-day period. The Forum is associated with guest speakers, artists, posts, and a variety of art installations and special events.
New students are welcomed to campus with Warhawk Welcome, a two-day orientation program designed to help students ease into college, make new friends, and gain a sense of belonging. Events include a special itinerary for transfer students called TRANSFERmation. A football stadium rally introduces students to high-energy campus traditions, including a welcome tunnel made up of staff, faculty, and older students, and culminates with the annual painting of Warhawk Drive. Club 1868 and a Welcome Concert are popular Welcome Week activities as well.
With a championship-caliber football team, students pack Perkins Stadium for home football games. Touchdowns are heralded with the blast from a Civil War-replica cannon, a longstanding tradition.
PEER MENTOR PROGRAM
As part of the first-year experience, new students are assigned a student leader, known as a Peer Mentor, during their first semester on campus. Peer mentors lead their new students through the two-day fall orientation. They also act as assistant instructors in their students’ New Student Seminar courses. Peer Mentors act as points of contact for new students throughout the fall semester, encouraging deep connections to their peers and the university through fun activities and informal gatherings.
New students are encouraged to participate in one of UW–Whitewater’s many Learning Communities (LC)—an opportunity to live and study with other new students who share similar interests. Consisting of around 25 students, each LC is centered on an academic or goal-oriented theme. Students in each LC live in the same residence hall and enroll in several courses together (including the same New Student Seminar). LCs are also led by a faculty or staff member who share similar interests with these students, facilitating students’ contacts with faculty outside the classroom setting. Approximately 30% of each incoming class participates in LCs at UW–Whitewater.
TIES TO THE COMMUNITY
The relationship between the university and the surrounding community is strong. Student organizations and the Greek community regularly participate in service learning events downtown and within the area schools. A vibrant city market, held on Tuesday evenings, involves the campus community in many ways, providing a source of locally grown, nutritious food. A strong relationship with Downtown Whitewater and the Whitewater Area Chamber of Commerce facilitate internship opportunities, as does the Innovation Center at the Whitewater University Technology Park, a university-city collaboration.
UW–Whitewater is a residential campus in southeastern Wisconsin, an hour’s drive away from Madison and Milwaukee, and about two hours from Chicago. Thanks to its location, UW–Whitewater is able to assist students in obtaining prestigious internships and other professional development opportunities with businesses, research firms, educational organizations, and nonprofits from across the state and the region. With a population of approximately 14,000 citizens, the City of Whitewater offers a historic downtown area, many local eateries, and unique retailers. The university is also close to the Kettle Moraine State Forest—a 22,000-acre outdoor recreation area ideal for hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing.
The Rock County branch campus is located about 25 miles to the southwest in Janesville, a city of more than 64,000 people known for its hundreds of acres of parks, an active shopping and dining scene, and an award-winning botanical garden. Located just minutes from Interstate 90, UW–Whitewater at Rock County is set on 50 rolling acres adjacent to the Rock River.
UW–Whitewater offers students a wide variety of athletic opportunities to complement their academic pursuits. An NCAA Division III school, the university supports 20 intercollegiate athletics teams that compete in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC). Over the last ten years, the Warhawks have captured national championships in football, gymnastics, baseball, volleyball, and men’s basketball. The university is also very proud of its wheelchair basketball teams, which have won national championships several years in a row.
UW–Whitewater is known for achieving a productive balance between academics and athletics, with student-athletes boasting a higher overall GPA than the general student body. All students are also encouraged to participate in one of the 22 intramural sports and 24 club sports offered at UW–Whitewater.
UW–Whitewater students are often seen on campus wearing the Warhawks’ official colors—purple and white—and many line up to pose for pictures with the university mascot, Willie Warhawk, when they graduate.
Percent of students living on campus.
First-time, first-year (freshman) students: 89%
Campus housing options.
Apartments for married students
Apartments for single students
Special housing for disabled students
Special housing for international students
*Housing available at Whitewater campus for those enrolled at UW–Whitewater at Rock County. Free shuttle between campuses is provided.
CAREER AND LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
UW–Whitewater views student employment as a High-Impact Practice that can provide students with opportunities for professional growth. More than 3,000 undergraduate students (approximately 30%) have an on-campus job sometime during their academic career.
Career and Leadership Development offers a wide variety of programming—as well as one-on-one consultations—to students throughout their undergraduate career. On average, almost 30% of all undergraduates complete career courses or meet with career counselors each year. The campus works with local and regional businesses to host several career fairs throughout the academic year. With almost 7,000 employers registered, more than 350 employers actively recruit students on the UW–Whitewater campus.
Career and Leadership Development also coordinates many internship opportunities (both on and off campus) as well as service-learning and community-based learning programs. As a result of these opportunities for professional development and personal growth, many students receive job offers before graduation.
UW–Whitewater supports community-based learning and service-learning through a variety of initiatives. In addition to the Learning Communities’ annual day of service each fall, the Program for Community-Based Learning coordinates year-round partnership opportunities between the university and the community. It also oversees the funding of several Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships in Community Based Research.
The university also sponsors a year-long faculty development program, known as the Community-Based Learning Fellows Program. This program provides faculty the opportunity and support to explore best practices in community-based learning and then revise an existing course to develop a service-learning or community-based research component.
ALUMNI MENTOR PROGRAM
Alumni are encouraged to give back to their alma mater through the university’s Alumni Mentor Program. This program connects current students with alumni who can provide the kinds of guidance and friendship that help foster professional success. This program allows UW–Whitewater students to gain access to the valuable advice and professional networks fostered by alumni. And, of course, it also provides alumni with the opportunity to contribute continually to the mission of UW–Whitewater.
Rigor of secondary school record
Class rank | Standardized test scores | Application Essay | Recommendation(s)
Extracurricular activities | Talent/ability | Character/personal qualities | First generation
Alumni/ae relation | Volunteer work | Work experience | Level of applicant’s interest
25th Percentile: 19 | 75th Percentile: 24
25th Percentile: 17 | 75th Percentile: 25
25th Percentile: 17 | 75th Percentile: 24
As a University of Wisconsin System school, UW–Whitewater accepts the University of Wisconsin Online Application. The UW–Whitewater Admissions Office completes a comprehensive review of all applications it receives. Admissions decisions are made based on a variety of factors, including standardized testing results and the academic rigor of high school courses completed. Admissions officers are also looking for students who demonstrate an upward trend in their high school grades over time as well as extracurricular involvement, service and leadership, and work experience—much of which is highlighted in an applicant’s personal statement. While not required for admission, prospective students are always welcome to visit campus.
Tuition & Cost
Tuition (in-state): $7,730
Tuition (out-of-state)*: $16,602
* Tuition for residents of Minnesota: $9,476
SCHOLARSHIPS AND AID
UW–Whitewater offers need-based financial aid to all qualifying new students who complete the FAFSA form. Those who have submitted applications by January 1st of their senior year of high school are automatically considered for both need- and non-need-based scholarships; however, new students who apply after this deadline are also considered for scholarships upon request (and if funds are still available). Merit-based scholarships are competitive and awarded to applicants with the strongest academic credentials. Importantly, the UW–Whitewater Foundation further supports students’ educational progress with more than $2.3 million annually through more than 200 scholarships.
In order to minimize costs and streamline access to educational materials, UW–Whitewater participates in a textbook rental system that saves students hundreds of dollars each semester. Many textbooks are available electronically, and most are covered by the textbook rental fee incorporated into students’ overall fees.