Wisconsin Lutheran College - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Wisconsin Lutheran College
Wisconsin Lutheran College prepares students for lives of Christian leadership. Through rigorous academic offerings...

Wisconsin Lutheran College

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Lutheran College, a Christian college in Milwaukee, provides quality teaching, scholarship, and opportunities for service that are rooted in Holy Scripture. The College promotes the spiritual growth of students and prepares them for lives of Christian leadership.


At Wisconsin Lutheran College, students not only have small class sizes and a variety of academic options, but they also can work side-by-side with professors doing groundbreaking heart-disease research, teach in local schools as early as freshman year, travel to Zambia for a nursing clinical, take a British literature course in England, or conduct marine biology research in Grenada. Taught from a Christian perspective, courses at Wisconsin Lutheran College help students develop skills they’ll need in their careers: critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and decision-making. Students also have opportunities for involvement, service, and leadership through NCAA Division III athletics, fine arts groups and ensembles, and 45+ clubs and organizations.

Student Profile

Fall 2016 Enrollment
989 undergraduate students
93% of undergrad students are full time
43% male — 57% female
29% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2016-2017 Academic Year
63 full-time faculty
92 part-time faculty
10 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2016
87% of first year students live on campus
59% of all students live on campus

School Location

Wisconsin Lutheran College is situated on the border of the city of Milwaukee and suburban Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Because of WLC’s central location, students can take advantage of everything this easy-to-navigate metropolitan area has to offer. Downtown Milwaukee, with its beautiful lakefront and Fortune 500 companies, offers a unique and diverse city experience. Students who are looking for great music, sporting events, delicious food, shopping, hiking trails, beaches, museums, or internship opportunities will find it all in Milwaukee. The nationally recognized Milwaukee County Zoo and Pettit National Ice Center are also conveniently located near the WLC campus.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences X
Learning Communities  
Writing-Intensive Courses  
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning  
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2016

75% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2016

61% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 1%
Hispanic/Latino 6%
Black or African American 5%
White 82%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 2%


NCAA Division III, Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference, 18 varsity sports.

Nickname: Warriors
Mascot: Victor E. Warrior
Colors: Green and white

Other Information

Wisconsin Lutheran College is an co-educational, residential, Christian college in Milwaukee. Founded in 1973, the College is affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. WLC’s degree programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission’s North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

More Distinctions

  • U.S. News & World Report rates Wisconsin Lutheran College as one of the top 20 colleges in the Midwest in 2016.

  • Forbes.com includes Wisconsin Lutheran College on its 2016 list of America's Top Colleges, compiled by Forbes and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

  • Wisconsin Lutheran College is ranked in the top 100 in the nation in Washington Monthly's 2016 ranking of national universities - bachelor’s, which rates schools based on three categories: social mobility, research, and service. WLC also is listed by Washington Monthly as a "Best Bang for Your Buck" in the Midwest.

  • Wisconsin Lutheran College is ranked 50th in the nation in the outcome-based 2017 ETC College Rankings Index, produced by the nonprofit Educate to Career.

  • College Factual included Wisconsin Lutheran College on its 2017 list of Best Colleges for the Money. According to College Factual, WLC ranks in the top 100 in the nation among colleges that deliver a great education in proportion to their cost.

  • Business Insider included Wisconsin Lutheran College on its 2016 list of America's 610 Smartest Colleges.

  • Young America's Foundation lists institutions that offer a conservative experience for students. Wisconsin Lutheran College is included on the foundation's list of Top Conservative Colleges.

  • Young America's Foundation lists institutions that offer a conservative experience for students. Wisconsin Lutheran College is included on the foundation's list of Top Conservative Colleges.

Wisconsin Lutheran College delivers academic excellence without undermining God’s Word. From the residence halls to the classrooms, WLC students are mentored by caring, Christian faculty and staff. The college offers numerous opportunities to study God’s word each week in addition to volunteer programs in which students can share their faith and serve others. Students use their God-given gifts to compete in NCAA Division III athletics; perform in band, choir, and theatre; or take part in 45+ clubs and organizations. Fine arts opportunities at WLC are open to all students, regardless of their major.

core curriculum

All students are required to take a core curriculum to provide breadth in their educational experience. The curriculum includes courses in writing, speaking, theology, humanities, social sciences, science, mathematics, physical education, and foreign language.

honors program

WLC’s honors program provides students an opportunity to differentiate themselves through a rigorous alternative general education program. The program, which can be combined with any major, is designed to promote academic leadership and the doctrine of vocation. The structure of the program includes a variety of interdisciplinary courses, emphasizing literacy by integrating a study of the Christian tradition with both “great books” and technology.

CliftonStrengths for Students

New WLC students are encouraged to use the CliftonStrengths for Students assessment to assist them in identifying their top five themes of talent. The program teaches students how to develop their natural talents into strengths and apply them for success in all areas of their lives. It can be used as a resource in discussions regarding academics, advising, personal life, career, and spiritual life.

undergraduate research

Each year, WLC students in a variety of academic programs work closely with their professors on research projects that help prepare them for graduate school, professional schools, and the workforce. Many students conduct independent research projects as part of their capstone experiences, presenting at the college’s annual Undergraduate Research Symposium or at professional conferences both nationally and internationally. In 2013, two students presented the results of WLC’s marine biology research in Grenada at the Association of Marine Labs’ International Conference held in Jamaica. In 2015, research by a WLC student, alumna, and professor was published in the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science.

study abroad

Students who study abroad at WLC often do so as part of a faculty-led academic experience. Students and professors regularly travel in small groups to China, England, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Italy, Jamaica, Turkey, and Zambia.

activities offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band X
Dance X
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band X
Literary magazine  
Marching band  
Model UN  
Music ensembles X
Musical theater  
Pep band X
Radio station  
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society  
Symphony orchestra  
Television station  

Wisconsin Lutheran College cares personally for students in a distinctive, Christ-centered environment. WLC students learn at a nationally ranked college committed to academic excellence in each of its 38 majors. Students can work alongside professors doing heart disease research, teach in local schools as early as their freshman year, travel to Zambia for a nursing clinical, take a literature course in England, or conduct marine biology research in Grenada.

Real-World Experience

All of WLC’s professors are Christian, and more than 70% have earned a Ph.D. or other terminal degree. They bring real-world experience to campus, along with degrees from such institutions as Arizona State University, Florida State University, Georgetown University, Michigan State University, Syracuse University, University of Chicago, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

personal attention

During their freshman year, students receive personalized academic coaching and participate in seminar classes designed to assist them with academic and career planning. Through the Freshman Mentoring Program, all freshmen are assigned a mentor who is also acts as the teacher of their freshman seminar. Students meet weekly with their mentor to discuss a wide range of topics intended to provide an extended orientation to the college, self-analysis, career exploration, academic planning, and personal development.

college 101

As part of the college’s core curriculum, all WLC students take two orientation courses. “The Idea of a Christian College” is a freshman seminar that examines the skills and attitudes essential for college success as well as the intellectual perspectives that are nurtured through studying the liberal arts. “Christian Life Planning” is a sophomore seminar that assists students with establishing goals and planning for both their careers and academic programs. These seminars also incorporate an annual Campus Read, giving students the chance to join in a common reading experience as well as attend a guest lecture from the author of the book itself.


Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy  
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages X
History X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X


Other: Physical Education

Class size breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 105 135 67 22 2 1 0 332

Wisconsin Lutheran College provides a welcoming campus in a vibrant community filled with opportunity. Because of WLC’s central location on the border of Milwaukee and suburban Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, students can take advantage of the area’s beautiful lakefront, cultural offerings, and internships at Fortune 500 companies. The warm and friendly campus offers modern residence halls and state-of-the-art facilities. WLC is situated across the street from the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, an invaluable asset for students who are interested in healthcare and the sciences. The college’s proximity to Chicago gives students even more chances to explore the Midwest.

Vibrant Campus Life

The WLC experience goes far beyond the classroom. Campus life is full of energy and activity, bustling with social events, guest speakers, variety shows, Homecoming and Winterfest, open mic nights, art gallery openings, and fine arts performances. Students become part of a vibrant, fun community that is centered on the mission and vision of preparing Christian leaders.

Student Activities

Through student programming events, students can socialize with each other, help members of the community, and gain leadership experience both on and off campus. The college’s annual Serving Hands; Serving Hearts event brings the campus community together in a common service project. Students and faculty can gather outside the classroom at events such as the monthly Afternoon Tea and the annual WLC Christmas celebration.

Winning Team

One organization on campus combined research and teaching to compete at an international event. In 2016, 10 students competed as a team in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGem) competition in Boston. The WLC team of researchers earned a Silver Medal, competing against 300 teams from schools around the world. This project involved detecting and isolating new viruses against disease-causing bacteria.


Coed dorms  
Men’s dorms X
Women’s dorms X
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing  
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing  
Wellness housing  
Other housing options X


Other: Houses

Wisconsin Lutheran College prepares its students for lives of Christian servant leadership. Communities, workplaces, families, and churches desperately need moral and ethical Christian leaders. Preparing students to be these leaders in the world is a key component of WLC’s mission; it’s why the college exists. It’s also what distinguishes WLC from other institutions of higher learning. The new Certificate for Christian Leadership program, offered through the college’s Center for Christian Leadership, further intentionalizes the college’s mission.

Success During and After College

The Student Success Center exists to provide a high level of support for all students and faculty, offering academic tutors, writing tutors, and peer mentors. The Career Development Office assists WLC students as they pursue a fulfilling and appropriate use of their God-given talents. The office helps students bridge the gap between college and career, playing an active role in students’ career-development process.

After Graduation

WLC graduates have gone on to excel in their graduate studies—which many describe as seamless extensions of their undergraduate research work—at such schools as Duke University, Medical College of Wisconsin, New York University, The Ohio State University, Sotheby’s Institute of Art-London, Texas Tech University, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. Graduates also serve as Christian leaders in the workplace, whether they are business leaders, doctors, judges, lawyers, medical researchers, nurses, or teachers.



658 Total Applicants 
594 Total Admissions 
228 Total Freshmen Enrollment

90.27% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2017-18 Admission

Rolling admission? Yes

Priority date: Mar 1

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record
Academic GPA

Standardized test scores
Character/personal qualities

Application Essay
Extracurricular activities
Alumni/ae relation
Religious affiliation/commitment
Volunteer work
Work experience
Level of applicant’s interest

Freshmen Profile Fall 2016

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading    
SAT Math    
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 21 27
ACT Math 20 27
ACT English 21 28
ACT Writing    


WLC welcomes applications any time after completion of a student’s junior year in high school. Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis. The admissions committee at WLC evaluates prospective student candidates in terms of both achievement and promise, emphasizing the extent to which students have taken advantage of their educational opportunities. The most successful applicants are those who have completed a strong college preparatory curriculum and have contributed in a significant way to the life of the school, church, or community. To apply, students need to provide the following: application for admission, high school transcripts, and official ACT and/or SAT score reports. Apply online for free at wlc.edu/apply.


Net Price Calculator



Tuition $28,840
Fees $300
Total $29,140
Room and Board (on campus) $9,910
Estimated Total On Campus $39,050


Average Financial Aid Packages 2016-2017 FINAL

$22,291 First year students
$17,109 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2016-2017 FINAL

78.14% on average, the percentage of need that was met
18% of financial need students that had need fully met

$17,109 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,067 Average need-based loan


Wisconsin Lutheran College offers exceptional value at a competitive cost. WLC students received more than $12 million in scholarships this year and will graduate with the second-lowest debt load among private colleges in Wisconsin. A four-year graduation guarantee and merit awards worth up to $60,000 further assist students in their quest for a Christian college education at WLC. There are also numerous WLC scholarships available for music, band, art, theatre, Christian school graduates, homeschool graduates, and more. According to Money Magazine, WLC ranks 13th for affordability among private institutions in the nation.