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 in preparation 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, including 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.


Wisconsin Lutheran College is a coeducational, 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.

Student Profile

982 undergraduate students
94% of undergrad students are full time
45% male — 55% female
24% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

64 full-time faculty
100 part-time faculty
10 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

90% of first-year students live on campus
63% 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.

“A defining moment for me at WLC was when I was able to see the full breadth of my personality and interests come to fruition. I could participate in intramural sports, play in the band, take a variety of classes, conduct research, create meaningful relationships with my peers and professors, and grow in my faith. It was life changing to be able to explore and discover all of these aspects of my personality and really get to know myself at WLC.” – Allee, WLC Class of 2016, Ph.D. Student in Chemistry

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 X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X


79% of students began in Fall 2016 and returned in Fall 2017 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate

67% of students graduated in 6 years


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


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

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

Wisconsin Lutheran College delivers academic excellence without undermining God’s Word. From the residence hall to the classroom, WLC students are mentored by caring Christian faculty and staff. The college offers numerous opportunities to study God’s word each week and serve through volunteer programs as they share their faith and compassion. 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 major.

core curriculum

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

“The liberal arts education from WLC provided me with soft, technical, and emotional intelligence skills and also sowed the seed for my leadership skills. To lead, one needs more than IQ or know-how; one needs to connect with others, communicate effectively, and many times think outside the box to drive strategy and pragmatic solutions. Now, when faced with ethical considerations that lie in the gray area, because of my solid WLC preparation, it is possible to remove the ambiguity and make the right choice.” – Stella, WLC Class of 1993, Solutions Engineer

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. Its structure includes a variety of interdisciplinary courses that emphasize literacy through an integrated 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 for virtually anything—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. Students have 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
Drama/theatre X
International Student Organization  
Jazz band X
Literary magazine  
Marching band  
Model UN  
Music ensembles X
Musical theater  
Pep band  
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 34 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 65% have earned a Ph.D. or other terminal degree. They bring real-world experience to campus, holding 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.

“Before coming to WLC, I was a shy, quiet girl from the Czech Republic who had recently learned to speak English. It was the small classes and the encouragement of the wonderful WLC faculty that helped me to complete my degree. These gentle Christian professors guided me and gave me the confidence I needed to become a public school teacher. Now I have become a mentor to younger teachers and serve as a leader for our staff.” – Lenka, WLC Class of 2001, Third-Grade Teacher

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.

Class size breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 81 145 78 15 0 1 0 320

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, WI, 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.

“At WLC, I could be connected, involved, and develop in a leadership capacity without getting lost in the shuffle. WLC helped better define who I am, and it was a place where I developed lifelong relationships. The college presented opportunities for me to grow in my leadership skills through playing Warriors Baseball and serving on Student Senate as a commuter representative.” – Mark, WLC Class of 1995, Bank Vice President

Student Activities

Through student programming events, students can socialize with one another, 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 combines research and teaching to compete annually at an international event. During the 2017 International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, WLC’s team of student researchers earned a medal for the fifth consecutive year, competing against 300 teams from schools around the world. Their project involved developing a kit that tests water for E. coli contamination quickly and easily.


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.

“At WLC, I grew deeply in my faith through Campus Ministry and was taught to apply what I learned in courses like Bioethics. I work with people every day who are facing life-changing illnesses. WLC introduced me to the idea of caring for the whole person—body, mind, and soul—as well as preparing me to integrate faith and profession.” – Jonathan, WLC Class of 2011, Family Medical Resident

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.



90% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2018-19 Admission

Rolling admission? Yes

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores

Application Essay
Character/personal qualities
Alumni/ae relation
Religious affiliation/commitment
Volunteer work 

Freshmen Profile

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 518 635
SAT Math 490 643
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 20 26
ACT Math 19 26
ACT English 20 27
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.



Tuition $29,410
Fees $315
Total $29,725
Room and Board (on campus) $10,190
Estimated Total On Campus $39,915



Wisconsin Lutheran College offers exceptional value at a competitive cost. WLC students will receive more than $13 million in scholarships this year. 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.