Best Colleges in Wisconsin 2022

Here are the best colleges and universities in Wisconsin. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you.

Best Colleges in Wisconsin 2022

Colleges and Universities in Wisconsin

Between community colleges, technical schools, and universities, Wisconsin has 30 public schools. All the public schools in Wisconsin have affordable tuitions, ranging from $4,000 to $11,000. The University of Wisconsin – Madison has over 35,000 students in attendance, making it the largest in the state. The tuition runs about $11,000, and the school boasts an 85% graduation rate. Public affairs, veterinary medicine, and human ecology are just some of the fields students can study here.

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Of Wisconsin’s 29 private schools, 18 are religious. With just under 10,000 students, Marquette University is the largest, and tuition for this school is about $42,000. Located in Milwaukee, this Catholic, Jesuit university offers degrees in fields like business, engineering, physical therapy, and law. Also located in Milwaukee, the state’s smallest institution, the Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology, is a private graduate school with just over 30 students, and is geared toward those earning their doctoral degree in clinical psychology. Wisconsin, like many states, also provides a loan forgiveness program to those who are working in the health care field.

When people think Wisconsin, they might immediately crave cheese. After all, the state is home to a museum dedicated to all things cheese, including the annual making of a 90-pound wheel of Swiss. But The Beaver State is also known for its more than 15,000 lakes, including Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. Prospective students looking to earn their associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree will enjoy the food, landscape, and educational variety Wisconsin has to offer.

Learn more about Wisconsin’s higher education opportunities by checking out the state’s variety of colleges and universities.


What are Wisconsin’s Colleges & Universities?

Wisconsin’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine Wisconsin's best colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

We’ve identified 32 colleges and universities in Wisconsin that meet our criteria. This list of the top 25 colleges in Wisconsin below focuses on schools that offer bachelor’s degrees. The ranking features fully accredited public and private colleges and universities in Wisconsin.

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Best Colleges in Wisconsin 2022

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    22K

    What is University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee known for?

    University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Anthropology
    • Sociology
    • Business
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #4

    Lawrence University

    Appleton , WI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $52K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1315/28

    What is Lawrence University known for?

    Lawrence University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • Literature
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    10K

    What is University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire known for?

    University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Religious Studies
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • Nursing
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    7K

    What is University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point known for?

    University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Economics
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Computer Science
    • Social Work
    • Earth Sciences

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. Tuition + fees

    $45K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1275/27

    What is Milwaukee School of Engineering known for?

    Milwaukee School of Engineering’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    10K

    What is University of Wisconsin–La Crosse known for?

    University of Wisconsin–La Crosse’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Economics
    • Education
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    11K

    What is University of Wisconsin–Whitewater known for?

    University of Wisconsin–Whitewater’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Economics
    • Education
    • Business
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    6K

    What is University of Wisconsin–Green Bay known for?

    University of Wisconsin–Green Bay’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Education
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  9. #12

    Carroll University

    Waukesha , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    72%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/23

    What is Carroll University known for?

    Carroll University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • History
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    10K

    What is University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh known for?

    University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Earth Sciences
    • Physics
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Biology
    • History
    • Literature
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Concordia University Wisconsin known for?

    Concordia University Wisconsin’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #15

    St. Norbert College

    De Pere , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    What is St. Norbert College known for?

    St. Norbert College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Economics
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Earth Sciences
    • Anthropology
    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #16

    Cardinal Stritch University

    Milwaukee , WI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/20

    What is Cardinal Stritch University known for?

    Cardinal Stritch University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #17

    Carthage College

    Kenosha , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1110/24

    What is Carthage College known for?

    Carthage College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • History
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    7K

    What is University of Wisconsin–Platteville known for?

    University of Wisconsin–Platteville’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • History
    • Education
    • Philosophy
    • Sociology
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    4K

    What is University of Wisconsin–Parkside known for?

    University of Wisconsin–Parkside’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • History
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #20

    Alverno College

    Milwaukee , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Alverno College known for?

    Alverno College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Social Work
    • Education
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #21

    Edgewood College

    Madison , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/22

    What is Edgewood College known for?

    Edgewood College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Sociology
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #22

    Ripon College

    Ripon , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $48K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/22

    What is Ripon College known for?

    Ripon College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Physics
    • Anthropology
    • Communications
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Biology
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #23

    University of Wisconsin–Stout

    Menomonie , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    7K

    What is University of Wisconsin–Stout known for?

    University of Wisconsin–Stout’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Earth Sciences
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    5K

    What is University of Wisconsin–River Falls known for?

    University of Wisconsin–River Falls’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Social Work
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  22. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    2K

    What is University of Wisconsin–Superior known for?

    University of Wisconsin–Superior’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • Chemistry
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

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Wisconsin’s Best Colleges in Your Area of Interest

Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. University of Wisconsin–Madison
  2. Marquette University
  3. Beloit College
  4. Ripon College
  5. Lawrence University
  6. Milwaukee School of Engineering
  7. University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
  8. Mount Mary University
  9. St. Norbert College
  10. Edgewood College
  11. Northland College
  12. Cardinal Stritch University
  13. Carroll University
  14. University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point
  15. Maranatha Baptist University
  16. Marian University
  17. University of Wisconsin–Green Bay
  18. University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire
  19. Alverno College
  20. University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh
  21. Carthage College
  22. Concordia University Wisconsin
  23. University of Wisconsin–Whitewater
  24. University of Wisconsin–Stout
  25. University of Wisconsin–Superior
  26. University of Wisconsin–River Falls
  27. Lakeland University
  28. Viterbo University
  29. University of Wisconsin–La Crosse
  30. Wisconsin Lutheran College
  31. University of Wisconsin–Platteville
  32. Holy Family College