Best Small Colleges in Wisconsin 2022

Small colleges in Wisconsin are a great option for students interested in a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Whether the focus is on the technical or on the liberal arts, small colleges give you the chance to pursue a well-rounded education while working closely with classmates and professors in a dynamic community atmosphere.

Best Small 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

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The following list of the best small colleges and universities in Wisconsin is composed mainly of four-year undergraduate schools (though a handful also offer graduate programs). We’ve identified 20 small colleges in Wisconsin. The list below of the best small colleges in Wisconsin. To be included schools must fully accredited, and must have student body populations below 5,000 students.

How do we determine Wisconsin's best small 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.

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Best Small Colleges in Wisconsin 2022

  1. #1

    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
  2. 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

  3. #4

    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

  4. 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

  5. #6

    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

  6. #7

    Cardinal Stritch University

    Milwaukee , WI

    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

  7. #8

    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

  8. 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

  9. #10

    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

  10. #11

    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

  11. #12

    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

  12. 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

  13. #14

    Viterbo University

    La Crosse , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/23

    What is Viterbo University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  14. #15

    Northland College

    Ashland , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Northland College known for?

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

    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #16

    Marian University

    Fond Du Lac , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    980/19

    What is Marian University known for?

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

    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Business
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #17

    Lakeland University

    Plymouth , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    982/19

    What is Lakeland University known for?

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

    • Social Work
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #18

    Mount Mary University

    Milwaukee , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    935/18

    What is Mount Mary University known for?

    Mount Mary University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #19

    Maranatha Baptist University

    Watertown , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/22

    What is Maranatha Baptist University known for?

    Maranatha Baptist University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #20

    Wisconsin Lutheran College

    Milwaukee , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    What is Wisconsin Lutheran College known for?

    Wisconsin Lutheran College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
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Wisconsin’s Best Small College in Your Area of Interest

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. Beloit College
  2. Ripon College
  3. Lawrence University
  4. Milwaukee School of Engineering
  5. Mount Mary University
  6. St. Norbert College
  7. Edgewood College
  8. Northland College
  9. Cardinal Stritch University
  10. Carroll University
  11. Maranatha Baptist University
  12. Marian University
  13. Alverno College
  14. Carthage College
  15. Concordia University Wisconsin
  16. University of Wisconsin–Superior
  17. Lakeland University
  18. Viterbo University
  19. Wisconsin Lutheran College
  20. Holy Family College

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