Milwaukee Colleges & Universities

Colleges & Universities

Wisconsin values education, and nowhere is this clearer than in its system of colleges and universities. More than 78,000 students are enrolled each year in the more than two dozen public and private four-year schools serving the region. These include nationally recognized universities, colleges, technical schools and specialty schools. Two schools — University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and Marquette University — account for more than half of the college students enrolled in the five-county Milwaukee area. Specialty schools include the Milwaukee School of Engineering, the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.

Higher Education

Southeastern Wisconsin also offers a wealth of higher education opportunities. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has more than 24,000 students in more than 200 different undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Marquette University offers over 11,300 students a wide array of academic choices and nearly 80 majors through its nationally recognized colleges and schools. Nearly 2,600 students attend the Milwaukee School of Engineering, a private college with very strong ties to the business community.

There are more than a dozen other four-year universities or colleges in the region. These include Alverno College and Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, both of which serve women; Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon, and Cardinal Stritch University and Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee. In addition, there are several specialty schools, including the Medical College of Wisconsin, which provides physician and pharmacy education, and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

The state's vocational education program was the first of its kind in the nation when it was established in 1908. Working closely with business and industry, it provides two-year degrees that are closely matched to real-world needs, making it east for graduates to find jobs. In southeastern Wisconsin, vocational schools include the Milwaukee Area Technical College in Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties, Waukesha County Technical College in Waukesha County, the Moraine Park Technical College in Washington County and Gateway Technical College in Racine County. These schools have a combined enrollment of nearly 85,000 students in associate degree and certificate programs.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM)

The University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM) has an ambitious dual mission that’s unique in Wisconsin. It serves as both a top-tier, public research university and an access institution that strives to provide students with equitable opportunities to earn a college degree. Nestled in a quiet neighborhood on Milwaukee’s east side, UWM’s main campus is just blocks from Lake Michigan, and additional campuses and facilities are spread across southeast Wisconsin. It’s the state’s second-largest university, home to 23,000-plus students. UWM students can choose from more than 200 academic programs, including Wisconsin’s only schools of architecture, freshwater sciences and public health. UWM is a significant contributor to Wisconsin’s workforce, graduating more than 5,000 students every year, and more than 80 percent of them stay to live and work in Wisconsin. It’s one of only 146 United States institutions to earn the highest rating for research — often called R1 — in the prestigious Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s latest review. UWM partners with some 3,000 businesses and nonprofits that offer students opportunities to engage with a wide variety of organizations that are transforming our region. It’s one of the nation’s top universities for community engagement as classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. UWM also sponsors 15 NCAA Division I athletic teams, including Wisconsin’s only Division I baseball program.

Two other four-year University of Wisconsin schools are located in the region. More than 12,000 students attend the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in Walworth County. Noted for its top business school, it is home to Wisconsin’s largest AACSB-accredited College of Business and Economics. Another 4,000 students attend the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Located between Racine and Kenosha, it’s known for its Signature Programs, as well as its AACSB-accredited College of Business, Economics and Computing.

Marquette University

Marquette University is the largest private school in the region. A Jesuit, Catholic university, Marquette serves just over 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students from nearly every state and 70 countries. Marquette offers more than 80 majors and more than 80 minors; pre-professional programs in dentistry, law and medicine, as well as undergraduate programs for working adults and study abroad opportunities. Marquette offers more than 100 certificate, master’s and doctoral degree programs, and a School of Dentistry and Law School. Marquette ranks within the top 100 schools in the 2023 edition of America’s Best Colleges, which is published by U.S. News & World Report, and is also ranked 52nd in Best Value Schools. Marquette was ranked the 6th best college nationally and the best college in Wisconsin for job placement, according to Founded in 1881, Marquette University is located just west of downtown Milwaukee.

Private Colleges

Following are the private, non-specialty four-year schools serving the area:

Alverno College

3400 S. 43rd St., Milwaukee; Enrollment: 1,596; weekday and evening/online undergraduate class options for women; accelerated bachelor’s program for men and women; degree completion programs in nursing and education; certificates, badges and continuing education options; co-ed master’s programs in business, education, nursing, community psychology, school psychology, music therapy, and music and liturgy; doctoral programs in nursing and education.

Cardinal Stritch University

6801 N. Yates Rd., Milwaukee; Enrollment: 1,365; undergraduate degrees include education, business, health sciences, the fine arts and more; graduate programs in nursing, clinical psychology, sports management, leadership, education and business. Telephone: (414) 410-4000;

Carroll University

100 N. East Ave., Waukesha; Enrollment: 2,884 (undergraduate), 532 (graduate); Curriculum: liberal arts and pre-professional in more than 95 study areas; business school offers six graduate certificate programs.

Telephone: (262) 524-7373.

Concordia University Wisconsin

12800 N. Lake Shore Dr., Mequon; Enrollment: 5,777; Curriculum: liberal arts, business, nursing, health professions, education, and pharmacy.

Telephone: (262) 243-5700.

Marquette University

1250 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee; Enrollment: 11,550; Curriculum (colleges/schools): arts and sciences, business administration, communication, dentistry, education, engineering, health sciences, law, nursing, and professional studies. Telephone: (414) 288-7250;

Mount Mary University

2900 N. Menomonee River Pkwy., Milwaukee; Enrollment: 1,200; Curriculum: liberal arts. Telephone: (414) 258-4810;

Wisconsin Lutheran College

8800 W. Bluemound Rd., Milwaukee; Enrollment: 1,100; Curriculum: liberal arts, business, teacher education, and health sciences. Telephone: (414) 433-8800; 

Specialty Schools

Medical College of Wisconsin

8701 W. Watertown Plank Rd., Milwaukee; Enrollment: More than 1,600 students enrolled in medical school, pharmacy school and graduate school programs in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Central Wisconsin; residency and fellowship training for graduate physicians; national research center with nearly 3,700 research studies including more than 970 clinical trials. Curriculum: medical, pharmacy, biomedical science, public health. Telephone: (414) 955-8296.

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

273 E. Erie St., Milwaukee; Enrollment: 930; Curriculum: bachelor of fine arts degree in communication design, illustration, interior architecture and design, product design, and studio practice in fine arts. Telephone: (414) 847-3200.

Milwaukee School of Engineering

1025 N. Broadway, Milwaukee; Enrollment: 2,575 (undergraduate), 154 (graduate); Curriculum: engineering, actuarial science, business, computer science, and nursing. Telephone: (800) 332-6763

Technical Colleges

The state’s occupational education system is a national leader in providing students the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. It serves more than 340,000 students at 16 colleges in the state. 91 percent of students who complete the programs are employed within six months of their graduation.

Gateway Technical College

Offers more than 70 diploma, certificate and associate degree programs. Campuses in Racine, Kenosha, Elkhorn, Burlington, Pleasant Prairie and Sturtevant. Telephone: (800) 247-7122;

Milwaukee Area Technical College

Offers 170+ associate degree, technical diploma and certificate programs students can complete in as little as one semester to two years. MATC partners with more than 40 college and university transfer partners to create a more affordable path to a bachelor’s degree for students. Locations include campuses in Downtown Milwaukee, Mequon, Oak Creek and West Allis, and an education center at Walker’s Square in Milwaukee. Telephone: (414) 297-MATC.

Moraine Park Technical College

Offers more than 60 associate degrees and diploma programs in West Bend. Telephone: (262) 334-3413;

Waukesha County Technical College

Offers 170+ associate degree, technical diploma, apprenticeship and certificate programs. Partnerships and transfer agreements with several area four-year colleges and universities. Campuses in Pewaukee and Waukesha.